Interlude: the Courtyard

One of the rooms in the shop where S works (The Courtyard on Mount Dandenong Tourist Road between Sassafras and Ferny Creek). The mattress on the bed has gone to the Grand Designs expo which was, by all accounts, a tad disappointing due to its lack of Kevin. Otherwise, nice furniture, eh?



So fish pond. It’s one of those things with a cascading series of jobs to do, before you can get fish. It’s so tempting to just pump some water in there.

Anyway, getting the little babbling water-aerating waterfall going is one of those things. It wouldn’t work out so well if all the water just seeped into the hillside on its way down, so a bit of concrete artfully smeared between some rocks, plus a lot of testing with the hose, makes sure the water will get back into the pond once it’s done its circuit.


It doesn’t look like much from the house, but I assure you it’s a feat of hydrological engineering! And, it’s not supposed to look like much. Once the concrete’s properly dry we can pull up all the clover and put some more permanent plants on that spot of hill. They should mostly make the waterfall disappear under greenery if everything turns out as planned. We’ll want to do that before we fill up the fish pond, since any dirt that gets dislodged currently tumbles straight down into the hole.


Also on the hill we note that those grey strappy plants we never liked turned out to be quite nice bearded irises, with mauve flowers on long stalks. Perhaps they just looked a bit funny up there all alone last year, and we never saw the flowers until now. They die off and disappear in autumn. The red Flanders poppies are coming out, doing a great job making that little patch look meadowy.

And the chestnut, last to get its leaves.

Singing and weeding

As S removes the onion weed one nasty deep-down bulb at a time, R sings a song about Mack trucks.


The vision was to have the whole hillside covered in those Iceland poppies, but that little patch was all we could manage. Never mind; it’s going to be bulk seed time next time around. We’ll clusterbomb the joint. There’s some serious soil conditioning to do first, though. As soon as the sun comes out that dirt goes dry as a bone. Time to get back down to the leaf piles and the bark and twigs and what-have-you and start making some humus. Probably was a winter job come to think of it …

What luck

Since the whole episode with the mama rocks down by the wood shed patch, hitting a stone while digging always gives me this sort of sinking feeling.

But this time, while digging a trench for retic on the main meadow path, a rock uncovered was perfect. Was looking for one just that shape and size to finish my steps! Huzzah!


Little garden for the bird bath

There was quite a bit of high wind during the week, and the poor tulips sitting in their pots on the steps were blown every which way.

The Friends of Tindale Gardens were having one of their twice-annual plant sales, too, so we got a few plants to make a little garden around the bird bath.