Making it Happen


Late on a Sunday afternoon The Duke and I can often be found strolling around the garden or sitting on the verandah.  The topic of discussion is invariably our plans for our patch of paradise.  Both of us working full-time means that our time is somewhat limited but we have so many grand plans.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to create an action plan.  In reality, it was just a matter of writing down all of the things that we regularly talk about.


Paint fenceposts


Fence vegie garden area


Buy & plant shrubs outside fence


Create rockery in V outside fence


Finish retaining walls under verandah


Buy and lay pebbles under verandah


Revamp compost area


Create 6 new garden beds


Extend concrete path to gate


Paint stairs and railing


Create corner garden outside the gate


Build a gabion seat in above garden


Make & erect lych gate


Rainwater tank under house


External plumbing/taps


Cut up and stack excess wood


Mulch wood as required


Build extra chicken roost/house


Trees cut down


Develop snakepit


Irrigation for fruit trees


Clear/replant along driveway


Plant rainforest on upper level


Slash top of the block


Battens/screening under house/verandah


Lighting under the house


Build pergola outside garage


Repair/replace verandah flooring


Build shed at end of driveway


Renovate downstairs shower/toilet

The list is by no means exhaustive.  Some of the items are long-term projects, some require external help and yet others are beyond our budget at the moment.  However, it is good to see where we are heading.  We have roughly allocated priority to the tasks, however, that may change.

We do not necessarily plan to refer to the list or stick to it precisely.  Without even looking at it, yesterday we made the decision to take the first step towards item  number 1, painting the fenceposts.  We retrieved them from where they had been stacked after the demolition of the previous chicken run.  Using the high pressure cleaner, we cleaned the mud and mould from them and they are now stacked on the scaffold.

Some posts have already been painted and we now worked out how many of these are required to be able to complete the fencing of the vegetable gardens.  There is still a bit more preparation to do before we can start painting.  We need to cut some of the posts to the length we need and also remove the metal bolts which you can see at the end.  The posts that are not required for the fencing project will be stored for future use.

The posts were still damp today so we made a start on one of the other items on the list – creating a rockery in the ‘V’ outside the boundary fence.  When The Duke and my brother-in-law replaced the front fence last year we thought we would have t remove a couple of trees that were growing immediately adjacent to the fence.  However, a bit of creative thinking led us to detour the fence around the tress which we did not want to lose.

I did not take a ‘before’ photo but here are a couple of shots to give you an idea of what we are doing.  The first view is looking down the line of the fence with the ‘V’ to the right.  We cleared all of the leaf debris and small branches and set them aside to be mulched.  Then we created a rock border along the fence line and also to create an edge between the proposed rockery and the grass on the footpath.

New garden
Finding rocks is never a problem here as there is volcanic rock everywhere.  We have all sizes from boulders that are over 1 metre high to pebbles and everything in between.  It was a simple matter of collecting enough of the size we wanted and then positioning them.  This has had the added benefit of blocking one of the escape routes for the chickens when they are free-ranging as the fence did not exactly follow the contour of the land.

New garden - view 2
Here is a better view of our handiwork.  It is taken from inside the fence and looking towards the road.  The point of the ‘V’ is on the left of the photo.  There is still some leaf litter and twigs to be mulched.  There are some quite big rocks around the base of the trees  and they will remain.  This should add structural interest and height to the finished area.  I hope to clear some of the debris from the pockets between the rocks and fill them with soil to plant some groundcovers.  A bullet-proof suit might be in order for that job as some of the biggest, nastiest ants I have met live in that spot!!

The next step will be to spread several layers of newspaper over the entire area and then cover it with mulch.  We will plant an assortment of native shrubs and ground cover plants and before long the area will be much more aesthetically pleasing.

It is great to see the first results from our planning.  Watch this space as we work through the list.