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Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Greening of Moy-mel.

We bought this five acre block of land about six years ago when it became apparent that living here with mum was working for us all.  We needed to stay in the real estate game since prices here in gold rush town, Perth, were crazy and might have kept going up.  It's about ten minutes up the road, so nice and close.  We fenced it, and we walk the dogs there, a safe place to let them run crazy and where we don't have to worry about cars or strange dogs.  We walk there at least twice a week and mum walks her dogs there too.

It is a pretty block, with some really good old trees on it, but it had been overrun with sheep for many years before we got it, and apart from the big trees, there was very little else growing there.  Being me, a mad tree planter, I just had to start greening it up.  Our local shire gives out seedling trees and other local natives every year for this very purpose, so I have been planting and caring for trees and shrubs on this block every year since we got it, in fact I think the first lot went in before the final paperwork had even been signed.  It was time to get planting, and no way was I going to miss a year!

This is the view from the front gate up towards what we call the grove of giants.  There is underground water up there amongst the rocks.  It has allowed a very large number of very big trees to grow very close together.     

These are two of the Marris in the grove of giants. There are two right next to each other. 

Right next to and around the grove of giants is what we call Mythago Wood, after the Robert Holdstock novels.  The young Jarrah and Marri trees have sprung up so fast here, it's quite magical.  They weren't planted by me either!  They are self-seeded and have grown up all around their giant parents, who tower over them.  That's a Marri in full flower there.  

A close up of the flowers:
I've mostly stuck to planting around the fire break on the edges of the block so that if we ever sell, a new person won't need to clear any of my plantings to build a house.

This is the East side, one of the earliest planting areas:

Here is the South side:
All that lighter green is our plantings.  You can see how harsh and rocky this land is. The tank is an old one that doesn't hold water.  One day it could have a  liner put in and be useful, but Andrew keeps eyeing it off to have a roof on and doors put in and be made into a druid hut.  I rather fancy giving it a paint job to make it look like a mini stone castle!

These are some of my newest plantings, just through their first summer.  I water them every week in their first summer. After that I hope they can hold their own, though I do give them a drink the next year if it has been too long since the last rain.

The south fence with the newest plants in their tree guards at the top of the hill and some of the older plantings showing below.  

 The West fenceline, with running Tuppy.

This Queen Jarrah is not feeling too well but we are treating her for dieback and hoping she can come good. 
I think this will be called Andrew's grove when it grows up.  I planted so many this year that I couldn't get them all watered in one visit, so on Saturdays he's been coming up with me to do the extras.  We have an oak tree there too, one that comes from a tree here at home that grew from an acorn that came from a tree my Great Grandma had.  Tree love goes a long way back in my family.  :)
There is also a tiny Liquidamber that my mum bought us because they are her favorite trees and she loves the block and wanted to give it a present.

These are the big old olives in the middle of the block, we call them the three sentinels.   Ravens are currently having a great time eating the olives that fall from them.  There is a big 'conspiracy' of ravens that lives thereabouts and often visits.  Nice for a devotee of Odin.  :) 

And of course, happy Labradors!  We get rabbits here, and also kangaroos have been known to visit, so there are plenty of fun smells to find! 

  It will be fun to take more pictures in years to come and see how much the face of the block changes.  The name, Moy-mel, comes from the mythical Welsh tales and means Land (or Island) of Honey.  We planting plenty of bee feeding trees and shrubs, so already that is coming true!  We have a hive swarming right now up in one of the tall trees, and last year there was another at the base of a tree.  We are seeing more and more little birds too.

This year I don't have so many to plant.  I'm having an easy year!  I do want to plant some beside poor old Queen Jarrah and see if more company on her open sides can shelter her and cheer her up, so that's my main goal for this coming winter.

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