It is always the way – you just get to sink your teeth into an exciting project and something comes along and throws a spanner in the works. We had a productive couple of days with the bulldozer sorting out my land. Gone are the undulating lumps and bumps. All but the merest hint of Kikuyu grass is gone and the base for my garden is clean sand. Which is manageable at this point. I just need to come up with a system to stop the inward grass encroachment from around the edges.
It was going so well and then we had an event that I think will be just part of our new normal. There was another storm. Nothing like that horrible one when the house was up on jacks, but still bad enough to have me up all night listening to the wind whistle through holes and gaps in the house that at that stage still hadn’t been repaired. By my count this will have been the 6th storm since we moved here on the 19th January. The only consolation is these storms aren’t isolated to our property and large swathes of the country are also experiencing traumatic weather events. It isn’t me, it is you too!
The wind is pretty wild and the ocean is as marbled as an expensive piece of wagu beef. Sitting in the dark in the middle of the night watching the sky light up with a dramatic electrical storm out to sea, framed perfectly through the bay window, is no longer terrifying – it is spectacular! Even in the worst weather I still love living here. It makes you feel so alive. However, it isn’t that conducive to getting things done outside. The building work has loosened a lot of the land and exposed the sand (aside from my project which doesn’t count in this as it is my sand with a noble purpose) and once you get the wind behind that, it is like a brutal exfoliant or a sharp sand blast. It is much better to just stay inside.
The problem with this is, I really want to push things forward and get things done. I’m done with waiting. I’ve done my time and 120 days is my limit. Then I remembered my seedlings, sown back in the beginning of April. In their short lives they have moved several times and been through a couple of good storms, and still looked good. They were certainly strong little plants, but the time had come to move them out of the seed raising mix and into bigger pots and a good quality potting mix.
But it was yucky outside and while the sun was shining, out of nowhere an intense rain burst would come up from the beach and then disappear as quickly as it came yet left everything freezing cold and soaking wet. Then I remembered – it isn’t so much that we have a building site in our home, we are living in a building site. The builder had set up his saw bench in living room. The electrician was working on the fuse box in a sea of wire clippings. So, if they could turn the house in to work space, then so could I and set myself up in the kitchen.
As I scooped the soil into the pots I began to daydream a little. All of these little seedlings will end their lives in the big garden. It is so close I can almost feel it. But at the same time there is a lot to be done to get there. The first step is to lose time in a wild afternoon in a kitchen with a light layer of sawdust dusting the surfaces and digging into the rich soil as I repot tiny plants loaded with an incredible future. Life is good.
Come again soon – there is some heaving lifting in my immediate future.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
* Exciting news: a lovely range of amazing Gardena Hand Tools will be available in NZ from 25 June 2018.
I love your simile of wagu beef – that is exactly what it looks like! It does sound exciting living right in the eye of the storm!
There seem to have been loads of storms this year. I have to remember that it isn’t just us with the windy wind, but it seems like it when you are tucked up miles away from anyone else! : o)
I have so enjoyed following your interesting journey from bog to beach. It is one I will never make so thank you for sharing it.
I’m wondering if a low corrugated iron fence sunk horizontally one third into the ground, and if it were me painted black to make it recede in the landscape, might work. It would keep out the worst of the kikuyu, the rabbits and the wind and second hand sheets are very inexpensive. I’m impressed by the quantity of seedlings you have nurtured – it will be an instant garden when you get it.
Thanks Elizabeth for a great idea. I am still thinking about all the different possibilities so I’ll add this to the list for consideration. I really can’t wait to see the finished garden myself! : o)
About the only thing I know of that will stop the grass creeping across into your garden is a WIDE (i.e. footpath wide) concrete border. Anything else I tried the kikuyu just laughed at. Looking forward to seeing how you plan your garden!
Thanks for the advice Trudy. I imagine I’m about to do a lot of learning… ‘the hard way’ when it comes to this grass! : o)
Hi Sarah, I have enjoyed reading the past few posts and seen what an exciting project you’re up to. Met you briefly at New Wine Jan 2017! Now I know why you didn’t make it this year!!! Just to encourage you on your journey with teenager boys in a caravan…I’m no longer counting days, weeks or even months in ours…we are well on our way to 3 years!!!! We left out the idea of ‘moving a house’ early on…now it seems a much better option than a new build!! Lol! I have a ‘temporary’ garden to enjoy and provide what I can while I learn growing on our land. I also can’t wait though to get my ‘proper’ garden established! Sharing the joys and hardships of such adventures with you, (huddled with many layers, a hottie and beanie by our fire in the 7oC barn with caravan parked inside)!!!! Only a few get the privilege of experiencing it!!! 😉 Keep up the good work and thanks for such wonderful encouragement! Blessings, Sheena
Hi Sheena, wow 3 years! I admire you. We lasted 100 days! Moving a house for us was the best option – it was quicker, easier and importantly much cheaper! I hope you don’t have too much longer to go before you can move into your dream house and garden. Cheers Sarah : o)