Sunday Stills The next Challenge: Flower gardens

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Today Ed states “The key to this weeks challenge is to get the whole garden, not individual flowers…”

This is difficult when the garden being shown is so large and, although I’ve used two pictures, there are still parts that are not in the frame.

The garden was built by myself from scratch. Not only was the garden built by me but together with my husband we  physically built the house. We were thrilled when the first room was framed and then the next. Luckily Roger realised at that point that the house was not going to fit on the cement slab. My fault. I was in charge of plan reading and I had put the wrong frame to the edge. Easily fixed although much unbolting and swearing were done in the process.

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

After the house was completed we built the swimming pool and not being able to stop we built the boat house down by the dam. Whilst we were still building the house I started on the garden. Roger being English could not tolerate our messy vegetation and took it upon himself to mow the grass so the entire area was parklike. I read somewhere curved garden beds allowed a mower to manoeuvre  around them easily and although he begged me not to create any more (it’s difficult to stop once you start) it was because of my inability to manage the weeds in the ones I already had.

As the beds were my project I was expected not to call for help. The soil was a hard clay, nutrient rich but impossible to dig. To overcome this I laid newspaper, raked the grass clippings from the 6 acres Roger cut and placed them on top. A massive no dig garden. I designed frost flow so that I could have tropical plants despite our frequent winter frosts. A great side benefit to this was I was as fit as a flea. For this reason only do I miss my garden. By the time we moved I was over the maintenance but boy was I proud of my creation.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in Memoir, photography, Sunday stills: The Next Challenge. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Sunday Stills The next Challenge: Flower gardens

  1. Norah says:

    Wow! What an accomplishment!

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  2. Irene, you are a woman of many talents! I had no idea you built a house! And made such a huge garden. I’m in awe!

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  4. Charli Mills says:

    You are a pioneer! What lovely, space you’ve created among gorgeous scenery. A good place for the soul. So when’s that pool party? 🙂

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  5. Sherri says:

    Oh Irene, the more I read about you and your life the more I just love you 🙂 What an amazing garden you had and how even more amazing that you created all that with so much acreage to work with! I’ve just commented over on Geoff’s post about the garden that his mum created, so beautiful, and reminds me so much of all the wonderful gardens my mum has created from nothing too. Although we’ve done a fair bit to this place we’re in now but obviously so much smaller and certainly no pool! And to think you built the house too? Wow, I really do take my hat off to you and I agree with Charli, you are indeed a pioneer! I love the way you add in your way of writing too – that you ‘felt as fit as a flea’. I’ve always loved that expression 😀 Gardening certainly is a great way to keep fit, but also it’s so good that you were able to accomplish all that and enjoy it, your wonderful creation, but now you can say goodbye to all the hard work of keeping it going with a satisfied smile! Wonderful post my friend 🙂

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    • It was a garden to linger in Sherri. What you don’t see is the orchard, the vegie garden, chicken house, glass house and oodles of other garden beds. It suited the little birds and the big birds and with two dams the ducks and shags were happy. Eventually the lingering was not for enjoyment so much as maintenance and the big thing was that I had really settled into writing. I really could no longer manage it although I loved it. I can look back on it with pride. The people who bought the house have let the gardens go and turned most of it back to paddocks in which they have some cattle. A shame but I can understand it. Thanks for enjoying my garden, I loved the stroll around it in our cyber world. Cheers my friend 🙂

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  6. joannesisco says:

    I loved the story and pictures. You and your husband seemed to have more energy than you knew what to do with 🙂
    It always looks so odd to me to see houses without a basement.

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    • You know Joanne I have been watching with great interest a house being built around the corner from us which is the first house I have seen in Australia being built with a basement. It is small compared to European basements and was built like a swimming pool. Here it is really unusual.

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      • joannesisco says:

        I guess with our cold environment and the freeze/thaw cycle, we need basements to keep the house warm in winter.
        My understanding is that in the Far North where there is permafrost, houses don’t have basements either. I don’t remember how they do it, but they have to insulate/chill the foundation of the house to prevent the heat from the house melting the permafrost … which would make the house unstable.

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  7. Pingback: Federation Square, Pop Up Patch: Floral Friday | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

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