Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting In Shape

In the time that PK and I have been here at Muriel, we have made small but ineffectual efforts towards the upkeep of Muriel's gardens. Neither of us have especially green thumbs and with the extended summer that still seems to be hanging around, many of the established plants that came with the house have kicked the bucket. So it's high time that this area of the house gained some attention! Here's what I'm thinking we need to make happen:

Refurb of the retic: Currently we have reticulation, it just doesn't work too well. Some of the stations are completely non-functional while others just don't deliver the water to the right place. I think it would definitely be a good investment to have this re-done and automated (which should help with keeping the next stage alive!). This includes three areas:
  • the front garden
  • the courtyard
  • and the biggest job, the (green area of weeds masquerading as) lawn
Sprinkler found here
Reinvigorate the front garden: The next stage after the retic would be to get the garden beds back in tip top shape! I think we should start with the garden that surrounds Muriel in a rough L-shape by getting through the following:
  • Removal of dead/dying plants
  • Trim and tidy of suriving plants
  • Taming of feral grass suffocating shared patch next to the garage
  • Re-treatment of the stump remaining from the removal of a pepper tree/ treatment of suckers
  • Planting native bushes around the perimeter of the beds to fill them better and replace some of the removed bushes, including some flowering varieties to add colour
  • Planting a few small trees -that won't grow into the power lines!- to shade the northern side of the house
  • Establishment of a proper border and thorough mulching of the beds
  • Possibly re-seed the lawn as well...
Maybe a Grevillea? (From here)
Revitalise the courtyard garden:  When PK and I first moved in, the courtyard garden was a mish-mash of plants- lavender, bottle brush, two palm trees, a conifer, a gardenia and some other smaller bushes. Now the only survivors of our lack of green thumbs are the conifer, the bottle brush and one of the palm trees. Oh, and the gardenia- just! I think this area could be enhanced as an entertaining area by completing an overhaul once the retic is sorted out.
  • Install a retaining wall that also doubles as extra seating
  • Remove the conifer, as it is so different to everything else and is starting to push against both the fence and the pergola support
  • Bring in more 'tropical' type plants to go with the remaining palm tree and two frangipanis that we planted a while ago, filling in the spaces and providing shade and interest
  • Plant out the western facing bed with plants that will thrive -possibly also including a water feature- this end of the garden receives the most sunshine, especially the harsh afternoon summer sun, so any plants here need to love that! (Because so far? We haven't had much success!)
See that bush in the background of this old pic? Yep, dead!
Sooooo that's the master plan for outside! It's a big job and given that PK and I are willing to get dirty but are not too good with keeping green things alive, I think we need to call in an expert (or two)!

I'll be putting the call out to friends and family for recommendations, but if you know a good landscaper in the northern Perth Metro area, we'd be happy to hear about them! Or if not, I'd love to hear about your gardening plans!

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