Different Gardens at Night Owl Cottage (Part 1)

It’s been a while since I posted a blog as we have had some sad happenings with two of my friends dying within months of each other. I guess at age 67 one must expect this to happen, but it doesn’t lessen the sadness does it? I will write about friends and friendship one day, but would like to add a couple of photos of those departed friends and must seek permission from family first.

Meanwhile, I do take solace in my garden, especially as it’s now Spring and life is just bursting forth from Mother Earth. I never tire of gardening, well mentally that is, but physically I do need to take a break now and then, but don’t we all?

 

With the already existing garden, I had plenty to keep me occupied, with paving in the pathways using second-hand bricks, mulching, planting, pruning, picking and so on. I was also trying out my hand at building a small fence to keep creatures out that would insist on eating my produce such as a pair of wild rabbits, a possum or two, wallabies and the main culprit, a night prowling bandicoot. The bandicoot was doing a lot of damage in my no-dig garden. It was choosing to do all the digging it wanted, such as digging up my freshly planted asparagus, potatoes and seeds. But Mike, my husband, took pity on me and offered his help to me which I gladly accepted as the partly woven experiment of a fence was NOT coming together at all. He used a waist high fencing material with smaller star pickets and using an old screen door donated by my brother-in-law for the two gateways, he cut it in half and welded a piece of steel across the bottom of each and there we had it. A beautiful little fence and no bandicoot. Now I could plant seeds galore and seedlings in abundance. Thanks Michael.

veg-garden

In this photo, which is a panoramic shot taken with my iPhone; you can see the two chook pens with the coops inside. At present the three chooks are in the right hand pen but will soon be relocated to the original pen now it has been rested and grown with all sorts of goodies for my feathered friends.

It’s working a treat and I’m a happy gardener. I have the paving to finish in the established bed, but that can wait for a while. The first path is completed but I have a little bit to do in the second pathway which is slightly wider than the first. The chooks also wait expectantly when I am in the garden as I may find a treat or two for them such as curl grubs!

chooks

new-veg-garden

This is the extended garden bed. I use the sheet mulch method. I have used tonnes of newspaper and cardboard and grass clippings and any other mulch I can get my hands on. I put out the word for newspapers on Facebook and got a couple of donations and then our friend donated the leftover newspaper twice from his news agency and our local news agency also gave me a huge amount, but they’ve all been used under this big bed.

I transplanted three citrus trees from my cottage garden and I’m happy to report one is flush with new growth, the second has got flower buds showing but the third hasn’t done much yet, but it isn’t dead. I’ve also planted a black sapote tree to give shade from the western sun.

I have only one small section to finish and I aim to complete it before the end of September. I hope I can keep that goal intact.

 

You may be able to see from the third photo a perimeter planting of arrowroot, lemongrass and black sugar cane. The arrowroot not only clumps up and keeps out the grass, but is a great fodder for my chooks, it also provides mulch down the track as does the lemongrass and black sugar cane. Inside that perimeter planting will be comfrey and then there is a row of pineapples.

new-veg-garden-3

You may be able to see from the third photo a perimeter planting of arrowroot, lemongrass and black sugar cane. The arrowroot not only clumps up and keeps out the grass, but is a great fodder for my chooks, it also provides mulch down the track as does the lemongrass and black sugar cane. Inside that perimeter planting will be comfrey and then there is a row of pineapples.

new-veg-garden-2

When I am not working in this garden which I do quite a lot, I continue planting, weeding and mulching our other gardens on our property.  There is ALWAYS something to do, so for anyone who says they are bored, I say, get out there and garden. You never know you might like it.

We have a small dam in the front paddock which we had dug out to make it deeper many years ago and then mounded the soil on the top side of the dam to create an interesting garden. We then planted it up with lots of trees and another plant called crocosmia, which has gone a little wild I must say, but then our dam garden and surrounding gardens are allowed to be wild as that is where all the birds are attracted to build their nests.

dam

These five photos show our dam area. Note the Grevillia hanging over the water, it actually fell over but kept part of its roots in the ground earlier this year and now it is in full flower. Nature always amazes me. We used a lot of natives in this area, and some exotics. Some I didn’t want planted but my other half had a thing about palm trees and planted a lot of Cocos palms which we both now regret as they are weedy and I am not fond of the way the trunks when spaced a particular spacing makes the area feel like a prison!! We have planted Flatsedge at the entrance and overflow exit of the dam to slow the rush of water when it floods. There are two dams across the road that during flood overflow under the road and into our dam and then from ours into our neighbours dam and finally into a gully which feeds our creek.

By the dam, there is a fantastic looking old Apple gum, as my Australian husband calls it. We have held a wedding under that tree, complete with our resident carpet snake overlooking proceedings, much to the groom’s mothers dismay, but she hung in there. I love the detail of this tree, look at that trunk!!

apple-gum-2

I love the shape of this tree.

apple-gum-3

apple-gum-4

More to come on my garden.

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2 thoughts on “Different Gardens at Night Owl Cottage (Part 1)

  1. The garden around your hen house looks amazing now Janet. Those hens live in the most peaceful surrounds, and I do note that Mike has been riding that mower. Lovely read.

    Like

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