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Another round of clearing reveals the original land

Just like scraping away layers of grime on an old artwork, another round of clearing revealed the beauty of this block of land.  We had to get the area back to basics so we could start the work of preparing for an indigenous garden.

Clearing out the wire fence.

First to go was the wire mesh fence that split the back garden into two sections.

Wire mesh fence across the back garden

Wire mesh fence preventing easy access to the back garden.

It had been there so long that small trees had grown up through the mesh, effectively anchoring it to the ground. With some elbow grease and determination, the fence surrendered.

Wire mesh fence removed

Fence removed and vegetation cleared

Waste not, want not.  The three concrete laundry tubs have since been sold on eBay to customers who were looking for planters.  They’ve gone off to a better life and are now giving other families the pleasure of their company.

Sharing resources with neighbours.

Putting the fence palings and timbers on the footpath as free firewood proved to be another opportunity to meet our neighbours.

Old fence palings and timbers out on the footpath for collection

Asking neighbours to help with finding an alternative use for the old fence.


As we dropped loads of timber onto the pile, we often met people who were happy to take some firewood to top up their winter supply.

One neighbour, David, asked if we minded him digging through the pile looking for palings in reasonable condition.  Our conversation revealed that he used them for feature walls at his house.  After trimming, he lightly sanded the boards before putting on a coat of oil.  Photos of what he had done at his house showed the old fence materials had come up a treat.

David had another wall project in mind and was looking to collect another batch of palings.  In fact, he was so keen that he spent an hour or two removing palings from another section of the fence that was on our to-do list.  Talk about a win-win situation.  For us, it was less demolition.  For David, he simply took all the palings he needed and loaded them directly into his ute which was parked in our backyard.  These palings were the best ones in the fence as they had been protected from the elements by metal cladding.  The metal was installed because an incinerator was located on the other side of the fence.

Old fence with palings removed

Entire section of palings removed by David for his feature wall project.

Clearing another section of side fence.

After the success of removing the decaying fence from the front of the property, everyone was keen to demolish other sections which were equally frail.

Collapsing side fence

More of the side fence which was threatening to fall over from old age.

Note the pile of scrap metal we’d collected from the previous backyard and fence demolition activities.  By the time we finished this project, the pile had to be relocated as it had grown so much.

Pile of scrap metal removed while clearing the back garden

All sorts of scrap metal removed while clearing the backyard

Ron, who does the maintenance for the units next door, said he has a mate who will collect the metal and arrange for it to be recycled.  Another example of the community spirit in our neighbourhood – people who know people helping each other out.

Clearing the old sheds to reveal the orginal land.

Getting rid of the remaining sheds turned into a family event.  Of course, Libby’s offer to provide a home cooked dinner as a reward could have helped with the positive response.

There hadn’t been any chooks in the chook shed for quite some time, just the evidence of their presence.

Old chook shed due for demolition

Chook shed ripe for redevelopment or demolition.

With a little bit of persuasion, the shed came down, revealing a collection of old bottles, metal pipes, bricks, roof tiles, …

Knocking down the chook shed

Ben gets stuck into knocking down the chook shed.

On the other side of the block was the last remaining shed, possibly used to store firewood based on the remnant materials inside.  This one proved to be more of a challenge as thick strands of ivy were holding up the structure.


Doing battle with the thick strands of ivy holding up the structure.



Knocking out the wood was the easy part.



Still not giving up without a fight.

As bits of timber were removed from the structures, larger sections were trimmed to make them easier to handle before being shipped off to the growing firewood pile on the footpath.


Cutting up the longer lengths to make them more fireplace-friendly.


And then, the clearing was finished.

After a busy afternoon, the job was done.  Jack arrived just in time to collect another load of firewood in his trailer, and to snap this photo of the tired workers.

Group photo at the end of the backyard working bee.

Mission accomplished!


Demolishing the old sheds and clearing out more weeds has revealed the starting point for our indigenous garden.


Just a slight depression in the ground showing where the old wood shed used to be.



No sign left of the chook shed.


Cleared back garden

View of the cleared back garden from the car port – no wire fence, no sheds, fewer weeds.

For the next few months, the focus will be on weed removal from the cleared areas.  Once the weeds are under control, we plan to secure a few loads of mulch to cover the original land and start the preparation for planting.


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