Sunday, July 30, 2017

Feathered friends

I'm in a reflective mood today peeps, thinking about all the fab things about the house and the neighbourhood. This was brought on while I was having a cup of tea on the back balcony and this little feathered friend flew in and sat on the railing. There were actually two of them but one flew away before I could get my phone. It's pretty common for kookaburras to sit here, I guess they like the view.  We also get the occasional deer (which I've never actually seen, just reported the community page) in the neighbourhood and other wildlife like foxes and bush turkeys.

This place really is fab - I just want to take a moment to appreciate it. The train station is down the road, the Woolworths and some great cafes and restaurants are down the road. Bunnings is just a quick drive away and neighbours are really great. I'm really grateful for the time we've had here.

Now, back to the kookaburra. Look how chill he is! Josh got even closer and he didn't even bat an eyelid. Sat there for about 20 minutes before he flew off. Hope he comes back for a visit.

Friday, July 28, 2017


The turf is in people!!! I laid EVERY SINGLE ROLL of this, by hand and all in one go. It took about four hours and god I was sore the next day, but oh so happy with the result.

This is what 150m2 of turf looks like! I nearly had a heart attack when it arrived and I saw how much there was, although I don't really know what I was expecting. It also didn't arrive until almost 10am and I knew it had to be laid straight away or it would start to dry out. So while laying turf in the middle of the day wasn't very appealing, it had to be done. I guess I should have been glad it was Winter.

The rolls were all a bit different, some were a lot drier than others but I've been giving them a good soak with the sprinkler. Hopefully they'll all survive.

The turf has made an amazing difference to the backyard. It's beautiful to sit out there an enjoy the sunshine. I've also got a fire pit on order so when that arrives we'll be toasting some marshmallows out on the patio before winter is over.

The dogs are loving it too. Next up, mulch.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Patio and plants are in!!

The garden edging and plants are in and not only do they look better than I thought they would, there was enough to complete the entire garden. Jumpy claps!!! I love the pop of colour that the cordylines create.  The combination of the plants, even though they came from different gardens just seems to work.

I also used leftover treated timber for the garden edges. It was cheap (well, free really) and did the job relatively well. I'm pretty happy with the budget for this garden so far...

I also used the leftover bricks to create a little patio at the back. It's Winter here at the moment and I was planning to style it with a fire pit and some chairs. It's simple and will be a nice place to relax.

Next up, turf and mulch.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Topsoil - tick!

The topsoil has been delivered and the backyard has gone from this....

To this!!  The turf can't be delivered for another week, but I still have to lay out the garden bed edging and plant the plants. Everything is running on schedule.

Bella approves. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The free plant challenge

I've set myself a challenge to create the entire garden with plants I've gotten for free. Crazy I know, it's partly for economic reason and partly for eco reasons. I don't want to spend any more on landscaping than I already have and I really want to save plants that are destined for the rubbish. It's nuts that entire gardens full of established plants are tossed away during garden renovations and the same plant is $25 for a single pot at Bunnings.

I thought this challenge would difficult and time consuming with lots of driving and digging but I was super, SUPER lucky and it only took two houses.


The first place was on the other side of town, so a bit of a drive but so worth it. This couple was turning their front garden into a productive garden, so all the old agaves had to go. There were eight really large ones and dozens of smaller pups - 32 all up!  I took my trusty handsaw and shovel but they were relatively easy to remove. They fit nicely in the back of the car and are ready for planting when the garden beds are ready.

The second one happens to be a place that Jansen is demolishing. It's really hard to see, but there are loads of bromeliads and cordylines in the front. It took me quite a few hours to get them out and loaded up into the car, but oh so worth it.

I was pretty happy once I loaded up but when I got in the car I turned around and saw this.


I didn't know what to do, so I just took a photo and sat on the ground and pondered the fact that  I probably just loaded 30 of these arachnids into the back of the car, something I definitely hadn't considered during the process.


Anyway, I love animals, but I hate spiders so I squished it and hightailed it home as fast as I could. After I unloaded it I sprayed the car, but luckily nothing came out.

It was a fantastic haul - hundreds of bright cordylines, ctenanthe and spathiphyllums. They're all just sitting in buckets of water until they're ready for planting.

And there were 68 bromeliads. Yep, I counted them cause that's what I do. I'm pretty confident this will actually be enough to do the whole garden, but I'll keep an eye on Gumtree anyways.

