In July 2014 we moved into Mudgee town. Parting from our beloved farm wasn't an easy move to make. We were leaving our idyllic spot in the valley by the river. Our garden and trees, all of which we had planted ourselves, were like children to us and we had given them all individual attention. It was a work in progress and a long way from being finished, but then is there a garden anywhere that isn't?
So, onward and upward to the new house in the new area with a new garden to develop, and as so many of our friends told us, a 'blank canvas' to work with.
It had been advertised as a landscaped garden, and so it was, up to a point and in a minimalistic way, with nascent English box hedges and five ornamental pears, one of which was set into a square box in the middle of the back lawn. And lawn, LOTS of lawn.
I'm sure it's the same anywhere. Builders scrape the topsoil (of which there is very little here) into a heap and after the house is built, spread the topsoil back around the house. The result of this is a very thin scraping of some kind of soil over clay. The first thing we did was buy in a lot of good soil which then had to be wheelbarrowed round to the back of the house, formed into the kind of shape I wanted and built up over the top of the clay. Using a hose stretched out along the ground into what we thought was a desirable shape, we mapped out the new back garden.
In August 2015 we moved our attentions to the front of the house. A kind friend let us gather rocks from her farm and these were fashioned into a wall so soil could be built up behind to form an area where we could start our next garden. It was exhausting work and even more energy-sapping was the barrowing of new soil into the space we created but after a good mulching the area was ready to be planted.
The front garden begins.......