What do you do when you have a really slopey a back yard full of building rubble, a couple of rubbish trees, some gigantic weeds and not much else? Sigh very loudly and dream a lot about what could be! Twenty years ago, with a minuscule budget and no idea about plants and gardening I embarked on a love affair that grows!
From the outset my garden has been all about recycling. The first job was to make the worst part, the bit where all the building rubble had been dumped, fairly flat and solid. So some pretty heavy manual labour happened and the result was covered by a horrible old carpet that came with the house. The carpet was then covered with bark chips. What followed next was trial and error. Old pot plants inherited from the previous owners were dug in and surprisingly flourished as specimen trees. Salvaged round treated pine posts were donated by a friend. The first installment of these posts went into making retaining terrace walls., the second and most recent delivery has made a raised garden at the very bottom of the slope. Friends and family donated plants and cuttings. I reckon that if a plant cost nothing and grows thats excellent, and if it doesn’t thrive its mulch. Nothing goes to waste in my garden, it swallows up clean fill from friends’ renovations as well as rocks and ancient broken concrete garden pots. Objects left at the side of the road for Council collection have become decorative features – a candle holder is a frame for Spanish Moss, broken terracotta pipes have become the bases for water features, a wrought iron garden bench waits to be fixed, and old kitchen pots have become planters. The recent rewiring of outside lights provided some perfectly excellent candle holders, and pavers scrounged from a garden undergoing a revamp have provided the backbone for a veggie garden.
Twenty years later it is a refuge visited by parrots, possums and children. A place for secret garden parties, or quite times. And always a work in progress!