Spring – Update – 2017

The 1st of September came and went. For us down here it marked the beginning of Spring, although it seemed Spring had already arrived some weeks before.

It’s been weeks since posting as I’ve been steadily spending what ever available time carting plants and pots and garden items over to the new block where I have managed to successfully trash a small hillside in a lovely suburb of town.

I’ve been carting soil also. Partly to quick start our new temporary vegetable garden because it is full of good stuff and because at this time of the year it is packed full of worm cocoons and tiny, tiny baby worms.  Alive with things!

Rich soil from our container gardens

There has been a lot of community stuff going on too in my world which has been peppered in and amongst various family commitments, pets and general day to day living. In essence life has been shear madness recently and quite stressful with plans changing often.

So this kind of sets the stage for the realisation that dawned on me as I was moving bananas and larger plants over to the site yesterday.

I had no idea just how ambitious my plan for the garden was.

That is, the work involved with the time I have available and the larger scale of things. There is very little space between all the jobs that need doing. Things have been stacking up, so that I find that I need to move plants in order to get our house ready to sell. But moved plants will need to be looked after – and we’re not yet on site to do that. Which means also fitting in watering and tending another garden during the mean time. Once we are in the house the greywater system can start to do its thing.

Over the past weeks I’ve dug trenches for the plumber and electricians to lay down their various pipes and cables for powering pumps and transferring water to and from the house – both rainwater and greywater.

This has been a bit of a challenge as I discovered a substantial root/trunk system left over from the removal of the Brazilian Pepper Tree which was cut down nearly three years ago. They guys ended up weaving the pipe through and I can now start to fill the trench back in.

The sand that we are dealing with leaves the skin blackened almost with a really fine black stain. It takes a bit of scrubbing to get rid of it and it gets into our noses and ears. The sooner I can get the basic structure of the swales done I hope to mulch across the sand to get the area stabilised before summer.

Moments that make the day a little easier.

I spent the morning yesterday moving salvaged wood from the house further up the hill behind the rainwater tanks so that it is out of the way. Then I began preparing a mulch pit area on top of the embankment ready to start planting. This area gets a lot of sun and despite my design having the tropical species lower on the block I have amended the plan due to the long stone embankment that has been created by default, just to support the rainwater tanks. This has been a frustrating part of the process for me as I was really trying to plan it and then put it into action. I still find myself changing the design as I make decisions and then have to deal with the cause and effect of those decisions. The garden will be better off for it, but I have found the deviations frustrating.

In this instance however, supporting the earth bank for the location of the rainwater tanks meant using the large quantity of coffee rock that was available. This was definitely a ‘the problem is the solution’ moment as it gave us somewhere to put the coffee rock instead of double handling it. This then has created a heat bank that in partnership with the rainwater tanks (which will work more efficiently once full of water) is perfectly situated for the tropical plants.

Or bananas, galangal, ginger, sweet potatoes, pineapples, sugar cane, lemon grass, cardamom, cannas, comfrey, dragonfruit, babaco and whatever else will benefit from the spot are  gradually being planted in this area.IMG_9420

The house itself is coming along nicely. The front is nearly complete with the remaining weatherboards being added and preliminary work for the bulk head of the garage being started. The balustrade is nearly ready for the final bit of rough render to be added to match the original house look.



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