PART TWO of RED TAPE IN THE GARDEN
Carol and I waved off the men brightly in the chill of early morning . Armed with all kinds of digging equipment, including a home made and designed gadget for planting that Chris had dreamed up, the men looked very cheerful and excited. Chris' invention proved much more practical than the professional planter the Forestry Department had lent us. Carol and I settled down by the fire with every intention of helping as soon as the breakfast washing up was done. Unfortunately, at the time Carol and I had some serious personal things to talk about. Suddenly, we both realised that it was nearly lunchtime, so, feeling very guilty, we quickly made up a country style picnic hamper and walked up to the dams.
Kees, Chris and Matthew looked dirty and exhausted. They were still moderately cheerful and had concocted a method of work. Christopher dug the hole with his planter, Matthew walked behind him and threw the seedling into the hole and Kees bought up the rear and stamped the poor little thing in. After finishing five long lines, they changed duties.
My reaction was typical of the pavement watcher, "Kees, that is terrible planting. They'll never live."
Kees looked at me and said quietly, "Do you want to do it?"
Carol inspects the hundreds of two inch high plants still to be planted
After their quick lunch, the men got back to work. Carol and I decided to take up Kees' challenge. I planned to do our planting in circles and we chose an area, a little apart from the main planting area, which had some lovely stringy bark Eucalyptus trees already growing and a cleared under story below. We modestly took a box of one hundred trees. Carefully we dug planting holes in circles in the glade, found some lovely bush mulch, placed their minute roots in the rich medium and patted them gently into place. We finished our work quite some time later, named the garden "Independence Grove" and returned to the men. Those poor gentlemen, they looked completely haggard, fed up and muscle sore.
Chris called out, "Next time you have any bright idea like this, Gay, take our number out of your telephone book".
We offered to help but they sent us home to cook them a big dinner and chill or warm the wine. The next day was a repetition and by Sunday night all bar approximately one thousand had been planted. They brought the unplanted seedlings back and Christopher said, "I reckon you should just throw those into the creek. They will probably grow just as well."
I could not resist retorting, "The way you were planting, I reckon that's true."
They were so tired they didn't even bite at this piece of cruelty. We hired a local youth to plant most of the remaining trees and bar several hundred, I think that this is exactly what he did do.
twelve years later the Backwoods have grown rapidly and strongly. That is apart from one area, "Independence Grove" is singularly lacking in any sign of one Backwood tree.
The big dam, not to be muddled with the "Big Pond" in the ornamental garden, at "Kibbenjelok" which was built when we purchased the property. There are two bush dams, with the water reticulated down to the house [ 100 meters pressure] that gives us water in our ornamental garden even if the weather is very dry. Before we purchased, the water was used to water the orchards and the raspberries. The rings are made by Kees' fingerling rainbow trout. Platypus have been seen here
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