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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Watching the grass grow!

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

It’s growing! Two weeks on and there’s shades of green appearing everywhere. Hard to capture it all in a photo, but as well as the very obvious patches that seem to have gotten a double seeding there’s little green stalks all over the rest of the earth as well.

We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather. There’s been enough rain, showers and dew that we’ve only had to water twice so far. Although there has been some quite heavy rain so there’s a few little patches where we can see piles of seed has floated from some water pools, but I’d rather have too much water than not enough!

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Preparing to watch the grass grow…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on October 2nd, 2016 by Coffee

It was meant to be a autumn game, but due to the weird autumn and winter weather we had it’s turned into a spring one. Either way the name of the game has remained the same. It’s called “let’s watch the grass grow!”

Both the left and right sides of the house have been cultivated, cultivated some more, cultivated again, and then stone buried, seeded and rolled. (I might have left out a cultivation or two there). So all that’s left is to watch the green creep over it. Hopefully the green will be more grass than weeds!

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But for a dose of something that’s not brown, our Rhodo has launched into its best display yet. Almost worth hanging out the washing just to look at it. Almost.

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More lines…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on August 21st, 2016 by Coffee

With the help of some very welcome babysitters last Sunday we managed to get the front hedging in and tree-guarded while the ground was still very wet and the trees were all still alive. All 47. That leaves us three spares in case any take a disliking to their new home, or the nasty hares or rabbits take a liking to one or two.

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But with another very dry summer forecast this year it’s going to be pretty important that we get them sorted out with some water. And as luck would have it yesterday I spotted the neighbour trundling around on a trencher laying a bit of pipe for probably the same reason. I decided Bec was the better negotiator, so sent her over the fence to beg. And over he popped.

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And soon we had a nice new trench all the way from the pump shed to the hedge line.

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Now we just have to plonk a pipe in the middle and fill it in again. Much easier than having to dig it all out and then fill it in!

While he was there we also got him to rip a new trough for a new run of hornbeams. They were in desperate need of some attention, sitting bare root as they were in a bag for far too long.

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So in a run of those went, with some in pots, and the remainder of the hundred taking up valuable real estate in one of the vege beds. Not sure if they’ll be there for the year now or not. We’ll work that out shortly. I hope!

Next projects…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on August 7th, 2016 by Coffee

Time to come out of hibernation a bit. Yes, the garage really is finished, or was a while ago now. Well, bar the hanging of many items on the wall, potentially a bit of garage carpet on one side, and a freezer. But we’ll call it finished for now! Pity it’s too full of cars all the time, so you can go without a photo for now.

So on to new tasks.

First up to plant a few trees that turned up on the doorstep (one box needs an “eventually” added somewhere in there) this week. Only 180 of them. Of which 120 are bare root, and need attention sooner rather than later. Gulp!

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I managed to get the the Black Pines and ten Maples done the other night, so there’s only 100 small Hornbeams to go. They’re the ones crammed tightly into the white plastic bag. Oh joy!

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And then to get the 50 hedge Cypress in, along with a random ten Kanukas and then we’re done.

At least until the next stage – moving this rather large heap of mulch around them all!

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Anyone want to come lend a hand and a wheelbarrow?!

So, so close!

Posted in House on April 4th, 2016 by Coffee

You’ve possibly been wondering just whether the garage has finally been finished or not. And the answer is……… Almost! Sigh.

It’s been a bit of a comedy of errors (or somethings) getting the garage doors on, but at last they’re on. Sort of. Tonight was the first night that they’ve both been down so it’s been a fully closed in building. So I thought a low light photo was worth taking to celebrate that.

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There’s still the final openers to fit, and a bit of cable to fix, but then it’s finally finished. Even though that’s still be done apparently the council have signed it off as complete, so it won’t be long until it’s really ours.

And then the hard work begins. Painting the interior. That should be a mini adventure!

Looks like we grew a pear. Or several pears!

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on March 20th, 2016 by Coffee

As seems traditional with any sort of building project progress has reduced to a glacial pace. The electrical side has been completed, so really all we’re waiting for is the garage doors to be installed (they’re in boxes in the garage – apparently there needs to be a bit more concrete ground out of the rebate or something before they can go in), and the drainage to be complete then we’re done except for the painting which we’ll be attempting ourselves. At least to start with. We’ll see how long that lasts!

But in other news, we seem to have managed to get a decent crop from one of our pear trees this year. In fact it’s the first pear crop we’ve really had of any description. Up until last week I wasn’t aware that you’re meant to harvest pears a little under ripe and ripen off the tree, so these might actually be a little too ripe, but we’ll take them!

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It also seems that unnoticed by us the white peach tree has been quietly ripening its small, but very yummy white peaches. Again for the first crop from them. Bonus!

I suspect a lot of this is down to the extra water they’ve all received this year. Either that or they’ve finally matured just enough to deal with the conditions here. But it’s nice to finally get something back from them!