Before we could do any serious gardening in the backyard, we really needed a fence to keep the local dogs and the wild weeds like ivy and jasmine out. We've had a good hack at the vines, and in fact you can see their dying leaves on the trunk of the large eucalyptus behind the fence. I attacked them at their base with my trusty loppers a couple of months ago.
Graham, who built the fence for us, has done a lovely job, grading the palings on a slope that matches the lie of the land. The large chunks of wood lying in the grass are the remains of an earlier fence that we uncovered under the mass of greenery. Though scarred and cracked by weather, they are iron-hard, and we'll use them in the beds along the sides of the building to hold the soil in place, a job now filled by an assortment of roof tiles, old tin and other remnants of building material - not a pretty look!
I've already supplemented the young bottlebrush, the only shrub I'd already planted, with some kangaroo paws, and some large bulbs rescued from the front garden which I think (hope!) are something spectacular. I've also planted a Mussaenda frondosa that my sister gave to me after I admired this one on a street near her home.
My poor plant has beeen waiting some months for a home and badly needed release from the pot it came in.
Eventually, I hope to make this back area a mix of native and imported plants in hot colours, whereas the front garden will be softer and more cottage-like in greys, blues and pinks.