Autumn Planting

Posted in Plants and Gardens on May 7th, 2017 by Coffee

Over the last few weekends we’ve dotted a few more trees around the place. When I say a few, I mean 23. Big ones. Luckily we didn’t have to dig the holes ourselves. We got a digger in one weekend to do that. But we did have to fill them all in again! Took a few days to get them all in, but finally they’re all in.

A bit of a mix from some Planes, English Limes, Birches, Oaks, and Liquidambars. Apologies for the effort at landscape photography. It’s surprisingly difficult to capture multiple trees!

Path Progress

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on April 23rd, 2017 by Coffee

A bit of a flurry of activity over the last week or so. Helped by the recent public holidays, welcome babysitters, bonus labourers and last but not least the paid help.

This week saw the arrival of the paving boys to finally edge the back door path and drop a bit of base course in for the path too. Nice to see some clean lines out there finally. Now we just have to decide what to top it with that’s going to be nice to walk on with groceries etc.

It’s surprisingly hard to take decent pictures of a path that turns on a right angle, so forgive me if it’s not all that clear what’s going on.

It’s almost as difficult to take a picture of a curved path too. But finally after three trips to the buxus nursery the front path has its edging in place. I could have sworn I got enough to finish the rows on the second trip, but as I was creeping closer to the end planting the second batch I found myself thinking more and more “we’re not going to make it, no, we’re not going to make it…” and I was right. Ended up nine short. But a quick pit-stop style third trip to the nursery on the way to another appointment and we were sorted.

They’ve got just a little bit of catching up on the ones along the house, but hopefully they’ll get there.

So that’s a couple of chores finally ticked off. Not that the list is looking all that much shorter, but it’s progress.

A little yellow digger this time!

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on February 21st, 2017 by Coffee

Apparently watching garlic dry isn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped. There’s been murmurings from the cheap seats, so I guess you’re due a long overdue update. Luckily last weekend there was something to update you on!

We managed to drag ourselves outside in the light drizzle on Friday night and play with a bit of orange paint in the back door area.

Just as well as there was a little yellow digger arriving (with driver) on Saturday morning to do a few bits and bobs. First up was to remove the big piles of stones and dirt left over from the garage project. That really didn’t take long when you have a big enough tipper truck and a fair bit of experience with diggers!

Then it was on to the trickier stuff. Especially as some of it was under the house and garage eaves. But no worries.

We even managed to get the new hedge line dug out, filled with some vege mix, planted, and the with irrigation pipe in as well. All in time to watch the cricket. Or we would have watched it if it hadn’t been rain-delayed.

All in all a good weekend’s work. Amazing what you can get done if you have the right tools! The kids even got to have a ride in the digger. They weren’t too keen on that though!

Now we just have to get some path edging in, and then the path filled up again. Hopefully there won’t be month’s between updates this time!

It’s been a bumper year for garlic!

Posted in Plants and Gardens on December 30th, 2016 by Coffee

This would have to be by far the best crop of garlic we’ve had since we started growing it. Every bulb a big fatty, and more than 100% strike (some cloves must have been sneaky double ones when I planted them). I suspect the very wet November and December helped, along with the automated watering for the dry times.

It was due to rain the other day when we pulled them up so they were all stacked up inside the garage on a table. And did the garage smell of garlic the next day? It certainly did! even the inside of the closed cars had a bit of a whiff on. Hopefully a bit of time outside will help them lose a bit of that stink.

We’re down to the last dozen or so bulbs from last year’s crop, so it’s pretty good timing really. Although we did give a fair few bulbs away last year. And this year we’ve got at least 20 or 30 extra bulbs compared to last year.

Almost there…

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on December 12th, 2016 by Coffee

Just about have this year’s major additions finished now. The three new vege beds have been installed and even plumbed up with the major irrigation hoses. Just need the dirt/compost now to arrive to fill them all.

They’re the three at the back of this shot in case you can’t work it out!


And the pergola extension is looking really good. Just the two side panels to fit once they’ve been made to fit. Nots sure just yet what we’ll do for shade for the next year or two. Pondering a shade sail to go over the top for a bit. We’ll definitely need something though!


The new nursery.

Posted in Plants and Gardens on December 4th, 2016 by Coffee

It’s been a while since we built the two big vege patches, but so far this season they’ve remained in the same state as when they were built. But today with a bit of a prod and the assistance of a very welcome babysitter we converted one of them into a temporary nursery for all the trees that have been collecting around the place.


So hopefully we can keep them all a bit more regularly watered (or will be able to once I manage to get a few sprinklers set up) and a bit more protected from the wind. And hopefully the addition of some weedmat will keep the sheep’s sorrel and yarrow at bay for a while.

Although they really can’t get too comfortable there as we’ve found we really do want a bit more space for veges. I’ve even currently run out of room to plant any radishes!

A small extension…

Posted in House on December 4th, 2016 by Coffee

It would appear that someone placed the new garage in the wrong place, so to make things like up a bit more we’re having to add a little more onto the pergola. But to be honest we also need it to get the table fully under some cover, as it’s still really, really hot out there when the sun’s blazing down. So another few rows of pavers have been laid, and then there’ll be a bit of woodworking required, but the result should be a real improvement.


More rolling action…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on November 13th, 2016 by Coffee

Today was rolling day again. A slightly smaller tractor than the last time we caught this action, but a roll of the back paddock it was. The new grass that was sown has been growing well, but it didn’t have the stones pushed down so cutting and baling it would have been interesting. Not sure animals like eating stones, but I am sure baling machines don’t!


But after a few glitches to proceedings one of the neighbours will be taking grass for hay from the back this year so had a few laps with a roller to make it all nice and baler friendly. Hopefully with a bit more spring rain, then some nice warm and dry summer days he’ll get a decent crop from it.

Filling up again.

Posted in Plants and Gardens on November 13th, 2016 by Coffee

What a difference a month makes. The nice empty tunnel house has been filling up slowly with all sorts of goodies. Tomatoes, tomatillos (2 of them this year, so hopefully this season we’ll get some – tip for newbies: apparently you need two to get any fruit!), cucumbers, peppers, chillies, basil, Thai basil, strawberries, and a lemon tree that needs to be evicted very soon to make way for some snake beans.


Irrigation’s 80% sorted. Just a few drippers that have been popping off the end of the pipes, but the more drippers I run off them the less that’s happening. Can’t really lower the pressure much more or the valve has a bit of a hissy fit. But we’ll sort it out.

Hopefully if we can keep the pests at bay we’ll have a great season. So that’s a 50/50 chance then!

Spring Cleaning

Posted in Plants and Gardens on October 15th, 2016 by Coffee

It’s that time again. The time of the year that I wonder why I haven’t found somewhere else for all the stuff that’s normally stacked in corners of the tunnelhouse to live as I’m sweating profusely carting it all out in order to give the tunnelhouse it’s annual spray down.

But finally it was empty.


Now I’ve just got to work out if there’s anywhere else for this pile to go or whether it’s going straight back in there for at least another year once things dry off a bit…