Home » Family Life » *Gasp* I’ve been inspired to garden!!!!

*Gasp* I’ve been inspired to garden!!!!

Got inspired to actually do something in the front garden yesterday and today!
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We’re not gardeners, we don’t like gardening and we’re no good at it 🙂
But we went for a drive into the hills and I always like looking at other people’s houses (and wishing mine looked like that :P). I was thinking how much I love hydrangeas (they are everywhere up there!) and would like to have a nice looking garden even though gardening is right up there with going to the dentist on my list of fun tasks to do 😛
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Because every single time we’ve tried to do gardening we’ve put effort in to doing something and then everything just dies and it’s depressing and I figure what’s the point trying again. Especially when we HATE gardening and we’re always so busy.
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Also almost everything we’ve ever put in there (with the exception of the lavender hedge that didn’t work and the irises and daffodils that never grew) – are plants we’ve only put in there because they were cheap or we were given them…. not plants I actually liked or wanted. Mostly because we’ve not really had the money to spend on the garden, but it might inspire me to get into gardening if I can look at plants I actually wanted to put there, rather than plants I’m obligated to look after because otherwise the yard looks like it’s an abandoned house 😛
The few times I’ve suggested to hubby that we should grow hydrangeas he’s said no, because they are “Grandma plants”. Which admittedly yes, they are 😛 But I still love them (well, the purply-blue ones anyway). So yesterday I didn’t ask, I just declared we’re getting some 😀 Once we do some work on the garden to have somewhere to put them.
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So now I’m inspired to do something with the garden because 1). I’m sick of our house looking like we’re squatters  2). I’m excited about the concept of actually having plants in the garden that I like!
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So first step yesterday was removing the pond…. took us 3 days to carve it out of the clay/rock we have instead of dirt 😛 and it took only a couple of hours to completely remove it *sigh* But it was just a bit pointless really.  It was made as a frog habitat since I love frogs and wanted to encourage them into the yard.  They say “build it and they will come” – but it’s been 11 years now and they have not come!  (I can hear them in the area, but behind the house and obviously they won’t travel to my pond).  Since it was made specifically to be a frog habitat we couldn’t have goldfish in there (they can eat tadpoles), so only smaller fish that you can’t even really see in the pond – so it’s not like you can see fish swimming in there or anything…… it’s in the side of the front yard that I NEVER go to….. it’s just collecting leaves (the trees near it have grown more to overhang it) and mosquitos (when the fish in there eventually die off – as they do)… so now it’s gone.
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Pond before (admittedly when it was looking nice, before it got overgrown)
Pond now 😀
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We’ve filled it with leaf litter I raked up from the lawn and footpath – as we didn’t have spare dirt…. nor room in our garden waste bin…. so we’ll work on filling the hole up later  (Probably will have to buy a load of topsoil), for now it’s a weird dip in the lawn but at least it’s no longer filling with water and breeding mosquitos.   All the rocks that were around the edge will now become a new rock garden next to my NEW POND! 😀
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Several years ago we found a small fibreglass pond in someone’s hard rubbish pile, so we rescued it and had been planning on making a second pond in the backyard (closer to where the frogs in the neighbourhood sound like they are coming from).  But that never happened… and I’ve given up on the idea of having a pond for frogs…..  but I would very much like to have a goldfish pond!  And one where I will actually see it!  So I’m going to try setting up a new pond and rock garden (more our level of gardening effort :P) in the disgrace for a garden we have by the front entrance.  Where, by complete contrast to everywhere else in the yard where nothing will grow – nothing will stop growing in there!  Seriously, plants just self-seed into there and go insane!
It looks like it’s just grass, and there is some grass in there I’ll admit, but most of it is some weird grass-like plant (something in this family it seems – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophytum), and I just cannot get rid of it.  You can’t pull it out because it just snaps off and leaves a clump at the base, and it has all these weird roots with alien-like pods (“tubers” I think is the technical term) running all through the garden bed, and try as I might I’ve never been able to remove it all and they seem to grow from those bizarre pods, so it’s a never ending struggle and they are like the headlice of the plant world 😦  …..
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The pond will *just* fit into that space there (phew), and we’re going to have to nuke the stupid grass-like plant I think (I don’t normally agree with using poison in the garden, but I’ve made an exception here), then put down plastic and place down all the rocks from the old pond and have a pond (with goldfish) and a rock garden with the aloe vera plants I have (which miraculously I haven’t killed yet!)…. and also in that steps area is a cute wandering plant I adore, which will grow on just concrete stairs!  No need for dirt even, it’s amazing!!  so I’ll let that grow among the rocks too.  It should look pretty!  I can sit on the steps here and watch the fish!!
