Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Work -

Gardening is the theme this month. Silly I know in this relentless Perth heat to be trying to garden. One advantage is that if plants get enough water, they sure do grow when its hot and humid. If gardening is the theme, then planning is the action. With 2.4 acres as our gardening playground, there is a lot of planning to do. 

Vege Patch (or what I want to call one day The Kitchen Garden)
The vegetable garden has been started, albeit a temporary bed to get some summer greens going. I started back in November by putting down black plastic over the vege plot area to kill off the grass and weeds. I don't want to use any chemical weed killers in my edible gardens, and this method worked well. The searing heat worked to kill off most of the grasses and weeds. A few runners of that evil couch persisted around the edges, and I did spray this with glysophate as no vegies will be grown here - it's the only way to kill that terminator stuff. 

Then we made raised beds from bales of hay and filled it with soil, manure and plants. See It's the little things

It's been good to have the time to watch and observe how this area is effected by the weather. It cops the easterlies in the evening and early morning and is in full sun all day. Shade sails have helped with the hottest days, but a good 12-14 hours sunlight is what vegetables love best. The wind can be managed with well placed wind breaks, temporary ones are hay bales while we plan and plant more permanent ones. 

Happy Marigolds 

We inherited the rose garden from the previous owners, and although their selection of 30 roses is lovely, the placement and position is not ideal. The soil is very poor and water repellent, with the roots of large gum trees to navigate. I have been adding sheep manure and soil improver, which seems to just dissolve into the parched ground. Must be making some progress however, as digging around it on the weekend I found a lot of earthworms. After we took back the property from the tenants, I also had to content with the rose garden being overtaken with kikuyu and cooch and every weed known to man. Its been a slow but steady improvement. The next challenge will be to try and keep the lorrikeets and parrots of the bushes - they seem to like biting off any new shoots or rose buds. Perhaps if I move the bird bath (der) from there it will be less of an encouragement to the birds. 

Sad, but hopefully still alive, roses

Five rose bushes have been moved as they were in the path of the new carport. Not the ideal time to be transplanting roses (in fact, its the very worst time possible) but we had no choice in the matter. Three have taken well to their move, the jury is still out on the other two. My favourite of these is a lovely fragrant, climbing Iceberg. I hope she makes it. They are now in a little 7.5m bed running along the south/east side of the vegetable garden. There is room for three more roses when the weather cools.

One little rose bush putting up a good fight.

The grassed area around the house was in a very poor state when we moved here. Tenants had been parking on the lawn area for years, compacting the soil and killing off any grass that tried to grow. The first job was to get some soil wetting agent onto it, then fertiliser and then work on the compaction. All this done and we could begin to water everyday, with runners being planted in the bare patches. So far, after three months we have 75% coverage. 

From this....

To this ...

...and this.

There so many ideas and dreams for this garden. I just keep jotting them down as I think of them and hopefully, eventually they will come to fruition. Some of them are:

  • I want to fill the garden with fragrance and beauty. The first part of this is to get some form with fragrant climbers. I found this website from the very knowledgeable Sabrina Hahn. Five of the best fragrant climbers 
  • Raised beds of strawberries at the ends of the stables.
  • A grove of Silver Birch with bluebells underneath (big ask in Perth, but my English heritage demands this)

  • A tropical and lush garden around the pool and cabana
  • A native garden to bring in the little birds


  1. Amazing improvement in the lawn. You should keep taking before and after photos so at the end of the year you can sit back and smile at all of your hard work.

    1. Thanks Jacana. It is very satisfying to look back at old pictures and see the progress. We are very lucky to have a registered bore so we get an extra watering day.

  2. Your garden is growing beautifully. Well done on getting the lawn to grow back too, thats no easy feat!

  3. Three words Jodie, Picture perfect beautiful xxx