The Very Ugly Garden

Over the last few years our garden has transitioned from a relatively newly cleared block (in preparation for the renovation) to a small salvage yard of various resources such as patio pavers, salvaged timber, corrugated sheeting, animal hutches, plastic pots and containers, pallets and piles of granite and coffee rock.

In some areas, stacks of timber have sat and become a breeding ground for King Skinks. Paving slabs laying for extended periods of time over grass have become home to the Common Dwarf Skink. Piles of coffee rock have sheltered the sand loving Lined Worm-Lizard as they become home also to its food source, ants.

It has quite honestly devolved into something of an ugly garden. If you can call it a garden. But in doing so it has become an absolute haven for wildlife which this summer has made its presence known.

We’ve seen unprecedented numbers of hoverflies and Diadegma wasps in our garden. I’ve added several new bird species to our Bird List this year. We’ve had the Spotted Pardalote, the Red-winged Fairy Wrens and Red-tailed Black Cockatoos on a more regular basis. Even a Black-shouldered Kite taking a dive for a mouse up the top of the block.

From the turmoil and chaos there is gradually something of order emerging but with naturalised areas. After all, it is designed from observation and what works – and nature is what is working well.

This afternoon I started in earnest on the foundations of the green house using coffee rock. Now starts the process of putting much of the chaos into a functional design.

As I worked I heard the Red-winged Fairy Wrens which I am beginning to think are nesting close by as I also saw the Horsfields Bronze Cuckoo in the garden today and it flew from one side of the garden to the other and perched in the Peppermint Tree which is where the wrens were. It preened itself for a while and I lost track of it. In the afternoon there was a Kookaburra perched on the gutter of the neighbour’s house overlooking our garden. Also a possible indication that the wrens activity has been noticed by predators and parasites!

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, galahs, Red-capped Parrots and even corellas were flying over and around the house. The parrots zig-zagging around in the pre-dusk light.

I tidy things up to go inside for the evening. Content that something concrete has been started that will point the ugly garden into the new direction of becoming something of beauty.

About Petit Paradis

I am on a journey with my family to transition as closely as practicable to a state of self-reliance in suburbia. I practice permaculture principles in our house, garden and community. We are on the southern coast of Western Australia. To our north is the rest of the world. To the south, Antarctica.
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6 Responses to The Very Ugly Garden

  1. tonytomeo says:

    My garden in town used to generate complaints from the neighbors, not just because it was relatively simple and utilitarian, but because I maintained it myself rather than hire a gardener.

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  2. Yes, true I guess. The odd person stops as they walk by. Some point at different things (flowers I hope). The reality is that we rarely even see the neighbours. Lots of big, fancy houses but they appear devoid of any sort of movement. I know there are people in them because they’ve put their Christmas decorations up! There is seldom anyone in their gardens, if they even had room for them. Many have houses taking up the whole block. So yes, I’m out there creating a work of art for them to admire. . .

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  3. Pingback: A Place to Die | Petit Paradis

  4. Some nice overview photos – all in all it’s quite steep! Good luck with the greenhouse – interested to see how that goes.

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