Well, summer is on the way, and one of our drawcards as far as guests are concerned is our garden...Not too many guests don't make some mention of the garden in their reviews.
Personally I hate gardening!!! To me, it was never one of lifes ambitions to end up on my hands and knees with a bloody gardening trowel in my hand!
And the daunting thing is there is more than half an acre of it here to keep under control.
But I don't look at the 'big picture'......I would slit my throat if I did. I just pick a small area at a time and say, 'that is my project for today' .
Here was todays project when I took this photo at 2.30 this afternoon........
and this was three hours later when I reckoned I had earned a red wine or two!
This was yesterdays project........
It's all like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle...I just take on a bit at a time, and guests really do enjoy being a part of it. Particularly the many Asian guests we have had who live in apartment buildings and never get to sit in a garden!
I hate it but, at the end of the day I love it, I love being able to sit back and say....I did that!
Tomorrow, another piece of the jigsaw.....bring it on!
Hi @Robin, quite lovely!
You know, a couple of chickens and a goose would trim all of that up for you--and fertilize it--for free?
(You don't really need the goose, unless you'd also like an amusing security system.)
Thanks for sharing the beautiful view,
Kim, our Koala seems to have deserted us...have not seen he/she since I went away and I can't tell you what a big drawcard that animal was. We were sitting with guests one night and it just came wadling down the path, just as though it was late for the party!
People come here to see things they cannot see anywhere else and I am disapointed that this amazing piece of our part of the world has moved on. My hope is that it is still in the neighbourhood and now with the summer months ahead of us it will return.
I am keeping a supply of really juicy sugar gum leaves out on the chance that he/she may get the scent and return!
I want our garden to be as interactive as possible Kimberley.
@Robin, man....I would run to the nearest animal shelter and adopt one! (You must have those there, no?)
Truly, WHAT A DRAW! OK, drawbacks... now you have a new family member... and they require not just care and feeding but real attention.
For me, I like this, AND... semi- 'wild' animals are not for everyone (especially the host)?
@Kimberly. you can't just adopt a koala... They are elusive, private, their own entity. In order to care for an injured one there are all sorts of regulations to comply with. Where Robin lives they just co-exist, and if you happen to have a suitable tree they might move in. If you are really, really lucky.
But a pet? Never.
Hi @Sandra, yes, and I absolutely agree that ANY adopted animal should only go to someone with proper training. Wasn't saying it would be easy... at all. Didn't mean to make it look that way.
Thanks for clarifying.
Kim, Koala's are on 'loan' to the world, you never get to own one or domesticate one...I suppose a bit like a Raccoon in your part of the world. They are not like a cat or a dog where you zip down to the animal shelter and select the most attractive one for your requirements!
I did have a chuckle reading your post...I sort of imagined myself heading into the local 'Petworld' with Kenny Koala under my arm and fitting him out with a collar and leed impregnated with the scent of Eucalyptus leaves to give him that well fed and cared for feeling!!
As @Sandra will verify, Koalas, even to Australians, are different, we do treat them differently to other animals. The Koalas main threat is the motor vehicle. So many Kangaroos get hit crossing roads you don't take any notice any more, they simply get progressively flattened out until they look like a furry welcome mat! Same with foxes, possums or rabbits....just 'road-kill'.
But a Koala, that's different! If one gets hit crossing a freeway, although it will probably get killed, it will remain there on the road intact, other motorists will not want to run over it, and try to avoid hitting it....almost as though, if you give it enough time it will wake up and waddle on it's way again!
@Robin, @Kimberly, they are also sort of a holy grail of animal spotting because of sitting high in trees all day. All other animals you can see quite easily (just lift nearest rock for a reptile experience) but you can walk around all day craning your neck and not see a koala. I have bushwalked for 30 years in Australia and I am ashamed to say that the only one I have seen was in a wildlife park... I have seen tracks, such as scratched manna gum trees.
