She’s been a busy old few weeks here at Newlands Manor. The first thing was getting rid of all that dead tree, which took two trips to the local tips (green waste), trailer hire, and a general palaver. Once it was done though we ended up with this spot. The front lawn.

Not much to say about this lawn really. It’s the main thing you see from the lounge window, it dries out in the summer, and it’s generally a pain in the backside. It also has a retaining wall that is in gradual decline.

So I resolved to fix all of these things by planting 5 of these little guys.

Bamboo. Fairy bamboo to be exact. This variety is supposed to not be too invasive, top out at about 3m, and “clump” instead of going nuts. We shall see. The intention is for the bamboo to grow and provide shelter to the the area between the driveway and the house. Partial shelter from the sun, but more importantly shelter from the wind. So watch this space.


manuka, sure is wee

In the same delivery as the bamboo were 10 manuka trees. These little guys I’m really looking forward to seeing grow bigger. While the bamboo is a bit of an experiment, the manuka is there to hold the bank between our place and the neighbours in place, but also to flower a lovely pale pink colour.

back fence

As you can see the fence (which took four days to get to this delightful colour) is a fairly long one. I put four of the manuka at the same interval, not too far from the fence posts, and they should grow to give shelter to plants around them. Most likely these new plants will be leafy varieties like the pretty rugged kawakawa you can see in the front there. Another four I placed down the back near the cabbage trees in the corner. The principle is for the manuka to provide an anchor for a series of other plants and shrubs. In the meanwhile it’ll keep growing, hopefully flower, and drag bees and other insects into the garden.

And why? For the vege garden itself. The upper part of the garden now has the walls laid in.

This involved dropping in a lower course (left), then digging out more of the bank. Not too hard this time on account of all the rain over the week preceding the work.

With the lower course down I could drop the top one on, and we’re done with the walls! Which is good news. This Sunday I’ll start the really hard work of turning over all that topsoil and filling this garden with soil. I’m actually feeling pretty confident about that, and almost entirely because of the apparent success of the Beginner’s Garden, which is verdant!

The rye grass is coming through nicely, and will be turned under in a month or two. First I’ll let it work roots well down into the soil, and thereby do a little more to break up the clay. By August we should be ready for a change of pace.

And why? Because by then we should have these rows well-grown into potatoes. These will be coming out (assuming they actually “fruit”), and the garlic will be going in.

Otherwise, not much to report. Transferred herbs from planter box to locations about the place, and we might have some coriander coming up.

Will keep you posted.