147/366: demise of the alder

The first tree planted in our front garden served us well, only to be cast aside after providing us with greenery and shade for twelve years. Why? For the Grand Garage, something we had been hanging out for in the preceding years.

As we planned to widen the driveway, the alder had to go.



….gone. Looking at the photos, I had forgotten that my husband actually climbed up the tree and chopped it down.  I realise now it looks pretty dangerous. We then opted to have the tree stump professionally removed, necessary for the concreting, unlike the conifers in later years, where we left the stumps at ground level.

Now we were ready for the pièce-de-résistance, the garage!

146/366: our first tree

On this day, way back in 1985, we planted our first tree on our almost one third of an acre property. Our house was a shell on a paddock in those days, and I love looking at the old photos to see how much progress we have made. As I have mentioned before, a garden is in a continual state of evolution.

An Evergreen Alder, alnus-jorullensis, took pride of place at the corner of the front yard and concrete driveway for twelve years. What happened to it after that? Stay tuned for another exciting instalment of 366 days and 26 years in my garden!

By September 1990, the tree had grown so big that it was in danger of interfering with the power lines, something we had never even considered when planting it. Thinking about how large and wide a plant will grow when choosing its position in the garden is a lesson well-learned.

The change to its shape gave it quite a different, although still attractive, look.


137/366: birds on the bench

I was amused when I saw a bird land on the concrete bench in the front corner of the garden. A theme I am developing in this area is birds, with a ceramic bird house at the other edge, a bird ornament next to it, and more birds on the ground beneath the seat.. Interestingly, the two birds are facing exactly the same way.

It was lovely that the real-life bird was happy to join the party. Is that a case of life imitating art?

115/366: spot the difference

Look at the picture below:

Now cover up the picture and look closely at the picture below. See if you can spot the difference.

How observant were you? Considering there is a glaring great gap where one of the main branches used to be, I hope it was relatively easy for you to work out that we hired someone to get rid of the top of the Evergreen Alder, which had succumbed to the drought and died. Well, perhaps you couldn’t work out all that information, but at least notice that a branch had disappeared. You could also add that the cloud formations are different.

Peek-a-boo! Better him than me; I don’t think I’d like to be up that tree, which is why we paid someone else to do the job. Because the ivy looked pretty on the trunk, we decided to leave that as some greenery to obscure the fence and provide contrast to the variegated pittosporum situated next to it.

88/366: my version of time lapse photography

Traditionally, time lapse photography is done a different way, but if I take a photo of a part of the garden, and then a similar photo weeks, months or years later, why can’t I call it that?In this case, I initially planted bulbs around the evergreen alder, and then added some annuals. Some months later this pretty effect was created.

56/366: out with the old, in with the new

Already mentioned was the fact that the only plant on our block of land in 1985 was a mangy-looking cotoneaster at the front of the house. We finally removed it before rotary-hoeing, sowing and growing our front lawn. It was time to choose what we wanted to have, and put it in the spot we chose for ourselves.

We chose for a feature tree, an Evergreen Alder, which we planted on the corner next to the driveway. In those early days we didn’t understand that you had to allow growing room for plants. Another lesson well-learned, but at least that tree would provide shade in years to come, before we built our garage twelve years later.