Monday, 12 March 2007

the yawning abyss

First photos of the garden. AKA startlingly bleak "before" pictures.

This is the plot. You may see a horrid grey concrete dirt trough - I see POSSIBILITIES. *cries*

This dirt's not much chop. Drier than a cork leg.

Hardscrabble. When the weeds won't even take to it you know it's dire.

The landlord had a gardener come in and plant "natives" (since when is box hedge a native?) and lay fluorescent tanbark to keep the weeds down.

Despite best efforts to keep them watered, the Cuphea Mexicana Compacta (another native, obvs) has succumbed to some sort of leaf burn. Note the dandelion emerging on the left.

This is the fig tree. It's doing exceptionally well, and I've had to put up that blue tarp to catch all the rotten fruit falling off it. To the right is the partially obscured apricot tree, which isn't doing as well but still fruits. Behind that and to the left there's a small sheltered area which I'll use as my kitchen herb garden and an outdoor bath area.


vaguelyspecific said...

Puff puff.......had to run to get here from Fluffyasacat...... am I first?

I'll swap you some passionfruit for some of your figs. We're drowning in them at the moment. Or apples. Tempting?

Jacob's got lots of diggers he could bring over to dig over the dustbowl with. They've done wonders for sections of our garden!

Another Outspoken Female said...

Or grapes - red table grapes for some figs! But hurry cos they are at their peak.

I think you have my email address thru let me eat now.

Cloudy said...

You'd be within your rights to rip out that oleander bush straight away because the leaves and pretty, pink, attractive-to-small-children flowers are poisonous. Not that the Tiny Man's still at the what-does-the-whole-world-taste-like? stage.

I have some home irrigation bits and pieces that you can have if desired, but might not be much use if you're using grey water. Just the drippers, little sprinklers and the thin tubing, but none of the larger stuff. I've got no use for it living in a flat.

Would love to help out with the work described in the first post. Seriously.

Fluffy said...

Cloudy - very impressed you were able to identify the oleander at such a distance! I will be tearing it out. You can certainly help with the heavy back-breaking boring dirty work. Are you sure you want to?

AOF - while your table grapes sound lovely I'm not a big grape fan. Unless you count when they've been squished, fermented and bottled.

Faith - Well done on being first! You win... a plastic bag full of figs! Let's trade fruits on Wednesday. And yes, some digger action is just what we need :)

sublime-ation said...

ooo this is exciting! I am doing my garden afresh too, I shall be coming here for copy cat ideas and advice.

Dr Henrik Ziegler said...

Good grief! That size backyard in North Carlton? Score!

My recently inhabited North Carlton Backyard is similar.. well.. except without the 'dirt trough'. Or space for a car (not that I have one). Or Fig Tree. So it's not really similar at all.

It's more a narrow L-shaped backlot alleyway set from a Turkish sitcom with lonely and neglected incumbent pots full of weeds hiding in the corner, conspiring against the new immigrant pots of tomatoes etc...

And now my lettuce has all gone to seed! I put it down to the shock of moving, or maybe sinister doings by the dead remnants of someone's poorly maintained cherry tomato plants (plastic hanging baskets have cut-out holes for a reason!)

btw Worm castings can work wonders with hardscrabble... and if the soil's completely dead compost worms can even (sometimes) survive in it (presuming enough organic matter is stuffed in there with them, and you mulch well) - otherwise if you're prepared to drive a semi down South Gippsland way I can help you steal that Giant Concrete Earthworm.

Rowena said...

Your new blog looks beautiful Fluffy. As will your garden, I am certain.

Cloudy said...

Casting my memory back to my last gardening experience/readings transplanted worms will often die from the change of environment but worm castings (should) contain eggs, so you get worms that are used to whatever environment you give them right from the start.

I'll phone you tonight.

Zoe said...

I cannot recommend the outdoor bathing area highly enough. We've got an old claw foot bath near teh back door, within reach of hot water in a long hose. Mmh. A glass of wine in the bath outside after a rotten day fixes much.

dogpossum said...

Hey, we had the same garden when we moved in, but look at it now.

North Carlton? I was just thinking that that yard looked a lot like our yard in Amess Street...

That looks like FUN - we should swap passion fruit for figs.

Fluffy said...

Not Carlton - we're in Brunswick. In fact we only moved about a 3 minute walk from where we were before.

DP - inspiring!

Girl on The Avenue said...

Looks like you're doing marvellously. We had a very similar but huge patch of concrete with 3 great fig trees poking out in our big Coburg yard. Because we couldn't afford to jack-hammer all the concrete, I got old redwood fence supports (there are plenty of them around now it's hard rubbish in Moreland) and built up several garden beds into which we just added more and more compost, as well as the lawn mulch people put out. (I sweep mulch from our street, too.) The in-between areas I just put gravel down straight over the concrete. Now we have a fantasticly lush garden with nice gravel pathways.
Your fig tree looks wonderful. I'd watch that colourful pine-bark, though. It's reputed to sap the nutrient out of the soil underneath.

Girl on The Avenue said...

(Oh my Lord, your gravitar just blinked at me...)

din said...

Yay! a local gardening blog I love seeing something beautiful emerging from dust. Do you know of Andrew's Stockfeed in Sydney Rd - good local source of peastaw and boardbeans for green manure.