Friday, October 23, 2009

Septic tank garden

We finished our landscaping project around the septic tank this morning. While it's easier on the eyes, it also serves a functional purpose. A mixture of plants and rocks, holds the slope in place but it also reduces our need to maintain this area with mowing. I hope our septic tank serviceman has a nicer time doing his job too.

We completed some of the infrastructure 2 years earlier, by putting in sleeper treads for stairs and using some of the logs felled from a tree, for the lower section. But we're talking about our recent developements, which started by weeding this area first...

Afterwards, we started to place the rocks sourced from a local supplier who had a property in the area with bush rock. They were small enough to be handled by the two of us. Placing the rocks "just so" however, wasn't easy - as you tend to want to stand them upright. We stood back several times to make sure it looked more natural than not.

Once we were happy with the final rock placement, we simply added plants and mulched with the free bark supplied from our local tip. The stepping stones you notice in the picture below, were free too. A relative is getting their property ready for sale in the near future, so we helped clean up some of the stuff they won't be needing any more. It helps both them and us.

Some of the plants to go in this area had to be tough. As it can get quite hot and exposed, with little irrigation. So another local find was the Rhoeo plants from a roadside stall, that also sells horse poo. We know the young lad who stocks it as he goes to school with our daughter. It's a form of pocket money for him, but we're also very impressed with how committed he is. His little roadside stall always has something to offer the community. It was only a few dollars for an ice-cream container full of these plants.

Rhoeo plants

The mondo grass below was also propagated from our clothesline landscaping project. I had no idea that mondo grass threw runners - I always thought they clumped. But there you go...a hardy and versatile bit of grass. Best of all, no mowing required!

Mondo grass

Then we have the frangipani tree rescued from my mum's house. I'm hoping the rocks in winter will help keep the frost from it. This little stub has traveled all the way from Coffs Harbour originally, where we used to live. It has been uch larger in the past, but was cut back by frost this year on my mum's property. Here's hoping we get a beautiful tree. It has the pink flowers with yellow centre.

Frangipani tree

Last, but not least, is the dwarf bamboo. It doesn't really grow canes as such, but has beautiful red foliage for new growth. A tough little nut to kill too. Very waterwise in the garden. We bought two of these which were marked down to $3 a piece. Very economical!

dwarf bamboo

It looks pretty sparse at the moment, but once the plants fill out, it will be a lovely area. We've also planted the lower section out, but here's a quick reminder of what it used to look like:

The picture below, is what I edited for my blog header image too. But now it's been weeded, mulched and even the lomandra longifolia grass is in flower. It smells incredibly delicious!

What I really loved about this project is how it took over 2 years to finish. What's so great about that? Well no-one was watching the clock, so no-one was agonising about it! This truly has been an inspirational project. It has demonstrated that as long as you're patient, frugal and committed, you get what you want in the end. No-one died waiting for it to be finished either, LOL.

Cost wise, we spent $6 on plants and $45 on rocks. That's just over $50 and we have a retained wall which is water wise too. I can't remember what the plants cost for the lower section, as that went in last autumn. It wasn't that much - you could safely say we spent under $100 in total for the whole thing.

We're going to be taking a new approach to projects next year, as we're planning to reform how we spend our money. More about that soon.

EDITED TO ADD: I just realised the last picture isn't the one I edited for my header image. It was one taken in-between the two shown. I did a post back in autumn here. You should notice the lomandra was trimmed in the header picture, but this one has grown out again. The little red/black succulent plant, is smaller in the header too - after just being planted.

Thought I'd clarify for those who pay attention to those sorts of details, LOL.
I do!!


  1. wow Chris, you guys did a great job & i love that you spent next to nothing :o)
    whish we could get free mulch from our tip

  2. We're very fortunate to get free mulch, and there's more than enough willing gardeners in the area, to take advantage of it.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love reading what you have to share. Gully Grove is a Spam free environment though, so new commenter’s only leaving hyperlinks, will be promptly composted.