Friday, 9 November 2007

Starting to look tropical ???

During the early part of 2006 lots more palm trees, cordylines, crotons etc were added to the garden in the back yard.
The best part was when they spread blood and bone around the plants. I just love the smell of that stuff – like someone buried an old bone.
In May the pool was started. Lots of workmen and machinery coming and going so John fenced off a smaller yard for me so they’d feel safe from the dog. When the pool was finished, by September, we laid pavers, built a Bali hut and put gardens in around it.
There wasn’t much rain and so water restrictions got more and more strict. Firstly only a hand-held hose a few hours per week, then buckets and watering cans only. No more plants were added because it took all Ros’ spare time and energy to water what was already there with the watering cans.
Towards the end of the year they bought two rainwater tanks but still had to mainly bucket water because there wasn’t enough rain to keep the tanks topped up.
The drought continued most of the way through 2007.
Over the Easter break John and Ros made a sitting area at the front. They used 3 cubic metres of stones and some pavers. I have to be on my lead to be allowed out there. Luckily the lead is fairly long. While they’re sitting having a drink I can explore the garden and hunt lizards or hide behind the hedge and bark at people walking by.
In August we got a pump for the second tank plus it rained and filled the tanks, so hosing the garden started again. I’ve never seen people so happy to point a hose at plants. Some evenings they get one hose each and water all around the gardens. I sit patiently and wait for them to realise it’s my dinner time and come and feed me. They seem obsessed with rain, they measure how much falls and look on BOM to see if more is coming and they knock on the tank to see how full it is. I try to tell them - it’s rain – it’s wet – makes your paws muddy and your fur wet- nothing to get all excited about. If it rained smackos, now that would be something.

Starting the garden

John and Ros had propagated quite a few plants. They kept the plants in a greenhouse John had built by hammering 2m long star pickets into the ground then threading irrigation pipe over the star pickets to form arches, then it was covered with shade-cloth. They disassembled the greenhouse, moved & rebuilt it when we all came to live at my place.
Before they planted anything, they got Mick the bobcat man to rip up the ground where the garden was to go – across the back and down the side fence. Then they dug in 50 bags of horse manure and spread 100 bags of cane trash all over the ground.
At first I was a bit scared of the bobcat but after I told it the dog was the boss around here we got on OK.
The first trees were planted early in 2005 – Lots of lilly pillys and native rainforest species (a blue quandong, some golden pendas, euodias, etc) along the side and front, golden canes along the back fence.
John built a fernery outside the bathrooms. It’s a great shady spot to sleep on a hot day and he even put in a water feature so I can have a drink without having to leave the shade.
During 2005, they did lots of projects (the back patio, a retaining wall between the house & shed, large cement pavers at the side of the house) and put in lots of plants. I was busy supervising every weekend. Lucky they go to work all week so I can catch up on sleep.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

A Bit of History

We bought a block in a new estate. Apparently the land had previously been small farm growing watermelons and rockmelons, so we were hopeful the soil would be good.

We moved into the house in December 2004. Before we could all move in they had to build a fence - to keep the other dogs out, not to keep me in.
This is me checking out the block when the slab for the house was laid.
In January 2005 we started planting trees along the fence line. Lilly pillys along the side and golden canes across the back fence.
But before we even built the house we were building up a supply of plants ready for the garden - propogating them in a greenhouse.
In March 2005 we started planting indigenous rainforest trees in the front corner. Ros looked up a sight called Flora for Fauna. We bought a few, John propagated many from seed plus our local council give away free trees. They wanted a garden. I really didn't care so long as there were a couple of cool shady spots in summer, but I must say I have enjoyed supervising the work. I can always find a comfy spot to lie down and watch them.
The pool was started in May and finished in September 2006.



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