The Start of the New Tillellen Project

The trees are gone!
I met with the loppers Thursday to arrange how we can keep the bulk of the material on site. They seemed very accommodating which makes sense given that it won’t need carting away.
It was sad to see them go after they have been there so long – they have left a huge space until we can begin the process of re-planting the area.
The upside I guess is that, as pretty as they are, most of them are not friendly to our native environment in that they seed easily and are spread by birds easily such as the Japanese Pepper (to the right in the photos). Others have not been looked after and would eventually¬† lead to problems with limbs falling, so as much as it will be a huge visual change to the block, it is a necessary part of the process. As it happened the guys showed me a photo taken from up the tree where a split had started to occur. So it really was a matter of time before it took out the neighbour’s clothes-line!
I looked over the plans again to locate the best spot for the piling of mulch and logs – so that they won’t be in the way of earthworks for the retaining walls or new house. In doing so I came to the realisation that the block is actually going to leave us with much less garden area than I previously thought given that the retaining wall will be moved further back into the block and the top house is further in from the back street to allow for the slope and drive-way.
Still, it is a bigger area than what we are currently growing on and is not so divided up. There are also smaller areas along the property line and where the house will be that can be planted out.
There was one truck load of mulch that needed removing from the block to make room for access to the block and I had this carted to our property here so that I can use it for the native garden out the front and to dress the chook yard for the summer to cover up the grass and clippings and weeds that I have thrown in there from cleaning up at the Community Garden. Any grass that I removed I have been putting into the chook yard as they do a fine job of making sure it is dead far quicker than the compost bins I use where it is just too resilient to die off quickly. Between the sun and the chooks endless scratchings and upheaval of soil the grass is dealt with much more efficiently I find.
So, well in advance of schedule the guys have cleared the block of trees in a day and a half! The land is literally swamped in sunlight so it will be a great spot for the new gardens and there are plenty of BIG logs to build the Hugelkultur beds that will be used to start the soil conditioning process and get an initial garden happening while the rest of the building, construction and renovating takes place. On the top of the block is the 5 truck loads worth of mulch that I was wanting to have on hand.

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