Although I have been back here over two months, there has been little progress up to now, partly due to a shoulder injury, preventing me doing much myself and also as we were waiting for the overhanging tree to be dealt with. Finally 10 days ago, the tree surgeons arrived and to my delight had instructions to fell the tree completely. This was certainly good news as I had visions of being left with a mutilated stump like many of the local trees. But it's gone and we now have a fine view of the mountains and some adjacent palm trees.
|Our problem tree, dwarfing the house and dropping vicious spiny bits that were murder to stand on!|
|The guy working on felling gives you some idea of the scale of the tree|
|Our mountain view with the tree gone!|
Just today we have had a couple of local landscapers working, who have reshaped the rear garden, giving us a broad perimeter border, with a curved path. They worked to my design and the result utilising existing materials is really quite rewarding. The patchwork of coloured gravel patches has been rationalised and we now have broad sweeps of black, red and pink gravel. The ridiculous ribbons of cobbles lining each patch have become chunky drifts. Amazing what can be done with existing materials, a little thought and a lot of sweat! Fortunately not mine but at a very reasonable $200!
|the yard as it was|
|The yard after a simple make-over. The black shape in the centre isn't just a shadow but black gravel that in time I'd like to make into a arid bed.|
All we need now are plants! This will be the fun part buying and establishing new plants. I am aiming for the style that could be called desert tropical - colourful plants like bougainvillea, Tecoma, Strelitzia, Lantana and so on. It has to be said that this isn't the most environmentally sensitive way of landscaping because of water usage. But I do love colour and my excuse is that I want to attract the humming birds! Of course all of these plants will need water so the next step will be to install an irrigation system. The contractor's quote for this was a further $400 so I shall do this myself. Last year, when we planted our citrus, I fabricated a simple irrigation system with a battery powered timer and this has functioned well for a year and has a second channel which I'll use for the new planting. Sadly our potted bougainvilleas were caught by an unexpected frost a week ago and have been entirely browned off, so I'll trim them back and plant in the borders where they can recover. Watch for future episodes and I'll tell you all about the planting!