Sunday, 4 March 2012

Wet, Wild Summer!

This Summer there has been so much rain! Every time we think it must surely be over, it begins again.  I  laugh to think of all the many months we have wished, begged, prayed, and maybe thrown in a few rain dances!

For weeks now we have been unable to work in the yard, despite needing to get a million things done.
As you can see my flower garden has gone crazy, and that pink Cosmo is as tall as me, I have never seen one grow that big here.  The grass has been growing at a rate of a foot a day I swear it.  It is lush, verdant and oh so very green, a pure joy to see and a damn sight better than dry dusty, cracking sunburnt land. There have been a few elements however that didn't really make me smile, a few months ago I posted pictures of our bonfire pit which we have built so well it actually held water which then turned it into a mini damn.  The frogs have been enjoying their new luxury accommodations that is for sure.  This week it dried out enough for us to inspect the damage and try to salvage what we could.

As you can plainly see the grass as well as weeds are rapidly taking over, and have managed to move and push all the pavers B put down.  The garden beds we were preparing on the outside for our hedge of Bauhinia has started sprouting, and not only weeds! A section has become the best accidental vegetable garden we have ever built, a thick forest of tomato's and many pumpkins have taken over. At least we now know that something will grow in the soil, so we have decided to leave them be until they have produced us some free food.  

There is now a lot of work to be done before winter.  The entire 2 acres desperately needs weeding, which the compost will benefit from. Lawn has to be mown, soil turned, those pavers need to be lifted and taken out not to be we need a new plan to be hatched for the bonfire area, .

This time I have purchased 700 charcoal coloured pavers, (that are on pallets in the middle of my front lawn currently) we will order some gravel, and some bedding sand.  The new plan to combat the drainage problem (although the frogs and birds don't think it is a problem I didn't really want a second damn in the middle of the yard) is to dig down an extra layer, put down the gravel, some thick black weed matting, a compacted layer of bedding sand, and then the pavers which we will concrete in, plus some agg pipe that will run under all the pavers, the walls and garden to help water flow.  We think that although a lot of extra effort should result in a nice area that will actually last properly and be easier to maintain long term.

All this is looks easy on paper, until you realise exactly how many 700 pavers really is, it is definitely over 2 tonne which all needs to be moved by hand from the front, to right down the back yard! This week the exercise begins, hopefully we can move some of them a night after work, so next weekend we can begin the rebuilding.

 This afternoon was spent pulling out the overgrown vegie garden to reclaim some productive land.  Most of the veg had done its dash with just a few still trying to produce veg.  Green tomatoes I will make into a pasta sauce, the purple beans have been left on the vine far too long, so I will take out the seeds to use in soups or casseroles (similar to Borlotti beans).  I hacked and hacked away at our massively overgrown lemon grass, and harvested some roots for flavouring and to make tea. A mountain of plants lay strewn around the lawn by the time I was sweating, itchy and exhausted!
B will run over them with the lawn mower, chopping them up for the compost bin for me, and soon we will have lovely top dressing for the gardens.

 Our Lemon, Apple, and Plum tree's are flowering again, so more fruit is definitely on the way as they are all loving this rainy weather. Grevillia all over the garden is constantly flowering, as well as the basil and strawberries, it is all very rewarding despite the mountain of hard work to catch up on.

We haven't been wasting too much time though, during the rainy weather we have planned our next few projects, we are going to be needing an enclosure to house the chooks and ducks that are to be my belated birthday present. We chose a piece of the garden, measured up, and purchased some of the wire will be needing to fox/snake/cat proof the area.

We also have this beautiful cast iron bath tub B's brother donated to us, which we will use to house some goldfish for our aquaponics garden.  This tub is extremely heavy and we will be needing help to manipulate it into position out the back of the house, we are hoping this set up will help us save some water, and make it easier for us to grow green leafy veg that we both love so much.

The plants, insects, birds and other animals have been enjoying this rainy weather with us, but we are slowly winding down and heading into winter, which for us is the best time to being doing major projects because it isn't so hot.
 Another weekend over, and still so very much left to do!