-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Friday, December 31, 2010

We planted pigs ear

While browsing in Talbot's nursery earlier in the day I'd spotted a lovely succulent bush that was waist high.  The guy told me it would only take a couple of years to reach that height, so thought I'd experiment with putting them in at Amherst.  We bought 8 plants.

orchard - 09  orchard - 14

So as to protect from kangaroos and sheep, we put them in the orchard, in a sort of ring near the fence.  Although they won't grow fruit, they'll still look nice and shouldn't be in the way of anything as we can grow climbers behind.

It was a great feeling to actually get something new in the ground there - a very small progress step.  But even more amazing was to see the soil.  I guess thanks to all the rain it was really pliable - no need for tractors in digging, we didn't even need to add extra compost.  It was much better soil than I'd imagined.

To show you what I mean, here's a short clip of Dad digging a hole...

... and here's me putting in one of the 8 plants.

Mowing the orchard

Even though Dave had mown it in August, there had been such a lot of rain that the grass was crazily long again.  So although we hadn't planned to do any work on this visit, Dad and Vida pitched in to get it cut.

orchard - 03  orchard - 10

Meanwhile I climbed into the mulberry enclosures and cut back the overgrown grass to reveal some very bushy little trees - complete with mulberries!

garden - 22  garden - 24

Thursday, December 30, 2010

We win some, we lose some with the trees

The bad news first... the wollemi's didn't make it.  Despite all the rain and the (too late) added sun protection, there's no sign of life.  It's one of the biggest disappointments we've had.  Hoping against hope, will leave them until Dave's next visit, then will replace them with some other kind of hopefully fast-growing tree.

garden - 04

However, on the flip side the lemon gums are looking magnificent.  

driveway - 3  garden - 02

The peppercorn and almond trees are also looking healthy - there are even some nuts growing.  Although calling them trees at this stage is a bit of a misnomer, they're really still just the size of shrubs... hurry up and grow!
garden - 16  garden - 14

garden - 37  garden - 36

Fleeting visit - little progress but still nice to see

I managed to make it back home to Australia for Christmas, and in the process spent a day at Amherst.

Although there hadn't been any change to the house since Dave's visit, it was wonderful to see it up close in person.

house views - 03  house - 04

The same with the "damhouse".  Even with the spillway having been added, the dam is still so full that there is no way you could access it without sinking to your waist or more in water.  Dad has a great idea for how to quickly build a ramp to it using various old fence panels, so with luck we'll soon be able to make progress on it again.

damhouse - 05  damhouse - 11

But there has been some big visible progress, with the construction of the new shed.  This was partially completed back in August when Dave visited.  Since then Dad has got it pretty much completely to lock up stage.

sheds - 06  sheds - 01