355/366: potentially a secret garden

Still working on the giant pile of mulch, I found another good spot to offload some. Underneath the two Pittosporum eugenioides “Variegartum” I collected and removed dead branches and some english ivy, ready for seven barrowloads of mulch.

potentially a secret garden

My husband and I are working in tandem here: I prepare the area and he wheels barrowloads out the back. This time he even raked it out. The pile is gradually diminishing, with our plan for it to be gone by Christmas Day. I don’t know how we ever thought it might be finished before we went on our holiday to Thailand in late October. Nevertheless, we all know that Rome was not built in a day. Why do we so often have unrealistic expectations of ourselves?

through here

While toiling in all these different areas in my garden, my imagination is always at work, planning new projects. This time, having trimmed some of the branches to form a little archway that I will encourage, I can envisage a secret garden in here. Oops, it’s a secret no longer now that it’s out there in cyberspace. However, that’s as far as I have gone, but having planted that seed, an appropriate analogy in a garden blog, it can develop and mature until the time comes to see it through.

a growing archway

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332/366: various variegated vegetation

Variegated leaves are those with more than one colour, usually a lighter stripe or mottled look, providing some good visual variety in a garden.

On the eastern side of the back yard next to the fence, I liked the three variegated pittosporum so much that I planted another two right up the back on the top tier.

On a smaller scale, this groundcover just in front of the roses is pretty too.

Interestingly, part of this plant is a normal green, a throwback to its origins?

The grasslike blades of this plant add interest also.

Lastly, even a fern can appear variegated.

I obviously love alliteration, though it may have been overkill had I titled this post      Visual variety of various variegated vegetation.

These plants look even better when they are interspersed between plants with blocks of solid colour.

272/366: professional pittosporum pruning

After the western side was severely pruned yesterday, the job continued with work on the variegated pittosporums on the eastern side, which were in need of drastic action.

Though I had managed to keep one of them pruned, the others were much larger and I was unable to tackle them.

The last piece was about to be lopped as I took this shot.

Now they have been pruned to a manageable height whereby I should be able to maintain them.

We were very impressed with how tidy Cameron and the guys from Tree Care Services Pty. Ltd. in Ferntree Gully left the yard and the garage, which they had used as a thoroughfare to drag branches out to be mulched.

260/366: practically perfect pruning

One of the variegated pittosporums in the backyard is manageable as far as pruning goes, although I let this one get a little out of control over winter.

Although my husband is taller and has a longer reach, I decided that I had to do it all by myself. Using a good strong ladder, an electric hedge trimmer and a pair of extendable loppers, I managed to complete it.

It may not be perfect, but perhaps practically perfect fits the description. It conjures up pictures of Mary Poppins and her umbrella, doesn’t it?

176/366: shed and bed

When we first bought the garden shed, we placed it way back in the far corner of the yard. Later we realised it would be more practical to have it in an accessible position, and also on a concrete base.

Thus we prepared a spot beyond the conifers which divided the bottom and middle tiers.

You may notice those lovely Castewallen Gold conifers which ended up being removed. This was their optimum size, back in the early 90’s, but unfortunately we couldn’t freeze their growth.

The shed was duly moved onto its new bed of concrete, and then we planted some variegated pittosporum and a couple of groundcovers in the rather neglected garden bed next to it.

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.