Once when I thought of digging and soil preparation I pictured shovels and cheery faces and a mild sweat.
Since buying the block I’ve learned how good true hard physical work can feel.
The reality of gardening on a rocky slope means heavy sweat, exhaustion and some truly magnificent calluses on my hands.
Not really glamorous huh. But so very good for my depression!
My tool of choice at the block is a pick. Dad also made us a heavy steel bar hubby affectionately calls the “poker” which is used to smash up rocks or lever them out of holes. I’ve slowly learnt how to tell by feel if I’ve hit sheet rock or coffee rock which I can smash up.
Who knew gardening could be so violent?
I’ve learnt to look for the plants which are the first to establish after fire. At the block these are spiky Acacias. Generally if you see one of these… They’ve done the hard work for you by finding a spot their roots can get through the rock.
Forget the garden though. The first step was fencing. I love kangaroos. Just not in MY garden. Rabbits may ringbark and chomp on my plants but kangaroos are another story all together. Anything green that is not a Eucalypt is devoured to the ground. Nothing is more devestating than tenderly growing plants from seeds or cuttings until they are ready to plant. Then the effort involved in planting (see note above regarding digging). Only to find a bloody roo has munched the lot.
And don’t even get me started on the tiny kangaroo ticks they bring with them (shudders).
So. Fencing. 5 acres. Hand dug post and strainer holes. Carting water down the hill for hubby to mix concrete.
I learned to tie on fencing wire and after hubby strained the fencing it was my job to tie every single starpicket to the wire.
The benefit…no time to think. No time to stress or worry or be upset. I’d say it was glamorous sitting in the baking sun tying wire and getting lots of vitamin D… But thats bollocks. Roasting out in 45 degree celsius days is not pretty. Smothered in sunscreen and chugging water. Hmm yeah not everyone’s cup of tea.
But for some reason it helps.
Even better… When the plants start to grow 😊.