One man's work

8 Oct 2007

tiny spring flowers

We have a back garden which I'm sure is not seen as beautiful by many. Especially for the past two years when the lower part of it was in fact an unkempt jungle of long grass and wild trees.

woodshed and laundry

Just outside our back door is the woodshed, outside toilet and wash house (laundry). It is badly in need of a paint job, hopefully that will happen this summer. My husband was busy painting my parents' house last summer. He also had desires to pull this shed down but it gives us much needed privacy from our next door neighbours so it just needs to be renovated.

wood shed

Stephen has been so busy in the garden over the past month; at last ,I think, he has found a true passion for the garden rather than work inspired by guilt. All the prunings that have been stored in various piles around the garden have now been cut up and stored away ready for next winter. His patience and ability to stick to a task have to be admired.

broad bean

The vegie garden is next to the laundry. The broad beans are finally on their way,

first iris

and the irises that grow on one side of the vegetable garden are just beginning to flower.

through the apple trees

Half way down the garden , just beyond the blackwood tree, are the apple trees almost in flower.

through the apple trees

If you look through the trees you can see what he has been up to.

new orchard

Two or maybe three Christmases ago Stephen's present to me was an orchard. This mythical orchard hasn't been bearing much in the way of fruit over the years because it was just an imagining. Not any more. This pile of grass, dead and dying, is grass that has been pulled up out of all the garden beds which are now no longer choked with the crop we grow the best: weeds.

He will put some blood and bone on this,some newspaper and pea straw, some seed potatoes and then some more straw. Voila, a no dig potato patch that will enrich and condition the soil at the same time. A few small fruit trees have been planted, some that have grown from discarded pips and more will be added next autumn when they are available from the nurseries.

In the mean time we will have a great harvest of potatoes and once they are gone I will plant lots of herbal ground covers to keep the grass at bay. This area is right beside the chook house so they will be able to free range around the fruit trees when it is all established.

Beside the chook shed he also stacked more of the kindling from the prunings. We were not able to get our six fat hens this weekend as the owner had an emergency of some sort so we are picking them up on Friday. We should have their house looking pretty by then. Thursday is Launceston Show Day, a public holiday so everyone will be home and we can work on it together.


Stephen mentioned last week that at times he feels like an alien because some people that he works with find some of his ways quite strange. They call him old fashioned because he chooses to use a push mower and a scythe to cut the grass, they think him a bit of a miser because he takes a cut lunch each day and doesn't go out to buy a coffee and because he questions how money is spent and points out areas of waste. He is wonderful at finding ways of doing things using what we have rather than having to run to the hardware store every time a project is started. Sometimes he fails and often the job takes longer but if you can find joy in the process it doesn't really matter does it. If you can use your intelligence and inventiveness to problem solve you are building great life skills and maybe even inspiring your children to look to their own abilities before running for help.

13 Responses to “One man's work”

  1. What a great post Jenny, I think your yard looks beautiful, I love rambling gardens. Chickens live in our orchard, they still manage to find their way out and tease the dog LOL.
    Stephen doesn't sound old fashioned to me at all, but i do understand the alien feeling. Sometimes it can be quite draining.
    I think that your lifestyle sounds quite ideal to me.

    cheers Lenny

  2. Hi Jenny :) I am excited about your imagination orchard / potato patch and can't wait to read about it's further "becoming"... Have a lovely week! Love to you! Q

  3. What a lovely large garden. I've always wanted an orchard, my grandfather had a small one and when we visited in the autumn the whole family picked the apples. I can remember the smell of the apples and the slightly waxy feeling that some of the varieties had - so different from supermarket apples. Will you be growing a mixture of fruits?

  4. It all looks wonderful, Jenny. I'll look forward to watching your orchard develop.

    What fruit trees are on your wish list?

  5. "they think him a bit of a miser because he takes a cut lunch each day and doesn't go out to buy a coffee"

    I've been called that too, you know. But who cares? When I sum up the money it saves me in a year, I think it's worth it.

    I loved this 'walk' through your garden. Especially those beautiful irises. :)

  6. I love your looking forward to photos of the "chooks." When they arrive. I love the way you and your husband choose to live...wish there were more out there! Alien, no....sensible, yes!

  7. Hip Hip Hooray for your Stephen!!!And for you for having such a wonderful person to have around.We have a push mower as well and we live in Texas, where everything is gas powered! Good fr you! Have a lovely day, Wendy

  8. Your garden is looking splendid - I'm not one for hideously tidy gardens, so it's sort of like my house, clean but a bit cluttered!

    It sounds like Stephen has finally got the gardening bug, it takes time and gentle persuasion but now Mr. VP is happy to use a hoe!

  9. I admire the resourcefulness of your husband, and I'm sure you have the same quality. We have way too much waste in our society. I like the rambling look of your garden as well.

  10. Hi Lenny, yes feeling like the odd one out can be a strain at times.

    Hi Quinne, thanks so much.

    Hi Willow and Kate,yes there will be a mixture. There is already a nectarine, an apricot, a golden drop plum and a greengage down there. I would like a nashi pear, another plum and maybe a cherry. I would like another couple of apple trees as well.

    Hi Anna, my husband has been taking his lunch to work forever so I don't think he is ever likely to change. He would rather go without lunch than buy it.

    Hi Martha, thanks for the encouragement.

    Hi Wendy, thanks. I know I am very lucky to have such a handy and sensible husband.

    Hi Tash, yes I think it is wonderful that the garden has managed to get a hold on him.

    Thanks Paula.

  11. Jenny, I am inspired by all the wood you have!! My husband is in the process of trying to design a small wood shed in the back of our property.


  12. Lovely! Both your words and your photos. What a treasure you have in your husband. My husband is a bit like yours and I truly treasure him.

    Thank you for sharing even your unpainted woodshed. You have a lovely blog.


  13. I like your place. It looks very homey. My type of homeplace. Looking at your post makes me impatient to get my cottage up and my garden going. Thanks for sharing your yard.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.