We hope you have enjoyed the SRGC Forum. You can make a Paypal donation to the SRGC by clicking the above button

Author Topic: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life  (Read 21955 times)

Lesley Cox

  • way down south !
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16347
  • Country: nz
  • Gardening forever, house work.....whenever!
Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« on: December 03, 2012, 08:27:29 PM »
December 4th 2012

Blog 661

Many months ago Roger and I decided we had to move from our 2 acres. They were too much for us, part of what our Govt refers to as “the rapidly aging population” as if to blame us for living longer than pensionable age. Both of us have health issues however and gradually the place is becoming wilder and less garden-like. It went on the market in late July and was sold by late August with a completion date of February 22nd 2013. This long period suited our buyers and us too as I had a garden and nursery to move as well as house. In fact, the house is the least of it. Roger’s collection of cars won’t be moving but is being sold bit by bit but he still has a shed full of machinery, tools and dreams that probably won’t ever come to fruition – like the boat that is being built.

We believed we had found the perfect place for us, 45 mins north of the city of Dunedin, with half an acre of well-maintained garden and two cottages rather than a single house. Both were in excellent (“House and Garden”) order and we started a negotiation process with the owners who were anxious to sell. They gave us their bottom line and what they really wanted and we were happily moving toward this when they dropped a bomb. It was a private sale and therein lay the problem because an agent would have had a conditional contract signed at the beginning. The bomb was a letter from their solicitor, relayed through ours that the seller refused to negotiate further and wanted no further contact with us.

We were devastated! What had we done wrong? We learned a few days later, and through a group of gardeners who had visited the garden, that someone seeing the “For Sale” sign had walked in off the street, looked around and offered a huge sum, way in excess of what we had been told. Fair enough, but they should have asked us if we could match or better that price and when we said we couldn’t, they could have sold without leaving us feeling as if we had been stabbed in the back. “People not to be trusted” said our own solicitor.

I had fallen in love with the place and was heart-broken and didn’t believe those friends and family who assured us the final place, when we found it would be much better. Well we have found that place now and the sale is unconditional with the same completion date. It is not better but it is not worse either, just different with some other advantages.

It is 45 mins south of the city, the climate is different, a little cooler but the garden is very sheltered, and I may have to drive through snow occasionally in the winter to get to my Saturday job in the city, leaving home at 4.15am. The road (NZ’s version of the M1) is flat all the way (the other had two major hill climbs, also snow risks) and the house and garden are situated in open and attractive farm land. The address, hence this Blog title, is 661 Waihola Highway in Otago, just 5 mins south of the lake of that name.

At present the garden is largely a rose garden with many perennials and some very good trees. There are a lot of conifers and some of these will be removed but when we were last there a week ago, I also noticed maples, liquidambers, birches, a beech, a Nyssa, a large Amelanchier canadensis and other trees and shrubs which will give good autumn colour. There is not, so far as I can see, either an alpine or an iris, my favourite genus, on the whole place. This will change of course. What is now a large and quite new rose garden will become one of two rock gardens and a smaller rose garden will become another, with, I hope, a pool linking them.

Our sellers asked, almost timidly, if we would mind if they dug and took a few things with them, especially a few roses. I was delighted with this prospect and said to take everything they wanted. They have potted up some roses but, to my horror, phoned to say they had bought some more to replace those they’d lifted. Yes, I like roses but I should think there are several hundred on the place from old and massive climbers down to tiny patio roses in pots. A few will stay but the vast majority, if liftable, will be given to friends who would like them. (Oddly, on a recent garden visit with my alpine group, I saw 3 roses, all climbers which I liked so much I’m now actively looking for them, to buy!)

Enough for now. All this is to come but there is still a major work in progress at our present address. Something of that very soon.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:03:00 AM by Lesley Cox »
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Luc Gilgemyn

  • VRV President & Channel Hopper
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5527
  • Country: be
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 09:50:56 PM »
What a great prospect, Lesley !
This is a blog I will be following with great interest !  :D
Luc Gilgemyn
Harelbeke - Belgium

Tim Ingram

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1955
  • Country: 00
  • Umbels amongst others
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 10:19:52 PM »
Lesley - the house looks to sit very comfortably in the garden! I could imagine a small scale Peter Korn type sand bed in the lawn, but what sort of plants will you aim to grow there? Good wishes for your move.
Dr. Timothy John Ingram. Nurseryman & gardener with strong interest in plants of Mediterranean-type climates and dryland alpines. Garden in Kent, UK. www.coptonash.plus.com

Brian Ellis

  • Brian the Britisher
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5196
  • Country: england
  • 'Dropoholic
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 10:28:26 PM »
A project I am sure you will enjoy Lesley.  I hope all goes well with this one.
Brian Ellis, Brooke, Norfolk UK. altitude 30m Mintemp -8C

angie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3167
  • Country: scotland
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 10:38:38 PM »
Lesley your new home looks lovely. I could see myself sitting at that table and chairs enjoying the evening sun.
Looking forward to see and hear about your changes in the future.

