Sunday, 12 December 2010

Stonework, fig cutting and Gertrude.

There is a long stone wall in front of my house (notice the overhanging trees)...
...  much of it has been here since before the street.  The wall is heritage listed (along with the house and the sheds and so on) and it has been obviously maintained and repaired over many years.  Behind the wall, someone has planted a row of trees...  kurrajong, pepper trees and a Moreton Bay fig tree.  The fig tree is planted within a metre of the wall....

 .... and its buttressed roots are beginning to lead outwards from the trunk and towards the wall (looking for the runoff from the pavd road out there, I should think)...
 ... with dire consequences!

There is evidence of repairs, over and over again, and still the wall keep falling.  There's a series of different mortars, building techniques and materials added.... stones, bricks, rubble and newspaper....
Today I've begun repairing the hole that is nearest to the fig tree...
 ... and two bags of mortar mix and a lot of rocks has given this result....  quite a few more bags to go, and that's just for this particular spot.  I think that whatever I do, it will not prevent the tree eventually demolishing the precious wall... but for the time being,  I'll continue to reuse the stones, repair the wall and change its shape to fit with the tree.
No doubt I'll be doing this forever,  but I rather like sharing this job with whoever has done it in the past. Those parts of the wall that are built with mud and lime must have been done a long time ago,  and as I work I wonder what they must have been thinking right here.  I wish I could compare notes and find out how they worked.

A few weeks ago,  I got  four cuttings from a fig tree that produces really good fruit.  I stuch the cuttings in pots with soil and waited...   and one of them has sprouted....
 ... still tiny shoots,  but I'm hopeful.
And yes, that is a potato plant in the pot with it.  I dug the soil from agarden bed where I'd had potatoes last year, and I must have missed one!
The potatoes are flowering in that bed now... beautiful flowers....


Gertrude is settling down pretty well, though I don't like her being on her own out there....  here she is sunning herself....
 ... and back in her cubby house, apparently sleeping....
....though she is still alert and aware of any sounds around her.

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