I’m pretty pleased with myself with how this turned out. Mainly because it was a big task, hard work and I did most of it myself. Not sure yet if it will end up looking like I envisaged, but I’m thrilled to get it this far. Being in a position to make decisions and implement them on my own is becoming important to me, moreso than I had realised.
When I first saw this part of the garden, it was a particular eyesore and detracted from the building – ’70s style bush rock and low maintenance ‘can’t kill with a brick’ type plants with rocks, rubble, black plastic matting and lots of kikuyu climbing through everything.
First step was getting the local excavator, Corey, in. He needed to bring in something smaller than his bobcat so as not to do damage to the concrete paving, which whilst originally set as a neat hexagon, had been badly damaged to set in the bushrock. Whilst he did a stellar job in clearing everything (and taking it away), there were still many bags of roots, rocks and other rubbish that had to be dug and raked out and taken to the tip (which amazingly, is free!). Whilst I probably should’ve just organised to get soil delivered, I’ve lugged heaps of bags of organic and mushroom compost as well as cow manure down to the front. In the end I just gave up and drove the car down there to drop it all off. The dogs have greatly enjoyed the whole experience in exploring and digging up the area, as have the local birds.
Lida, the local nursery specialist, gave advice, given it is a harshly hot exposed spot and will be the focus of the front yard. A weeping Silver Birch was chosen as the focal point – it’s textured white trunk should be a permanent attraction and will give the right colour and depth of coverage without growing too high. Escalonias will fringe the edge – hardy, yet attractive and will give good coverage of the damaged edge. The leaves look a bit like glossy azalea foliage and they have small pink flowers.
For now I’m trying bulbs and annuals in the middle section, which should give some height and movement – a mix of anenomies, cornflowers, delphiniums and white cosmos – so it will be mainly wavering blues and whites with a bit of pink and red thrown in. Not much science here. I’m just opening and mixing heaps of packet seeds, seeds from my own plants and corms and raking them into the garden bed, mulching and hoping for the best. I have an image in my mind but we are a long way off from seeing if it will materialise.
For now, I’m just happy with having gone this far and moving this onto the ‘done’ list.