Angie  :)
Angie T.
....just outside Aberdeen in North East Scotland

sippa

  • Journal Access Group
  • Jr. Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 97
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 11:22:35 PM »

I like your new house Leslie.  Good luck with all the changes you are planning.

Marianne
Marianne gardening in Vermont, USA

Maggi Young

  • Forum Dogsbody
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 44018
  • Country: scotland
  • "There's often a clue"
    • International Rock Gardener e-magazine
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 11:33:59 PM »
I agree that the new house looks very nice and the garden is in neat condition yet ripe for development to your needs.  I bet February arrives at superfast speed!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

Lesley Cox

  • way down south !
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16347
  • Country: nz
  • Gardening forever, house work.....whenever!
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 12:46:10 AM »
Thankyou so much everyone, for your interest and support.

Tim I hadn't thought of a sand bed but that idea is a good one which I'll look at further. The to-be-a-rockgarden above is the smaller of the two and maybe would be the place to start. In any case, sand, compost and other stuff will have to be brought in to make some height and while I had been thinking crevice garden, am not sure of my own abilities in this direction, so we'll see.

As to what - trees, perennials of course but alpines and irises in quantity and anything else that takes my fancy including a rather large collection of smallish bulbs. I'll have a place for a native rock garden too.

More about the house and garden in our next exciting episode. ;D
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Leon

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • Country: us
  • The messy gardener
    • Heartland Peony Society
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 02:29:58 AM »
December 4th 2012

Blog 661

... decided we had to move from our 2 acres. They were too much for us, part of what our Govt refers to as “the rapidly aging population” as if to blame us for living longer than pensionable age.  ...

The key word may be 'rapidly'.  My wife and I are on 10 acres and I keep thinking its time to downsize.  It is taking some time for the wife to come around to my way of thinking.  But then...  I do the mowing and gardening.  Crazy thing is, seems we add another gardening area every year or so. 
I generally only try to grow plants that don't want to grow here.

Lesley Cox

  • way down south !
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16347
  • Country: nz
  • Gardening forever, house work.....whenever!
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 03:10:24 AM »
Well gardening is an addiction of course, happily one which does only good to one's mental and physical health. Oh.. I forgot the bad back and dodgy knees. But no, it was using a vacuum cleaner that gave me those. :D When the decision has to be made Leon, there are certainly some regrets but then you can look forward to the next phase of a joyful and fulfilling life. I wish you well, whenever that has to be.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

fermi de Sousa

  • Far flung friendly fyzzio
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7215
  • Country: au
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 08:07:13 AM »
Well done, Lesley!
Maybe you can take us for a "drive by" after the NZAGS Study Weekend!
I look forward to further instalments of the new blog ;D
cheers
fermi
Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

Arum

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 72
  • Country: nz
    • Edna's page
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 08:46:04 AM »
Lesley
I can see you creating a wonderful garden here for your superb collection of plants. Wow two rock gardens - how exciting  - all the very best wishes - Edna
Edna Parkyn  Christchurch "The Garden City" New Zealand

David Nicholson

  • Hawkeye
  • Journal Access Group
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 13117
  • Country: england
  • Why can't I play like Clapton
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 09:04:53 AM »
Great stuff Lesley, house looks lovely. I'll pop round and give you a hand with the garden ;D
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Lesley Cox

  • way down south !
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16347
  • Country: nz
  • Gardening forever, house work.....whenever!
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 09:09:01 AM »
Thank you Edna. You'll be a welcome visitor on your trips to Invercargill. As another Forumist says "the kettle is always on" or it won't take more than a few minutes anyway.

I'm sure that will be possible Fermi. Our sellers are very helpful and co-operative and have offered us space for storage in the meantime as moving everything on a single day, the 22nd Feb, wouldn't be possible, so there will be numerous trips down the road in the interim with boxes of books and the like, then with trays of plants, troughs and so on.

22nd Feb will be the 2nd anniversary of the second major 'quake in Chch, the day on which so many lives were lost. While it will be an exciting (and exhausting) day for Roger and me, I hope we remember to take time to think of those others whose lives were so cruelly shattered.

Any day you like David. Maureen and I will enjoy a scone or two as we watch you. ;D
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

arillady

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1955
  • Country: au
Re: Blog 661 - Starting a New Garden Life
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2012, 09:23:08 AM »
Looks like a lovely new home Lesley. all the best with the move.
Pat Toolan,
Keyneton,
South Australia

 


Scottish Rock Garden Club is a Charity registered with Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): SC000942
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal