Wednesday, 3 December 2008

The Beginning Of A "Beautiful" Friendship

The bloke and I just moved into a delightful West Preston house with both a front and back yard. Having lived in concrete boxes and flats for the past five years, you'd think this would be cause for whooping in the streets.

Unfortunately, the previous tenant did everything they could to destroy the garden: concrete "tiles" compacting the dirt! "Pruning" the trees with a chainsaw! Tipping paint into the planter boxes!! (Then the landlord came and "pruned" some more trees, leaving stumps and piles of mulch and tragic, amputated leaves. I cried for an hour.)

This is the front yard (or at least, the bit that we'll plant):

As you can see, unimaginitive '80s "ornamental" planting (read: lame state school "garden area" trees that no one likes) and totally buggered soil full of couch grass and deathly looking violet tubers hanging on for dear life. That metal pole? That's the TV aerial!

And out the back (the bloke had arranged the tiles into their eventual final resting place under the washing "line", the extra tiles had covered the rest of the soil):

I could barely get my shovel in more than 5cm! However! Onward and upward, and after a few good rains, the soil softened up enough to be dug and then have the first of many bags of organic matter/rotted cow poo/mulch from the landlord's "pruning" applied:

Looking better already, non? Since then (two weeks ago), more poo/mulch/etc has been dug in, and I've started some seeds and seedlings in the mini greenhouse while they wait for the soil to be ready. I haven't even started thinking about the front yard yet; first things first.

Stay tuned for updates!


Fluffy said...

Bravo Clementine! I too have the landlord of helpfulness in the ways of making the garden "renter friendly" by chopping down anything worth keeping and heaping nutrient rich tiles and newspapers over anything that needs feeding. Please keep writing here and I'll attempt to do same.

Clem said...

How do you keep them out, that's what I want to know.

I told Super Mario (true dinks, he looks exactly like him) "Oh, don't worry, we'll take care of the garden now!" and smiled with worrying intensity, hoping he'd get the message.

Fluffy said...

I had to chase off the landlords' gardener because they wanted him to cover the entire plantable backyard area with a) newspapers b) "natives" (cupea mexicana and box hedge, obviously) and c) florescent red tanbark. I let them cover half of it and I've transplanted most of the box hedge to the front garden since then. They just can't seem to believe that renters can manage a garden.

din said...

Hi Clem - welcome! Love to hear more of how you go.

Could you post a pic of your mini-green house and maybe what you think of it. I start seeds on my kitchen window ledge, which has great light and temperature - but I can only fit 4 punnets and I suspect it's not great hygiene given it is next to where I cook