The Lazy Bee Property

Welcome to our journey in finding the perfect property! After a year of searching and facing several setbacks, we’ve finally discovered a place that feels just right. However, it involved some compromise from our initial wishlist. Here’s what we were looking for.


  1. Clean and reliable water supply.
  2. A manageable size of land.
  3. Fertile soil for gardening.
  4. Balanced rainfall.
  5. Moderate weather conditions.

Desirable Extras:

  1. A comfortable living space.
  2. Storage or workshop space.
  3. Access to mains power.

Our budgeting approach has always been unconventional, but we’ve made it work. If you’ve read our past posts, you know our financial journey has been a learning curve.

The soil composition on our land has posed a significant challenge, being predominantly sandy. This type of soil, while excellent for drainage, often lacks the nutrients and water retention properties essential for robust plant growth. We discovered, much to our initial dismay, that plants in sandy soil can struggle to establish and thrive due to these deficiencies. This led us to the vital lesson of soil testing — a step we initially overlooked. By testing the soil, we gained insights into its pH level, nutrient content, and overall composition. This knowledge has been instrumental in helping us amend the soil appropriately, adding organic matter, compost, and specific fertilizers to balance its properties. Soil testing has become a routine part of our gardening process, ensuring we provide the best possible environment for our plants.

Another unique aspect of our property is the presence of Caliche, a layer of sedimentary rock, often calcium carbonate, found beneath the topsoil. Caliche presents a double-edged sword for our agricultural endeavors. On one hand, its impermeable nature hinders water drainage and can restrict root growth, creating a challenging environment for many plants. On the other hand, its solidity and structural integrity offer unique opportunities. We are exploring ways to incorporate Caliche into our landscaping and construction plans creatively. For instance, we envision using it as a natural foundation for building structures like retaining walls or pathways, capitalizing on its durability and stability. Additionally, the Caliche layer can be a boon in managing water usage; by limiting deep percolation, it can help in conserving water in the upper soil layers, which is a critical consideration in our arid environment.

In our landscaping endeavors, we are experimenting with plants that are well-adapted to these soil conditions. Plants native to arid and semi-arid environments, which are accustomed to sandy soils and limited water, are becoming a focal point of our gardening strategy. We’re also exploring xeriscaping principles, creating a landscape that requires minimal water and maintenance, yet is aesthetically pleasing and sustainable in the long run.

Overall, our approach to dealing with the sandy soil and the Caliche layer is one of adaptation and innovation. We’re learning to work with the land, not against it, using its unique features to our advantage. It’s a process of continuous learning and adjustment, but one that is deeply rewarding as we watch our land transform into a thriving, sustainable environment.

Adelaide’s weather can be quite the enigma, presenting a tapestry of climatic quirks that keep us on our toes, especially when it comes to gardening. The summers here are famously hot, often turning our backyard into a sunbather’s paradise, but not so much for our heat-sensitive plants. These scorching days can transform even the hardiest garden into a struggle for survival. We’ve had to learn the art of mulching, shading, and efficient watering to ensure our green friends don’t turn into crispy critters under the relentless sun.

But just when you think you’ve got a handle on the heat, Adelaide throws a curveball with its occasional frost. It’s like Mother Nature decides to test our plants’ resilience with a chilly surprise. These frosty mornings can be particularly tough on our more tender plants, which aren’t accustomed to such cold snaps. We’ve become quite adept at frost-proofing, using covers to shield our vulnerable plants on those unexpectedly cold nights. It’s a bit like tucking them in with a warm blanket, hoping they’ll make it through till morning.


Learning to adapt to these extremes has been a journey of trial and error. We’ve had to experiment with plant varieties that can withstand the heat yet survive the occasional frost. It’s a delicate balancing act, choosing plants that love the sun but can also handle a cold spell. We’ve also delved into the world of companion planting and creating microclimates within our garden, which helps buffer our plants against the whims of the weather.

Moreover, we’re discovering the importance of timing in gardening. Planting cycles are crucial in Adelaide’s unpredictable climate. Getting the timing right can mean the difference between a thriving garden and a withering one. We pay close attention to weather forecasts, sometimes planting earlier or later in the season to outsmart the weather’s fickleness.

In essence, gardening in Adelaide is like being a weather detective, constantly deciphering clues and adapting strategies. It’s about being proactive, resilient, and sometimes a bit creative in protecting and nurturing our plants. With each season, we learn a little more, becoming better equipped to handle whatever the skies throw our way.

Rainfall in our region is a rare guest, making every drop a precious commodity. This scarcity of rain has elevated the importance of our two rainwater tanks, which have become crucial elements in our sustainability efforts. Despite the limited rainfall, these tanks are our lifeline for water conservation and garden irrigation, especially during the drier months.

The first of our tanks, although smaller in capacity, performs efficiently, capturing whatever rainwater it can. This tank has become a symbol of our efforts to adapt and make the most of the natural resources available to us. We use this water primarily for our garden, ensuring that our plants receive the hydration they need without exhausting the local water supply. It’s a delicate balance, managing the water levels to sustain the garden while being prepared for long stretches without rain.

The second tank, larger in capacity, unfortunately, has its challenges. Its efficiency is compromised, akin to a container with a slow leak. The issue lies in its design and material; being a concrete tank, it’s prone to cracks and seepage. However, we view this not as a setback but as an opportunity for innovation and repair. We’re exploring various methods to seal and refurbish the tank, aiming to enhance its water retention capabilities. This tank’s potential to store a significant amount of rainwater is too valuable to overlook, especially in an environment where water is as good as gold.

In light of these circumstances, water management has become an integral part of our daily routine. We’ve learned to use water judiciously, prioritizing essential needs and employing water-saving techniques wherever possible. For instance, we utilize mulching in our garden to reduce evaporation and retain moisture in the soil, and we’ve incorporated drip irrigation systems to ensure that water goes directly to the plants’ roots with minimal waste.

Moreover, we’re continuously exploring alternative methods to supplement our water supply. Rainwater harvesting is one aspect, but we’re also looking into greywater systems, where water from showers and sinks can be repurposed for garden use. Every strategy that helps us maximize our water usage is a step towards a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle.

In essence, our limited rainfall and the condition of our rainwater tanks have taught us valuable lessons in resource management and conservation. These challenges have spurred us to become more innovative, resourceful, and appreciative of every drop of water we can collect and use. It’s a continuous journey towards creating a sustainable living space that respects and harmonizes with our natural environment.

The property includes a basic shack, left by the previous owner, an impressive octogenarian with a rich history with the land. We took over this property as it was, ready to embrace its quirks and potential.

Our blog aims to share not just our experiences but also practical insights and lessons learned along the way. It’s about the journey, the challenges, and the opportunities that come with taking on a project like this.

We invite you to engage with us. What interests you or sparks your curiosity? We’re here to explore and discuss a variety of topics. Join us in this adventure and let’s discover the joys and challenges of transforming a space into a home together!