In a few short months we’ll have been living in this little house for a year. When we first arrived there was considerable time spent drafting a plan to rejuvenate the sand filled yards surrounding us. It’s been many years since someone we here to properly tend to the gardens, and even 7 years ago when we first lived here we made several attempts to tame the landscape and they all failed (apart from this one strange tree that is overtaking part of the house and more pest than shade giver).
We have dreams of an orchard, lawns, veggie gardens, native flower gardens, trees to provide to luxury of shade and a new chicken coop,
With no one living in the house for a few years nature had crept in and the interiors and they needed to be reclaimed by mankind. That would involve fixing a leaky roof, cleaning dust laid windows, vacating the space of vermin and spiders as well as painting or repainting several rooms.
Tackling these projects solo with a toddler (as a part-time single parent) is no easy feat! Mike is away at work in the northern tip of the State every second week leaving Wesley and I to our own devices.
Thankfully we have a very happy boy who loves to participate and join me outside. For this I am ever grateful as it’s allowed for a few projects to begin and move in slow but steady stages.
This week I’ll be painstakingly dragging a wheelbarrow back and forth 150 metres to the old shearing shed near the house. It’s a treasure trove of sheep manure! To make this monotonous task more fun, I’ve given Wesley a harmonica and he hops into the wheelbarrow as we traverse back and forth. He plays a little tune, and sometimes will stop and yell at me: 123 GO! When I set the whole thing down to give my arms a break.
It’s hilarious, and frankly Wesley’s company during the whole task has made it so enjoyable that when I went to do a load during his nap today – I missed his music and silly personality keeping us both entertained. The job seemed a real effort without him.
We’re only into the start of winter, but with these beds not completed we’re going to be missing out on crucial rains! We should have pushed harder to get this started but it was contingent on a lighter wheelbarrow (that only arrived this week).
Our chicken coop is up and working fabulously. There are two separate pens one about 3x bigger than the other. Our hens are all very happy laying at the moment. They have such a grand, shaded space that Mike and I are both very proud to have built together.
Three bottlebrush trees, 4 macrocarpa trees, and one silver princess have been planted around the yard. Several more will go in as we see how things fare the next few weeks. Shade around this house is lacking so it’s an ongoing project. All of the trees are natives and should be very hardy for drought.
Our mango, feijoa and avocado trees are another story. These are doing ok – but only time will tell if they survive. To have these fruits at our fingertips would be so wonderful.
Some of the plants mentioned above were given to us at a native plant giveaway last weekend by a group based in Jurien Bay (of which I’m now a member!) who survey the local flora and do bush tours together. I’ve found my people! They were given a grant to grow and distribute these native plants to locals to encourage more people to keep drought hardy species and grow native gardens, which is a fabulous idea.
Pictured are some trees, plants and bugs found around the farm the past couple of days and some of the aforementioned projects!
Huge thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction for sharing her insanely gorgeous white cake recipe online. We made it for Wesley’s birthday party. It was so so so good. Check out the recipe here. A testament to it’s goodness – I woke 2x in the night to polish of a few more pieces of the vanilla buttercream cake. Wesley crammed much of it into his mouth during the cake cutting ceremony and discovered a love of frosting! Even now a week later I’m still drooling thinking of it and I’m not even a baked goods person…
I’ll share more on the progress of the house and yards as we soldier onward! For now, even though progress is slow – it still feels oh so good to see hard work coming together. Even if it is inch by inch.