Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Gardening so far....

As I mentioned in my previous post, our block was pretty much bare when I purchased it. This has its pros and cons. Obviously, the best this is that I can plant what I want, where I want according to my own needs and plan. The worst thing is that there are no mature trees, so any gardens I plant will have to be artificially shaded for several years until my trees start to grow.

My grand-scheme, regarding landscaping is to only plant native or food-producing vegetation. So far I'm going pretty well, although I have planted two Magnolias (bought for someone else, but didnt want them) and a some citronella geraniums, wormwood and lavender around the patio to act as insect deterrents.

The first thing I've been working on is screening hedges. I don't want a 1.8m high fence around my block because I think they look awful and I can't really afford one anyway. I have two neighbours to the north-eastern boundary (soon to be three); one neighbour at the rear and one neighbour on the south-west.
I bought Lilly Pilly tubestock for the major screen near the boundary and various shrubby natives to be planted in front of the hedge for habitat diversity and I thought it would look nice.

First row of screen trees planted. 

Gigi loves to water the garden. 
mulched out with second row of shrubby trees




















I've mulched right to the boundary because I don't want to try and mow behind the trees or in between the trees. Due to the slight slope of my block, I needed some garden edging to keep my mulch in place. Everywhere I looked, garden edging to buy was to expensive, so I decided to build my own. Theres a few 'wild' growing clumping bamboo on the roadsides around here. So I thought I'd attempt to build edging from bamboo, since it'd be free.

I borrowed a ute, took a saw and went and cut bamboo. To say it was hard work is a bit of an understatement. It took me two days to cut down, trim and build the bamboo edging. And I love it. Its not perfect, because the bamboo isn't straight. I havent treated it with anything either, so I'm not sure how long it will last before decomposing. But it was free, it just took some hard work and effort. I havent finished the garden yet, I eventually plan to continue the garden from the rear of the block, all the way to the front. I think I'll wait for the middle of winter though. I chopped bamboo on a hot, muggy day and it was not pleasant.

Gigi thoroughly enjoyed digging holes for the trees and throwing the mulch on the ground. I bought the little shovel pictured for $10 from our local market. Its a proper steel and wooden shovel. It will last years.
I also gave her a small hammer to have a turn at hammering in the stakes which hold the bamboo in place.

Gigi helping out

halfway through mulching
Finished
Beneath the mulch is a whole stack of cardboard boxes that we flattened out. The grass/weeds under the cardboard should die and the cardboard will hinder the regrowth. I got the cardboard from the industrial bins at the rear of the local grocery store. The store was happy for me to have it, and I was very happy to take it.