Cockatoos eating the house

None too impressed. Having Lego time with R, and hear a faint scratching noise. Come upstairs to find this.

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This wattle tree died in 2013, and the cockatoos love it. They come in giant flocks just trashing the joint all the way up the valley, on their way to Grant’s where the tourists feed them and have their picture taken. Never mind, that tree will have to come down soon, and they can find something else to chew on.

Big hole tidy up

Last year we took the cherry tree out from the south side of the house and moved it up the hill a little in preparation for the eventual garage to go in.

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What an intrepid bunch of burly blokes!

That left a fairly giant hole, and over the summer it dried up and became a flourishing weed patch. The whole area is a bit of a mess, with dirt flung over the grass in a vague attempt to level things out. Time was of the essence. Now it’s time to tidy it up before it gets completely out of hand.

There used to be a giant Vic ash growing next to the cherry, but it was chopped down well before we arrived on the scene. True to style, Carl left the stump there. The top got chopped off while the cherry tree was getting dug out, but the job remained to get the rest of it out of there.

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Since we’re hard core around here, out comes the fork, the shovel and the axe. Down we go, one root at a time.

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Okay, maybe that’s actually a lot of work. We might need to blunt the chain on the chain saw a few times to get this job done.

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Dismantling as we go. That wood is like rock and weighs a tonne.

 

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Getting underneath a root is the hardest thing. The dirt underneath is super-hard, compacted down by the weight of the tree. It never occurred to me that trees create their own kind of rocky bed to stand on before.

 

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Wash the dirt off when we can to save the chainsaw chain. The grain goes every which way so it won’t come away with the splitter – it has to be cut.

A metre and half down and 7 weeks later, we finally get to the bottom of it. Well, far enough below ground so that it won’t poke up.

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Bonus: the rock tax. These will make a nice bit of wall.

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The hole gets filled in and then we get on to flattening out the rest. This will make another nice sunny vege patch. The cut on the left is about where there garage wall will go.

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The orchard level

Back in February there was a fundraising plant sale for the local cricket club. Local nurseries (there are a lot of them) donated a whole bunch of plants, with all proceeds going to the club for a new clubhouse.

What a bonanza. The plants covered half the oval and the sellers didn’t care that much how much money you gave them. We came home with three Pink Ladies, a Fuji, a Granny Smith, two Burré Bosce pears, three dwarf peaches and a couple of crabapples.

They’ve languished in their pots since, waiting for the time to get them planted. The grand plan breaks the lower garden into three or four levels, with the middle level forming a slope down beside the chicken run and then level across the garden. This is the orchard level. There’ll be a tall wall up to the deck level, which will make a nice warm spot to espalier fruit trees. The wall’s not built, but we might as well put the trees in.

We chose the trampoline base as the level to use. It’s about a foot above the ground on either side, so it needs filling. There’s an embankment behind it that will serve as a source of dirt, and we’ll just get the trees at the right level for the time being.

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The embankment and its gnarly grass. Hate grass at the best of times but this is the dead nastiest species of them all.

Pink Lady first:

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Then a Granny Smith:

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Another Pink Lady and then the Fuji:

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And then … of course. There’s a nice stump in the way of the last tree. Wouldn’t be gardening without taking out a stump. This one’s a wattle and not too big.

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It’s good to have a little helper. R found a spring from the trampoline and decided that he could use its hook end to help dismantle that stump. Not terribly effective, but you can’t fault the effort!

 

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Another stump bites the dust
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Pink Lady 3 of 3

Only took a couple of weeks … probably earned a beverage I reckon.

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