Our backyard is by no means perfect - it is very much a work in progress and it's progressing rather slowly. But the other day I was pottering out the back with the kids, weeding and just enjoying the sunshine on the grass, and I found myself thinking back to two years ago (almost to the day in fact)... We had returned from a visit to Wollongong where we spent loads of time just hanging out on my brother's lawn and teaching our daughter to crawl. I realised that I was so unbelievably disenchanted with living here - I missed the coast a bit, and I missed the warmth to be sure, but mostly I just missed the ease of having a suburban backyard. I missed grass! I have described my love of lawn before, and certainly in part that love comes from the early time of my daughter's life. Only having bare rocky ground surrounding the house with no safe places to sit or crawl or explore was really difficult to manage for that first year.
So, a week or so after we got home we got to work. We ripped out the weird corrugated iron construction that broke the yard in two (an inexplicable choice from the original owners and unfortunately not shown in the photo below) and turfed a tiny patch of the back yard. It was only about 3 square metres, but it was enough. My daughter and I were both in heaven!
Since then we have achieved so much more!
The bare rocky ground is no more.
We have garden beds and deciduous trees which shade the house in summer but allow lots of light and warmth in in winter (vital as our home is passive solar).
We have tidied up the old pathway to the side gate and added new ones so that it is easier to get to the back gate and our little studio.
The bare dirt is gone - which means that the mud pit all winter and every time it rained is gone too.
We finally fixed all the fencing... sadly it means that our kangaroo friends can't look in the bedroom window anymore, but it also means that they don't eat all of our orchard trees. We also changed the black corrugated iron of our shower privacy screen to merbau wooden slats. Perhaps not quite so private, but as we live in the middle of nowhere it isn't really a big issue!
The mud pit outside the fence is improved too, although the roos still regularly help me weed this area by eating the clover that runs rampant there. I always appreciate their help :)
We have a lot more to do to the backyard and it will be a long time before the trees we have planted have reached maturity and the garden beds are fully planted, but honestly every single day that I step out there I am so happy we made that start two years ago. It is such a beautiful space to spend time with the kids.