Things have been Getting Done around these parts. But before we discuss those, let’s look at a tree.

A hangover from having worked at a wholesale tree nursery, back in the day, is a love of botanical names. Particularly for trees. Quercus is one of my favourite names and also a lovely tree. This Autumn, our Pin Oak, or quercus palustris, is drawing attention to itself rather a bit. The last two years of decent rain have seen it put on a great deal of growth. It now towers well above the roof-line of the house.

It pretty much dominates the garden right now. Which is okay with me. However, as any gardener knows, a large tree getting larger means changes to the garden. There is much more shade. Some roses and irises will have to be moved soon, or they will be totally shaded by the spreading arms of the oak. Some of the grassed area may have to be made into a new bed for this. And the little lawn that used to be so pleasant under the trees is now absolutely impossible to grow. You can see it in the third photo from the top. It’s now just dust in summer and mud with a side of moss in winter.

This is a low to medium traffic area, so I am thinking a solution may be to have it laid with irregular stones, with gaps between them to grow native violets. We have those growing wild here, they love it. Only the cost of the stone might be prohibitive.

So, onto the Things That Have Been Done. Somehow, I forgot to tell you about the little walls we had Warren build for us to frame the entrance to the drive.

He used mud brick to keep it cohesive with the house. And notice the letter box slot. Finally, after twelve years, we have a waterproof letter box. Also notice dogs with their heads in the bushes. Typical.

Next item is, of course, the new Rudi Jass ‘Gingko Mandala’ that we got at the art show. Although designed to fix to a wall, we didn’t really have a space on our wall that would fit it. So, Pete came up with this solution:

Genius, right? We already had the old bit of pier, a leftover from the original house construction, so with the aid of some Ancient Egyptian style levering and rolling on logs, we manipulated it into position, et voila!

My only issue with its position is that it draws too much attention to the ugliness of the garage cladding behind it. Which brings me to the next garden project that has been completed. Here’s a hint:

Gates! Garden gates, that have been stored in the garage for two years. But no more. Now the entry to the rear of the garden from the driveway looks like this:

Note helpful sign. Pete bought that in a shop in Paris. Now he needs to go to a shop in Melbourne and buy a sign that says ‘Le Jardin’ to satisfy my sense of symmetry.

And from inside the garden, the gates look like this:

As you can see, the fugly garage cladding is ruining everything again. I refuse to wait for those pittosporum to grow and hide it. Something Has To Be Done. I am going to investigate the possibilities of paint. Very dark, receding type paint. The expense of re-cladding being beyond the realms.

And I do think we will need to clad the inside wall next to the deck. The railings just make it look unfinished. So, onward, to the next round of projects…