Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Burke's Back Yard...NOT!

Our back yard landscaping is coming along nicely. All the old pool decking, tree stumps, and rubbish lying around was removed in the first week. Then the boys brought in a machine which excavated and levelled out the areas ready to be fixed up. The yard is very steep; if you stand at the very top end of the yard, you are higher than the roof of our house. It had two levels before, but they have made four now, all of which now have retaining walls of treated pine, held up with steel posts set in concrete. The old retaining wall was held up with wooden posts, which had disintegrated over time and led to the whole thing collapsing. The first level behind the house is to be a lawn, the next level will be a garden bed with low shrubs and ground covers, the third level more lawn and the top level against the back fence is garden bed, where there will be trees and shrubs. There is also a larger garden bed all along the right hand side of the property, with only one existing rock retaining wall, and this will be planted out with trees, shrubs and native grasses.


So at the moment, the retaining walls are all in place, top soil has been spread over the ground and mulch spread on the garden areas. Still to be done are the steps on each side leading up to the top area to where Ken's aviaries have been left in place; he feels more enthusiastic about replacing the birds now that he won't have to deal with fixing the yard as well. There are a few minor items such as a new side gate, edging on garden beds, and the lawn to be put in. This will be Buffalo grass instant turf. The landscaper and Ken tried to persuade me to have a sprinkler system installed for both lawn and garden, but I flatly refused it. I said that Australians waste more precious water on blasted lawns than anything else, and ours are just going to have to survive on whatever rain comes along. If it doesn't rain for a while and the lawn goes brown, so be it. It will come on again when it does rain!

As for the garden, Australian native plants are acclimatised to drought conditions, so apart from a helping hand of regular watering in the first few months, they survive perfectly well once they are established. Last week I visited our local council's working farm where they propagate indigenous plants, and discussed what I needed with one of the staff who was most helpful. She advised me to wait until late March or early April before planting anything, as it is still too hot and dry at the moment, unless I used massive amounts of water to keep plants alive, which would be a waste of time and water in my opinion!

I have been taking progress photos (on film, not digital), so hopefully, I will have a record of woe to go in the near future.

3 Comments:

Blogger Flossy said...

It sounds like it is all coming along beautifully! I'm so pleased you have decided against using a sprinkler system for your lawn. I think it's a terrible waste of water too, because as you say, it will come back when it rains.

I can't wait to see the photos!

Sunday, 05 March, 2006  
Blogger Nicole said...

You definitely have things under control. I love that people are thinking more and more about planting natives in their gardens. Schools should be teaching their students about them as well as a rule. Water saving is a huge issue at the moment and should not be taken lightly. My next door neighbour still hoses down their paths and driveway. Waterever happened to the broom? You are doing a fabulous job.

Monday, 06 March, 2006  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Thanks for your supportive comments re our plans for native plants and no watering systems. There are a lot of people around who are very vocal about conservation on a global scale, but when it comes to their own back yard...doing it is another issue.

Tuesday, 07 March, 2006  

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