I'm very fortunate that the gardener before me established an excellent framework.
My previous garden at Silverdale was a blank canvas (see pics under Our Story) - literally the house was built in a paddock and we started from there.
So now, just to have the height/age in some of the trees is a real bonus, let alone the variety of existing plants!
Much of the garden was overgrown and dear I say it, completely out of control! With the help of Madam President and my good husband (he who wields the chainsaw), I'm working to pull it back into order and put my stamp on it.
The garden has many different areas to it - none of which are finished! Experienced gardeners have advised me to finish one completely before moving to the next - excellent advice! I just haven't mastered the art of that yet - I keep getting distracted...
My plant nursery is growing - well truthfully its a collection of plants I've bought and haven't yet planted - be it because that section of the garden needs another digger bucket of dirt or because I haven't actually decided where they are going... This, I can tell you, does my good husband's head in and he is constantly reminding me that they are there waiting for me (and for god's sake water them before they die!).
SOME of my garden projects are..
Shaded garden beside garage
I would like this garden to have a circular path around one of the current lemon trees and two tamarillos (the only place sheltered enough to even try growing a tamarillo). I will border the path with old pungas (we have a few lying around the farm!). Shade and semi-shade loving plants will suit this area. I am looking for some second hand pavers for the path and will then mulch in between to keep the weeds under control (hopefully). The two large lemon trees in this area are suffering from neglect and borer but I am going to nurse them along until my new citrus orchard lemons are in full production. There is a large avocado tree (also not in good shape from a rather unfortunate prune years ago and an oversized karo which at some point may feel the wrath of the chainsaw. We are exposed to the northerly and westerly winds so have to be mindful not to remove anything that is helping to protect the more delicate plants.
Pear tree garden by tennis court
This needs my good husband to bring me a digger bucket or two of good soil!
At the moment it is lower in parts than the lawn and holds water after a deluge of rain.
The digger previously removed a weeping willow that was starting to get quite large. We took some cuttings which have taken well and these will get planted around the other ponds on the farm - they are very attractive, good food for the bees and the stock enjoy lounging under them in the height of summer.
I will keep the trees to the left of the picture trimmed well each year. While they aren't my favourite specimens, they are providing a sheltered spot for the three fig trees I have planted on the tennis court side of the garden.
Once the extra dirt is in, I will plant with cottage style plants in shades of pink and purple.
Rebuilding retaining wall behind tennis court
This speaks for itself!
There were some old tree off cuts from around the farm forming a "retaining wall" and it probably worked reasonably well until my darling chickens undermined the entire section of bank. When I suggested to my good husband that we quickly need to build a nice new retaining wall, he said "add it to the list"! The best I got was the fence posts that were removed between the house lawn and the house paddock to lean against it! Not quite what I had in mind...
Reclaiming the house paddock for the garden extension
One rainy afternoon I sat with lots of paper and coloured pencils and made a start on my proposed new use of this space (well actually the good husband said I needed to get it from my head into a form he could see).
Unfortunately its rather difficult to photograph and put it up so apologies for the dismal picture!
The second pic is of how it used to look from the house towards the house paddock, the third pic is how it looks today with the post and rail fence removed and the paddock regularly mowed.
This area does include my vision for a swimming pool. I REALLY want a swimming pool. My good husband not so much (well actually not at all). He had the chore of maintaining the family para pool as a young lad and that has apparently put him off. Madam President tells me that in actual fact he hated any chore he was given as a young lad so it wasn't just the pool. I have tried to educate him on the fact that pool maintenance is largely automated now and all he'll have to do now is lay on the sunlounger with a beer and enjoy it!
I have made a bit of progress as he now refers to where the pool will be located so all is not lost. Yeeha!
This is by no means the end of the garden project list - there is much more to come... but its not all doom and gloom, here is a picture gallery of what's brightening up the garden early April...