Four years ago today we turned the key in the front door at our house in Wyndham Vale for the very last time, bundled Reinhardt and Zelda into the cars and made our way across the city traffic to arrive at our wonderful new home in Mount Dandenong.
The Wyndham Vale house itself had been nice, and we left behind some wonderful neighbours, but we weren’t all that sorry to say goodbye to the western suburbs, especially considering the house and garden that we were moving into.
Four years on and we’re still good friends with our Wyndham Vale neighbours, but we’ve made a whole bunch of new friends here as well. It really is a wonderful community, and no matter what the stresses of the working day may bring, every night that we leave the city and return to the mountain, it still feels like we’re heading off on holidays.
Things have changed a lot in the four years since we moved here. The moss covered “lawns” that we inherited have largely gone thanks to a combination of dogs and a couple of overly dry summers, and we’re slowly working our way towards replacing them completely with paths and gardens.
The Rhododendrons, Camellias and Azaleas that dominated the garden when we first arrived still continue to thrive, but we’ve also worked hard to establish a lot more native plants, as well as thousands of spring bulbs to bring colour to the garden at what is otherwise a pretty dreary time of the year up here.
We’re actively working to introduce additional wildlife friendly elements to the garden too. Number one of course is the wildlife pond that we created a few years ago, but we’re also looking at providing more lower and mid level habitat to provide extra food and shelter for birds. It seems to be working, as we’ve noticed a marked increase in the number of birds such as honeyeaters, whipbirds and bowerbirds using the garden over the last 12 months or so.
So here’s to a fabulous 4 years, and let’s hope there are many, many more to come!