the driveway, the garden… its all happening here

I thought I’d share some photos of the last couple of weekends here. Its been rather hectic.
As you already know through my posts on the ducklings, last weekend we had an excavator here digging up the driveway and shoring up the dam. 
The driveway is something we knew we’d have to do from the day we bought the farm. See, the guy who originally put the driveway in created a nice slope from the bottom of the hill straight to the house.
It successfully funneled all rainwater from the hill under the house and into the front yard. In heavy rainstorms we’d have Niagara Falls on our garden path, right down into the casita. All winter our lawn (or what passes as lawn) is like a sponge. You walk and squelch.
So, we booked this job in as soon as the weather was good enough.
Below are some photos of the excavator at work putting a slight slope and a new surface on the driveway, and digging a trench to catch rainwater and move it away from the house.
We hope.
Below, Barney overseeing the job.
Now, of course, we have a trench under the gate so need to find a way to stop poodles getting out and wallabies getting in!
Cass (aka the Masked Avenger) checks out the works behind the garage.
The view of the new sloped sides… What will I do with them? I had thought we’d get a steeper ‘wall’ which we’d put in sleepers to create a retaining wall. What we have instead is a slope of hard clay soil. 
I think the rain will end up washing that down so I know we need to do something about it. But what? Ideas welcome. I do plan to put in a lot of plants up the top, things like pigface and other hardy plants which will grow and trail downwards.
Its looking a bit stark and moonscape-ish right now. It needs something, don’t you agree?
The dam looked quite pretty with all the reeds and grass on its gently sloping sides, but it was leaking and all the area below the dam was soggy and marshy. Lately the sides of the dam had started collapsing too. It definitely needed fixing.
This is what the dam looks like now. Another moonscape. But hopefully, no more leaks. What the guy did was build up the lower side of the dam and scoop out the high side. That way rainwater from the paddock will flow INTO the dam, not around it. It was wierd, but the dam walls were higher on that side and lower on the bottom side. Wierd.
Anyway, we hope this works. We’ll see if things dry out around the dam this summer and see how it goes in winter. That’ll be real test.
This weekend there was some gardening work done as well. I’d mowed and organised what I wanted to have done, then I got a friend to come over and put some new plants in for me plus a new garden bed.
I’ve already proved to myself that I’m not made to garden so I decided to pay someone to do it for me. That way I can have a pretty garden without the pain!
Below is the back of corner of the house (the office window). Our old picnic table and an old metal table serve as my potting area and seedling raising benches.
I have to admit… I’m absolutely loving growing plants from seeds! I get a rush when I see the tiny plants breaking through the dirt, then plant a heap of things in my garden which I grew myself.
I have more seeds to plant now. I think I’ve become addicted. Soon I won’t have room for more plants in the garden unless I put in more beds…
I’m gonna need a bigger yard!
Below is the corner of my cute timber shed. The hydrangeas are going really well. Even the stumpy one the horses ate and which was in a spot it hated. Its been moved and is starting to grow now.
I got Sharon to put in a few of my seedlings and a bog salvia I bought last week. The tag said it’ll get big. I hope so!
Here’s a sneak peek at some plants I bought for the driveway wall. I’ll re-pot them till they get bigger, then put them in in autumn. That way they’ll have time to settle in before the next hot dry summer.
My snap dragons are going well. Except the red one. That seems to be dying. That’s fine by me. I didn’t like the red one anyway.
Actually, I dreamed of a garden of blue, purple and white flowers only. Then mauves and pinks snuck in. I have a salvia hotlips which is red and white. I put in 2 pale yellow banksia roses. I planted a ton of osteospermums which are pastel yellow, orange and white… I have the yellow snap dragons (I’m hoping the red one is really on its way out)…
Looks like I’m not getting my blue, purple and white garden. Its more of a cottage garden with all colours, but I would prefer not to have red or bright yellow. Or bright orange… I’ll be ok with those on the driveway, but not in the garden itself.
I can always pull things out, right?
I’m a floral racist.
Anyway, here are some photos of the front of the house. I really need to finish painting. I have a huge potato vine dying to climb but I can’t let it till I paint the post its meant to climb up on. The lavenders are doing really well, and most of the other flowers are doing great too. Some not so great. I had to replace a few which died with my home grown seedlings.
Any ideas on what to do with this area? Its where the septic tank is and I have these pipes I’d like to hide somehow. I have plants growing on both sides, and up on the trellis. That will hide it a bit, but the pipes in the ground… maybe I need something cute, little gnome houses or something…
Excuse the washing on the line. This is the new garden bed I got Sharon to put in for me. I wanted to pretty up that area of the yard. I had tried to grow 2 blue plumbagos there before but managed to kill them both. Hopefully the new plants will do better. I have a sort of orange blossom tree (no idea what it is but its not an orange tree) some lupins (no idea what colours), plus my homegrown seedlings including swan river daisies and columbines.
Watch this space. One day it will be a garden! I can’t wait to see it all growing and full.
When Sharon finished doing the gardening she had some leftover pine bark. I had her put it in the swampy corner near the carport. For now it is a good place to grow my succulents.
I really have become quite interested in gardening. I blame old age. A friend of mine once told me that the older you get, the more you appreciate watching things grow. I think its happened to me.
Dad would be proud.

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