We live in the Waikato region of New Zealand. We are in Plant Hardiness Zone 9b and according to the Köppen classification system our climate is Marine West Coast. That doesn’t mean we’re near the sea though! It gets hot and humid in summer and frosty in winter, down to the odd -4 or -5degC. Snow is not even a thought here. Our country property is just over 1/4 acre in size, which is big compared to city sections but pretty small on a countryside scale. We have been here for 4 years and have done a lot of work whipping the neglected garden into shape, which is definitely an ongoing process. We grow a lot of vegetables and have a number of fruit trees. Some projects undertaken thus far include:
- Clearing, re-designing and building raised beds in the Vege Garden.
- Fencing off areas for the chickens, making gates and building chicken coops.
- Demolishing the old woodshed and re-siting the firewood on wood racks.
- Creating a Herb Garden.
- Felling sick or unproductive old fruit trees and planting more.
- Creating some ornamental and/or edible garden beds.
- Lots of hacking, slashing, pruning, stump digging and rubbish removal.
There are heaps of future projects in the pipeline too, so there’s never a dull moment around here. Here are some photos of just some of our garden’s development.
The Veggie Garden
The Vege Garden when we moved in: four small square beds and a lot of random things lying around.
And lots of weeds and overgrown things.
Looking into the compost area.
Scrapping the old vege beds in favour of the first long bed.
The next three vege beds were built and a fence to keep the chickens in the Orchard Pen.
Demolishing a fence and moving things to make more vege beds.
Finished and fenced, at least at this end!
The Herb Garden
This sparsely planted, sprouting stump-filled corner was turned into a Herb Garden.
So. Many. Stumps.
From under the mulch a beautiful sweeping concrete curb emerged and then it was a matter of jiggling between planting and stump removal.
I enjoyed laying stepping stones and clipping herbs into pleasing balls.
The Herb Garden in late summer.
The final stump was finally ousted. The Herb Garden is now a proper thing.
The Herb Garden provides us with all sorts of culinary delights.
The Back Corner/Cedar Pen
When we acquired the property, there was a mish-mash fort and a lot of bushy stuff over there in the corner.
I did some bushwhacking and The Husband felled two tall, narrow conifer trees.
After a lot of bushwhacking and pruning lower branches of the cedar tree, a proper second chicken pen was created: the Cedar Pen.
The Demo Project has seen a lot of things get demolished back here.
One of my favourite photos, as it epitomises the benefits of seeing the potential in a space and being bold enough to blow a hole in the old.
Now we have a bigger main chicken coop, a better layout and more young fruit trees.
The Maple Garden
This bare, weedy patch was begging to be turned into something beautiful.
And the Maple Tree Garden was born.
The Deck/Patio Area
Back then there wasn’t much of anything. Except weeds.
Random weedy barked area.
The future patio area/temporary woodpile thing got worse before it got better.
The new bed on the right has an apple tree and strawberries, while on the left is the future patio area.
The Plum Tree Garden
There used to be two plum trees and an apricot tree, with crowded shrubs around them and lawn.
The shrubs were taken out and the Plum Tree Garden bed commenced.
Unfortunately, the apricot tree had to be cut down due to canker and the plum tree along the fence was taken out due to unproductiveness. The remaining plum was pruned hard to re-shape it. A dwarf mandarin and a dwarf orange tree, plus ornamentals are being planted.
Another plum tree now graces the fenceline and more plants are slowly being added.
The plants are coming along nicely and bringing some beautiful colours as they fill out.
The garden now, surviving drought conditions.