Slash and mulch at Wild Estate

20:53, Oct 11 2012

For a long time, the problem of what to do with "that bit around the side of the house" has been puzzling me. It's a small strip of land on the north-facing side of our house that has a path, a small clay bank, and a view of the neighbour's garage. It's lined with scrappy looking trees; a few pittosporums, olearias, pseudopanax, and ponga.

The 'avenue' in late 2010. 

Until this time last year, it was also home to blankets of wandering willie, and as we speak ivy and convolvulus are twisting around whatever they can cling to in there. It's dark, and I've killed more than one plant labelled as being suitable for shade because I've planted them in there. It has become the dumping ground for bags of leaf mould, boards for a future retaining wall, and cuttings of blackcurrant bushes in a bucket of water. I've planted a few renga renga lilies that haven't done much over winter, and have a few seedlings still to be popped in. But most of the time it's been a patch where I've just kind of given up.

Oct 2011, raking all the wandering willie out

But yesterday, a light went on - the sun. Two men and a bevy of chainsaws came over, and in less than two hours, the trees were thinned and pruned to let in light so that now it looks like a space I can work with. It has transformed the place, almost to the point where when I look at this picture, it looks artificial. 

And today! 

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Sunlight pours into the bedroom and lounge windows, small though they are, in the middle of the day. And I can now imagine how the wee bank will look planted out with more renga rengas, hebes, and perhaps a few Chatham Island forget-me-nots. First, I have to lay newspaper down everywhere and cover it with mulch so that the wandering willie doesn't come back, and to try to smother that pesky convolvulus. 

Which is good timing, because I have a lot of mulch now.

Have you ever had one project in the garden transform the space? 

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