When I'm feeling particularly energetic, I tackle some of the big outside jobs - there is a lot to do, but bit by bit I'm getting there. When you look out the back windows, the garden looks smallish, but this is deceptive, because there is a whole lot going on that you can't see - a lot of which will have to be ripped out. Like the house, the garden has been neglected for a number of years and it is overgrown, overcrowded with a number of inappropriate (for a suburban garden) trees that will have to go.
To make tackling the garden a little less daunting, I decided to just start working from the house outwards in manageable bursts - otherwise it could simply become overwhelming.
The first job was removing a green steel gazebo affair right outside the back door. It was covered with several layers of rotting canvas roof and festooned with a tangled mass of electrical extension cords, double adaptors, fairy lights, plastic butterflies and rusty electrical lanterns. With much of this electrical stuff exposed to the weather, it was really dangerous! I just pulled the lot down…..
…….and threw it out. A few weeks after moving in, the garden looked like this:
You can see the metal gazebo structure still in place. It was very rusty and rickety and not worth keeping, so I began to cut it up with a metal cutting attachment on my grinder……then I discovered that it was so weak, I could simply break it up with my bare hands - much quicker!. I've removed dead shrubs and trees and the two huge pittosporums in the right of the picture and opened up the garden to more sunshine, light and space. It's looking like this at the moment:
I've established a vegetable garden, planted fruit trees and generally am well on the way to establishing some order into this once-beautiful garden. Sometimes I feel like Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden with all the discoveries (both surprisingly good and surprisingly bad!) I am making as the seasons change!