The Beginning of suealoe:
The Beginning of suealoe:
It all began in 2000 when Sue and Jim Davis purchased the bare 1 Hectare/3 acre property. Ground was prepared and four rows of natives were planted to begin the windbreak around the perimeter of the property. Three years later they built a shed where they lived for 2 ½ years whilst the house was constructed and front garden beds formed and filled with plants. Once the house was complete, the dirt that was removed from the house excavation and was made into garden beds on the north side of the house. Hundreds of plants were slowly planted in these beds and over time more beds were created around the property with thousands of plants that have been planted to form what is today seen as Sue & Jim’s oasis.
A mixture of hundreds of natives around the boundary assists with wind reduction and also attracts local wildlife as do the thousands of plants inside the native windbreak.
A pond in view of their alfresco and living areas not only creates a relaxed atmosphere but provides continual water supply for the local birds. Even on the extreme hot days when the many birdbaths around the property dry up, the pond still offers shade and water for the local birds.
The cattery allows the cats to have the best of both worlds. Inside and outside at their leisure. No harm to the local wildlife, unless they dare enter the cattery, which the honeyeaters do regularly knowing that the cats are there. Somehow they seem to know when the cats are inside and that is when they venture into the cattery to collect nectar from the plants. This nectar must be special to attract them into the cattery as opposed to the larger range of suitable blooms outside the enclosure.
The fully planted aviary only recently completed (January 2020), not only allows Sue and Jim to view the birds – mainly finches, canaries, native budgies and small birds whilst relaxing in their house, but also outside where the birds can be viewed around the aviary. Viewing the birds in the bushes at a higher point of the aviary allows you to see them closer than you would if at ground level.
20 years of planning and continual work around the 1 Hectare of House and Garden is what keeps Sue going at creating and maintaining this spectacular oasis. Jim is the one who designs and constructs the fixtures around the property, like the cattery, aviary, hothouses, shade house & chook orchard etc.
Alterations are continually made due to climatic changes. Plants need to be relocated as they no longer suit a full sun position (eg. Echeveria imbricata that were in the front teardrop bed have now been relocated to a more shady position where they can survive easily with little attention). They did well for the first 10 years in full sun, but slowly went downhill after that. Hence it is now mainly Cacti and some drought tolerant succulents in the teardrop bed.
Beds on the western boundary have been made to divert the sudden rainfalls that we occasionally receive by diverting the rain that runs down from the higher properties. Previously the house had been surrounded in water. This no longer happens as these beds divert the rain to the front and the back of the property. There has only been one downpour since these beds were complete which proved that the design from Elaine Excavators has successfully worked. It does not happen often, but now we are prepared for any future downpours. Many thanks to Warrick and his team for this.
We've loved every minute of our journey so far.