In my last blog I wrote about the trees being lopped and the block next door being cleared. The block is now home to the chooks. We placed their Chookingham Palace toward the back of the block, far enough away from the street, but not too close to neighbours either. The plan is to have brick paved paths to the chicken run, which by then hopefully, will be better fenced with a proper gate. We have wire netting surrounding their palace at the moment, and the ‘you beaut’ Aussie farmers’ gate. This gate is the bane of my life now that I have a ‘dicky’ arm.
Our biggest task on arriving was the fencing around the entire property. The original fences were old, unpainted and mostly rotten. Chilli, our big staffy dog proved this to be so one evening when she went flying through the pickets to get to a passing dog, as if the fence wasn’t there at all. Tim dived through behind her as there is no telling what she would do once face to face with a strange dog. She is also the bane of my life! Also,without fences there was no point in trying to start growing anything in the rock hard gardens. I seem to be doomed to have hard ground to dig!
So the fences were erected (hang the expense!), and they looked pretty good too. The painting of the pickets went well at first. I started on the front fence which was lower than the side fences, but the most important to get painted first I thought. Below are some pics of the new unpainted fence.
As I said, the painting was going well and I felt quite pleased with my efforts. I began in the May and was positive it would be done by September at the latest, which would be ideal as Tim’s parents were expected a month or so after that. Below is the front fence looking bright and white.
As some of you already know, by the time I got round the corner to the taller fencing, things came to a grinding halt. Luckily, on finishing the shorter front fence I veered from the side fences surrounding the property and painted the inside fences we’d erected. These were put up across the front sides of the house to create small private areas for us to relax in (much later) and of course for the dogs to run.
Things had already been held up anyway with the relapse of a virus I suffered earlier in the year. True to its name, the 100 day virus finally left me after three months. On the long weekend at the beginning of October, I mixed the paint, got my brushes, grabbed a kitchen stool so I could reach the very top of the fence and set off to start where I had left off so long ago.
To cut a long story short, I fell and broke my left arm and made a bit of a mess of the wrist joint as well. This put a stop to painting, gardening, writing, baking, renovations….in fact pretty much everything, for almost three months.
The past few weeks have been productive though, and I’ve been able to create a green fernery garden near the drive. It’s a perfect place for the plants to establish their own climatic conditions, and they are thriving. They had been sitting in this area in their pots, and some I rescued from the block were so pot bound I almost cried in sympathy.
Birds’ Nests, various ferns, native violets, Happy Plants and anything that likes the cool spots in a garden and lots of water. As you can see there are still pots to be planted out in the next section that continues round the corner.
We’ve planted 2 lemon trees, 1 orange and 1 mandarin also, and just last week I started sewing seeds for veges and some flowers including Flanders Poppies, my favourite. I am currently planting out hedge plants – Photinia glabra rubens, a good hardy and fast growing plant. With the humid weather and the occasional downpour they should grow rapidly before the cool weather hits us in about June/July. (It was rather chilly last winter believe it or not).
My job for this afternoon when it cools down a bit, is to plant a few more hedge plants continuing along this line. Home sown Shasta Daisies are waiting for a bed too, and I have numerous other pots grown from tiny seedlings coming along nicely. More about them later.
One of the bug bears here is nut grass and it has invaded a garden bed in the front. I have decided to take out my daisies there and then bombard the area with poison to get rid of the stuff. Let’s hope it works.
Some other plants I rescued from the block, Peace Lily, Zanzibar Gem, Fish Ferns, Foxtail Ferns and an assortment of caladiums I’ve put in old laundry tubs and bigger pots and they are now gracing our downstairs area outside the office and TV room windows. Below is a pic of the laundry tub and some of the pots. Also a few of my hanging baskets upstairs. Strawberries are doing very well in hanging baskets on the side veranda where they get the morning sunshine but are sheltered from the hot afternoon sun.
Of course the best sign that all is well in a garden is having one or two green frogs as happy residents. This is the youngest of our little family, called Harry.
Till next time we chat in the dirt. Take care.