Saturday, 17 March 2007

Landscaping from 'Capability' Kivak

And after an excrutiatingly dull 'business' trip to Whangarei and Manukau, the highlight of which was turning my ring inside-out after a really nasty hamburger from Wendy's, now I'm reduced to writing about my exploits in the backyard. Particularly riveting stuff if you're not into DIY landscaping, but I try to build upon the fine example set by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, who'll be a household name among all you reknown Anglophiles and weekend balcony potplant gardeners.

I'm only writing about this rather than actually practising it right now because after six weeks of perfect sunny weather it's been persisting down outside since the late morning. Luckily it's not like this in the West Indies where the Kiwis have just performed a royal GBH on the English in the Cricket World Cup - something which I'm sure Bedrich would have been staying up to watch via Internet streaming or why otherwise would his Skype connection have been online half the night? And while on the sporting theme, I don't suppose anyone else showed as much schadenfreude as I did in the English press hailing the return of Johnny Wilkinson in the recent predictable result at Murrayfield only to see their team get crushed by the Oirish the following weekend. Roll on the Rugby World Cup.

But what of these pictures? Well, for a starter, I'm typing this from behind the window in the second photograph. The first two were taken at the back of the house when we first moved in here in November 2005. They make the place look quite tidy, but in reality the area was a total fucking shambles, and that gravelly bit was soon evenly layered with dog shit, while that bit of grass you can see was just rolled turf and had died off within a couple weeks. You'll also notice shitloads of San Pedro cacti. These maybe good for chopping up and boiling down into a digestable hallucigenic (albeit most conveniently via an enema since I recall from my student days that cactus juice is not the most palatable beverage known to mankind), but I personally think they look like shite in a flower garden. Fortunately we found people on the Internet to not only pay money for them, but also come around with picks and shovels to dig them up for us (turned out they were the fuckers who started bidding against us for the house at the eleventh hour, forcing us to go another $8K above our budget, so I felt no compunction about charging them extra for the cacti and smirking with satisfaction when they impaled their thumbs on the rapier-like thorns).

The third photo is of the original concrete fishpond which was clearly built to withstand a direct hit from a tactical nuclear artillery shell, as its floor was about 8in thick and took more than a few blows of a sledge hammer to loosen up. The water that still filled it when we arrived was the consistency and colour of phlegm, but fantastically there were still half-a-dozen giant-sized goldfish still subsisting at the bottom of it when we drained it.

It's all gone now though, and you can see the results in the final two pictures. There's still a chicken wire fence around part of it, but that's to prevent our two adorable dogs from constantly digging for badgers in the fresh top soil that I laid down recently to sow a hardier type of grass seed. As I told the missus, the next time I find a hole in this patch of ground that's taking me fucking ages to prepare and sow we'll be dining out on 'psickova' for the next couple of weeks. Note also the lovingly constructed wooden deck. This was designed by none other than my own humble self, and as a result I have not taken any photographs too close-up. Yes sir, there are a fair number of total fuck-ups contained in this one small area, and I'm still having to undertake some remedial work on it. A je to. Certainly it would have been handy if I'd remembered that mathematical lesson that all 8-year-olds learn at school - the 3-4-5 rule - that helps one construct a perfect corner. But it's still standing and so far it's withstood the best our attention-deficient-syndrome seven-year-old Czech-Maori neighbours have been able to throw at it. Nice spot for barbeques when the sun's out, too. I'm taking orders for similar work in CZ in early 2008, so get in now while the going's good.

No comments: