DIY : Weeding and Clearing The Block – My NT Garden – Medium
So, the fun began!
After fretting for a few months, getting as much info as I could and largely procrastinating until mother bear visited, we finally got down to do some actual work on our block.
It’s early May 2017 and I feel like I’ve done enough research to know what I wanted the garden to look like. I was totally aiming for a gorgeous tropical getaway now (foolishly not realising that that takes zillions of dollars or tones of time to achieve and really not for noobs like me.)
Now, my mum has the greenest fingers of anyone I know (let’s forget about ol’ Titchy for a sec). Anyone I know at least. She was very encouraging! She commended me for wanting to give it a go and loved talking to me about her garden back home too. She’s a flower lady basically, and has a garden bursting with colour and fragrances and teeming with life. It’s so surreal and beautiful. I guess I wanted some of that and of course seeing her face light up at the thought of me wanting to do something similar just gave her so much joy.
Mum suggested we just get on and do the weeding and clear up of the soil ourselves. It really wouldn’t take her long, she’d been doing this kind of work her whole life (living on an agricultural farm ’n’ all). She convinced me it would be great exercise for her joints and it’d obviously save me heaps of money. We’d be doing it all by hand so it would also mean we wouldn’t lose any soil to a machine that would rip up the whole lot — soil, weeds and all — and dump it all! Similarly, it would great exercise for me, it would give her something to do whilst she was up visiting (especially on the days I was working) and would be a great way for us to bond.
All she needed to do it all… was a smaaaaallll aubergine! (sorry! Couldn’t resist a Goodness Gracious Me reference)
No seriously the only tools we used were a hand trowel and a sturdy metal rake (that I picked up for near free from the tip shop)! We just sat on small buckets to make the whole procedure more comfortable for our backs and eventually mum wanted gloves to protect her hands — which being the idiot I am, I hadn’t thought of at the beginning! Sorry mum!
So, here’s what a few days of working together produced. You can really see the weeds and soil overflowing the green tarp barrier well in this pic. And those 3 black bags were the fruits of our labour.
(I realise now, I shouldn’t even have thrown those bags away, as they’re great hot composting materials! But hey, learning these things slowly is what this blog is all about.)
The garden was already looking a million times better and I could start to appreciate the unevenness of the ground, how much soil was lost due to the rains and where I’d need to fill it all back in. I was so glad at this stage I had at least some of my mound preserved in front of my house. Finally with this pic, I completely WAS NOT going to give a monkey’s flea bitten butt crack about the “verge.” I figured that was government property as it was outside my block’s boundaries. I hadn’t planted that tree there, I was never going to maintain that tree and it was quite clearly the counsel’s job to do that. So, no I didn’t weed the bloody verge.
I was totally wrong again. As you’ll read in a future post.
Here’s that hideous side of our house again. This time we’d been working on the soil for about a week or two probably. I’d made a few trips to the tip to dump all our green waste (stupid me, gave away all that awesome free compost!) and you can see in the second pic I’ve already started filling in some of that lost land by the edge of our house with stones and other crap — I was only ever going to have grass here, so I wasn’t bothered about what was under the top soil.
Again, you can see that our side fences and poles for the front fences are in. Trojon were awesome in holding off putting the front fence on as I’d explained that I’d be doing a lot of work to the garden and so needed the access open for now. They completely understood and were awesome in just holding our stuff for MONTHS before putting it in! Thanks again guys!
Again, just a hand trowel and rake and a smmaaaallll aubergine (Sorry! GGM reference again) to get all this done!
Finally, just for fun check out the neighbour’s garden! Their house was finished a few months prior to this pic being taken, they’d largely built during the Wet and even had their landscaping done during this time. I dunno how they did it, oh wait I do, they basically don’t have soil — it’s just the thinnest bit of top soil covered with rocks and some plants plonked in it. it worked for them I guess.
#comparinggardens #mineisbetter #imaloser