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Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Summer Garden

Zinnias have been a "signature" annual for the garden this summer and their bright colours have given me great joy. I found a couple of colourful, strappy plants for the big copper "pots" too.

In fact it's all been a bit of a kaleidoscope of hot colour as I try to fill a once empty paddock with beds of plants on a very limited budget. I'm using lots of self sowers and easy propagators and as the garden plan proper starts to take shape I will shift and sow a little more precisely. Losing the front hedge on the road has left us very exposed to strong winds though thankfully, not as exposed as if we were on the edge of town.

A bit of self expression and character is creeping in....

with the addition of former garden features and favourites.

The funniest development of the summer came from the shearer who emphatically declared that we needed three quarters of the land for the sheep and fenced the house yard off accordingly....
but has now extended the house yard for "more vegetable beds". I still have plans for an autumnal walk over in yonder paddock...never say never hey!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Don't Fence Me In

(entrance to the sheep pen)

We have a little bit over an acre and it was pretty much just one paddock when we arrived. Over the past 18 months there has been quite a bit of fencing to do, creating a garden/house yard, making the boundaries secure and fencing off a paddock for the sheep. Having sheep also means having a penning area in order to be able to catch them for shearing, health inspection and slaughtering. They don't like corners much and this curved fence above is a good visual for them. It was made from "give-away" timber - an old pool fence someone was dismantling. 

The other side of the sheep catching pen is created by this existing foundation wall from the ruined cottage at the bottom of the property. Over many years, quince and plum trees have grown through an abandoned wire fence above the stone wall and created an impenetrable yet natural looking barrier so we are working with what we've got and saving where we can.

A tall pine tree has been chopped down while the Golden Child was home to help his father and they created a "wall" with the cut logs and made a partition for the compost heap by weaving the limbs. Again, natural, effective,cost efficient and it solved the dilemma of getting rid of tree waste.

Both are pretty solid yet temporary. They are easily shifted should needs change.

And since we've been here, needs have changed and our garden is as fluid as it was in our last place. Already the shearer has decided that we need more room for the vegetables and extended the house yard, employing old gates and recycled timber sourced cheaply from someone dismantling an old deck. These sort of projects cost only a few dollars for the gate fittings as we still have wire left over from the boundary fencing.

The Golden Child and I spent a lovely day together while he was here, dividing off some of the fowl yard for the young chicks as they grow through. Again, the posts, rails and even the wire is all recycled from previous applications and the only cost was the screws and staples. This will also give us the flexibility to have guinea fowl or quail if we desire later down the track.

The fowl yard as you know is made entirely from recycled material and I've posted about it here if you would like to see more photos. At the back of this yard is a little drop door that we can leave open for the fowl to access the paddock and free-range all day. Thus they are fenced from the house yard but have access to the paddock.

So many reasons and needs for fencing and many ways to do it. The boundary fences are properly strained and needed to be secure and have cost the most of course but otherwise, it is possible to be quite resourceful. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Twined Climbing Frames

Thank you all for the lovely encouragement and kind words. 
The long term plan for the front garden is a white garden of cottage style but for now a bit of anything to fill the gaps and bring joy. Bright balls of blooming dahlias. 

These climbing tepees were one of the last projects the Golden Child helped me with before he flew out on Monday. He is so like his father, I have a scheme and he accedes and makes my dreams reality. 
We have been cutting some juvenile English elm trees that are too close to the neighbouring house. We cut some sturdy lengths and used some strappy Siberian iris leaves to weave fine twig lengths around the poles.
I plan to plant white sweet peas to climb these for the spring.

Either side of the door in large urns we have planted evergreen magnolias "Teddy Bear" and under-planted with white annuals. I am pouring over white tulip varieties for late winter and have planted some miniature white agapanthus, some hardy erigeron with it's tiny white daisy-like flowers and helichrysum "Hi Ho Silver", a hardy silver foliage ground cover.
In the front, I have planted a low hedge of Italian lavender.

Monday, February 6, 2017

An After and Before

Thank you for your lovely comments and input.
Some have noted the very quiet January.
All is well here but it has been a delightfully busy Spring/Summer and we have taken full advantage of having the son home (or as one of his sister's calls him, "The Golden Child") for a couple of months.
He loves to garden and practice animal husbandry and over the next few posts I'll show you what we've been up to.....

But for now, here is an "After and Before" photo, just for a change. We are excited to be painting the window and door trims and the front fence very soon but isn't it amazing what a bit of garden can do?

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Face It

The generations have always had a gap.
But of each of us has belonged and owned every generation as we move into them.

Are they so different?
Is each successive one really unique?

Some of the faces from china finds from the yard over the past 18 months, indeed dating and spanning several generations. Can you guess the oldest and the youngest?

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