Six years ago we embarked on creating a new garden at South Acres. The first big step was to build a pond near the house. When we bought the farm, the little stone cottage was surrounded by a grass paddock, a couple of huge lovely trees, and a shrub here and there. Having grown up in South Africa at the knee of a committed gardener (my mother), I heard time and time again, her laments that European trees were mostly unavailable there. We began our search for new trees to plant in our new garden , and how excited we were to discover that most European trees were available here in Australia… where they are referred to as “Exotics”! Oh dear… stopping me was almost impossible, and yes, there ARE too many trees in our garden, but I love each and every one of them. I remember only too well, the countless hours Michael and I spent, each with hose in hand, watering every tree (more than 100 ) during the first hot, relentless summer. Below shows how it all began !
May 2006. See my hand-drawn shape. At that stage, I had no idea how my garden would develop. I decided to place the pond next to the big Liquidambar which stood in the middle of the home-paddock. The tree is now huge despite the visible damage to the trunk. I wonder how this happened ?
The pond builder was not taking any chances that the roots of the soon to be planted trees would invade the pool walls !
The completed pool… mid-winter. and the newly planted trees. Behind is the very long Laurel hedge I spoke about in my previous blog on Garden hedges The pathways around the pond were yet to be laid.
The second spring after construction – the plants around the pond are beginning to grow and so are the trees !
Beautiful reflections – the pond here is probably 4 years old
The mighty Gunnera !
The pathways around the pond now softened by plants spilling over them – Iris, Heucera, Borage and Euphorbia are some of them.
The Pear Arbour constructed at the far end of the pond…We have trained the branches of the pears (Pyrus Chanticleer) to form an arbour over a wooden frame.
The hand-made bridge using old timber planks picked up on the farm
Although the pond was the very first element of the new garden, it has somehow landed up being right in the middle of the garden!