Friday, May 17, 2013

Our Garden in Autumn

lilyfield life camellia plant

Don't come here looking for beautiful autumn leaves and colour. Sydney has let go of summer very slowly this year. The leaves may not be beautiful but the days are still spectacular! I find that autumn is a great time to tidy and prepare the garden for the next growing season, so I'm getting stuck into it.

lilyfield life blog

It certainly doesn't feel like late autumn in our garden. Check out the blue, blue skies.

franjipani lilyfield life

There are a few leaves on the ground but our frangipani tree is still in bloom. I think this warm weather has it all confused.  I love this tree that bends over our backyard from the fence-line and provides a corner of shade in the heat of summer.

iceberg roses lilyfieldlife
espaliered fruit tree lilyfield life

I spent a long time espaliering this lime tree and it sits very neatly along our side fence. Such a great way to save space in a small garden. Our lime tree has been abundant this year but our lemon tree suffered from scale very badly and is still recovering. I need to re-administer my father's remedy soon. There are a quite a few beautiful big lemons, but not as many as I would hope for. Fingers crossed for next year.

meyer lemon tree lilyfield life

The iceberg roses are also still blooming. I was thinking of planting a few different rose bushes (some lush pink ones with the huge blooms?) but I will wait now until we renovate as I'm sure the backyard will get a bit damaged once the building is under way. We will finally remove the old fibro sheds - the question will be where to store all my French chairs and tools?

icerberg rose lilyfield life
keeping backyard chickens lilyfield life

Our chickens are happy with a little rearrangement in their penned area. I love hearing their little clucks throughout the day. Although our white chicken, Cloud, is such a naughty character. We used to call her Houdini as she is very good at escaping. A few days ago she dug a hole under the fence and escaped into the back neighbours' yard. They have a huge dog, (that barks non stop and drives me a bit nuts!) but Cloud managed to escape the dog and jumped another fence to our other back neighbours , luckily they called out to me that our chicken was in their yard. They caught her and chucked her back over our fence and she is now happily back in her area with the hole under the fence all patched up! 

I get a lot of questions about how we keep our chickens - We currently have three - the black one is an Austrolorp, named Layla; the white is a White Leghorn named Cloud and the golden one is an Isa Brown named Bucket. All these breeds are very good consistent layers.  We don't have a fancy pen or anything flash - behind our sheds is a little corner that is fully contained by the fences and the old shed. It has a small opening that we have an old screen door we found on the side of the road that we use to access the area. We have a dirt ground and a netted roof. I have one small section that stays dry by using a piece of colorbond roofing and they have an old dog house (also found on the side of the road) and an old cupboard as shelter. They nest under an old Ikea plastic rocker that leans against the shed.  It was all low cost and simple to construct. There is plenty of room and they love the dirt underfoot to "bathe" in.

keeping backyard chickens lilyfield life

I love their eggs.

keeping backyard chickens lilyfield life

So fresh.

This weekend I'll be adding tidying up the garden bed under the frangipani tree by adding more soil and compost and planting lots of ranunculus and anemones bulbs.  Some work now for lots of blooms in springtime.

Do you keep chickens? Aren't they just the best! 

If you don't have chickens yet but are interested here is more on Why I keep backyard chickens.

Do you have a big garden - or a postage stamp like ours? I would love a massive garden but I really love living in the inner west and our street so it's probably never going to happen. In the mean time I just try and make our small garden as abundant and relaxing as possible.

My little slice of country life in the inner city suburbs.


  1. Hi Fiona your garden looks very pretty especially in the spring (my favourite time of the year). Here in Essendon we live on a reasonably large block and have a lovely big back yard that our dog, cat and grand children enjoy. when we extended 10 years ago the back yard became a mess so afterwards we started again. My husband and I hand dug all the gardens ,we regularly cut the grass which discouraged the weeds and the good grass took over and now we have a hardy lawn.I would love to show you a photo of it as Ross and I are very proud of all the hard work we put in. I will get my son to show me how to send a photo to you. I would love to have a few chickens like you, unfortunately our council won't allow them and as we live next door to a councillor I don't think we would get away with it. Have nearly finished bathroom. Have a fantastic week-end
    Regards Brenda

    1. hi Brenda - i would love to see your photos. just send them to my email address on the about me page. Gardens are such hard work aren't they! especially if they are big.
      yes, the chickens certainly don't seem like a good idea for you! we aren't allowed roosters and chickens need to be housed 5 m or something like that from any houses. but we're fine.
      have a lovely weekend
      cheers Fiona

  2. hi Fiona, your garden may be small but it is just lovely . I love that you have chickens .So cute about your white chicken. I am looking forward to seeing your flowers in bloom next Spring. Enjoy your weekend

    1. thanks so much Katherine - Cloud the white chicken keeps us on our toes. so funny to see their different personalities.
      cheers Fiona

  3. Love your garden! Would love for you to share at Simple & Sweet Fridays. New Follower!

    Take Care,


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