Tuesday, 26 August 2014

More Than Plants

Hi Everyone,

I'm a very lucky and thankful girl you know. Why? you ask. Because I have a husband that doesn't mind doing stuff for me in the garden. Now don't get me wrong Ross doesn't weed, do edges or dig very often (I do that) but he does keep the grass cut with the rider mower (actually he is more diligent about mowing than me) and with about an acre of garden and lawn that's a big help. I suppose I would be lucky enough if he only did the mowing (I have heard some husbands/partners don't even do that) but where I'm really lucky is he can make stuff for me.
If I see something, or have an idea for the garden I will float the idea past him to see if it's possible. Usually I have a fair idea about what is doable, or I have thought about it long enough that I know that it is. There is a discussion about exactly what I have in mind, he may add his two cents worth and then say "draw me a picture". This means that it can be added to the to do list. YAY!
The ideas aren't always totally clear in my head so drawing them can be a challenge and size can be hard to visualise particularly when something is going into a large undeveloped space. So far we have managed to get things right, sometimes with a few modifications along the way.
For this month's garden post, I thought I would raid my photo files and show you what my handy fella has done to help make our beautiful garden.
 The arbour on the left (#1) was the first garden feature Ross made for me and is the entrance into the rose garden aka "Penny's Garden". There are two "Penny Lane" roses growing on either side.
 The arbour on the right (#2) I call "Insta" arbour. Why? Well the story goes something like this.
Ross came in for lunch after mowing the lawn demanding we do something with THAT rose ("New Dawn", you can see it growing on the left of the arbour). He had been spiked once too often while he was on the rider mower, and enough was enough. I must admit he had been quite patient while I was deciding what sort of arbour I wanted to put there. After discussing it over lunch I agreed he could make one the same as #1. Being a man of action he went and bought the materials after lunch and by 5 o'clock that afternoon the arbour was in place. #1 had been bent around a concrete ring but we had since given it away so Ross improvised and used a tree stump in our neighbours paddock for #2 hence the slight flat spot near the top of the arbour which you probably hadn't even notice until now. Let's just call it character plus the rose should cover it up anyway
The arbour seat was made as a birthday present. I was my idea and provides a nice shady spot to sit in "Penny's Garden". It also has two "Penny Lane" roses planted either side. 
I like the look of timber but Ross likes to make stuff out of steel, won't rot, last forever, permanent steel. If I want anything made out of timber it has to be made of Redgum (for overseas readers that is a hardwood eucalypt that resists rotting) if it is going in the ground and Stringy Bark (another hardwood eucalypt) for above ground. Neither of these timbers can be easily bought at your local building supplies so what do you do? You cut your own, of course, if you have your own saw mill, which we do (Ross build that too) and access to some trees, which we do. I have to be really patient for these projects as milling timber doesn't happen every day and takes some planning.   
This long arbour leads to the back part of the garden that I'm currently trying to establish. I have wisterias planted on the four corners which will be trained over the top and climbing roses trained along the sides.
The idea for the arbour swing came from a scene in the film "Ten Things I Hate About You", and my adult kids, as you can see, still love swings (particularly Heidi), so why not? And make it a double because it's more fun to swing with a friend. I have 2 white 'Lamarque' climbing roses planted either side and look forward to them covering the sides and making it pretty. They have actually grown quite a bit since this photo was taken.

The gate arbour has only been completed recently. It has wisteria longissima planted on the left so that when it covers the top it will create a curtain of long flowers (the flowers can get up to a metre long) in the spring. It won't be this spring though, maybe next year.
The sunshine gate leads into our front paddock and allows vehicle access into the front garden. The aim is to cover the fence either side with a creeper or hedge.
Blue granite retaining wall on the top side of the pond aka 'The Froggery'. My friend Gabby came up with the name. The pond is a natural spring that we had dug out a bit (it's only knee deep) and I haven't been able to get rid of the weed in it but the frogs love it, so why fight it.
Some recycled fence posts form the retaining wall on the bottom side of the pond. Ross replaced a fence for a local farmer and was allowed to keep the old posts. I came up with this idea before they were attacked with the chainsaw for fire wood. Up until last year, when these two walls were done, the pond area was my least favourite part of the garden because it always looked untidy. Now it is one of my favourite spots even with the weeds.

This pathed area, complete with Ross milled timber fence, provides a nice eating area adjacent to the house.

I picked up an old cast iron bed from the local second shop and had Ross make this seat. The bed was already painted red so I decided to leave it. I think it makes a nice feature against the greenery. I'm still waiting for the other end of the bed to be converted.
This seat is chainsaw craved from one solid log of Redgum and was all Ross' idea, as a surprise for me.  
 This rock seat/bench was only completed last week and was another of Ross' ideas after seeing one somewhere. I had been wanting to put something here to close off the carport area a bit and this is perfect. I have since extended the garden along in front of it.
And the latest addition, only made this week. I thought it would nice to officially rename the pond so I got Ross to make this sign. He wrote with the welder on a piece of steel plate and I love the rustic look. You can see what I mean about the weeds. They look particularly bad this time of year.

So don't you agree I'm one lucky gal? I'm so grateful I can have my ideas made to order and don't have to settle for flimsy garden features. Everything is constructed to the "Rossbuilt" standard, strong and made to last, and at a fraction of the cost of buying them. He actually enjoys it, except if I get too picky but that's not very often, only when there's a communication breakdown and he hasn't read my mind very well. We have a couple of other projects in the pipeline that should be finished by the time we have our garden open for the annual Corryong & district "Garden Getabout" in November. I will tell you all about that another time.

I started preparing this post a couple of weeks ago when it was still really cold, and there wasn't much else happening in the garden, but we have had some beautiful weather lately and the spring flowers are starting to appear so I will be back soon with a more flowery garden post.
Thanks for popping by and until next time 
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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lila. Just read your ebook and loved it. Good, sound, common sense advice.

  2. Fantastic, spectacular, beautiful. How DO you find the time to keep up with it all. Very creative ideas.

    1. Thanks Joan for your lovely comments. I just had a quick look at your blog and I like it a lot, I love the positive vibe, so much so you have a new follower. I look forward to reading more from you.

  3. Your garden is completely stunning. Such space! How lovely to have all of those cosy spots. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Laura. Yes it's lovely to have the space that I can just find a place for ideas as I have them.

  4. What a lovely husband. And what a stunning garden!

  5. What a wonderful garden you have and a wonderful husband. I love the seat made out of the cast iron bed.

    1. Thanks Simone, I like looking around second hand shops for things I can use in the garden and the home.