Monday, 22 September 2008

Springtime and spring cleaning in the backyard

We haven't forgotten about our gardening blog, just that life with a new baby is engulfing all aspects of day to day activities (plus, typing with one hand has its frustrations somewhat!)...anyway, we can update you on our recent backyard escapades!

With the birth of our beautiful daughter, new Dad, Simon, was blessed with 1 month's leave, in which time he (along with the help of the grandparents and my calls from the sidelines) managed to renovate-landscape our backyard! It really does look a treat and has opened up the spaces to be more user-friendly overall.

We have 4 main areas now,
1. Patio for relaxing, barbecuing, and reading the weekend newspaper :o) This is shaded by a big passionfruit vine that provides abundant fruit in summer...yum!
2. Vegie patch which is divided into 3 separate beds for crop rotation
3. Paved area (with clothesline) - we moved the clothesline to span a small grassed area that wasn't getting any use or attention, and paved this interspersing the pavers with native grasses, rushes, herbs and some native groundcovers to give some further visual interest


4. Fenceline garden bed with blueberry hedge - this long bed sits partly under a large native conifer that makes the soil acidic and somewhat water repellent, so we built up the bed with compost, manure and mulch, stabilising it with sleepers, and then planted 3 blueberry shrubs so they'll grow into a hedge. Underneath we can grow smaller plants like herbs, lettuces and some crawling vegies such as pumpkins, zucchini, and so on.

Turning this bed into a usable garden space has also opened up the graveled area between it and the paved area, which we can now use for our tai chi exercises! We can also put an outdoor setting here under the pine to make the most of those lazy sunny days in spring and autumn, as well as summer.

It's great to have the time and space to think about how we could make proper use of these spaces in our backyard, so we can get the most out of it depending on what activity we'd like to do in the day, whether it be gardening, tai chi, reading a book in the sun, or treating friends to a barbie lunch!

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