Retirement I’ve discovered is just a word. Life got busier in the two years since we returned to New Zealand in 2011.
In this time Himself and I have pulled out the old swimming pool, planted 100 gum trees for coppicing firewood, felled and cleared a shelter-belt trees, demolished the polyhouse that was storm-damaged during our absence, redecorated our lounge (still more rooms to do), daily care for three grandsons, attacked weeds, tended animals and so it the list goes on, In our tired moments we dream to be our physical 30-year old selves again. Then we wake up.
In 2014 autumn, I want to develop the area we filled in after removing the pool. So far I’ve cleared old plants. It’s quite a large rectangular, sheltered, sunny space bordered by the house and a shed leading to the driveway. I’m dreaming of and researching ways to freshen this area and yet keep it simple. For the first time I’m developing a gardening plan. Much of my approach to gardening over the years has been casual and has evolved to suit whims, soil and available materials. I’ve made lots of mistakes. One thing I know – think first about soil and environment.
And thinking about soil and environment, we planted 100 eucalypts for five reasons. We need shade and shelter for animals, Swamp gums should improve the drainage of the boggy paddock. Provide a carbon soak. Food source for bees and birds. Sustainable firewood. In May, I bought and planted two-year root stocks. Months later these trees are all healthy and shooting up fast.