This morning when I look around outside I’m feeling so much better . Rob and Matt from `Verduous Gardens’, Josh, Rowan and Ed from `Harrison’s Landscaping‘ and Scott from `Cornerstone Landscaping‘ were here earlier this week trimming hedges, weeding and pruning alongside me for the weekend and I really appreciate their time. There’s nothing like having seven experienced gardeners to get things done in a hurry! – and now, after overnight rain to revive the parched and weary plants I’m really happy.
Jamie Sargeant has been here too to add a white background to my sign he constructed a few years ago out the front by the roadside so nobody gets lost. Now there’s final touches to go, a few plants to find homes for and we’re ready to open the gates this weekend.
My son has almost finished his HSC. He’s been at Central Coast Grammar School now since he was in kindergarten and over the years I’ve been helping with the gardens there. Last week Mark met a delivery truck with another load of plants to complete the Arundel Road Entry where sculptor Jamie Sargeant has just installed the cast bronze logo and lettering that match the Carlton Road gateway we designed last year leading to the sports ovals. Both of the entries look sensational and the planting will only improve as it matures. Throughout the school I’ve worked with the grounds staff and on various working bees to make improvements and make a difference. I think the kids appreciate it and growing up in an environment like this is a privilege.
This is the last blog entry on the pond – I promise. Earlier this week the Natures Vision Landscapes boys lifted and fitted the fountain into position – no easy feat, as it is cast iron and HEAVY. I wish I had of taken a pic of Adam who at one stage was in the water wearing only his underpants to fit the pump and pipe to make the reticulating water work (not ’cause it looked good, he would have got really wet) Now that’s dedication
It was quite amazing to watch the whole process unfold – landscape construction is complex and ponds are a lot of mucking about, but worth every moment of the wait -and it has taken 23 years to get it right. The submersible light looks great at night and Cathy’s green tiles aren’t half as wild as most people thought when they saw the samples.
I love hearing the water dripping – tinkling on the iron as I pass though the garden and walk to and from the front door. It adds another element to the garden.
Two weeks out from Open Garden day and we have no water. Friday night, we are just about to leave home for the weekend and the sprinkler I had just turned on in the nursery stops. Cathy is also on the verandah in a towel yelling that there’s no water for a shower. After checking the fuses and switches it was time to call for after hours help. After lots of tests it’s confirmed – `the pump is broken’ he says, well that is what I thought but when can it be repaired? maybe next week if parts are available.
With no alternative water supply this means an uncomfortable weekend at best, so waving good-bye to Cathy and her sister Alison who were now going to the Blue Mountains to visit another sister without me, I filled buckets with water from the horse trough (luckily just filled with clean water for the weekend by Cathy) to flush toilets and brush my teeth – then getting my priorities right I filled the coffee machine reservoir and jumped into the pool after a hot sweaty afternoon of spreading mulch to clean up before going bed - the water not quite icy.
It’s Sunday morning and I’m waiting for the water tanker to arrive. My teeth are gritty – nobody here to smell my foul breath besides my son and he’s not out of bed, but otherwise things are OK. Hopefully the submersible pump will be repaired tomorrow because the plants in the nursery won’t be faring all that well without irrigation.
More weeding, and more mulching this morning but the I have to say the garden is looking good. Hopefully I will smell better soon. It will all be good on the day.
Well it may be a dry spell out there, but here inside the studio it’s anything but. With a dozen projects or so on the board we’ll be busy well into the new year, and it’s not long before my garden here at home is open, so there’s plenty happening outside as well.
Curiously, as well as a number of sensational domestic gardens there has been a run on commercial work with a super set of townhouses designed by White + Dickson Architects, and next on the board is the `Panthers Leagues Club’ at Penrith, where the gardens are to be updated surrounding the lake that’s the focus of their cool extensive open air restaraunt section. It’s a bit of a drive out to Penrith; and then there’s also a project at Coolum on the QLD Sunshine Coast with Killcare architect John McKinney - one of two new projects with John and another two with Jorge Hrdina Architects, so it’s to be a busy run up to Christmas….
Down in the orchard is a damask rose that flowers once each year, and for that three or four October weeks I wouldn’t do without it.
With healthy foliage that requires no spraying to keep it clean ( I refuse to spray fungicides and insecticides here) and masses of buds that open to flattened frilly blooms it’s worth the wait, and the exquisite perfume is attar of roses.
I love the names of old roses – this is part of the charm for me, and this one’s `Ville de Bruxelles’
Today has been a cool blast from the past, no snow as I heard there was in many districts, but I don’t think it got over 7 C all day. Where did Spring go? The boys were here to render the pond in preparation for the tiles next week and they just finished before it rained and the tarpaulin went on.
The perfumed pink climbing rose `Madame Gregoire Strachlan’ is flowering at the gate that leads down to the orchard and vege garden and white Rubus `Benedon’ flowers bravely on despite the cold.
Last up I wrapped a long piece of chicken wire in a curl to stop the rabbits from eating the red sunflower seedlings in the orchard and did a spot of weeding in the vege garden as therapy. Now it’s time for a medicinal glass of cabernet sauvignon in front of the fire.
I hope you have a great weekend…
Invitations from my friend Louise Duff at Brilliant Logic are ready to post this coming Monday. (I have the weekend to make sure I’ve updated my address book) For those that read this but aren’t on the mailing list, this is your invitation – if you’re a regular, it’s in the mail…next week.
Today is drizzly, the tyre on the fertiliser spreader is stuffed, so there goes any chance of the lawn being fed as I had anticipated; there’s always more mulch to spread – or we could forget the work outside, have a good bottle of wine and make pizza?
Work continues outside, the garden is coming to life in the warmth. Buds are opening, leaves are unfurling. It looks as if it’ll be a good, albeit dry Spring.
This year we are most excited that Krinklewood Vineyard will be here with their absolutely sensational organic, biodynamic wines. We enjoyed some of their excellent Verdelho last night and can highly recommend it. Cathy gets splitting headaches from most Australian or NZ white wines as many people do – (and it’s not because she drinks too much) we think it has something to do with the preservatives or chemical sprays used to grow the grapes but not this one we’ve discovered to our delight.
Another perfect day – too perfect to spread mulch so I’ll continue that tomorrow. This afternoon, `Keeper’ came with me on a stroll to see what was happening (he’s growing so fast it’s hard to believe)
The wisteria out the back is in bloom and it smells just amazing.
Yesterday we were surprised when a red-belly black snake slithered into the studio; obviously we weren’t going to get any work done. I put the dogs inside and Mark braved it, armed with a long copper sprinkler, a bucket and a piece of perspex and coaxed it into a waste paper bucket. Then we walked outside and released it in the garden where it can eat frogs to its hearts content.