The Solutions

I was thrilled to find yet another local treasurer in Michael D'Oliviera, garden designer,
who suggested seemingly miraculous answers to my problem areas.
Michael brought in his frequent colleague Casey Clements, once again from
just up the road, to do the heavy work.

9 January 2006

Casey got busy smoothing out the steep bank into a gentle slope................

................while Michael rescued and repotted several plants which were
already established. I thought he was being exceedingly optimistic,
but so far (two weeks later) none are showing any sign of stress!

After the earthworks on the north side of the house were completed, Michael laid out
a series of hoses so we could try out different configurations for pathways.

I found this a brilliant way to get an idea of where garden beds and pathways
would roughly finish up. I should mention that all the removed topsoil was taken
down to the bottom of the garden until Michael was ready to put it all back

11 January 2006

Casey picked up some sizeable rocks from the Castella Quarry, which are the same
as most of those already existing on the property.

Michael spent a great deal of time and effort examining each surface of the rocks
to determine where each face would end up. My request was for some good
'sitting on' surfaces - and I certainly have those.

After all the rocks were in place, Casey brought back the top soil and we also added
several metres to bring the level of soil well up aroung the base of the rocks so they
looked more at home in their new positions.

After Casey has made some ledges in my steep bank beside the pond,
he andMichael carefully worked some rocks onto the ledges so that
I would no longer be in danger of falling into the pond with the lawnmower

13 January 2006

Several metres of river pebbles were used for the pathways.
One of the reasons for choosing this was the necessity for us to have a sort of spoon-drain
all along the north side of the house to collect the rain runoff from the slope, and this will
eventually run into a 'yet to be created' creek bed into the pond.

Michael's son Marley came along this morning to help spread all the pebbles.
He seemed intent on testing the stability of his father's handiwork and I was
pleased to see that they stood up to the treatment

It's going to be hard to wait for the first flush of weeds to come through, before
I deal with them and then mulch all the new beds. Thanks to Michael I shall
be able to plant up in the Autumn

The house and garden are already looking more 'together' and will look even
better when the plants grow gently over the path edges.

Being thrilled with the work done by Michael, with the help of Casey (and Marley)
I'm already planning some radical work on the south side of the house!

next - March 2006

The Duckpond Home Page | The Garden