Thursday, September 14, 2017

New beginnings the garden

I've been absent from here, mainly due to illness,but also spending a lot of time reclaiming my garden.  The flood waters left soil behind that's contaminated very badly with e coli, heavy metals and chemicals, and although I've been scrupulously careful, I've ended up with nasty bugs and infections that linger on for ages.  It's taken me ages to write this post, it was harder than I realised to go back and look at the photos from the flood.

So, there's lots of *then* and *now* pics, and they pretty much speak for themselves.

This is what greeted me the next day when the water had started to go down .....fences gone, debris and mud piled up everywhere...... 

That black and white splodge is a magpie, flying low, not stuck there.  My roses are under there somewhere!

They haven't suffered from being drowned under water, mud and debris though and are looking beautiful.

And now,  with the debris and mud cleared away, new fences up and the beginnings of a garden it's looking much better .... 

Still a way to go replacing all the garden but bit by bit it's happening

The side of the house has gone from looking like this

To this 

Looking a lot better

New paving put down, using bricks that surfaced all over the yard when the water was gone.  No idea if they were already  buried in the yard, or were washed in from elsewhere.
I've put woodchips right along here, not wanting to do a lot of in-ground planting, but also to give Mirrhi her own place to sleep in the garden, and so she can see what's going on through the fence and talk to passers-by, without getting into trouble for being on the garden

A work in is dark, I took it at 5.30 this morning

This is looking back towards the new courtyard, it ended up looking worse than this, as it's where all the mud that was cleared from the paths and under the house was shovelled to.  That tangled mess of green to the left was my greenhouse, full of seed trays and seedlings ready to be planted. 


The mud set like cement and was impossible to dig and 60cm to1 mtr (2-3ft) deep in places
A man driving past one day saw me struggling to move it, went home and got his shovel and pick, and came back and dug it all out for me.  

He came back the next day with these snapdragons his wife had bought for me.  The generosity of strangers after the flood was heartwarming and their acts of kindness just wonderful.

A strangers kindness brought the beginnings of colour and life back to my garden
And here's that 'mud heap" today

So that's it, the beginnings of the tale of reclamation and growth.

I'll be back tomorrow to join  Kate and others for ScrapHappy Day.

See you then.........


  1. Oh Nanette, I'm so sorry about what happened. You have done an amazing work cleaning up your garden. It already looks great. Take care.


  2. Thanks Nil, it's coming along slowly.

  3. That's no good that you have been sick, Nanette. How heartbreaking for you to have all that damage. I love what you have done with the bricks though and to be given those snapdragons must have been so uplifting.

    1. The bricks are lovely, so old and worn, and interesting names on some of them, the brickmaker probably. I've since been given quite a lot of plants, but the snapdragons were such a bright and cheerful gift, just what was needed.

  4. i was almost in tears reading the end of your post, some people are just amazing aren't they?
    your garden looks amazing now, so colourful
    thanx for sharing

    1. so many people stepped up and did amazing things Selina....fed us, cleaned up, did mountains of laundry and brought plants. I don't even know who most of them were. i'm beginning to enjoy my garden again I must say.

  5. Disaster has a way of turning up surprises, whether it's the loving kindness of strangers or beautiful old bricks. You have done such a lot of back-breaking work, the place is beautiful again. I'm so looking forward to seeing the results next month. Hugs xxx

    1. it's true, silver linings and all that. Hopefully we'll have some rain before you come, to green it all up a bit.

  6. Gosh so much hard work there, love the brick arrangement and nice to give home to the bricks, wherever they came from, they found you and chose stay lol : )
    I reckon your muscles must be pumped doing all that digging! The fence round the garden looks delightful too and amazing that the roses survived! They are beautiful too. Hope your feeling better, now all the most heavy digging is done, maybe your health will pick up. Do hope so x

    1. Ah yes, Lyn, pumped muscles, broken back lol I love my picket fence, and so happy with how it turned out. Thanks for the good health wishes, I hope so too. xx

  7. I haven't seen anything from you in so long Nanette - now this! There was a flood? Oh my goodness, you are so brave and strong! Kate is right about there always being good that comes from the bad, and I am so glad to hear you did not go through this all alone, but had the help of at least one kind stranger. I recall you had moved here, perhaps not that long before? It's been so long I can't recall time lines now - were all your neighbours also affected? I am sorry to hear about the sickness too - such a common after effect of flooding when the drains are disrupted. We had some flooding here recently too though I was among the more fortunate of this population and escaped any damage, I see the after effects for many not so very far from me. I am pleased to have this opportunity to check in with you and know your indomitable spirit survives. I send you much love and health and good wishes. xoxo

    1. Thanks for the good wishes Pauline. I had lots of support, my son came from Sydney and people were amazing afterwards, just turned up with shovels, barrows and good will and got to work. The whole of South Murwillumbah was under water, some worse than others, with water through their homes. I've done a couple of posts if you scroll back. I'm glad you weren't affected by the floods in your area, but it's hard to see what others go through, isn't it? xx

  8. Oh dear, Nanette, I know you love your gardening & I cannot imagine how heartbreaking it was to see it so damaged... you're doing a wonderful job with the re-establishing of it all, & what a lovely gesture withe the flowers from your helper.
    I'm sorry to read of the repeated sicknesses from the bacteria - how annoying especially when you're taking all the precautions.

    1. Hi Anthea, it's worth the hard work to see it all coming together. A lot of people are in the same cycle of sickness, especially here in South, where we copped the worst of it. And everything's so dry, we're inhaling dust all the time.

  9. so Great to find this FAR
    you have gotten! So much a heroine for me....
    the determination and the Love of Place....
    So happy for you
    and yes, love those bricks and the mystery of them


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