Monday, 18 June 2007

Bare canvas

The front garden is now bare. Hakeas, wattles, correas ... all gone. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll see what's on offer at the local nurseries. (While leaving my money and credit cards at home, so I don't buy anything on impulse.)

I'll try something I haven't tried before — planning. I want a range of colours. I'd like to have something in flower all year round. And I'm sticking to plants less than 1 m tall, so I don't have to call in someone with a chainsaw the next time I want to redo the garden.


lynsey said...

Nice looking space. Was that lawn? That bit down the end?
Wearing my e-landscaper hat, I'm seeing a long curvy walking space inspired by the rainbow serpent. It looks like a nice three wiggle snake might be possible, with a nice roundy head at the far end. At each 'point' and opposite 'hollow' along the body plant a mass of some flowering plant - that'd be six masses - each selected for their flowering at different times of the year, and different colours in each mass (the rainbow bit). I can see some of those cool aussie kangeroo paw (Anigozanthos?) flowers - the red ones would work with the green around the windows. I'm not sure if all colours flower at the same (spring) time, but a smart nursery will know. Get you some honeyeaters going on, and those nice spiky leave will look like reeds on the edge of the 'stream'. Define the edges with logs and rocks courtesy of the you-yangs and a student field trip - make use of those hormones with a little labour...

...clumping the plants into masses makes them look good, and because the flowering is always dependent on season rather than oo-October 1, I better flower - there'll always be a corner in flower. If it was me I'd try to get the year working up one side and down the other so with your satellite time lapse photography the flowing would circle around like a clock hands. Again, the nursery should be able to make suggestions about the seasonal flowering - perhaps Kuranga Native Nursery, Ringwood?.

At the head end set up a little private nook for a bench to sit and enjoy (hide and take photos), or, a bird bath, little water feature, or some interesting sculpture. If money is short, find a nice bleached cow pelvis - worked for Henry Moore. There's bound to be a pelvis or two out in Mad Max country. You could mount that on the fence. I wonder what an elephant (a hippo?) pelvis would be like... any contacts?

...I'd do the walking space at least a metre wide (hard to tell without a tape), in river stones. Plant through the stones, so it's not one of those formal euro-trash things, but rather something closer to home. Low maintenance, low water requirement, nice. Oh, and think: walking space - a flowing garden room for walking in. Emphasize the turns with a nice rock, a stump, or something similar. Set the rocks nicely and the right way up - other wise they look like a rock randomly dumped there, and not the elegant, ancient billabong look I'm holding out for. Not a footpath - tacky, last century...

What's cool, then, is people looking over the fence will see an interesting garden; whereas you, standing where you took the shot, will have this sensuous garden of earthly delight. Shame I wasn't a tad closer, it'd be fun to do. Post pix, can't wait.

Snail said...

Wow! What great ideas. Thank you.

I'll measure up the space today so I can work out how much I've got to play with. It's not huge because it's the front garden.

When I moved in, it was lawn, a hebe and a silver birch. Then I replanted it with gold dust wattles, correas and (stupidly) a prickly hakea. (I won't make that mistake again!)

A friend suggested clumps of Bracteantha Dargon Hill Monarch, Wahlenbergia and a bunch of other things that I've written in my diary that I've left at work. They'd work in nicely with the path.

Hmmm ... I had better get cracking.

Lynsey said...

Yeah, liking them - I don't know the Dargon Hill variation, but you can get yellow Bracts, and the Wahls make the blue bits, so, if you used the red paws, I think that might make one side of the serpent (if he's a 3 wiggle one) and that'd get the spring, spring/summer, and summer to summer autumn done. And your can make the head part some other masses of... oops - sorry, your garden. Shouldn't get carried away. Anyway, was thinking today how I'd be stacking rocks and generally making lizard noises. I'm sorry I don't know the Australian wildflowers well, but I know there are some species to be had.

Looking again I think I'd steer clear of water feature anything. A birdbath (we use a terracotta pot saucer that seems to have been fired hot enough to hold water) might be the go, but that tree out the front looks like a 'leaves fall off me and clog up your pond' kind of tree. Keep it simple and low maintenance so you can spend more time writing, that's my theory. Keep us posted...

Snail said...

Get carried away as much as you like, Lynsey. be my guest!

Just popped out to measure the area and it's only about 13m long by 2.5m across. (It's a bit wider but I need to leave a small amount of space between the plants and the stumps.) Still, that's plenty of room for Bracts and Wahls and kangaroo paws and ... you name it. I'll drive up to Kuranga and take some photos of what they have to offer, so you can take your pick.