This is the view you get if you walk to the edge of the covered part of the verandah. That pile of dirt is potting mix over mulch. I got it delivered, and I got halfway through it before it got dark by the time I got home, and I ran out of steam. Need to clear the potting mix off and find how much mulch I have left, and order more. Need to finish mulching the front yard, and I also want to use it as path material for the beds you can see in the front, since they flood when it rains. I also have to think about what ot do about the driveway, which the pile is on. I was going to order more gravel, but if I do that, I have to KEEP doing it. Thoughts, anyone? The ground gets pretty muushy in winter, so it does need attention. On the other hand, I don’t have a car, or indeed a license, so it’s hardly urgent. I’m also plotting a washing line out here. I have one, under the verandah, which is great for winter. But it means I won’t get sun warmed sheets, and I like to air my quilt in the sun. It’s also over the bit where people woudl sit in the summer, which is less than ideal.
You can see the New, Improved, Dodgiest Chicken Dome Ever™ right at the front. And this morning I moved the guinea pig over those weeds – he can earn his keep. That’s the tahitian lime in the potful of pansies, next to the raised bed of bulbs which you can’t see, because the weeds are too high. I noticed this morning that some of the tulips have flowerbuds, I reckon I might even get a flower or two this week. Thrilling! Up the back there’s my exciting new compost bin. Here it is being built:
As you can see, I was very helpful in the building of this. My job mostly consisted of handing tools and also saying ‘it just has to be good enough, no, I think four ties per side is plenty, can I put these weeds in it now?’ Seriously. Never get a perfectionist to help you. Or, you know, always do.
I finally was allowed to put the weeds in it. Speaking of, anyone know what this is?
It’s everywhere, as it was at our last house. It’s not very deep rooted so I’ve been digging it up for the compost, and planting wildflower seeds instead (no idea if they’ll grow or not). But I would like to know what I am digging. I wonder if I should leave some for the catterpillars that appear to be eating it. I’m not a fan of catterpillars, but I do quite like butterflies, and I understand that a lot of native butterflies really struggle because of lack of the food and breeding plants.
I think I shall move my propagating table to this area between the shed and the fence. Where it is at the moment, around the side of the house, it doesn’t get enough sun. I might need to bring trays of seedlings out beside the front door too, though, to make sure I walk past them and give them a check and a water every day. I think this area up the back would be a nice place to sit of a summer evening, and eventually I woudln’t mind putting in some sort of pond effort – maybe sink an old bath in? Near the compost is good for frogs.
And this photo is taken standing in the same spot as the top photo, but turning to my right. The bit up the back where the straw and poles are is the ‘carport’, and joins up with where the ladders are in the top pic.
Oh dear, taking photos does make you see all the abandoned buckets and feed sacks, not to mention the weeds! Oh, well. You can see the edge of the F*&king ivy in this photo. For reference, this is what it used to look like, with my sister’s legs poking out from under it:
You can see the edge of the ‘carport’ (the green bit of fence on the left) for direct comparison. Oh, and all the F(*&king three cornered jacks at the bottom of the photo.
I am actually quite pleased with all the weeds, given that the bed is covered with ivy leaves, which are allopathic. The weeds mean that the effect is fading and I might be able to grow things there myself. I think this week when the bins are emptied I can clear that off finally, and mulch it with straw.
Here is my rough plan of the back yard, to match the photos. It is totally not to scale, I just made it up completely.
The photos are taken from the top of the plan, where the verandah meets the concrete. Anything with a dotted line is planned but not planted/setup yet.
The chook dome beds (which I now see is misspelled. Grrr) were originally a proper mandala – six circles around the central one, which was to be a pond. But that bit where the kiwis are is so damp and dark in winter, as it’s shaded by the house. I have abandoned it to shade liking things. And I am dubious about how the kiwis will go – the female will get a decent amount of sun in summer, as the sun is higher and will make it around the side of the house. Well, we’ll see anyway. I’m going to try a tamarillo in there, and some violets, and I’m going to get that old blue sink I have lying around, stop up the drain, and set it in the ground as a teeny pond. Hopefully to attract some frogs. I like frogs.
Because of the change of plans, this setup only gets me four chook beds. I worked out this morning that I could do this (only thing different is the imaginary chook beds):
I can’t fit the dome on most of the left hand beds, as it’s too narrow, but at the end between the apple trees it widens out and I could squeeze it in. This way I could have five or six beds, but I’m waiting to see how much walking space I need between the beds and the raised bed. I intend to have some herbs in one of those wine barrel pots on the concrete, and the bit where I’ve written ‘still covered in ivy’ there will be a passionfruit vine along the fence, and I think I will plant some things like silverbeet and lettuce and celery there. Things that I can pick the outer leaves of continiuosly. It’s close to the back door, so I can just nip out for some for a salad or stif fry, which is nice.
The hypothetical rabbit run is under the car port. They dig, so I can’t have them on dirt, and that bit is concreted so it’s perfect. My plan is to build a walk-in height (for my convenience and also because they like to sit on the roof of their hutch) pvc structure, large enough to put their hutch in and still leave them room to run around it. The guinea pig might even be able to go live with them. That means that under the vernadah will be free for human seating. And it will also be less damp, because the verandah is not water tight and when it rains heavily they get flooded. Which they don’t mind too much (they have above-ground sleeping areas) but having the hutch there makes everything STAY damp, which is gross and annoying. I’ve just got my tax return back (woohoo!) so I shall have to plan a trip to get the materials soon – I want to use bird wire, because the sparrows get in their food at the moment which is MOST annoying.
I’ve been reading Jackie French again, and I reckon I can get another tree in the back yard. Maybe an orange tree? Near the raised bed. Maybe I’ll leave out that extra chook bed and make that a space for oranges. Mmmmm nom. I also reckon I can fit another tree out the front (quince? Persimon? everything ever?). Oh, here’s the front:
The weird rectangle the roses are in is the ‘driveway’. I put it in inverted commas because, although it is a standard driveway, there only a little gate at the front and there is a stobey pole in front of that. So really, it’s just a double path. The roses are in the middle bit, and where one had died off I planted a natal plum, which is a shrub. I have another one too but I haven’t figured out where ot put it, and it’s looking a bit sad in its tube.
I still have a blueberry and a blackcurrant to plant out the front, under the trees, and will probably order some more berries like strawberries and whatever else takes my fancy, and also some rhubarb. I WAS going to have the nectarine in the same hole as the peach and the apricot, but diggers can’t find their own arse, so they ran out of stock before they filled my order. I am never ordering anything larger than tubestock from them again, they were absolutely hopeless, and every time I tried to check up on it, no one knew what was happening. ANYWAY. Now I’m going to have a dwarf nectarine in front of the window somewhere – they only grow about 1.5m high, so it won’t block the sun.
I have the avocadoes, but it’s still too cold to plant them. I am going to use them as a hedge, but they’ll need some wind protection there. I figure I’ll just whip up some shade cloth screens for now, and I might end up putting up a trellis and haivng a passionfruit on there as well. Or maybe a jasmine, since I LOVE them (it’s not summer without that smell) and that way people can’t just walk past my house and steal my avocadoes. Or, if the kiwis don’t do very well out the back, I could have a kiwi there. Lots to consider.
And, for making it this far, I give you a picture of my cat, all tired out from crocheting: