Monday, January 3, 2011

2005 - the landscaping and gardening begins...

The work begins with me creating a garden bed along half of the left-hand boundary, from where the awning area finishes...but you wouldn't believe it...the first place I decided to start I come across buried gravel but of course this was not until well into ripping up the grass (manually) in other parts of the bed so it was too late to change my mind...boy or boy did I toil getting that gravel up...and with the help of some visitors it was eventually done - you can see a small pile of it here...and see how the bed ends about where the Eucalyptus tree is along the fence line...the front of the bed is curved inwards to create some interest instead of just having a straight line (this design will become more evident as work progresses and you will see it unfold in coming images).


The next major thing I wanted to do was rip up all the weedy grass as it was beyond rescue and also there were sections where it didn't grow well, like under the Norfolk pine and I also wanted to create garden beds...so here it is all coming up...



I'll digress slightly here - you can see the Eucalyptus along the left-hand fence has been lopped (by my mum) and new growth is sprouting but this is what happens when you incorrectly prune trees: I don't have the correct terminology or in-depth information but basically the new growth, termed 'water shoots', is essentially growing from the trunk where the tree had been lopped, these new branches are not part of the trunk formation and only attached to it making it easy for them to break away (images below). Although this tree was pretty much dead when I arrived here, lopping trees incorrectly can lead to disease and unfortunately this one lost it's battle and was cut down in about May this year, but as it was rather unsightly I wasn't too sad to lose it and replace it with a line of Murraya's and other small shrubs...






You can see from the canopy that it was unhealthy and dying and as much as I hate cutting down trees it was nice to be able to get rid of this diseased one and start afresh. I'm not sure exactly what type of eucalyptus tree it was but I gave it a good few years before giving up.

So...where was I...oh yeah...ripping up the weedy grass...after it was gone I leveled out the ground on the right-hand side as it sloped down towards the block next door and I wanted a level lawn area...(oh and my recollection of timing is not always going to be spot on as seen here because clearing the stuff from under the Norfolk obviously came after I had the old turf ripped up)...





So why did I decide to leave the unsightly concrete path smack bang in the middle of the yard you ask - ah ha...you will see later on. As you can see, the ground was leveled, soil was barrowed in to top up the section I wanted to lay turf on and I was now ready for the new turf to go down, from memory I chose a shade-tolerant Buffalo - can't find the paperwork anywhere but it's not really that important, especially given that five years later this too has turned to weed and I am now in the process of taking it all up...like I said I will share the successes and failures and many changes of mind along the way, or more like trial and error I guess.


As you can see the curved bed on the left is now a little more apparent but you can also see how the unshaded areas of the lawn are affected by the sun...due to this, over time the lawn broke down in those areas on both sides of the path and weeds set in because I'm too busy to look after a lawn the way it needs. So first came up the left-hand side though a little way down the line still and like I said before I am now in the process of killing off the grass on the right-hand side too...and in a timely manner because the sewerage outlet is just down near the back Banksia and Norfolk, on the edge of the lawn line with the pipes running diagonally down to where the path meets the rest of the concrete and I have to replace this because the tree roots have gotten into the joins and undermined the pipes which sometimes affects the toilet downstairs, so might as well do it all properly hey...before the garden bed on the right is extended and the rest becomes what it will become...

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