On the weekend, Kim and I got stuck into a little landscaping in the pool area behind the house.
This is where we left off. The deck is looking great, but the area around the rainwater tank that I wrote about here, is looking pretty crappy.
So, we pulled out all the weeds (fed them to the chooks), and then got rid of the excess concrete that the builder so kindly left behind. Then I dug out a wheelbarrow full of thick, sticky clay to level the ground. It was difficult work in the mud and my gum boot kept on getting stuck. By the time I was finished, I was not a happy camper, and needed a rest and a big bottle of water to calm myself down.
Once rested, then we mucked around for a while trying to figure out what arrangement looked the best and after moving stone, pavers and large pots around about 5 times, Kim had finally settled upon a design!
Kim suggested that I make a box to go around the vine. I got stuck into making a little planter box for the sultana grape vine that I bought with my birthday money, and found some scrap wood left over from the deck construction. It was a simple 30cm x 30cm square held together with screws that were countersunk into the wood. It looks quite nice and I didn’t even have to cut it to size. Luckily I found pieces of scrap the correct dimensions.
I then cut into the weed matting that we had laid down under the Tuscan rock we landscaped with about 10 years ago, only to find the most beautiful soil that had been converted from thick clay to a dark brown loam by the earthworms who had been doing the work over the last decade. I felt really good about the quality of the soil, and dug down about 30cm to loosen it up, placed the small planter box on top, replaced the weed matting (with a square cut out the same size as the planter box), and popped in the Sultana vine next to the post.
Then, I backfilled with some garden soil and watered it in well. Hopefully the worms will keep doing their work and the vine roots will establish themselves before the vine goes dormant. Either way, come spring it should have a flush of new growth that I will train up the post. I am going to fix a length of strong wire from top to bottom of the post to aid in training the vine up it.
You can also see in the picture that there are pretend river pebbles that I carted 4 wheelbarrow loads from a great stone pile in the front yard about 20 metres to our newly landscaped area. Kim raked the river pebbles into place.
The area is not quite finished, so I will hold off on the rest of the pictures until Wednesday, when we are set to finish off the work. I have to build two more planter boxes, improve the soil around the other two posts and then finish it off with river pebbles. That is on top of the Yucca and flax than Kim has asked me to re-pot into larger ones. Looks like I have my work cut out for me on my downshift day. I am also building a longer planter box to place in front of the rainwater tank and will attach a trellis to grow some Kiwi fruit on it.
I have three more vines to plant, two Merlot, and a Crimson seedless table grape. As I only have two more post remaining, I am going to plant the two Merlot in the same hole and wind them around each other as they grow and then fan them out in opposite directions when they reach the top of the arbour. That will be in a few years time of course, but I am a patient man, and slowly but surely I am converting the pool area into a food garden as well.
To finish off the day, we sat in the front yard, each with a glass of wine and watched the world go by for about an hour very proud of our accomplishment.
Anyway, I am off to a good start even though when I woke up this morning I could feel every single muscle in my body. Oh, it feels good to be alive, and I know this to be true because my body told me I was!