Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

This is going to be a post where I am declaring my intentions publicly to keep myself honest. It’s not going to be very interesting though.  Now’s your chance to go get that cup of tea you’ve been meaning to get for the last half an hour that you’ve been spending catching up on blogs!

Some of my projects are starting to leak out of my brain, so I’m writing them down so a) I don’t forget what I’m supposed to be doing and b) I can hold myself to account as the year progresses c) I can give the illusion of being organised.

I don’t expect to have it all done by years end…but it will be interesting (for me anyway) to see how far I get.

The List

Forgive me for including in the list jobs that I have already done. I had to give myself a little pat on the back to help keep myself motivated!

  • Re-start worm ‘farm’ . Done. Producing lots of lovely worm tea!
  • Re-start compost bin. Bin has been re-located and re-started, but still slowly filling it. Now of course I want three compost heaps.
  • Remove English ivy and Blackberry. In progress. One of those ongoing jobs complicated by major blackberry roots coming up under the fence on both sides of the property.

Ivy (and - oops - fence) removal Jan 2010

  • Develop Butterfly and Bee garden to the north side of the house. In progress. I will continue to research  larval and nectar plants over winter and plant them in late winter/spring.

Starting to organise space for the Butterfly and Bee Garden Jan 2010

  • Catalogue and monitor flowering and condition of roses. In progress. I have too many roses.
  • Move roses that are in incorrect locations. Just starting, waiting for them to get a move on and finish their Autumn flush.
  • Learn about pests in garden, understand how to help keep pests and beneficial species in balance, learn about some organic controls where the balance tips. In progress. But the aphids have redoubled their efforts and the parasitic wasps can’t keep up, so I’m spending a lot of time squishing aphids. Squished aphids are truly icky.
  • Re-develop ‘Elder’ rose’ bed.  In progress. It is very pretty in my mind’s eye.

  • Re-develop ‘shed bed’ into cottage garden. In progress, re-building garden edging with recycled bricks.
  • Experiment with veges in containers. In progress, some successes, some failures, but at least I’m learning!
  • Remove four old and neglected plum trees at rear of garden. In progress (and it’s not me doing the hard yards here!)

Um, the plum looks kind of nice and healthy in this shot. But it is still going!

  • Plant garden of native Australian plants where plums used to be. Itching to get started, but one plum still to go and lots of cleaning up to do in this part of the garden!
  • Learn about soil and plant nutrition. I don’t know my Ks from my Ns or even my Ps.
  • Improve soil organically. Mulching, mulching, mulching.
  • Build a raised vege garden. I’ve got some ‘colourbond’  roofing sheets that will be perfect to recycle for this. But I’m not allowed to start this until most of the ‘clean up’ jobs are done. It’s OK, it’s me who isn’t allowing me to.
  • Construct large trellis on back wall and move “Mermaid” rose to scramble up it. Underplant with….I don’t know what yet…lavender perhaps. You know, WordPress seems to think I mean to say ‘underpants’ every time I type ‘underplant’. Still underpants with lavender would smell nice, but they may itch a little.

Mermaid Rose...a good choice if you like monster climbers!

  • Reduce lawn area and increase garden area. Gradually remove couch grass. Loooooong term project.
  • Maybe start keeping chooks. Need to get everything else well underway first and learn more about the responsibilities of keeping chooks. We have ducks, but they are comparatively low maintenance.

Cripes. Now I’m exhausted and I have a headache. Where’s that cup of tea?


Comments on: "Gippy Garden Project List 2010" (29)

  1. Dear Heidi, You are exhausted thinking about it and I am exhausted reading about it. What will it be like to DO it, or at least some of it? Better not, in my view, to even go there!!

    But, if you are really determined, as I think that you are, then I really do approve of including some items on the list which are already done. Perhaps you have not put down enough. How about adding…

    1. Make a list of projects. DONE
    2. Consider moving roses. DONE
    3. Find site for new compost. DONE
    4. Obtain containers for vegetables. DONE
    5. Allow time to consider new projects. ON GOING!

    • Dear Edith, I think I need you as my Project Manager with that wonderful work ethic…maybe you would let me get away with ‘Revised project list. DONE’ just a few times 😉

  2. I read your blog first instead of going to get my cuppa … I think I need it now! Wow … you will be having a very busy year. I don’t think I could be this ambitious … but I have a feeling you will probably get most of this done by year’s end.

    Looking forward to the development of the butterfly/bee garden and the garden bed of natives … I’ll eagerly await photos throughout the rest of the year.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog … I’m so glad you enjoyed the Sunbirds. They are such a common sight up here.

    • Hello dear Bernie, you have more faith in me than I have in myself! I’ll be quite content if I get two thirds done. I’m very keen to plant more in the bee and butterfly garden…but not the right time for a many things just yet.

      I did enjoy seeing those beautiful sunbirds – another one for my list of things to see when I finally get up north one day!

