The land that is Abbotsley today, along with what is Sarn today, was subdivided in 1979 off two larger blocks - lot 26 which was Edna Walling's 'Sonning' and lot 3 as you can see in the subdivision drawings below.
Next to Abbotsley's gate is a short section of post and rail fence that has been lying on its side and nearly buried in ivy for many years - long before we came here in 2011. So today, during the village working bee, we decided it was time to see if we could lift and support the old fence without it completely falling apart. Success - a little bit of history reclaimed!
This Edna Walling legacy plant seems to be just right for one of the remaining spaces in the Mothers' garden after our May planting
When we moved here there was a tree stump two meters high. We didn't know what to do with it but eventually decided to plant Wisteria at the bottom and see how it turns out. It very quickly grew to the top and now it looks like a deciduous tree in its beautiful autumn colours.
And - in the spring its covered in flowers, in summer its green and in winter gorgeous twisted branches. How versatile is that!
We've finally finished this garden bed project that started last August by planting grevillias, brachyscomes, Isoplexiss and platysaces. Now we've got to wait patiently for them all to grow!
(Must do something about that possum net over the espalier fruit trees in the background too - not very attractive.)
It's a year since my mother, Sheila Lockett, passed away and our good friends, Jenny and Ken, gave us this beautiful crab apple (ioensis Plena) to celebrate her great life. It's now taken pride of place in the back garden after the possums killed the Crimson Knight crab apple we planted last spring.
Hopefully, the wire mesh cage will protect the new tree until it gets big enough to fend for itself!
Mum would have loved it!
Progress since last September
So we looked over the Marsden photos and sketches to see how this part of the garden had originally been created and decided it was time to clear it all out and start again - not a recreation of the original but in a sympathetic way.
The hard work started in June this year and has continued since then with one of the garden beds cleared out and replanted by September leaving the garden bed between the path and the pool to deal with.
There was a further complication. Next to the pool was a very large gum tree that was mature when the house was built (it can be seen in this photo from 1982 - the middle one.)
He cut most of the tree trunk and major branches into firewood lengths but left three large sections for me to make into nesting boxes to hang in the trees around our garden (a later project!)
Now, of course, we had a big pile of firewood and I set to work over the next 3 weeks with a block splitter - should see us through next winter, really well!
So, that's where we were up to by Christmas and for the past week I've been completing the very tough grass removal and then the tree stumps (eight big tree stumps wrestled out of the ground with axe, block splitter, chain saw, crow bar and mattock in 30- 38 degree hea - finishing each day with a swim in the pool to cool off.)
With that all out of the way, five bags of cow manure, five bales of lucerne and weed blanket should help to get the worm action going to improve the soil and hopefully keep the weeds under control.
To finish the job, the drip irrigation system and mulching.
And now, it's ready for planting out next April after the hot weather!
Chris and Karyn, Abbotsley homeowners since December 2010