theory & practice

As autumn weather intensified into flood rain during the latter part of the week our day-to-day life calmed. During a sunny Sunday morning lull in the downpour I checked the garden and snapped some photographs.

Five foot high and rising.jpg
Five feet high and rising… Diesel-dog on flood watch

Approaching week 8 of my Horticulture course at Tafe I’ve been directing time and attention to preparing for assessments and assignments. To date I’ve developed a memory bank of 30 Latin plant names.

Podcarpus henkelii
In my sleep, I dream Latin names

Amidst this everyday, life and death goes on… We’ve attended 2 family funerals, an uncle on my mum’s side and the G.O.’s aunt, the G.O.’s knee arthroscopy went well and while he impatiently recovers he literally & figuratively workshops future ideas & plans. We take care of domestic business, shop, cook, clean and of course garden.

the shed
The G.O., workshopping

The client brief for my major assignment sees theory and practice mingle as we improve our own garden and I create another on paper, in the process learning that I can  dig holes, and weave words around just about any  subject. 


assignment cover page cropped

“Remodel existing garden using optimal plant selections to achieve eighteen adjacent but discrete functional areas and uses proposed by the landscape concept plan.

Propose solutions for pests and diseases.

Retain and rejuvenate trio of existing citrus trees.

Propose care plan for kikuyu lawn.

Select and provide detailed profiles for plants suitable to a residential garden…

… This stylish scheme fulfills the fundamental requirements of the garden and adds value to the property, then goes further to reward its owner throughout the year with leisure-time enjoyment and opportunities for hands-on cultivation balanced by peace of mind in leaving broader care to a horticulture specialist…

… Bees are necessary to the ecosystem and beneficial to gardens. Their diet needs to come from a variety of sources, in early spring and in times of scarcity when little else is in bloom, dandelions are a valuable food. Timing lawn mowing to allow dandelion flowers to bloom provides incentive for bees to come into the garden. Mowing before flowers develop into seed heads prevent dandelions proliferating…”


Above:  We have growing things! Looking from both ends of our vege garden cage

Above: The G.O. added rock edges and I added plants to extend  back & front garden beds

Above: Bone gardening Diesel-dog style…too many parsley seedlings anyway… and brick paving G.O. style

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” ― Yogi Berra




23 thoughts on “theory & practice

  1. Wow, you have been busy. Glad the GO’s op went well. Wishing him a speedy recovery. Sorry to hear about the funerals. The Diesel-proof garden is looking wonderful! I have no wisdom on the dandelion dilemma… Take care. x


  2. I am sure tou can weave magic qords around any subject Dale.
    In practice, gardening near a kikuyu lawn is a nightmare. We inherited one when we moved into the current house. Since then ,most of our energy goes into preventing that vigorous grass from taling over.
    Sounds like a good course.


  3. The stone slab edging is one way of slowing kikuyu down. When I had a kikuyu lawn in Dorrigo the only way I found to tame it was to barber it within an inch of its life, and often. Lots of whippersnipping round the edges. And the trick with the dandelions is to let them flower, but not set seed, or gradually they’ll edge out your grass. Mind you, I used to dig them up regularly and feed them to my meat rabbits, who loved them. Hope you’re staying dry and flood free. We’ve seen some pretty alarming photos and footage of the mid north coast conditions even up here. See you soon 🙂


    1. We were flooded in earlier today, that and the weather was a good reason to do what we planned… not much. The G.O. has our kikuyu mix lawn looking good, leaving enough length to disencourage bindies and at times for the dandelions fo be enjoyed by the bees. I’ll now keep some for our neighbours pet rabbit to nibble on along with the hibiscus flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your garden and that lush outlook. How on earth does your area stay so green? Down here it’s all brown except where the grey-water from the washing machine keeps some of our weeds alive. I’ve been supplementing the alpacas’ feed for weeks now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes that green is so bright it hurts your eyes! The sub tropics green up nicely when we get rain… but a month ago it was looking a bit dry. I grew up inland, in drought, so I never get tired of it, not even when I have to combat the accompanying mould-mildew… Pity I couldn’t send some fresh feed your way for the alpacas.


      1. Ah, of course. I didn’t make the geographic connection. And yes, some fresh feed would have been lovely!
        Speaking of rain though, it seems we’re getting some today. Not sure how much, but every little bit counts this time of year.


  5. It is looking wonderful! I can see the peace and satisfaction in every photo. Good news about the G.O.’s operation ~ here’s to a pain free life for him. Have to say that news of flooding in your are hadn’t reached me down south, so I hope that you haven’t been too threatened with flood waters. “Droughts and flooding rains” eh, compounded by climate change.


    1. Our floods are mild and localised compared to nearby and coastal areas. It used to be a regular thing, not necessarily bad as it cleaned out the river catchments. Looks like rain here for the rest of the week, and some heading your way.


  6. It’s great to hear that you’re getting into this tafe course – it would be so interesting! Sorry to hear about the funerals and I really hope the G.O. heals quickly. You must have had a lot of rain that way. I usually check BOM every day and NSW seems to have been coping a hammering. The rain is great for the garden so I hope you’re getting enough, but not too much 🙂


  7. This is so different from the life you once had. Your garden looks beautiful. I have been doing some spring cleaning and planting on my tiny plot. It’s fun!


  8. Wow! Your place is looking amazing. Well done. Such a lot of hard work, but somehow it feels like it might be a different kind of hard to the hard work of city living. Better I hope!


  9. You made me laugh! Ha! Yogi Berra has it nailed. And Diesel bone gardening. Ha again! And (despite what I just wrote about words) your pictures transport me somewhere hot and humid and make me ready for a warm climate. But they also made me think about snakes. One of the great advantages of gardening here (to set beside the great disadvantage of rain and more rain right now) is the total absence of snakes (other than the harmless grass snake – and the adder, our only poisonous snake, which I have seen only once in all my life and that in a sunny meadow) . Your lush greenery and that – phew – warmth and humidity made me think – are there snakes lurking? I am so impressed, though, Dale. Look forward to seeing more of how practice trumps (sorry about that word) theory.


    1. In our verdant Eden, there are serpents! I’m not a fan but am somewhat accustomed to the idea. More-so, the resident non venomous green tree snakes & carpet pythons. Black snakes are ok as they are generally just passing through and aren’t particularly aggressive. But, commonly we have browns which annoyingly are found in and under things and are quite poisonous. Then there are the surprise snakes… we had a [uncommon] Bandy Bandy at the back door not so long ago but he slipped away under the house while we were googling what sort of snake he was. Worst of all is the Death Adder which before my time here, one bit the G.O. on the boot just outside the back door. So, we know they’re around, we never walk or lift things without having a look or making a noise, and we keep our outside areas as clear of hiding spaces as possible.
      However, worse than the snakes for me in our subtropical climate is the mould-mildew, which once again this year we’ve armed ourselves against with clove oil, and the ceiling fans are on night & day.
      Still keen for a visit to Australia?


      1. You make it sound so great 😉 But remember, I ‘have’ to visit a country regularly where one nasty snake, the black mamba, does not run away from big-footed humans but will attack – and its bite can kill in as little as 15 minutes. Gulp.
        La la la I can’t hear my thoughts about that!
        I think if you grow up in a country with snakes you develop an instinct for noticing them – my grandiose theory based entirely on walks taken with Texan rellies 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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