2017. It’s hard to believe we’ve come full circle on another year. Last year finished at a hectic pace for me. Work was crazy and we threw moving house into the mix. I approached Christmas like a marathon runner, focused on making the distance but not seeing much around me. I just had to keep running… but we made it out the other side. Most of the boxes are unpacked and our house is definitely feeling like a home. In fact I find myself wandering about the house sighing happily, sitting in different spots and revelling in the beautiful light and details.
This house is our dream house – we love the suburb, the size of the house is bigger than our old house but not too big, there is space for the girls to have a play room and for us to have a study, close to the city but in a very quiet area. But best of all are the beautiful 1940s details like lead light windows and art deco features and the natural light that streams into the house.
I have big plans for this year. The ideas are still circulating in my head, gathering momentum as I shape them. But one idea I’ve been planning for a while is to start blogging again. Getting our house ready for sale, looking for a new house and planning the move took up most of my spare time for the second half of 2016 and I let this poor blog fall to the side. A new year brings new plans and a renewed focus and I’m looking forward to picking up here again.
The one thing our new house doesn’t have is a garden (well two things if you include the kitchen, but more on that project another time). For a flower lover like me this is something I need to change immediately. We have the potential for a big garden but there is so much work to be done to turn it into a green space that we will use. We are up for the challenge, and I’m looking forward to journalling the progress here. My aim is to do a weekly update on the blog about our garden transformation. But in the spirit of a new year I’m cutting myself some slack, there will be some weeks where nothing happens, where work is too hectic for me to get outside or when we are away. And so while I have every intent to make this a 52 week project, the world won’t end if I miss a few weeks here and there.
Having said that, let’s start with week one! Any transformation needs a before shot and I’ve taken a few to record just how big our challenge is. Our house is on a corner block and we have a big front garden and a big back garden. Both have been neglected for some time. There is a random assortment of native trees, shrubs and dead grass. The front verge has three massive gum trees that are home to a beautiful array of bird life – Kookaburras, Red Tailed Black Cockatoos, Western Rosellas and more. The verges where we live are huge and there are lots of public parks and big trees, it makes it feel like you are living in a semi rural area, but in fact we’re about 5km from the city. Our back yard has a Jacaranda tree, home to a family of Willie Wagtails. When we moved in they were nesting and would dive bomb us if we got too close to their nest. It took us a few days to realise why they were so unhappy with us. The eggs had hatched and three little beaks were pointing up from the nest. It was such an amazing thing to see, and something special to show the girls. The babies have left the nest now and are flying around the backyard testing their wings.
To be honest there is not much worth saving in the garden apart from the mature trees. The rest we will clear during summer ready to plant in Autumn. Perth has awful soil, lots of sand that is water repellent. We need to do a LOT of work getting the soil prepared, fixing the bore and putting in reticulation. I’m finding it hard to be patient and work through this prep phase…I’m ready to plant ALL the pretty things!
Thankfully we have a big collection of pot plants that we brought with us and they are making the back garden feel a little more like home.
I’m finding it odd having a garden without any flowers or familiar plants at the moment. Both my parents are avid gardeners and it is something I’ve come to love as I’ve got older. Now one of my favourite pastimes is visiting nurseries and thinking about all the beautiful things we can plant. This dreaming phase is good for the soul though, and making me slow down at a time of year that is ridiculously busy at work.