Generally the type of plants that will transplant well are tropical plants and just so happens all the ones collected are tropical so I guess that's what the backyard will be. It will be different to the front yard and not originally what I planned, but I'm sure it will be ok. Actually I'm sure it will be awesome. And, you know, free.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Backyard garden update - tree trimming and moving bricks...again

Now that the fence is up, the transformation of the backyard has begun! I'm spending ALL my time on it! We're on a bit of a time limit because the people who have bought the block next door have been kind enough to let me use the access from their driveway to truck in soil and turf to the backyard through a fence panel that has been left off. They'll be commencing their build though shortly, so my window of opportunity is limited. 

First thing to do is move this pile of bricks...again. I need them out of the way so I can put down topsoil and turf. These have been there since I bought the house and were probably left over from the original house as they were the same as those used under the deck. I think over the years I've moved these about four times and there'll still be another time when I move them back to make a little patio area. THAT will be the last time!!!

I also need to trim back those trees. They're yellow oleander and they're actually quite pretty but quite poisonous. Plus I want to put some plants underneath that area and they'll need to be able to get some sunlight.

Bought myself a new pruning saw!!! New toys!! Huzzah! PS: my new steel caps are so awesome. I'd be happy just to wear them generally - you know, shopping, weddings etc.

"Overflowing" is such a subjective word. For the record, Council still collected it. Half it did fall out as I dragged it 60 metres back to the kerb.

Tree trimming accomplished! This took a good three hours. I might invest in a chainsaw for next time.

The bricks have been move to their temporary, second final spot. There were over 200 hundred, solid bricks (e.g. not the new style ones with the holes in them). It took me 2 days, but I did have a bit of help from the son. 

The next stage is topsoil!  Bring it on!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Marimekko Canvas Find

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Gumtree? This giant Marimekko Ulmenia canvas is my latest ultimate find. I wasn't even looking for it and I can't even remember what I was originally searching for. Regardless, it came to me somehow and was just meant to be.

I'd always planned a statement piece for the space at the landing, just hadn't found exactly what I wanted. Well, not entirely, I had considered putting this Marimekko Hetkia Moments there, but I really wanted something with colour that would really stand out from the bottom of the stairs and this was perfect! Weirdly, I do know this piece from my general love of Marimekko - so I knew EXACTLY what it was when it came up.

The lady that I bought it from was selling it for her mother. She'd bought a display apartment and this was in it. It was taking up too much space in the storage area downstairs so she was more than happy to get rid of it for what I consider to be a very, very good price!

The canvas is HUGE!  So big in fact, I couldn' fit it in my Honda CRV and had to call for a ute. To put it into perspective, this is Jansen prepping it for hanging and he's 6 foot tall.

From every angle it looks amazing. I love it so, so much and it's so perfect in this space. Some things really are meant to be.

PS: In case you can't see it, it's a cow. (Can't unsee that now can you?)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Stone top up under the house

I had the guys who did the fence also replace the treated timber border under the house with 200mm sleepers. They also laid some builder's plastic and topped up the tumbled river rock. I had originally put some weedmat down, but it was pretty useless and there were loads of weeds coming through.

The larger sleepers separates the space a bit better and will also make it easier to spread the topsoil and turf that's coming later next week. 

I would so have loved to deck or pave this, but it's just too expensive at this stage. That will be for the next family to make their own.

I'm still getting used to the fence being's so weird to have such a small backyard after so long having a big one. Maybe once all the landscaping goes in I'll feel a bit different, maybe it will feel more cozy and intimate.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

This is what 52 metres of fence looks like!

The dividing fence is up!! All 52 metres of it - that's a whole lotta fence!! The guys that did it though only took 2 days to build it, I was pretty astounded at just how quick they were. It's a pretty standard pine fence, the cheapest type you can get, but my plan is to put hide the fenceline with plants and hedges so it's really not a big deal. Not sure what my new neighbours will be doing with their side yet but I would think it's probably a similar plan.

The new fenceline is CRAZY close to the house. In actual fact, along the concrete garage pad, they've dynabolted the posts to the pad rather than into the ground as it was too close to the footings.

The two separate backyards look sooo teeny now. I'm so used to having a large backyard and so are the dogs. We've installed a removable fence panel as the kind new neighbours are allowing us to use the access from their driveway to truck in topsoil and turf, which is next on my to-do list.