Reinstating some of our garden has been a massive revelation for me! I never realised how much my mental health had been affected by the loss of our garden until I had it back and my spirits were so lifted. Amazing. We had a bunch of friends come down and help us and for that we were extremely thankful, it is incredible how much you can get down when you have a few helpers! Way more than I had imagined. The garden is back!
I guess there is not much more to do but to show you the progress!
This is what we were left with after a few months of dry and chickens picking through the dirt. I guess that is one great thing, we sure had a bunch of chicken poo mixed throughout the area! If you have been following the blog from the start you will notice that the garden moved. We decided that the place we had it before (right out the back) was just too hot. Closer to the house we get the benefit of the house providing shade from the hot afternoon sun. This was a bonus, as we never would have changed it if it weren’t for the flood washing it all away (looking on the bright side!)
Matt and I spent some time tracing out a rough guide on the dirt. We had to buy in some soil because ours all washed away. We also bought in some wood chip. A big shout-out to Murwillumbah Landscape Supplies who generously offered free delivery to people in flood affected areas! I really didn’t think we would be able to get the whole thing done in one day, but we mapped out our concept anyway.
Then, the help arrived! They came with food, plants, shovels, gloves and a willingness to help do whatever needed to be done, and they made a HUGE difference! Would the garden be so special if it weren’t for the love and laughs had whilst it was being dug and shaped? I don’t think so! Here is what we were left with for the main vegetable garden area…
Matt spent a lot of hours also building a custom chicken house for our girls too and they love it! He takes his time, but it always comes out straight and pro looking! We even had bromeliads planted into a garden bed that had always been a bit of a nothing space…
What an improvement! As we sat on our back deck eating a delicious lunch and chatting happily, my heart was so uplifted. It has made me realise how many layers there are to community. I have loved getting to know people in my local community so much since the floods (as posted in this blog). How very blessed am I to say I not only feel connected within my locality, but within a group of caring and generous friends as well. Friends who loved being able to step up and give us a hand. This was the first time since the flood I think I really started to believe we could recover and that it was worth it. When I say that, I am really talking about our yard and garden. I know it might happen again. But the joy it has brought us has been so worthwhile already. I am getting ahead of myself here…next step…PLANTING!
So my oldest son was really keen to have some roses, and Nana and Grandpa took him out to choose some beautiful roses that we decided to plant in each corner of the garden. Next, we just bought a heap of flowers, veggies, herbs and greens. We installed our dripper system, and now, a couple of months later, this is what we have…I will let the pictures do most of the talking here!
There are snow peas and sugar snap peas, fennel, leek, coriander, lettuce, rocket, cabbage, broccoli, dill, mustard greens and so much more. Plus we have dotted marigolds, calendula’s, pansies and lots of other flowers throughout the garden. I have enjoyed so much being able to plant things randomly, like a cottage garden, and watch things grow and mature. It has also been amazing taking big bags of produce to our neighbours and to friends to share because there is so much excess!
The transformation has commenced! There are still fences, excavating and a lot of tree planting to be done, but what an amazing start. Thank you to every single one of our amazing friends who came to help us out, you know who you are and it meant so much to us. My steps have more spring in them and I have a place to go and clear my head once more. The garden really is inspiring!