Another garden makeover

Recently I had been thinking that in the coming years my blue garden would most likely have to go. The blue garden, consisting of a lacy, blue plumbago, surrounded by a solid border of blue agapanthus, was planted approximately three years ago. It had been slow to take off, but had a growth spurt this summer reaching almost perfect size by around February with masses of gorgeous blue blooms that almost obscured the fence. By the end of March it was growing so rapidly that it was requiring constant pruning to keep it confined to it’s allotted space.

With the speed it was growing, it was becoming clear that constant pruning would be needed to keep it manageable in years to come. Also, earlier this year the surrounding white stones that enhanced the blue perfectly had become a bit grubby with an accumulation of fallen leaves and other bits and pieces of garden debris. It took almost a week to lift and clean the stones. I figured that by the time the stones were due for their next clean, the plumbago would most likely be needing constant trimming to keep it from overwhelming it’s space. That would be the time for us to consider a garden makeover.

With Covid-19 restrictions keeping us within the confines of our own home boundaries, it seemed like to good an opportunity not to bring the garden overhaul forward by a year or two. Initially we considered artificial turf, but after a bit of research we quickly went off that idea. Apparently, even though maintaining real grass requires water and fertiliser it is still far more environmentally friendly than artificial turf. By the time our research told us Synthetic wasn’t the way for us to go, the picture of our back garden with a small expanse of soft, green turf had embedded in our minds. Three weeks ago we decided that now was a great opportunity to commence the inevitable changes, however with real, soft leafed sapphire buffalo grass instead of the anticipated fake stuff.

We still wanted our raised vegetable beds. First we removed the plumbago along with a couple of other plants. The agapanthus have been moved to the front garden. Next the raised garden beds were dismantled and moved to the back fence line. The newly planted seeds are up, and it won’t be long until we’re again eating homegrown silverbeet, lettuce and coriander. The bulk of the paving has been lifted and stored to be re-purposed later, with the paving under the verandah remaining in place. We raked in a good amount of decayed manure into the sandy base, and levelled the site. Then Paul dug the trenches and laid the reticulation.

Next came the laying of the turf, and fitting and testing the sprinklers.

Life isn’t really that different for retirees living under an imposed level three pandemic lock down. We’ve still been able to source supplies for projects, and the restrictions on personal movement throughout the state has meant we can really get productive with our time on the home front. Our garden looks so much bigger now with its newly laid lawn. Of course, although I claim it to be a joint project, Paul has done 99% of the work. I’ve just supervised (and made coffee). It was the 40th year anniversary on 26th April since Paul and I first ‘became an item’ (I think that’s the term used today). I think he’s still a keeper!

20 thoughts on “Another garden makeover

  1. I am unsure if my comment posted so am retyping it. Yes, you can grow from seed. I threw some in recently, as I couldn’t get any seedlings (except for the coloured variety which are hopeless and low yielding). Anyway, the seeds look like they are sprouting. There is nothing like a fresh snow pea off the vine rather than the limp supermarket variety.


  2. Congratulations on 40 years, Chris. I am thinking you had a lovely celebration at home with some nice Margaret River wine? And Congratulations on the new lawn and makeover. It looks great. After watering and fertilizing, weeding etc. our lawn for a few months, we are losing interest with it as the water bill is astronomic here. I was thinking of some artificial turf, but hearing you mention the environmental aspect is a good point I had not considered. Even though we have lawn grubs, the birds come to visit us, and we have Billie the frog and his mate and baby who eat the moths. The Schnauzer loves the grass and rolls about on it everyday, so I think Mr Tilly will enjoy it more than artificial turf too. What are you planning to plant in the raised beds now that they are on the fence line?


    1. Yes, Mr Tilly loves the grass. He supervised every bit of the work, and as soon as a few pieces had been laid he rolled around on it in absolute delight. Now winter is on its way you’ll be able to reduce your watering, and next summer it’ll be well established and probably won’t need as much hopefully. We planted lettuce, rainbow chard, and herbs as soon as the garden beds were filled with soil. Also managed to transplant two fairly well established celery plants that don’t seem to have suffered. I like to grow perpetual edibles. I start cutting small stalks from the celery when it’s quite young for my bone broth, and salads. Two plants keep me going around six months. Do you grow any edibles Amanda?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have cucumbers and capsicum going at the moment as well as MIgnonette lettuce doing well. Various herbs but mainly parsely – I love it. I have just changed it from a small pot to a border plant in the garden. I figured it may as well be functional as well as pretty greenery.
        I do hope you are right about the lawn. I think the Moth is planning a top dressing. He left it too late this year to do that. I didn’t know celery was a perennial. That is great news. It would be an achievement growing celery!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We had cucumbers and capsicums in the garden beds before they were moved, but I think it’s a bit late to plant anymore for this season. We still have a bit of space but haven’t decided what to plant yet.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I was just getting ready to plant some more things now that the weather has cooled. I wanted to grow snow peas but it is so hard to get seedlings at the moment. There is nothing like a fresh crunchy snow pea straight off the vine. The Schnauzer loves eating them too! Funny we caught her int he garden bed helping herself a few times! They are a winter crop. Could you grow them over there?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Funny, I’ve been thinking about putting snow peas in, and I think I already have seeds for them in the shed. I wonder if Mr Tilly would like them too. He’s not one of those dogs that wants to eat all the time, but he does eat most things. I think that has made up my mind – I have space for just one more thing – so snow peas it is. Can you get seeds instead of seedlings. I believe they grow easily from seeds, but I aren’t tried them yet.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Seems like a lot of work Chris but really worthwhile as it looks great. Won’t be long until the lawn in bedded in properly and the seams have gone and then it will look even bigger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t really take that long, and ‘a man must have a project’, especially during these hunkering down times. We’re happy with the result. Our restrictions have been lightened now though, so good we got the job done when we did. we’re now allowed gatherings of 10 people providing we social distance, so we can now get back to socialising. That’s going to make a big difference, but I think it’ll also cause a slight increase in cases.

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  4. The yard looks great and what a perfect project to tackle during this hunkering down time. Don’t underestimate the importance of coffee 😎☕ Al and I also started dating 40 years ago. Sometimes I wonder where all the years went.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad Mr Tilly is loving the grass!
        And side note – for so much of my life I always wore
        Shoes or sandals when outside – but after learning about “earthing” and grounding – I try to be barefoot on grass at least a few times a week – and still really getting used to it – but quite nice – and so again – two thumbs up to real grass!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Hey, making coffee is very important! 😁
    Your yard is looking great Chris and it’s great to see you’re having such a productive time in lockdown. Take care and enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The new lawn does look lovely and I’m glad you were able to transplant the agapanthus. We have a plumbago which I love, but it does grow prolifically even under drought conditions. Every now and then Mr ET takes to it with the electric trimmer and gives it a thorough haircut. Happy Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I love the plumbago, but really I think it needs a larger space than we had for it so as it could grow rampant. It was starting to need trimming almost weekly. I’ve seen another blue garden that looked stunning. It was a beautiful jacaranda, also surrounded by blue agapanthus.

      Liked by 1 person

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