Last week, a man with a digger came and leveled out some bumps in the yard that made mowing difficult, and removed some large rocks that were jutting out enough to damage the ride-on mower. We decided to fill some of the holes left behind where the rocks were removed with some new trees, so a Saturday morning trip to Greenhill Nursery was in order. They have a huge selection of plants and very helpful staff. Even better, the trees are grown in a climate similar to ours, so we know they will cope with the local weather. We bought a couple of elderberry trees (I want to use the flowers in some recipes I have), a lipstick maple, a crab apple, an ornamental pear and a little blue spruce. Fingers crossed they all do well and didn't mind the snow covering less than two days after they were planted. I was unable to take a photo of the newly graded bank in the garden without being dog bombed, as you'll see. Thanks, Gretchen.
Last week, David asked some blokes who were trimming branches away from power lines on our road if they could dump a load of their mulch at our place. They delivered.
Past deliveries have been put to very good use in the chook yard, around the raised veggie beds, around trees, stabilising clay banks. So now we have a huge pile of beautiful smelling mulched wood and leaves next to the driveway. The chooks were onto it immediately, kicking it around with their powerful little legs.
Some years ago I went to an open garden scheme day at a beautiful garden in the hills of Glen Huon, very close to our place as the crow flies, but about 20 minutes by car. I couldn't believe how beautiful their soil was, rich and dark brown, sustaining both native trees and a huge range of non-natives. And yet they were so close to us, and their altitude was not that much lower than ours. Our soil is mostly clay, soggy and wet in winter and hard and dry in summer. When I asked one of the owners about their soil, he said "mulch." Over the years they had added tonnes and tonnes of organic material to build up their topsoil and boy had it paid off. While I don't have any intention of developing such an incredible garden, I now believe in the power of mulch.
The forecast for winter in Tasmania this year was "a little warmer and a little wetter". We've hit August with no snow so far, other than a few flakes mixed in with rain one afternoon. None that has settled on the ground anyway, unlike last year. The ground at our place is pretty soggy and it's a bit muddy around the chook shed, where the girls have scratched up all the grass and leaves. I won't say it's been warm, but we've certainly enjoyed the winter sun and plenty of rainbows. Dear old Baerli can't walk far now, but we've still enjoyed a few cafe lunches outdoors with the girls. I am certain the snow is yet to come...
Escaped Sydney in 2010 for a piece of paradise in Tasmania's Huon Valley. I'm a keen walker, remote worker, incompetent gardener, Bernese Mountain Dog owner, fan of almost anything German (food, language, cars, beer), amateur linguist, chook fancier, childfree.