I would have thought you were a keen gardener from the photos of your lovely garden. I have a little over a third of an acre here, and my biggest problem is the Atlantic gusts we get from being elevated. It can be upsetting whenever I get it looking all great and a huge gust blows everything! Everyone really loves having an outside space here to sit in the summer, and the foxes and hedgehogs are a bonus. Lots of bird life too. I do miss the kookaburras and possums back home though, Australian animals have so much more attitude!
Don't judge, but I thought the shaggy version was perfectly lovely as well! The trouble is that rust never sleeps and plants just keep growing and growing and growing. I have a garden that is meant to be artfully junglesque but sometimes is a plain jungle- I made a vow "buy no more vines" and then a sweet young woman visiting from Melbourne told me about snail creeper and I am forsworn. I will say that our Berkeley deer have plenty of attitude- they will stroll right past folk pouring concrete to chomp on my apple tree & I need to grab a rake or shovel when chasing them down the driveway. The parts of our garden that have plants they enjoy need high fences & the worst crime any guest or family member could commit against the garden would be leaving a gate open. They have even been on our roof top deck in the pas,t eating a tomato plant to a stump and leaving a crap, bring on the coyotes say I ! Sally
Yes, when the wildlife get used to being around you, things can get difficult. Sort of cute until they get out of line (this is NOT Disney).
Where I am, gates don't mean much (plenty of them, and big fences as well). Over or under--no big deal.
My best defense is 1) the garden hose on FULL BLAST IN THE FACE, and now 2) Salome, the Chinese Swan Goose. (= Pit-bull.) She's SUPER protective. One of my friends call these birds 'vicious and murderous.' Truth is, she's an angel, but if she doesn't know you... the game is very different indeed.
Wildlife and gardens are a real balance, and one I'm still working on. It's a process.
Be careful what you wish for though... coyotes? I've only had one in my yard in the last few years and that was interesting. If another one came in I'm afraid I'd have to resort to different measures. It is absolutely possible to control wildlife 'naturally,' but it takes real awareness and the willingness to be proactive. If you have to push back, do it right away and be resolute.
(BTW, I can not, nor would I ever use traps or poisons of any kind.)
We do have coyotes in Berkeley already & sadly, some cats have been taken by them- with the huge urban deer population it was only a matter of time. My fences & gates seem to be working but I had to add bamboo poles to the driveway gates, hanging decor over the gate to the stairs to the street & the wire fencing on the steep hillside leans out and is 9 feet tall. Our own cats come in at night, our garden space wouldn't be easy to breach via coyote but they are clever critters. We also have wild turkeys and shy little native foxes besides the usual raccoons, opossums and skunks. I warn people unfamiliar with skunks to do prudent withdrawals never mind how adorable the skunks are. I managed to smack one sassy buck on the ankle when he fled sarcastically slowly & it was satisfying to see him limping up the street. No matter how many hints I have dropped over the years none of my family has ever given me a crossbow or skinning knife as a mother's day gift, how lame is that? If I lived in the country I'd love a fierce & regal swan goose, Sally
@Sally, Salome--the 'fierce and regal'--just bit the snot (you know the real word) out of a skunk two nights ago and never got hit by the spray (oh yes, spray was deployed).
WOW. I was both impressed AND relieved!
I will never have skunks here, ever, again... ever.
DNA is powerful.
@Robin For a guy who hates gardening, you sure do a lovely job.
I LOVE gardening, it almost never feels like work unless I have to prune something with stickers. I've always said raising plants is like raising kids, except they don't sass back.
When I was in the process of buying my lot here, which is 300 square meters, my daughter and family came to visit and I showed them the lot I was buying. My Mexican son-in-law, who prides himself on his superior hustling abilities, said "I can find you a whole hectare for that much money". I informed him that 300 sq. mtrs was more than enough for me to look after.
@Sally I'm also into the heavily planted jungle style. What people don't realize is that is one of the most difficult garden styles to maintain. They think you just let it grow wild, but if you were to do that, it would soon be a total mess with no focus and everything all grown over each other. I get scratched up a lot trying to climb in between the close-together plants to prune and weed.