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Testing the pond does fit there…. I test filled it with a bucket of water because unfortunately someone had drilled holes in the bottom of it and plugged it with silicone sealant, but one of the holes was leaking a little.  So I had to pull all the sealant out and reseal the holes  – hopefully I’ve done a good enough job and it holds water!!!  (I used aquarium sealant so it’s not going to be toxic for any fish).
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You can’t really see but we’ve dug out all the dirt from one section now…. down about 20cm.  I wanted to keep the garden edging even though it is a bit crap…. saves buying new stuff.  So we’ve also thoroughly sprayed weed killer all over that exposed dirt and the edging.  I’m praying that with the plastic will kill that plant off forever!
Since the dirt we removed from there is all infested with the roots/tubers from that stupid plant, I don’t know what we’re going to do with it….  When I say that annoying plant infested the garden, I really mean it.  Check this out:  The whole garden bed was like this!
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I’ve tried several times over the years to weed it all out, but you can never get it all, so it keeps growing.  It can’t go anywhere in the garden or it will sprout new plants 😦   I don’t even want to put it in the garden waste bin for the same reason.  We might have to shovel it into garbage bags and leave it sit for a few years until it all dies?  I don’t know…. while we’re figuring out that conundrum we’ve temporarily shoveled it to the other side of the garden bed so we can focus on the bit where the pond is going…. we’ll deal with it on the weekend when we’ll be digging all the dirt out from that side too and putting the plastic and all those pond rocks in there.
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So now we’re waiting for the sealant to cure… and the weed killer to take effect…. also for the next few hot days to pass 😛   Then we’ll line the hole, put the pond shell in and work out what we’re going to do to fill in the space around it (buy potting soil (which may grow weeds) or stones (probably cost more))….  We’ll need to get water plants set up for a few weeks before we add fish, so I’d like to get that done ASAP.  I’ve also bought a cheap solar powered water pump off ebay, so we’ll have a little sprinkle of water to give it some interest… by the time that arrives it will be time for the fish!
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Elsewhere in the garden…..
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I’ve decided that our front “flowerbed” (more realistically “plant graveyard”) needs to go.
It’s better to just bring the lawn down to the footpath (as it’s attempting to do itself anyway) and do away with the idea of having a garden there. So we’ll rip out the sad attempt at a lavender hedge (where only half the plants survived and those that did went all woody and crap)…. and the 3 things that decided to grow there on their own (no idea what they even are!) I also want to remove the old wooden edging and put 2 rows of bricks there instead.  Since with the amount of leaf litter the tree on the nature strip makes (that tree is responsible for the fact nothing will grow in the garden there), it really needs to have an edge to be able to sweep up to.
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Then we’re going to remove the oval “graveyard” from the centre of the lawn too.
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(hahaha, it’s so pathetic!)
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It’s like half sand half dirt for some reason (came like that) so nothing ever grew there either (except some spindly stuff I don’t like but mum gave to us to put there and occasionally a sad looking iris or daffodil). Both that and the front bed have a sprinkler system buried in there that has never worked, so that will have to be removed too….
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Then along the house… where I’d attempted another hedge like situation using 2 different purple hebe plants that dad gave us – the lighter purple larger plant we planted between the windows and the darker purple smaller plant we put under the windows – but only some survived, and only the lighter ones I didn’t like as much *sigh*.  Which was the point where we said “F*ck it, I’m sick of this gardening caper” and neglected the garden ever since 😛  As the photographic evidence shows 😀 😛
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Problem was by the time it was obvious everything had gone to hell and we needed to just remove everything and start again, not only was our care factor ZERO, but also everything is all full of dead bushes and grass, so removing it all is going to be a nightmare…… and with the knowledge that most likely whatever we replace it with will die too, it’s making us less inspired to do anything 😛
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So ideally I’d like my hydrangeas along there, but it’s full sun and they don’t like that (damn you house position!), so I’ll have to take out the camellia in the corner that is in partial shade and put the hydrangea there, and then I don’t know what else for along the front – but I’ve given up on the neat ordered hedge type idea now, as I know that DOES NOT WORK.  So what we put in there will just be a random assortment of stuff, so if when something dies we can just shove something else in its place and it won’t matter.

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