Spring is definitely in the air, despite it still being technically winter. Plants are waking up. Weeds are sprouting everywhere. Two weekends ago we put in what I hope will be the first plant that doesn’t end up dug up again: a mandarin tree a friend gave us for our housewarming. We also transplanted some rhododendrums and, the weekend after, spread half of a huge pile of mulch.
Last week I decided that I was tired of waiting for the garage planning permit and would focus on getting the kitchen garden finished, so we felt like we were getting something done. It was last on my list of areas to landscape, though in my original plan now was when I’d planned to tackle it – I just expected to have had the rest of the garden sorted by now.
So I made a list of tasks to be done and began with sourcing raised garden beds. I did a whole lot of online searching and I tried to buy corrugated iron ones from two companies, but the website of one didn’t work and the other never rang me back. I wound up buying cheap pine beds from Bunnings and got Paul to cut down some drums he’d bought for a photography project a year or so ago.
Of course, the day after I wrote out my plan and bought seed potatoes, some herbs, soil, compost and pine garden beds, the permit came through. With some amendments, but we essentially have approval to build a garage.
So I cut the kitchen garden plan back to doing only what I bought materials and plants for. That is: potatoes and mint grown in the drums, and herbs in the pine beds. The paving and gravel will have to wait.
Then Paul checked a few details with the council yesterday, and it turns out that we can’t start on the garage – and the garden beside it – until the amendments have been stamped.
So I figure I’ll get to work in the kitchen garden and see how far I get. Today I filled the first of the potato drums, which I’m setting up as wicking beds. I didn’t have enough scoria for the base of the second one, so that’s top of the to-do list.
In the bases I planted two kinds of mint: spearmint and common. They can spread out and aren’t in danger of infesting garden beds.
I dug a big square hole to set the first of the three pine garden bed into, loosening up the soil and covering it with straw mulch for now.
Being inside the cat run, their main function is as cat toilets. We finally had a cat door put in a few weeks ago. Since then we’ve had the litter box sitting outside as the first step of training him to ‘do his business’ outside.
So far just getting him to go outside at all has been a bit of a battle of wills.