Friday, February 17, 2012

Doing the hard yakka

In Australia the term yakka means work and hard yakka means the type of work that is not too appealing - muscle building work.
I have had a few projects that keep getting pushed aside.  One day this week I came home from work and decided to get stuck into the Mandevilla/passionfruit/weed vines that had taken over the support over the herb spiral.  Originally this was just for the passionfruit, but as the lower branches died they just lay there looking brown and horrible with the new growth on top.

 Then the heavy Mandevilla leaned itself over and got into the mix.  I didn't really mind as suddenly there were always lovely flowers, but in the back of my mind I knew that eventually something had to be done.   Slowly the supports were collapsing, and I also want to plant somethings in the herb spiral and for heavens sake they were going to need some light!

Pulling and tugging, and clipping and sawing.....getting bitten by green ants...this was not fun!  Eventually though I had the frame removed and a huge pile of branches to haul away.  Then it rained, and I still haven't cut the branches back as much as I should.  I remember reading somewhere not to prune back more than 50% so think I will let this sit for a while before I tie it up, and trim off the last remaining long shoots.  It was sending out long shoots because the poor plant was loaded down with all the other greenery lying on top of it, so was looking for light. I am sure it is going to be a much healthier plant now, and has freed my garden from the clutches of "the wandering vines".  I am hoping to be able to use the vine itself to create an arch shape - up, bent over, and then tied back down onto the fence. Maybe I will need a pole up the center.  Has anyone else done this?

Hopefully the passionfruit and loofah will just go straight up the happy plant and leave the fence alone.   I am toying with the idea of using that left over fencing to increase the height of the back fence for climbers.  Grow upwards - one of those permaculture rules I love as it increases the size of my growing area.

The other job that needs to be done is some paving added to the side of the house.  We use that side door to go in and out to the gazebo, and it is in shade all the time.  Somehow the stones have sunk down and it is a muddy horrible mess which gets tracked inside.   More paving stones are on the shopping list for this weekend.


  1. Still waaaay too cold to do the hard yakka here. Time will come soon enough. Love that word. I have officially adopted it.

  2. Oh yeah, I have plenty of hard yakka to do at my place too. I try and think of the muscles I am building while I work.

  3. So far I have managed to elude hard yakka, but I know it will eventually catch up on me :)

    Goodluck on all your hard yakkas. It's all worth the effort once you see the result.

  4. Carolyn,
    Australia has some really strange sayings, but most of them are very descriptive, and I often find them creeping into my vocabulary. Glad I could introduce you to a new word.
    that's nice to look at the positive side!
    Solitude rising,
    I am sure when you go back to the farm they have you doing all sorts of projects.


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