Monday, October 02, 2006

Renovated

I've been on holiday for the last week, which may help to explain the lack of posts. I didn't go anywhere or do anything; I just worked in my garden, pottered about the house, and meandered around the city on my scooter, shuttling between innummerable cafes in search of a good flat white and a decent croissant. There's nothing quite like the feeling of smugness you get when you roll into a cafe at 9.30am, in T-shirt and jeans, and linger over the newspaper and a leisurely breakfast for an hour or two while all around you office workers in suits are rushing in and out. Suckers!


My big project for this holiday was to generate some order from the chaos of my backyard. For many years it hasn't been a garden so much as a swathe of dirt that just happens to be behind my house. With a few days up my sleeve I decided to fix the barren patch where my neighbour's garage wall forms part of my back fence.


new garden bed begun


My plan was to lay a line of limestone blocks along the edge of the patio, parallel to the wall, and form a new garden bed. It was a simple plan, one which failed to take three things into account:


1. The pavers next to the patio stick out an inch further than the patio.
2. The reticulation line for that part of the yard runs right under where the the blocks were going to go.
3. The building supply place had sold out of the blocks I wanted, and only stocked some others about 40% bigger.


So each of the pavers had to be lifted and jammed closer together, and the reticulation had to be exposed and repositioned (or rather 'dragged') into a better arrangement. The larger blocks provided a better effect, but they were also much heavier than the ones I'd originally wanted, so getting them into position was gruelling, and once in place, they were very difficult to adjust.


Still, I got there in the end. I laid the blocks, attached new sprinklers to the reticulation pipes, filled the new bed with green waste and potting mix, planted an entire vegetable garden, and did a general clean-up.


new garden bed completed


I now have two types of mint, two types of parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums and four different types of lettuce. There are also two fruit trees; a tahitian lime and a valencia orange. The fields of blue are snail pellets, since the slimy little bastards would have reduced all this to dying green nubs within a couple of nights given the chance.


To finish it off, I hung a piece of wrought iron I found at the salvage yard on the wall. I think it gives the area a nice Mediterranean feel.


Then I went gratefully back to work, where the heaviest thing I have to lift is my coffee mug. Ah, at last I can relax...

3 Comments:

Blogger MC Etcher said...

Beautiful results! The before and after pics make it clear just how much hard work it was.

11:27 PM  
Blogger phaedrus said...

Wow, looks awesome. I don't have that kind of decorating sense. Or determination.

No one will sneak through your backyard and burgle because they'll be so busy being awed. That was the idea, right?

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Matthew Jarvis said...

There's nothing quite like the feeling of smugness you get when you roll into a cafe at 9.30am, in T-shirt and jeans, and linger over the newspaper and a leisurely breakfast for an hour or two while all around you office workers in suits are rushing in and out. Suckers!

Blanders, with the exception that I linger over a stylish laptop rather than a newspaper, you've just described my average working day!

Oh, and did I mention it's all tax deductible? :-P

Great garden! Could you plant vibrant blue flowers to maintain the splash of blue that is currently being provided by the snail pellets?

6:10 AM  

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