  3. Well, I can’t wait to see your projects as they come to fruition. Especially the transformation of your shed bed into a cottage garden. I understand about the roses….I love them so much and used to have over 40 at my previous home. Right now I have 3, but would like just a few more 🙂

  4. That is a very ambitous plan for the year!!! I love to read this kind of post. Now I need to go to write down one for my own. Your roses are so beautiful!

  5. That’s quite an ambitious plan, Heidi. I thought I’d set myself up for a challenge, but you’ve taken it just that little bit further 🙂 You’ve got some quite hard core tasks in that list – Blackberry AND Ivy AND Plum trees. That’s enough to bring any gardener to their knees.

    Oh, and where did you get that Rosa felinegrande you’re growing in a pot in that bottom photo? 🙂


    • Hi Flo…I probably have bitten of quite a bit more than I can chew! The good news the blackberry removal is well under way, but my original plan to finish it off with black plastic is not going to be practical, as most of what remains is coming up under the fence 😦 I think it’s going to be a case of cutting back new growth very frequently until it (or me) is exhausted.

      You almost had me looking up a ‘felinegrande’ for a moment there 🙂 That one was self sown in the pot!

  6. You sound like me…a terminally long list, and probably an incomplete one too. That’s ok though, we’ll keep chipping away at our lists, and eventually come to realize that the best gardens are always in flux, always evolving, and never done. Besides, if you finished the garden, then what?

    And yes…chooks, you must get chooks. They’re really not difficult, especially once they’re grown.

    • Hi CV, already I get the sense this list will never be finished, or will have evolved into something quite different on the way!

      I do so want chooks. But I really want to get the main tidy up work done first. I’ve told myself that if I can’t do that, I can’t have chooks!

  7. Heidi, I love to-do lists, and I really enjoyed seeing your plans for the garden laid out this way. And I’m so happy to know that I’m not the only one who puts tasks I’ve already finished on the list so that I can have the pleasure of ticking them off. LOL

    • Hi Jean – it’s a bit demoralising to look at a list with no ticks at all isn’t it?! Most of my ‘to do’ lists have a couple of little cheated ticks on them 😉

  8. Heidi, Wow! That’s quite a list, but I bet you get most of it done. Now you have motivated me to put mine in print. That is a lovely location for a cottage garden. Can’t wait to see the photos. Now I am afraid I have to show my ignorance … what are chooks?

    • Hi Pam – I’ll look forward to seeing your list too 🙂
      Chook is slang for chicken. I forgot that it’s mainly us Aussies and New Zealanders that use it – sorry!

  9. I get so sidetracked when I’m gardening. I start one thing and then think of another. I wish I could stick to a list.

    You’re right a blog helps hold us accountable. Not that the blog police would come get us if we don’t do what we say… :)JK I know that posting about lawn care has kept me motivated to actually do the work. Not fun!

    Your roses are beautiful!!!

  10. Helen at Summerhouseart said:

    Heidi, Enjoyed your comment on my blog today and hope you will have a chance to try the Mosaic Stepping stones you wanted to try this winter. After all, you have to have some fun too. It’s a good list though, but, relax, it doesn’t all have to get done, think of it as sort of guideline….

  11. Hi Helen – I think the mosaic stepping stones will be a nice change from all the digging, chopping and weeding I’ve got ahead of me – so I’m looking forward to giving it a go!

  12. Nothing like public announcements to get us going and keep us going. Sounds like you have a good start on this very long list. Let us know how it goes!

  13. I kind of like this idea. For me it would help me focus on projects I have before dreaming up new projects that I don’t even need to be thinking about just at the moment!!!!

  14. Whoa! Your hands are more than full! I’m sure listing out our projects gives us a picture of what should be done exactly instead of doing it randomly. I’ll be checking on your progress. Have fun!

  15. I stumbled across your blog by accident looking up hummingbirds in Gippsland – but am very glad I found it – am about to start a garden (mostly veggies first) near Mirboo – so will read over yours with great interest when I’m home from work.

  16. Hello Emma and thanks for dropping in 🙂 You are practically my neighbour by blogosphere standards! Its very beautiful where you are – I had a friend who lived in Mirboo a few years back.
    Do you have / are you thinking of starting a blog of your own? I would be very interested to see your vege garden as it progresses as vege gardening (like many things) is something I’m just learning about!

  17. Hi there, I am thinking of doing a fish-out-of-water gardening blog.

    I live in Melbourne but my partner owns a ‘weekender’ farm down there about 20 mins between Mirboo and Dumbalk- he’s let the garden go to ruin so I figure that’s something I can do to fill the weekends down there…

    Will keep you posted – might be a way to log achievements and failures along the way.


    • Hello again Emma – yes, please do keep me posted! I’d love to hear about your progress. I’m from Melbourne originally myself…and I could see Mirboo/Dumbalk would be quite a contrast 😀

  18. diamonddancer said:

    Hi there,

    Will be down at the farm this weekend to start the project! Am very excited… have subscribed to your blog too.

  19. Hello again!
    I’ve just popped over to your blog to say hello 🙂 and have done likewise with a subscription 😉

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