First things first. Here's what the backyard looked like before this weekend:
|apologies for the poor picture quality... not sure what I did there...|
We've been talking about getting chickens for about 18 months and this weekend we finally starting making a space for them. Although we're only going to get a couple of chickens, we agreed (after I pushed) that we wanted a large 'run' for our coming-soon pets as well as a little coop for them to sleep in at night (and lay our eggs). We decided on a run around the fruit trees, pictured above, so their poop could give the trees a helping hand (the trees are: (from left) plum, mandarin, apricot & lemon).
We found a bunch of 'stakes' from around the garden (yes, some were from the old TV cabinet) and purchased 50 metres (!) of chicken fencing the weekend before for about $100 (it was cheaper to buy it in bulk than buy the 20 metres we actually wanted!). We dug a trench where we wanted the fence to go, hammered in the stakes and used a staple gun to attach the fencing to the stakes. When we ran out of our stakes we purchased 6 more from our local home and garden store (where the staff are always super kind to me and forgiving of my vagueness) which cost an additional $26 (so far we've only used four). We buried the bottom 30cm of the fencing (in an attempt to make it difficult for lazy foxes and dogs in our local area... I suspect the cunning ones will work it out pretty quickly) and gave our fruit trees a little 'thank you' for sacrificing a few of their roots with some fertiliser, pea straw, and a little water.
Here's how it's looking now:
We still need to organise a fence and a coop (and I'm still considering planting some jasmine to climb the fence), but at least the hard part is done. Doing this first gives our trees a couple of months to recover from the shock of a too-late-in-the-season pruning and time for the ground to settle before the chickens get to it!
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
You may have noticed in previous posts a couple of mini-mountains of dirt in our back yard:
|the one on the right is hiding behind the lime!|
Well... I took Friday afternoon off and- you guessed it- leveled the ground! I put the extra soil at the lowest point of the garden by the patio. (Yes, I am that girl who uses her Friday afternoons for gardening instead of happy hour... shame, shame...)
We also gave a copper treatment to the apricot tree, who *insert shame face here* has had a fungal spot issue for the last two years. We're not expecting any fruit this year, but are hoping this cures the disease so that next year we can start making more jam!
*On a side note, the copper treatment we used was super whiffy and gave us a bit of a scare with all the chemicals that were in it. Does anyone know of a good treatment for plant fungal diseases that are user and earth friendly? (or is that a dream too far?)
We also put a couple of indoor plants back indoors (in rooms unexpected!), after a treatment and a prune to give them a second go at life (remind me in a couple of weeks to treat them again just to make sure they're ok!).
We've put another part of the old TV cabinet to good use. With a couple of unused outdoor stools and a bit of innovation, the top of the old cabinet is now being used as a seedling table against the back wall of the house (it's a perfect spot for growing seedlings as it gets morning sun but stays cool and shaded in harsh adelaide afternoons).
You'll see there are already a few punnets on the top of the table... Kym (aka Superman) planted some new seeds for a summer harvest:
He also replanted garlic into one of the new veggie beds, along with some more rocket (which has been loving it in our garden so far)
In the interests of full disclosure, I am going to show you the rest of the garden (but I do ask you not to taunt me... I'm making myself vulnerable, after all!).
|BAH! So many branches. So little paving!|
So there you have it, our backyard is on it's way. As for me, I'm EXHAUSTED!
Tell me something that's not about gardening, I'd love to hear from you.