We finish the chook dome

We put in a big burst of energy and finished the first chook dome.

For our yard, we played outside and on the computer, and came up with 4.8m domes as the optimum design.  This is a bit wider than the 4m domes that Linda Woodrow recommends on ergonomic grounds.

The formulas for construction are very complicated, and we found a couple of mistakes.  We nearly messed up all the long bends, but picked up the error when we found the first one wasn’t symmetrical.  Alas we slipped up on the big ring at the base, and had to add in a 0.65m piece to get the right size.

Getting the dome started was real brainstrain, but soon we could see the dome emerging, and it got much easier.

This dome design weaves the poly pipe over and under.  This makes the dome strong, like a basket, but a bit lumpy in appearance.  More Uluru than St Paul’s Cathedral.

Fitting the flat chicken-wire to the outside of the dome was painful, both mentally and physically.  But we do now have a working chicken dome.  Strangely enough, everybody else’s domes on the web are photographed *prior* to putting the wire on.

Allison with the partly-made dome.

Our place has an area with a low fence surround.  We could have removed this, but our permaculture plan has this as an intensive Zone II vegetable and herb garden, and so far we have left the fence be.  Discourages rabbits if nothing else.  Inside the fence, the previous owners put in curvy concrete lawn edges, which we’ve decided to leave in place – we’re putting our perennial vegies and herbs there.

Linda Woodrow likes mandala gardens, pretty patterns from circular forms.  From a permaculture perspective, they make sense if you have a big flat area, in that everything is optimally accessible.  For most gardens, you have boundary constraints, and often you have factors influencing your design such as sunlight and water access.  Usually, there should be a more site-based design that you can implement.

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