Tag Archives: weeds

Weeding it out take 2

24 Aug

So much can happen in such a small amount of time.  It feels like yesterday I was telling you all about the massive effort the Gardeners had made clearing the common gardens in our complex of some very nasty weeds.  If you missed it, catch it here.  And then we bade farewell to our Bangalow Palms. If you missed that one, it’s here.

When the Bangalows bit the dust, the arborists also removed some Cotton Palms and de-fruited and de-fronded a heap of Cocos Palms (almost 50!).  They were here for ages. Then the next day the gardeners came back and finished mulching the gardens and removed a few more weeds.  The complex looks like it’s had a mini make-over just from the quick tidy up.

There’s nothing like seeing someone else doing the hard work for you to give you a small case of the guilts and motivate you into action.

We are guilty of having one of the worst and weediest front gardens in the complex.  It can only be described in one word – appalling.  It has suffered from years and years of complete and utter neglect.  We are partly guilty for this.  While we rented out the place, we didn’t pay any attention to the gardens, and neither, it seems, did the tenants.  Theoretically the gardens should be maintained as part of the strata maintenance regime, but as I’ve pointed out before, there hasn’t been enough of that going on either!  So, let me share our guilt and shame…

This is the weedy unkempt garden that greets our visitors!

So, with a whiff of spring in the air, a growing case of the guilts and massive sense of shame, we got stuck into the front gardens.  This was our Saturday job.  After Mr Perfect made a mercy dash to Bunnings to get some heavy duty garden tools (a shovel and a mattock) we rallied the troops (The Drama Queen and Daredevil) and set to work.  The troops really weren’t much help, and Mr Perfect took on the role of troop wrangler while I got stuck in.

There was so much wrong with what was there.  Mountains of fishbone ferns, Kikuyu, thorny Gleditsia suckers, overgrown and unruly Dietes, and weeds I couldn’t even name.  The stepping stones that Mr Perfect had put in when we first moved in (only to provide a safe pathway) were crooked and didn’t quite fit.  There was rubbish, timber, bricks, rocks, and we even found a service pit we didn’t know was there!

It really didn’t take as long as I thought it would, and after a break for lunch and putting the Daredevil to bed, we managed to clear out half the garden.  The other half has to wait for a couple of weeks until our green bin gets emptied.

The best bit is we were able to realign the stepping stones and widen the pathway a bit by recycling the timber and bricks we found in the garden.  This will do until I manage to put together a better design, and it’s much safer for the Daredevil to navigate!

Unfortunately I think we’re living with the mantra of “it’s got to get worse before it gets better” because while the weeds and palms are gone, I wouldn’t exactly say we have an award winning landscape yet!  Check it out…

Eeeek! At least it's less a LOT of weeds, but there's still so much to do!

...and after the stump grinder, the back is looking a little worse for wear. Only 3 of the Drama Queen's Snow Peas survived, and none of the Broccoli

At least she has some back ups ready to go!

At least we’ve made a start, and I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it’s time to get cracking!

Sam

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Weeding it out

15 Aug

With spring finally just around the corner, it’s time to stop procrastinating.  Yes, I know I’m a champion procrastinator, and it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but our yard is in some desperate need of TLC, or should I really say major makeover, so it’s time to get going.  I have been putting off work out in the yard while I unpacked, waited for the weather to clear and organised the telegraph pole style palms to be removed.  We’ve made a bit of progress. Most of the boxes are unpacked, hopefully the rain will stay away for a little while and the palms are going on Wednesday!  Finally a few steps closer to the end goal.

But we haven’t been completely idle.  While I’m concerned about my own space, we are also part of a larger complex.  There are 12 other villas in our complex, and quite substantial communal gardens and spaces.  These have been largely neglected for a long time.  The complex was previously defence housing, and as a result most of the villas are investment properties, and a lack of owners on site has lead to a lack of activity in terms of the continual improvement of the grounds.  There has been a change lately.  Not only have we moved in, but there are a few other owner occupiers and a change in the executive of the strata has meant a renewed energy in terms of the complex.

The most exciting part is that we can see a visual change already.  Friday sparked the start of a long process of garden renovation.  The overgrown gardens have been cleared and all the Privet, Lantana, Asparagus Fern, Bracken Fern and old and scrappy looking Dietes have been removed.  The gardeners started on removing the Morning Glory and have also made a start on mulching all the garden beds.  Here are a couple of before and afters.

Before - The garden was overgrown with a whole cocktail of weeds and undesirable plants

After - Gardens are cleared and mulched - the potential is amazing

Before - The trees were being choked by vines and weeds invading from the bushland next door

After - Weeds cleared from the trees and gardens

Before - While it's great to have green, there were so many undesirable species and sight lines were being blocked through the complex

After - These gardens used to be overgrown with Lantana and Privet

After - This light couldn't be seen before

As a first step this is pretty exciting.  We’re hoping to develop a bit of community within the complex.  A little bit of pride and love in the gardens and the appearance of the complex.  As spring and summer come a long these space will be a great playground for the Drama Queen and the Daredevil.  Hopefully with a little bit of vision, some love and a whole lot of work we might be able to transform the gardens into a little oasis.

Hmmm… just another little design project for me!

Sam

Good plant, bad plant.

25 May

When the Drama Queen and I took our little stroll through the bush on Sunday I made a decision to ensure that we only use bush friendly plants in my design for our garden.  We live so close to one of the last remnants of Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest, we have an impact on the environment we live in, and I don’t want our impact to be a negative one.

The drama queen communig with nature

It is always heartbreaking for me to see weeds choking out our native bushland.  There is so little remnant bushland left in Sydney we need to be doing our best to maintain it.  For me, this is a purely selfish thing.  I love to escape from civilization, listen to the birds and watch the wildflowers.  It re-energizes me and clears the mind clutter.  Going for a bushwalk is the most enjoyable form of exercise I can think of.  Even with a 3 year old in tow there is something very calming about being surrounded by nature.

Globally, I feel we need to maintain our biodiversity.  We need to ensure we are responsible global citizens and respect and protect our environment, not only for us and our future, but also for those who can’t protect themselves.  Hmmm… might be getting a little bit preachy there, sorry but passion can sometimes get the better of me!

When I was growing up it was really impportant for my Dad to teach us to respect and enjoy the environment, and this is a lesson I’m trying to teach the Drama Queen, and will also try and instill in the Daredevil.  The Drama Queen and I started playing a game of “Good plant, bad plant” on our bushwalk.

Good Plant - a tribe of big bad banksia men

Bad plant - Lantana, so pretty, but so very very bad!


Good plant - Pimelea

And there's so much bad going on in this photo!

The Drama Queen loved spotting new wildflowers, I can’t wait for spring to hit, and see what the bushland has to show us.  I’m sure we’ll be spinning stories about fairies and bushland creatures.  Note to self, I’ll have to remember to read her Snugglepot and Cuddlepie this winter.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a natives at all cost kind of girl.  There are so many different options out there in the plant world, and I have the philosophy of the right plant in the right place, this could mean Azaleas and Agapanthus or Banksias and Boronias. All I’m saying is, just keep in mind that what you plant today could cause a problem somewhere else tomorrow.

But at the end of the day, green is better than grey!

Sam

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