Laying Out the Biodiversity Garden [SomVid]

Work has begun on laying out the biodiversity garden at a local college campus. As I mentioned in my previous post, this project is being carried out in collaboration with Ladybird Environmental Consulting, and it also involves the students of the college.

It’s one kind of fun to design something on a computer, and quite another to start fleshing it out on the ground. There was a last-minute hitch when I got a call from the college ground staff saying that the grid — which I had asked them to mark on the ground — didn’t fit within the allotted space. It turned out that the survey drawing they had provided at the start had been inaccurate.

That led to a mad scramble as I had to quickly redraw some pathways and plant beds. To top it all, there was the threat of rain washing away the grid lines overnight. In the end, when I reached the site in the morning, the lines were visible — even though there had been a shower or two during the night.

The Process

In the morning, before the marking of pathways began, there was only a square grid
In the morning, before the marking of pathways began, there was only a 1m x 1m grid. Fortunately, the lines survived despite a couple of overnight showers. The soil was quite wet, though.
Placing a hosepipe to connect the marked points
A fairly stiff hose was placed to connect the points that had been marked on the grid.
Image Credit: Revathi Swami
Marking the points where the pathway edges intersected with the grid
To begin with, we marked the points where the pathway edges intersected with the grid. Some lilies in this section will have to be transplanted.
Image Credit: Revathi Swami
The hose was then adjusted, until I was satisfied that the curves on the ground matched the ones on the drawing.
Image Credit: Revati Vispute
Marking the pathways with chuna (powdered lime)
Finally, the pathways were marked using chuna (powdered lime).

All this was yesterday. Today, the ground staff began removing the topsoil from the pathways, and will transferred it to the plant beds and plant mounds. And yes, everything is going to be done manually.

Digging the pathway to save the topsoil. Image: Dinesh Pradhan
Digging the pathway to save the topsoil. The rusted gatepost is to be replaced by a living archway.
Image Credit: Dinesh Pradhan

Biodiversity is all around us

Tiny spider on a sprinkler head

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. The morning got off to a really wonderful start, when I spotted this tiny spider on a sprinkler head. It was no more than 3-4mm in size, and I’m still trying to find out what species it is. Sadly, given that I only had my phone camera with me, I didn’t get a better shot.



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