Is it weird that my garden plan includes a bed? Like a double bed. For people… I don’t think it’s weird. I’m also contemplating adding a TV.
The rain is still coming in big blasts. It makes our internet connection patchy and causes the TV to become stuttery and blocky.
Truthfully, I’d rather be playing with my garden plan instead of writing tonight. I’ve gotten very deeply involved in my plan over the last couple of days. I suppose it’s still a creative exercise (of a type), even if all the creativity involves moving little pictures around and imagining life on the ground. It won’t be long before I can start taking my drawings and putting things in the earth. Just need some weedmat… and windbreak, and stakes, ties, fertiliser, soil conditioners. Just a few more things. I appreciate that gardening is dead boring to most people most of the time, but it does give me thinking time and something constructive to do. Plus I get to nurture things.
With the fact that Imaginary House still has to, you know, get built and stuff, it’s not going to be wise for me to plant anything in a spot where the trucks are likely to drive. That still means that about a 1/3 of the site can be attacked – which is mostly the upper part of the hillside and the bit that I’ve madly been buying native plants for.
Next weekend (if the weather is better) I’ll head up to the section with a fork and spade and check out the general condition of the soil. Almost everything that I’ve purchased is happy in poor coastal soils (and we can definitely see the sea from our site) but it’s also been farmland and is currently growing rather substantial swathes of green grass… so it might not be all that poor. It would be funny if I end up having to add sand or gravel to try and make the soil worse, but it’s important to meet the needs of the plants I’ve got.
Presently I’m leaning towards using a biodegradable weedmat to help my plants get started, and help take a big part of the hassle out of maintenance on the slope. A biodegradable mat will give them both protection from competing weeds as well as breaking down to a beneficial mulch over the coming year. There are lot of options out there now: jute, recycled paper, coconut fibre, even wool. However. It’s also consistently about 4 times as expensive as using plastic weedmat. I really do want to keep our development as eco-friendly as possible (hence building the house offsite at the builder’s yard, which actually uses less fuel overall), but the prospect of spending over $1000 on weedmat is making my eyes water. There must be an easier way – and finding a wholesaler is probably the answer here – but so far I haven’t even spent $1000 on plants so $1000 for a few old sacks seems excessive. Still, speaking as someone who has (in a past life) had to spend many days trying to dig old, plastic weedmat out of an overgrown slope (which wasn’t strong enough to suppress the bracken anyway, and just created a safe barrier to protect the network of bracken roots which needed to be removed)… if I use plastic I’ll just end up cursing myself one day. At that point, I’d probably pay anything to turn back time and put down jute.
So there are still lots of decisions to be made, and lots more money to be spent regardless of which way I go. With the fact that we’re now paying both rent and a mortgage, money isn’t exactly going to be flowing like the rain over the coming months. However I’m willing to bear the debt in exchange for being that much further ahead with out landscaping next year.
Because, you know, once the house is onsite the bank will be sending around a valuer in order for us to get that final stage of the mortgage. So it will help of the property looks like a nice place to live and not just a big mud pit. And a bit of spending now might just result in a better mortgage later… It’s all part of that long game. Got to think about the long game.