Monday, September 28, 2015


I have a grateful post to share. When I bought this place, it was not intended to be our forever home. It was a strategic purchase. I bought one suburb out from a boom suburb, there was planned infrastructure  in development (shopping centre, train station upgrade) and it was on a block that could be subdivided.

While it is on a fairly major road, it was also close to amenities, major roads and public transport and schools - after all, they do say location, location, location!

We've reached a part of the journey that has always been intended, but come around so quickly. The development application (DA) I put on the property expires soon, which means I have to subdivide shortly. It seems like all the stars are lining up, as I had the property valued the other day and not only has it recovered from the flood, it's worth way more than I thought it would be.

I never really intended to become part of the community, but lately, well,  not lately, just maybe I've noticed more, we've gotten to know more people locally and the really lovely things they do. So here are the things I'm grateful for in this community:
  • The neighbour on one side that works from home and keeps an eye on the house when we're out and texts me with anything suspicious.
  • Two lots of people locally who called me when Bella dug under the fence and wandered a few blocks away. One even kept her for a while until she could be collected.
  • The neighbour who grabbed some timber and blocked the fence when he saw Bella trying to dig out for a third time.
  • The guy across the road who mows my nature strip.
  • The neighbours who offers me fruit from their fruit trees and cuttings from their plants.
  • The old couple who walk their dog three or more times a day past my house and stop to say good morning and good afternoon.
  • The lady who jogs past and stops to chat about the progress of the fence/house/garden.
  • The old man on the motorised scooter who stops to give me renovating advice.
  • The neighbour who brings my bins in.
  • The mystery person who's left brand new gardening appliances in my garage and trimmed my hedges back when I had them.
  • Yarns over the fence with neighbours and passers-by. Particularly when I'm out gardening. Our place is on a regular walking route and people are happy to stop and chat and tell you about how they've been watching the progress of the house and they like the paint colour or new fence.
  • I'm grateful for the vegetarian place that is just about to open down the road.
  • The sweet lady at the bakery who gives me freebies every time I buy something. 
  • My local newsagent who always has a smile and a wave when you go past.
Very grateful. I will miss this community when we finally leave.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Stage One Garden - Complete!

Man oh man, muscles I didn't even know I had are sore, but stage one of the front garden is….complete!!! Doesn't seem like that much work, but it's an 8000mm X 1200mm garden bed which is 600mm high in some places. That's a lot of dirt to move and a lot of wheelbarrows full to push.

The murrayas are at the back and will (hopefully) form a hedge along the fence. I'll probably hedge it to just above the fenceline. The gardenias are in the middle, but slightly to the back. I feel like I could add another row of something in front of it for a bit more interest, maybe some ground cover star jasmine. The spider lilies are at the front and should grow to spill over the pathway to soften the edges a little.

Some of the murrayas are already starting to bloom and smell divine and little buds are forming on the gardenias. The spider lilies are looking a little worse for wear (something about leaving them out in the elements for a week) but I'm sure they'll come back to life.

I was a good gardening girl and put newspaper down before I mulched, although I ran out halfway through cause I only had Saturday's Courier Mail, but better than nothing I would think.

Ta-dah! I used sugar cane mulch - I LOVE the smell of that stuff. I really should have mulched the other garden bed while I was at it, but I only bought two bales and that was only just enough to do this bed.

I saw an awesome quote the other day at my local nursery. It said, "The best time to plant was 10 years ago. The second best time is today." These little plants are so teeny, but I know they'll grow to be lush and fragrant.

Patience girl. Patience.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Garden Progress!

Finally started planting today. Jumpy claps!! Visited the old faithful Rocklea Markets where I've been getting my plants for years, and picked up some murrayas and gardenias - my all time favourites.

I filled up the rest of the garden bed with soil and planted the spider lily bulbs I bought last week. Tomorrow I'm going to try and get up super early to plant the rest out and maybe even get time to mulch before lunch. After that I have other, pressing matters to attend to.

As usual, Bella was my shadow. She even follows me walking back and forth with the wheelbarrow from the pile of soil to the garden bed. When I'm planting though she plonks herself in the dirt which is annoying because a) she gets dirty and b) she tramples on my plants.

Yes, she's wearing a dog sun shirt.

No, she doesn't like it. But she's prone to skin cancer so she has no choice.

I'm looking forward to those hedges growing so it can hide the neighbour's wheelie bins.