Renovators delight – part 1

Our front yard has been quite a spectacle for some time now and I don’t mean in a good way. A while ago we started to makeover our front garden and that was when we found the termites both in the garden and then in our house. We were soon under strict instructions not to disturb them any further to ensure that the baiting program was effective.

A very neglected garden
A very neglected garden

So here we are some two years later. We have the all clear on the termite front and now we can actually get stuck into re-making the garden. The first steps taken were to finally clear out the gravel that was once under our wooden boardwalk – well what the termites had left of it – and removing the few remaining garden plants and the weeds on the house-side of the garden.

The biggest change is our decision not to reinstate the path that meandered from our letterbox to our front door. Indeed we’ve filled the old path line in and the garden will go back to the vaguely flat area that it used to be. We are going to include a number of large flat rocks into the design that will give us access points for watering and weeding. The first of these has gone into place. The stone that we are using is a dense basalt quarried from Wee Jasper which is near to the ACT. Our stone has been split and inside there are  beautiful patterns, although we don’t know if these will disappear with weathering.

Over the past week we have hauled 4 trailer loads of soil into the garden. We have also moved the one feature that we’ll keep, a large wooden trough which once held water. The ends of the trough have rotted out, but surprisingly the termites never attacked it. TB is trying to work out whether there is some way we can tastefully re-line the old trough so it will hold water again.

We have now come to the the exciting part, laying out the plants and placing the remaining stones. The garden will contain Australian plants, many from the similar type of grassy woodland that was the original vegetation in this part of the country. We will be using many plants that we have been nursing through from our purchases made two years ago. I have even successfully propagated some cuttings from the correas that I bought. I’ll be making use of the Australian Pelargonium rodneyanum (Magenta storksbill) which is already growing in the garden and propagates quite happily from its tubers. TB will be trying his hand with growing root cuttings of the Wahlenbergia communis (an Australian plant commonly known as a ‘bluebell’) which he has done in the past. I can hardly believe that I will shortly have a legitimate reason to go and buy lots of new plants!

The first astage of bringing in the new soil is complete
The first stage of bringing in the new soil is complete


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