Within the first few weeks of living here at ‘Carlton’ I had a blackboard up on the kitchen wall with a ‘jobs list’. Top of the list was ‘bobcat’ (we’re lucky enough to have access to a bobcat here). Fast forward four months and not much had been done. Settling in here and finding our feet was taking a bit longer than we thought, after 15 months of living on the road we were restless and unsure. Plus, we’ve put our heart and soul (and cash) into transforming old farmhouses which aren’t ours before. And then walked away. We were wary this time, dipping our toe in slowly and cautiously. But like I said here, to plant a garden is to have some hope for the future, so I made the decision it was time to roll up the sleeves and get stuck in. That and I was sick of looking at the tangled mess out my kitchen window.
Here is the dreaded side area of the farmhouse as it looked on Saturday morning…
When we moved in this area had 4 foot tall weeds all along the verandah. A forest of weeds. In Autumn they died down and I was able to pull them out, thank goodness! That is our kitchen window there and looking out onto those weeds every day was super depressing. What we were left with though was a whole lot of roots, rocks, sticks, rubbish and rotting remains of what used to be a veggie garden I’m assuming (lots of onions and tomato punnets). It was a forgotten wasteland until we could muster the energy to deal with it. The fence also drove me nuts, it was falling down and doing nothing. On the other side is the orchard paddock, which doesn’t have stock in it so no fence was even needed. It had to go, so Matt made light work of that pretty quickly! He then brought the bobcat in to turn over the soil next, I swept through picking up all the rubbish, rocks, roots, then we levelled the ground with the bobcat, then raking and breaking up the soil ready to throw out some lawn seed.
Up the other end of this area are our tanks and a small paved area (an extension of the paved carport). Whoever paved the area simply ran out of puff though so the paving sort of ended abruptly and not neatly. There was a pile of left over pavers which we moved to the shed, finished off the paving to some semblance of neatness and put mulch all around the tanks as it was a dead area of weeds, long grass and mud. The mulch came from the nice men who trim up all the trees along the roadside, if you see them working in your area ask them to dump a pile of mulch in your yard, they are usually happy to and it’s free! Please excuse our crude tank/water/laundry set-up. It comes with the territory of old farmhouses!
As of this morning this is what the once-dreaded side area of the farmhouse looks like, it would be much more impressive if the lawn seed decided to miraculously grow over night! I now love the view of this side of the house from the orchard looking back.
I’m not sure what our plan is for this area much beyond the lawn. I’m thinking of planting something along the verandah – lavender or rosemary or society garlic perhaps. There are whisperings of our kitchen window becoming a kitchen door which would totally float my boat, as we would use this area a lot more and put our barbeque and outdoor table and chair on this verandah, but we’ll see. Baby steps.
In the meantime I am stoked to be ticking off the number one item on my much ignored jobs list! I’ll be back tomorrow with part two of our busy weekend of gardening…