Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Garden Renovations: Ready For Asado Season

If you've been reading this blog for a while (that's a pretty big 'if', I know), you'll know that I bought my house in Santa Cruz and renovated it. It's a job I really enjoy, despite the stress and hassle it inevitably causes (get in touch with me if you're interested in real estate in Chile and I'll take on all that stress and hassle for you.).

Occasionally, I do things that, with hindsight, I would have done differently. Within the house itself, I got pretty much everything right. The garden came out well also but there was one thing I think I got wrong, mainly due to the fact that the little well I have doesn't contain all that much water...

Growing up in England, I always thought that a garden without real grass wasn't really a garden. So when I designed the garden here in Santa Cruz, I decided to lay down some turf. And I wanted to keep the dogs off the grass so I designed a wall to go around the grass, with the idea that I'd spend the Summer lounging around on it.

Things didn't turn out that way though...all the happened was that, in a place where it doesn't rain for 7 months of the year and the temperature is 30C every day, the grass quickly turned an ugly shade of brown and the only things that grew were weeds. It didn't look pretty and I was losing over half the garden in terms of the space I actually used.

So a few weeks ago, I decided to rip up the grass and open up the space by taking out a couple of the low walls. The grass was a slightly expensive experiment that didn't go as planned and I'm much happier now with the cobble-stone style I replaced it with.

To break up the cement & stones, I put in a bit of brick. It was going to be in straight lines but because of the old antenna, the only way we could get it symmetrical was to do an X. So I took advantage of that and put an old tin under the X filled with a few old coins and a deliberately confusing note for future generations to wonder over when they dig it up. X marks the spot and all that...

I also bought a few old wine barrels to plant things in. Those are Wisteria plants that will climb up the antenna.

I'd already planted this cherry tree in a barrel when I first moved in. In early Spring, I threw some compost on it and a few weeks later, a dozen tomato plants grew out of it.

I'm really pleased with how it all turned out. There's much more space for having people over for asados and the whole back patio just looks so much cleaner and more open. And the dogs now have much more space to run around in, which is better for everyone...