We've come a long way

Gardener:Old Mangakino Orchard (McCallum's Garden)

Date:27 Nov 2022

Blog Type:Vegetables

It's strange thinking that about 18 months ago, all we had was a piece of lifestyle land that used to be part of a farm orchard. The top two photos are the real estate agent photos which was when the lawn was mown. I have tried to find photos of when we settled as the grass was about waist high and their cows were grazing on it. The bottom two photos are what we have today. 

All I had was a 1995 petrol mower to start with and our goal was to save as much as we could so we could spend the money on the build and future gardens. It literally took about half and hour per 10 square metres and we have 2500 square metres plus the council bit which is about another 1000 and was in the same state. 

To remove the trees, we were quoted over $6,000. My wife agreed for me to buy a new chainsaw, chaps and helmet and also agreed to allowing me to cut them down myself. Only cost $600 plus petrol and oil so that was a win.

At the beginning it seemed impossible and never ending but I have found that the key to success is breaking it down into small tasks and getting excited about the wins rather than focusing on the work that lies ahead. Each day after work I would cut down one tree and break it down into firewood and stack it for the neighbours. After a few weeks, they were all clear. (I know it is sad cutting down established trees but we had no option here as we could only build on a certain part of the land due to covenants. We did manage to save 3 really cool trees right out the front - a macadamia, a really tall pohutakawa and a red maple leaf. We have also replanted about half the fruit trees we cut down and when we can afford we will replace the rest. It is painful as a gardener cutting down established fruit trees). 

So if you have any major projects ahead, or your garden is feeling overwhelming, break it down into small jobs and celebrate when you have finished one. This is currently my approach to weeding which I will cover off in a future post. 

I definitely feel a sense of pride in the fact that we did most of the work ourselves. I'll post some more pics in the comments that show the size of the task and how we made it fun. 

We've come a long way