Path 2.0

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on December 31st, 2017 by Coffee

It’s always nice to finish a few chores before the end of the year, and this little bit of landscaping has been drifting on for while now! In fact I think it really kicked off in earnest in February this year.

We did think we’d finished Path 1.0 a long while ago, but unfortunately I don’t seem to have a picture of Path 1.0. 🙁

But we came to realise we made a small mistake in our choice of fill. We originally filled the path with pea gravel. Which looked good. But actually wasn’t. It was way too small, so most of it made its way into the house in our shoes, or just drifted into the gardens. So eventually we dug all that out and the path sat bare of top coat for a while.

Until today. Finally we went and got a couple of scoops of driveway chip and finished it off. Just in time for the new year!

Any chips with that?

Posted in Plants and Gardens on December 31st, 2017 by Coffee

If you look closely in this post from August 2016 you’ll see a pile of fresh woodchips sitting by the shed. That pile continued to grow truckload by truckload for about another year until there were five truckloads all in a row.

So after leaving enough time for the last load to gently age we decided at the start of December on about the warmest day of the year so far to go and shift some around all the natives. Wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, ride-on trailer by ride-on trailer, shovel by shovel the piles have gradually reduced so now they’re down to only about a third of the original size, and there’s some slightly happier trees

I just wish now I’d stopped to get the “before” photo of the piles.

Still a fair bit to move, but that can wait for a little bit while we spray out the weeds etc first. Need a bit of growing weather for them to realise they’re dead!

Stains

Posted in House on December 31st, 2017 by Coffee

We now jump forward to October 2017 when the next major operation of the year occurred. The Staining of the Trellis. And it did seem to be a major operation. Trellis is horrible to throw a paintbrush at!

But at least it’s now done, and hopefully won’t need touching up again for a few years. It certainly looks a lot nicer out there, and it evens out the colour of the old and new trellis quite nicely.

(Nearly) Invisible Work

Posted in Plants and Gardens on December 31st, 2017 by Coffee

New years eve now, so I feel like I need to catch up on a few of the things that went on this year before I forget about them!

The largest operation since the planting of all those trees back in May was the installation of a great many meters of pipe to water them all. This time I called in a man with a small vibrating mole plough who made it all seem so easy. Of course that was back in winter when the ground was nice and soft, but it was still a whole lot easier than trying to dig trenches by hand, and a whole lot tidier than getting in a digger to dig a channel.

All I had to do was to put in the 4mm dripper lines from the main lines that ran close to the trees. Took me a few weekends to get around to it, but they were all set to go before the big dry hit this year in November, and the trees look like they appreciate it all so far. And we appreciate the ease of turning on a few valves rather than standing with a hose or running around with watering cans.

Once that was all done it was a matter of scouting around for anything else that didn’t have water nearby and getting that sorted, so there’s now a fair amount of brown dripline along all the box hedging and other plants.

Next water related task is to get some drippers on the natives, but we need to finish the wood chips first… More on that next.

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!

newbeds_small

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!

newpergola_small

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.

nursery_small

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!