Progress continues on turning the corner of sadness into the corner of radness. Not yet at the finish line, but hey, big steps forward. As soon as I chopped back the monster ivy, it allowed to work on this neglected corner of our yard as a whole.
My to-do list:
Chop back monster ivy
- Clear out all the rubbish and weeds
- Extend paver and rock edging to fence
- Install brushwood screening (with lattice support) to block out large gaps in fence and cover up some of the ugly
- Level out ground by fence
- Determine plant list — or at least the major ones
- Mulch some mulch and plant some plants!
This section of the yard used to be a pea patch, with old chain-link gates used as trellising. When we dug them out and cleared some of the weeds, we also discovered that it was a potato patch, too. And once you have potatoes in the ground, you’ve got potatoes for life.
Jamie and I let the potato plants go this summer, just out of curiosity. Maybe we’ll get some spuds off these plants! Better leave them in and see! Well, what we actually got was healthy, flourishing plants and itty-bitty grape-sized potatoes. It hardly seemed worth it, given that we can readily buy fresh pinkeyes year-round. That potato patch was taking up prime real estate in the garden. So it went.
This area was full of cinderblocks, broken old pavers and other rubbish, which had to go. It’s all in a pile next to the garden shed right now.
There were great big gaps between the trunk and the fencing, so Jamie filled them in with leftover bluestone gravel from a different yard project he’s working on. This was a wheelbarrow load and a half.
You can see that there’s already plants in the ground. I’d hoped to finish off the cleanup and edging before buying plants, but, well, these things happen. A local native nursery had a 20% off everything sale in early April, so that spurred me to go ahead and pick up plants. Good timing, too, because it’s become noticeably colder and wetter since then.
I’ll do a detailed roll call later on, but here you can see a nandina, tree fern, native elderberry, and waratah.
I marked the intended path for the edging by dragging a rake on its end through the dirt. High tech solutions. I’d probably have used spray paint if it were a larger area, but, yeah.
First up was a row of flat pavers, flush in the ground, meant to go directly in front of the big stones. The rest of the stone edging in the backyard already had this. It lets you mow along the pavers without having to run a weed whacker across the stones every weekend – brilliant, yes?
All of the smaller, broken-in-half pavers scattered around the property were the very same ones they used with the stones. Luckily I found enough of them to continue the edging all the way to the fence.
The pavers were free, and so were the rocks. I just had to go digging for them.
Welcome to the rock farm, or, Kylie’s house, which is halfway up a mountain. The views are fantastic and it even gets snowfalls in winter. Her place is a half-hour drive from Hobart, but it’s like a whole different world up here. She’s going to have her ponies up here one day, and it’ll be even more of a happy, comfortable place.
Her property is also covered in rocks. Old rocks, new rocks, big rocks, little rocks. Kylie wants me to have as many rocks as I can carry, but I only needed 10-20, which didn’t even make the tiniest dent in her rock collection. These rocks are some kind of siltstone and they’re quite angular, which is good. They’ll fit together well.
Here’s how the rock edging came together. I can live with this. The previous owners used mortar to fill in the gaps between stones, which I might do as well. It doesn’t need to be airtight, but blocking off some of the grass and weeds from coming through will be nice. Next up will be finishing off the mulch, and adding the lattice and screening.
Midway before-and-after. I’m proud of what I’m doing right now, but I’m not there yet.