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Thursday, November 5, 2009

A New Kind of Gardening



Well, we are in the new house now for six weeks now and got our container about after one week in the house. The house is new (2009), but the one acre property is not
developed at all. The first thing we did was pay for a hog fence across the back and down one side, the other side was already done. The front is open, but I plan to build a wall across with a small walk in gate and automatic (solar) drive though gate. The driveway is curved, and the house set back at an angle, so it leads to a lot of creativity. The dogs, Thai and Tallow our rat terriers arrived Sept. 28th, and were at home by the next day. They leave the local wild chickens alone, and for now seem to stay in the yard. The first purchase was some cindersoil, we got 30 yards delivered for about $700 bucks, or about $23/yard. So far I like it, it's heavy to move around, but holds enough moisture while maintaining good drainage. We are basically on rock (lava), and gardening here is filling in existing holes and planting, or building up on top of the lava, just like making raised beds. I plan on mulching as soon as I can find some, It's free at the landfill, but the chipper is only here part time. It's raw so will probably need to composted first, but trust me that doesn't take much time here. It has rained almost every night so far, although we are drier than when we were in Lalani. It's only rained a few days so far, today was one. Even then, the sun seems to come out at least a little every day. Some areas are over grown with Moluccan Albizia (Falcataria moluccana), a huge towering tree. It's nitrogen fixing, so it grows fast. Most people here don't like them, they are supposedly brittle and fast growing. We have a small one in the back, so I'll remove it, in ten years it could look like these.
But they are very cool to look at, these are at the lava tubes, piles of lava left after the trees that were in the middle got burned out.
Speaking of lava, when Dani's sister Dae and husband Cliff were here a few weeks ago we
walked out to to the spot where the lava flows into the ocean, it was really beautiful, and only about 10 miles from the house. Jeff is in the green shirt, Andy on the right end.
We've been making beds and planting, we got three 15 gal Ptycospermum elegans, Solitary Palms, for the front beds, plus some cool Mala
ysian Rhododendrons from this
local nursery 'White Cloud Nursery', they have over 200 varieties. They need perfect drainage so I picked up some clean
5/8's cinder for them, you can also use it to add air space to any potting mix, kinda like pumice or perlite. It cost about $20 buck a yard picked up.

We been getting lots of cool stuff at the local Mucuu Farmers Market on Sundays. I meet a guy who sells Cordyline terminalis cultivars (Ti). We went out to his place
& got a whole truck full.
We also ordered some sod, yes grass!, it's called seashore pasplaum, a really fine textured low grass that reminded me of hybrid bermuda, but it's soft. It supposed to be very salt to
lerant, and can even be watered with sea water. I'm hoping that it will put up with the dogs. I'll cut it with a reel type mower, push, very green.
We have a small front porch. So we added a grass walk to the steps, I'll probably add some custom stepping stones later. All in all it's coming along. I think it's going to look great. -tom

1 comment:

Gerry Weitz said...

Hi Tom,

I'm very happy you are enjoying "The Big Island." I plan to keep coming back to your blog to learn whatever I can. I hope you'll check out my website www.heartspm.com and if I'm lucky you can tell me everything I could do or am doing wrong.
In case you missed my email, I hope you can send me some recommendations for landscapers/landscape architects in So. Cal. My wife and I want to redesign both the front and back yard and would greatly appreciate your advice.

Best of luck in Hawaii,

Gerry Weitz
hearts_pest@yahoo.com