Friday, January 05, 2007

A New Home, a New Garden!

Well, I'm as happy as a Frenchman who's just invented self-removing trousers.

We're buying a home in Mt Kuring-gai, on the northern outskirts of Sydney. It's a beautiful place, backing onto Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Secluded, quiet, at the end of a cul de sac, and teeming with nature. It's the sort of place I've always dreamed of living in. During one of our inspections, a wallaby was grazing in the front garden!

Read about it and look at more photos here. You can see the region on Google Maps. (If it doesn't default to it, click on "satellite" so you can see all that gorgeous bushland!)

One of the most exciting aspects is its garden. It primarily has native plants but a few interlopers are there which I'll be excising. (Like the agapanthus. Can you believe that someone would plant agapanthus right next to a national park?)

In preparation, I've been making a list of all the native plants I'll be taking to plant out. Some are tube-stock I've bought or been given, some are in large pots and well established, and some I've propagated from seed or cuttings. The Lomandra 'Tanika' is in the ground, but I'll be digging it up--it's such a beautiful specimen I can't say good-bye to it.

Here is the list:

Acacia amblygona, Acacia fimbriata, Adiantum hispidulum, Archontophoenix cunninghamiana, Asplenium bulbiferum, Backhousia citriodora, Calothamnus quadrifidus, Cassinia denticulata, Clematis gentianoides, Crowea saligna, Darwinia citriodora, Derwentia perfoliata, Doodia aspera, Eucalyptus 'Summer Beauty', Eucalyptus macrocarpa, Goodenia ovata, Grevillea caleyi, Grevillea olivacea x preissii, Grevillea rhyolitica, Grevillea speciosa, Hardenbergia violacea, Hibbertia scandens, Kennedia prostrata, Kennedia rubicunda, Lepidozamia peroffskyana, Leptospermum scoparium, Lomandra 'Tanika', Lomandra longifolia, Melaleuca bracteata, Melaleuca linearifolia, Melaleuca thymifolia, Myoporum floribundum, Ozothamnus diosmifolius, Pandorea pandorana, Stenocarpus sinuatus, Stylidium productum, Stylidium adnatum, Telopea speciosissima, Telopea speciosissima 'Wirrimbirra White', Westringia fruticosa, Xanthorrhoea australis and Zieria smithii.

I've also a wish list of a few plants that are local to the area:

Clematis glycinoides Old Man's Beard
Dianella prunina
Actinotus helianthi
– Flannel Flower
Dampiera strictaBlue Dampiera
Hypolepis muelleri – Harsh Ground Fern
Ceratopetalum gummiferum – NSW Christmas Bush
Correa reflexa
Grevillea buxifolia
– Grey Spider Flower

I'm intending to do a proper garden scale plan, as we learned in the hort course last year. I've made notes on the habit, size, aspect and colouration for each species, to ensure they're happy and look as good as possible. It's a huge project, but I can think of none I'd rather do.

At the back of the house, under the sunroom is an open space which I'm commandeering to use as my hort headquarters. I'll put in shelves for my stuff, a whiteboard to keep records of propagating activities and a potting bench. Close by will be my greenhouse.

Naturally, one of the first things we'll be doing is setting up a water tank, and I'll use drip irrigation throughout the areas that will require watering, like the vegie patch. (Once established, the native plants will have to fend for themselves.) And, of course, there's be a frog pond.

There is an area between the house and a sandstone embankment that is just made to be a rainforest area, perfect for my ferns, tree ferns, zamia, elkhorns and asplenium. (Cool cave, huh? I wonder who lives there. And why does it need a ladder?)

We'll be moving in at the beginning of March. I haven't much time to think about it, though, because my Plant Internship starts on Monday and finishes the week before we move. More on the Internship soon.

2007 is starting spectacularly well for us. Let's hope it keeps going that way.

Oh, and happy new year!