The first area we recently planted with grass, clover, lavender and some perennials is Sticky Steve’s area (photo above). It was fenced off with temporary fencing to keep the chooks out, but now I needed the fencing to plant the third area, so it was time to lift and move the fence. (And don’t believe the sales blurb that says the temporary fences are easy to move. It is a tricky job! The posts and the nets get all tanged up…) Apart from a lot of weeds – because the chicken fencing also kept us out of there – the new area is looking green and lush. Mind you, after all the rain everything is green! It’s nice to finally have all the paths connected. That will take some traffic off the main path too. Markus mowed the path, and because I wasn’t quick enough to remove the temporary fencing’s guiding ropes, of course the little cowboy promptly grinded up one of the ropes with the mower. Fortunately he stopped the mower quickly enough before the metal peg hit the blades. We got a good collection of compost fodder from that path.
The second area that we recently planted was the secret garden at the back of the property. It is not a secret yet – as all the screen plants haven’t grown high enough yet, but eventually it will be a nice little reclusive area surrounded by threes and natives. My previous planting here was a gross flop – the grass just didn’t take. Maybe I planted too late in spring, but this is a tricky area because it is so close to the eucalyptus trees of the school behind us. However this time we covered the ground with a mixture of “dead soil” from the Homeland veg boxes and the new compost we had carted in, into which we planted our fescue grass and clover mix. We also used temporary chicken fencing to keep the chooks out, in order to give the area a good chance to settle first. It’s a massive area, so the fence didn’t cover it all – but it closed the obvious side from where the chooks would enter. The ducks were a bit smarter – they found a way in there from the pond up-and-over the embankment, but I don’t mind them in there, they are very light on the garden. In any case, they would have vacuumed up any snails that may have been there. So this one is also ready to be opened up soon – I guess I will leave it closed until I need the temporary fence somewhere else.
Secret garden before and after
This is a natural little alcove where the previous owner had had a small pond. For some bizarre reason Markus claimed this area as his – not that he has done much work there (well not yet.) It is protected on two sides by native plants, which we left there when we cleared Dreamland way back when. I’ve planted two lilly-pillies between the natives to conceal the front entrance.
It was fun when I prepped Markus’ garden a while ago, before the chooks were fenced out. I literally dumped the soil and the compost in heaps, and the chooks worked the heaps to an almost flat spread. I hardly had to rake it before we planted.
At the back we planted a few more natives, some more lilly-pillies, two wild native plums and a loquat on the embankment that all still need to grow to create a proper shelterbelt. So this is the last area we’re planting with the fescue grass and clover mix. There is enough rain for it grow quite lush now – hopefully the seeds will sprout.
So all our paths and open area are now planted. Mind you, with the chooks’ heavy wear on some of the paths near their coops, some of the paths may need some maintenance planting in the early spring.
Points of contemplation
A while ago I read a post of Peter Kearney on the MyFoodGarden blog where he noted how important it is to have seating areas from which to watch and contemplate the garden, the plants, the animals, etc. That’s a problem at Dreamland – we’re always working there, we never slow down or stop to appreciate it, apart from the odd amble-through on a Sunday, but then we don’t stop either because there is no seating area. So the next project for these areas is to get or make some benches. I was so bummed – about a week ago someone advertised a nice garden bench on our local residents’ page, but when I got there it was long gone. Anyway, we’re on the lookout or the create path. Watch this space to watch us watching the garden soon!
Previously planted path (with Jet on one of his better days) and the pond – both areas where we need some points of contemplation. Sticky needs a bench near him too.