Monthly Archives: April 2012

Garden: the hedge is dead/long live the hedge

Field and I got the rest of the hedge down this morning. It was the most difficult part, and it’d been leaning precariously over the fence and onto the roof of the neighbour’s shed since the weekend (not the best way to introduce yourself to the neighbourhood), and now it’s gone.

And by “gone” I mean “in a giant pile covering about half the back lawn”; we’ve called to get a quote on having the lot of it mulched by professionals, because fuck that shit. There are a few branches that probably can’t be mulched, plus the remains of another shrub we removed a month or so ago, and those we want taken off the property.

Meanwhile, tonight there are apples stewing on the stovetop, and roast vegetables roasting in the oven; we’re having roast vege salad for dinner, and all the salad greens and the herbs have come out of our garden. And we used our Genesis Energy Brownie Points (worst reward point scheme name EVER omg) to get the Tui Guide to Fruit Trees in New Zealand, which arrived today and is an interesting read.

We’ve got a pear tree, of course, which fruits pretty heavily but is probably in need of some fertiliser, and what Field strongly suspects is a feijoa; and we’re planning to get a lemon tree and another citrus, probably a lime. I’m also considering strawberries, once we’re a bit more organised; we probably want a couple of planter boxes or at least some old tyres for that, though. Maybe also a currant bush, since it looks as though they’d grow well here and they are very tasty.

The mint has started flowering, just a little, and the oregano is spreading nicely. The sage isn’t massive yet, but I think it’ll get there, and the rosemary is now of a size where I feel no compunction at chucking a small handful into anything appropriate I’m cooking. I should probably check on the tarragon. Of the more exotic stuff, the dragonbalm and what I think is the borage is trucking along, and the chamomile is beginning to spread a bit; I’m not expecting any of these things to really explode until the spring.

We’ve eaten some of the pak choi and of course heaps of the lettuce-y things, and I think that’s probably a lesson: plant lots of leafy salad greens, because being able to walk out and pick precisely the amount I need for a sandwich is a treat not to be sneezed at, and probably less of the stuff that goes in Actual Dinner Cooking, because I’m lazy. This might change once the garden’s more established, but I think for next spring I’ll be aiming to plant more lettuce and less chard.

House-wise, a builder came round last weekend to quote on sorting out all the windowframes, and we should get an idea of what that’ll cost us in the next few days. If we go ahead with that – and we almost certainly will, because none of the windows in my room close properly and it’s beginning to get chilly at night – that’ll be the first major expense. After that, we’ll be saving like mad things so we can rewire, hopefully by the time Winter 2013 rolls around.

Tomorrow we are making yet another trip to Bunnings, this time for drillbits. I think there’s something else on the list too, but I can’t remember what it is.


Garden: the edge is here

Most of the hedge is now no longer attached to the trunk. However, it’s still on our section, taking up more space than it did when it was a WALL OF DOOM. It is slowly collapsing, though, and we plan to get it Mulched By Professionals at some point in the near future.

Meanwhile, we bought a new pair of telescopic loppers today, and they’re a significant step up from the old pair – not just because they have 2 handles! They’re racheted, which really does make a difference when you’re trying to cut through the thicker bits of hedge, and the handles are a lot comfier. And the button to extend each arm is right by where you hold them, so you don’t have to let go to extend the arms. 😀

We also got a pruning saw: A++ would cut things again! and an outdoor rubbish bin.

Most importantly, we bought 40 paving stones and have edged almost all of the planted-by-us garden – it turns out we needed slightly more than 40 paving stones, but that’s about all that would comfortably fit in the car anyway. It’s made a big difference to the garden – it looks much nicer and more finished now. The next step is to dig them in – they’re just plopped in place at the moment.

I plan to get the un-weeded part of the garden weeded in the next couple of days, and we might attack the hedge some more. Also I rather want a hydrangea.


Garden: less hedge, more herbs

This weekend my friends Orbfa, Husband of Orbfa, and Baby Orbflet came to stay, and brought with them a bunch of herbs they’d picked up for us on their way through the North Island. And so Field and I have extended the garden by about a metre, and there is chamomile, dragonhead, borage, feverfew, and a couple of other things planted. One of the other beds got weeded also, though I’m going to need to give the other bed a good going over at Easter.

Meanwhile, a bunch more hedge came down, and it’s now very clear that we’re going to have to hire someone to mulch all the dead bits because there’s far too much to do ourselves (and still a LOT of hedge to go).

Over Easter we’re going to take a trip to various gardening/hardware shops, and on our current list is:
– an outdoor rubbish bin, because we’re slack at remembering to take the bag down the driveway every week and this is just realism
– an outdoor broom with very stiff bristles
– a new pair of telescopic loppers, because ours broke during the hedge-cutting this afternoon
– some kind of garden-edging stuff; either some bricks, if they’re cheap and can be delivered, or a few bags of stones. IDK. It’s just become clear that our gardens SHOULD have edging.

This means that Easter is going to involve a bunch of gardening. For me, it’s also going to involve a bunch of studying, but that’s far less interesting.