Winter is Coming

The rain is falling in big, gulping bursts. Just a reminder that winter is coming, pretty soon we’ll be weathering it in a tin can, and I have a garden to plan.

To celebrate the fact that our Homestart Grant has finally been approved, I’ve already begun browsing through plant catalogues and spending money.

We really shouldn’t be planting much over the coming months. There is major construction to be done – septic tank and water tank to go in, foundations to be dug, huge house-moving truck to drive around. Considering that we’re not yet sure where any of that stuff is going, it’s quite a risk to stick anything in the ground if we want it to stay there.

However, winter is also the key time for planting if I hope to have anything resembling a garden in summer. Bulbs, trees and roses get moved in winter. Seedlings get started. Plus I’ll be damned if the garden I so painfully moved to this house last year is going to be left behind when we leave. These are my babies.

Coastal properties throw up all kinds of problems with wind, sandy soils, salt – but every garden has its own problems to be overcome. At our old place in Hamilton it was simply too much water: peaty soil, flooding, poor drainage. The new place will go in the opposite direction. I will need to put in some work if I hope to move some of the things I bought for a peat swamp to a hillside overlooking the sea. Moving hungry, water-loving plants into a wind-swept, coastal paddock is a recipe for disaster.

What it means is that my first clear task (after trying to figure out where all the diggy-up, run-you-over stuff is happening) is actually to prepare the land. I should really be spending my money on boring stuff like windbreaks, compost, and weed mat. I should hire a Dingo on my day off and turn over and enrich my topsoil. Building a garden is a lot like building a house really: it should be planned, it should work with the conditions you have, and it needs good foundations or else it falls down. There is a lot less paint involved though. Usually.


So much to do.



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