Gardening mojo is back!

Gosh I love early autumn. The weather has cooled, we've had a bit of good rainfall, the roses are still blooming, the rest of the garden is in full late-summer mode... and my gardening mojo is back! Bring on the next few months!

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We have big plans for this autumn and winter: hardscaping, planting, rebuilding and general property management are all on the to-do list. So as well as scouring the nursery catalogues, I've been putting together a master to-do list for hubby and I to work our way through. Entirely for my own benefit, so that we can keep track of what we want to do and actually get done, I'm including that list on the blog. I hope to be able to report back in early spring as to how we got on.

I spent the afternoon "sketching" our house garden (which is probably about 3 acres of our 20), to give some idea of what we want to work on and where. Drawing is not my thing, however, so this is a pretty dreadful impression of what we are working with! 

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Everything below the terraces remains fire damaged at the moment - we haven't started to replant or landscape there yet. Same goes for the Coopermarket and chook coop. In fact, the chook coop is totally non-existent save for the bomb-proof foundations my hubby and brother laid a few years ago. The Coopermarket raised beds were rebuilt as part of insurance, but we haven't tackled the irrigation and replanting in that part of the garden yet.

For the purposes of the list below, the "front" is the north facing side of the house, and the "back"/kids' bedroom side of the house is the south-facing side. The "top terrace" is the one closest to the driveway, on the east side of the garden. We have a very pronounced slope down to the west, and the wind plummets up from that side (which is the direction the fire came from).

I should clarify that the "turning circle" is not as fancy as it sounds either. In fact, my plans for that spot probably warrant a whole other post, but right now it is a patch of scrubby Aussie bush in between two sections of gravel driveway. It is probably just fine as it is, but the brittle gums there are much too close to the house and pose a threat to cars every time they are parked beneath, so we really have to remove them. Which means I am determined to replace their shade with something else. I also really like the idea of not being able to see straight through to the house as you drive down the driveway... my dream is to create something amazing like this:

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But I'd be equally happy to find a middle ground between the dream above and the lovely rural driveway below:

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I might pop together a seperate post about the turning circle as it progresses, but in the meantime if you're interested in this sort of thing, below follows our: 

2018 Garden GSD ("Get Sh*t Done") List

Hardscaping/Building

  • Rebuild chook coop
  • Rebuild cubby house
  • Edge the turning circle garden bed (still haven't worked out what with yet)
  • Level the area below third terrace with series of swales/raised sections
  • Re-lay edging of back garden bed to be narrower (closer to fence), and extend grass section
  • Build clothes line in back garden
  • Re-gravel path to back gate
  • Fix back steps
  • Put in fence and gate between chook coop and Coopermarket
  • Remove shed side/drive semi-circle bed and shore up edge with a retaining wall
  • Establish drainage points in shed drive area
  • Build new beehives and prep sites for spring

Ornamental Gardens

  • Remove remaining burned ornamental pear trees from back garden
  • Plant new ornamental pears after burned trees are removed and underplant with agapanthus
  • Plant ornamental pears (or other trees) along shed wall and consider appropriate vines to run up shed wall 
  • Remove gums from the turning circle garden bed/overhanging house drive
  • Plant 15 birch tree saplings into the turning circle garden bed and underplant with agapanthus and bulbs
  • Plant shade trees below the balcony and maple grove
  • Underplant maple grove with jasmine
  • Transplant all irises to third terrace
  • Fill banksia rose hedge gaps with cuttings to complete hedge
  • Plant banksia roses to continue fence hedge along the other side of the back fence
  • Underplant moptops with a low hedge
  • Plant a small tree outside our bedroom, behind merbau screen
  • Aerate existing lawn areas, dress and overseed
  • Finish clearing second terrace bed of couch grass
  • Plant shade tree in corner of second terrace
  • Underplant second terrace with sun-loving perennials/herbs
  • Finish underplanting front garden (bedroom side) with hellebores, anemones, violets
  • Clear kids' garden of weeds/green waste and plant up with roses and lavender
  • Feed camellias in front entrance garden
  • Underplant front entrance garden with violets and herbs
  • Weed under poplars and thickly compost and mulch
  • Plant a sweetpea teepee over the sandpit

The Coopermarket

  • Reinstall destroyed irrigation (taps, hoses etc) into the Coopermarket
  • Fill the rebuilt Coopermarket beds (soil, compost etc) and prepare for spring planting with green manure top cover 
  • Plant winter veg and garlic 
  • Dig 11 holes for orchard trees and plant bareroot trees
  • Plant banksia roses to form new screening hedge along top fence
  • Re-lay raspberry patch edging and add second row for new blueberry patch

Property management

  • Remove the gums from below the bottom terrace and regrowth gums in the bottom garden
  • Chop all felled trees within garden and just beyond 
  • Start preparing behind Coopermarket for lavender rows
  • Build up natural swales around water runoff points (near dam, near topside neighbour gate, above driveway, near burned pines, at bottom of creek bed and below the ponds) and plant deciduous tree saplings at those points
  • Have the big burned pine tree professionally felled
  • Clear slope behind shed and build up narrow banks to create plantable levels
  • Clear around tanks and find better solution to prevent weed growth there

I think that's everything... for now! Super ambitious, but it's good to aim high. Let's see how we get on shall we?