Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Other side path progress

I made some progress on the other side path on the weekend.  It doesn't look much different from last weekend, but it was probably a good 8 hours of work.

All the timber edging was connected with nail plates to stop them from shifting. They're 4.2 meter lengths and because the ground is uneven, they have a tendency to shift, so the nail plates on each side will (hopefully) keep them in place. I also put low stakes on either side to keep them straight.

I put each paver on a bed of sand to keep them level. The pavers are HEAVY! Well, heavy for me. They're 600mm X 400mm and about 23 kgs each. Because of their size and weight and because of my size and weight, I couldn't lift them the correct way, with knees bent. So even three days later my muscles, some I didn't even know I had, are so, so sore. I ran out sand with four pavers to go so that that will have to be finished next weekend.

I decided not to put weed mat down. Most of the forums I read said that as long as you sprayed the weeds before you laid the pavers and the stones were thick enough, it should stop the weeds from coming through.

I put some stones in just before the sun went down so I could get a little preview of how it might look finished. I'm pretty happy with how it I think it will look when it's finished.

The outer timber edging is not on the boundary of the house, there will be about 500mm between that and a boundary fence, once it's put in. So I'm thinking I might put row of murrayas so soften the space. Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The other side path commences

I laid out the pavers and timber edging on the weekend, just to see whether the design for the side path will work. I had an idea in my mind of what it would look like, but to see it in situ, no matter how rough, really helps.

You can see the ground is really uneven, I'll need to get some bedding sand, put down some weed mat and set up a stringline BUT I'm confident it will all look great at the end. Especially after a lot of elbow grease. I'm really crossing my fingers that there will be enough stones to do this.

Bella has some serious competition for the title of garden dog. Gizmo is in front, spending the whole time sitting right next to me just so, which is so, so cute. He doesn't like to face me though, he just sits REALLY close and looks the other way.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The week of the ute

Hubby has been in New Zealand for the past week on a snow kiting polar expedition (yes, that's a thing) and the last thing he said to me was to the effect of "don't use the ute too much." 

I'm not really sure why my driving makes him so nervous.

Anyway, nuts to that. I basically dropped him at the airport and headed straight to the landscapers and picked up the rest of the pavers to finish the side path for part two of the under the house transformation. It's crazy how expensive delivery fees are. This load would have cost the same in delivery fees, effectively doubling the cost of the project, even though the landscapers are only one suburb away.

I also made numerous trips during the week to Bunnings for mulch and plants and Adairs to pick up a bed head. Utes are soooo handy, I so want to get one.

I also picked up the rest of the treated pine needed to finish the garden edging for the path. Jumpy claps! I now have everything to finish the path…I just need the time now to do it.

He's back now ❤️. He never reads this though…so he'll never know…😉

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Magic Mulberry Tree

This straggly little tree has never really had leaves for the six years I've had the place. It just had some straggly branches, the odd curled up shoot and always seemed to be covered in aphids and mealy bugs. I had no idea what kind of tree it was, but I'd actually been meaning to cut it down but had misplaced my saw.

Then, a couple of months ago I accidentally walked into one of the branches (because they're so straggly and pathetic I didn't see it) and ended up with a scratch on my forehead and mealy bug dust in my hair. I got super annoyed, grabbed my secateurs and gave it a massive prune. Then I jettisoned all the aphids and mealy bugs with a hose and gave it a spray with Confidor.

I didn't really give it much thought until yesterday when I threw the ball to the dog but I'm so unco it ended up nowhere near the dog, but next to the tree.


First decent leaves and first fruit ever!
It was the best surprise! It not only had leaves…it had FRUIT!! It's MULBERRY TREE!!!! I can't even begin to explain how excited I am about this!! I had a mulberry tree growing up and I've always wanted one. In fact it's in the plan I had previously written about for the backyard.

I'm super excited BUT faced with a dilemma - the tree is on the spare block. You know, the one I'm about to put on the market? What if the new owners chop it down like I was going to? I can't even bear the thought. So I've spent the last 24 hours researching how to transplant it.

Can't wait to see if it's a black mulberry or red mulberry
So…the plan is (after much internet research, forum posting etc), to prune it back hard and try and strike the cuttings as a back up. Then I'll dose it up with Seasol to try and counteract any transplant shock and try and move it to a big pot in a couple of months. Maybe when the backyard is ready I'll plant it in the backyard as per the original plan.

The only things is, it's a pretty thick trunk and so very close to the fence. Oh well, I can only try. It'll be my first transplant!

I love how this house still sends me little surprises, even after so many years.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Signing and sealing complete

Brisbane City Council has signed and sealed the subdivision plans. Hooray!! The only step left now is for the bank to give their consent to split the titles and then to submit the two titles to the Titles Office.

After a five year battle, the battle has been won. As soon as all of this is complete, we'll put the spare block on the market and hopefully it will sell quickly. And that will be the end of this whole saga.

You'd think after all this I'd be a bit gun shy about it all. But truth be told, looking back, I loved every minute of it. My town planner sent me a message, "We finally got there in the end, but if you decide to do this again, try and find something less complex.". I sent back a message saying, "heads up, looking for the next project already." :)

Once the titles are done, our house number changes from 57 to 55. I wasn't expecting that.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The indoor plant collection at the house project

The Echiveria (succulent) in the lounge
Amazing from above
I'm pretty good with the garden and outdoor plants, but I'm totally crap with indoor plants. Almost all of the indoor plants I've attempted have died either from overwatering, underwatering, too much sun or not enough sun or just natural or unexplained causes.

But I REALLY want plants in the house so I've made a concerted effort to do some proper research into unkillable indoor plants and I think it's finally paying off. I have a house full of plants that seems to not only be alive, but also thriving and I'm absolutely thrilled.

Here's a few of the plants in the house.

The peace lily (spathiphyllum) in the lounge

Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum) in the reading room

The maidenhair fern (Adiantum spp) in the bathroom

The fiddle leaf fig (ficus lyrata) i the entrance

The wax plant (hoya) in the guest bedroom)

The jade plant (crassula ovate) in the lounge

The philodendron in the dining room when it was on the floor (Josh photo bombed every single photo!)

And when I moved it to a plant holder - I think it looks much better here.

The peace lily (spathiphyllum) in the master bedroom

So you can see they're alive and thriving pretty well. All of these were chosen because they were supposedly hardy and low maintenance. So far they've proved that to be true. Kicking plant goals!