My secret garden

Way back in 1973, a woman called Nancy Friday wrote a book called My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies. It created quite a stir with its revelations about feminine arousal. When I was 13, I found a copy in a bookcase at a relative’s house and was … transfixed …

But this blog post isn’t about that. It’s about my backyard. And the dirty stuff I want to do to it …

Since there doesn’t seem to be much hope of moving house and I have a few freelance cheques in the mail – plus a burning desire to win the lottery – I’ve been entertaining myself with how I’d transform our backyard into a paradise.

It has some lovely, lush trees, but many things conspire against it – a concrete-encased creek running along the back fence, a complete lack of sunlight and eight very destructive chooks.

Still, a girl can fantasise. And here’s what I’ve been lusting for …


I’m still hooked on the idea of those clever concrete water tanks turned swimming pools. I can’t help staring at this shot from Better Homes & Gardens. The diving boardy bit is particularly fabulous – so much cheaper than having to fence the whole thing.

There’s a company that does them in Oz, Australian Plunge Pools, already fully tiled and plumbed. I’d go for a natural concrete exterior. I think it’d look perfect in our verdant yard. I’d put one here …


There’s just the slight problem of living in a flood zone. And swimming pools being banned in flood zones. I wonder if I could pass it off as a regular water tank?


I’d also plant lots of citronella grass around the water tank as a natural mozzie repellant. The mozzies in our garden are FIERCE. I didn’t realise citronella was an actual garden-variety plant, I thought it was just some sort of weird, lemony oil you burned. Awesome!


I’m also mad-keen for some fake grass. We had visitors the other day and the bloke was telling me his mum got fake grass recently and it completely blew him away because it had realistic-looking dead bits in it and everything. I saw an ad in the Sunday paper offering free laying on fake grass. I’m wondering if that would make it any more affordable than the last quote I got for $5000 to carpet this measly piece of baked earth …


Yes, yes, I know real grass would be much nicer, but I’ve tried laying the stuff twice and it carked it both times. I’m also thinking I’d remove the low-lying greenery and rocks between the baked earth and the play equipment and run the fake grass straight through.

And the washing line would have to move. Maybe I could get one of those fold-out ones bolted to the side of the house.

We parked the car yesterday – on our way to Luna Park – near a house with the most fabulous metal emu sculpture. I think a fabulous metal emu sculpture would be just the thing in our backyard.


These aren’t quite the same, but still alluring in their own way. They’re from an ebay store called Beyond The Sahara.


There’s not much I can do about the dusty wasteland that is the chook run, too shady … though Catriona Rowntree has the bestest chook area ever …


So I’m wondering if I could build a barbecue area to screen mine that looks something like this …


I quite fancy some planter boxes on the verandah with actual herbs and veggies growing in them, unlike the woeful attempt we made this spring.

I’d been hoping for this …


But what I got was this …


And finally, while it’s totally off-theme, I have a hankering for an outdoor chess set, like the one the Sprogs played with at a family wedding recently …


Any dirty fantasies about your backyard you’d like to share? 

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