Monday, January 6, 2014

January, 2014

Happy New Year.  2014, How time flies.

 Everything is bubbling along.
We still have a couple of rooms to paint.  Perhaps these holidays.
Our office/junkroom is well over due for a clean up and tidy up.  I know there are papers I've had stored for the past 5 years that need to be dumped and we have enough "stuff" in the garage for a big tip trip in the next few weeks when G has some holidays. 
  As usual the garden still needs lots of work.  G spends a lot of time whippersnipping to keep the weed grasses down over the leech drains.

We've begun some more planting over the leech drains. a bit of a mixture including boronia, somegrevilleas, kangaroo paws as well as canna's ( Including one of the ones we received from  my MIL). These all seem to have settled in well.  I had a bit of excitement as I dug into the sand to plant some cannas I'd bought at a local market.   Managed to dig up a tiny frog who was very startled.

We've also had our fencing man in to complete the last of our colorbond good neighbour fencing and to install some pool fencing as we decided it was time to finally purchase a spa.   It's looking a little bare around the spa A.T.M.  hopefully some (currently) small golden cane palms we've bought will  green it up a bit.

As you can see, without the fencing we'd be very exposed. There is a new house going up directly across from our back yard which is the reason we've finally  gone ahead with the extra fencing.

We've also started our next hedging/privacy planting along  ground above the leech drains so that eventually we'll have privacy in the alfresco area.  A row of leucadendrons which should grow to around 2m. Right now they are very small but leuc's seems to grow well here.   I've another 5 in put in yet.  Digging in the rocky ground isn't easy so I've enlisted the help of youngest son and he's  going to dig the holes for me.  He's already  dug one hole large enough for me to plant a fairy magnolia and that's gone in already.
This poor dwarf granny smith apple tree is struggling under the weight of the apples.  I've already removed over 10 apples and teh dog has removed a few more. The 2nd pic is of the Pink lady apple tree.  The bugs and parrots seem to prefer these apples. I don't think we are going to get any from it at all.  Will need to considered some nets for next year

We have a large frog who seems determined to be part of the family. We think it's a motorbike frog.  He/She comes around most evenings.  The other night he obviously wanted to get closer to the spa. Perhaps he wanted a dip./  G discovered him hiding in the toe of his shoe  when he went to put them on after being in the spa.  ewww.
We've also discovered the spa is very nice early in the morning.  If we wake up early enough ( pref before 6)  the sun is below the fence line and it makes for a comfy, relaxed start to the day.  This was us a little later on Christmas morning enjoying a cuppa.
We have no intention of covering the spa with permanent shade as lying out, looking at the stars is one of the best bonuses about being out of suburbia.  We might invest in an umbrella at some stage however. Investigations still  to be completed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Update, so late

I hadn't realised how long it had been since my last update until I went to update some garden info elsewhere so here goes.
 I'm going to steal some updates from Homeone.

Sun May 26th- Was having a wander after planting a few more things today and discovered our pincushion hakeas are starting to flower.
Part of the hakea line. plants range in height from approx 60 cms to 2.5 m with most around the 1.6 m.
Little row of dwarf nandina's in front of the new fence.  



   I went  to the Nannup Tulip Festival and had a quick look around after performing with our local Choir in one of the tents.
There was a lovely display set up in the hall.


and a wonderful town entry display.
Wed Oct 9th
My posts on this thread have been few. I'm still unable to do a significant amount of work in the garden due to my back surgery in January. The weeds have/had taken over most of the front yard. I did manage to shift 4 of the roses and they are now beginning to bloom. I heard today about using banana skins to deter aphids so I'm going to give it a go. The roses have a bit of black spot as well so I'll be looking at treating that if the weather decides to play nice for a few more days and stay dry. we've had a very wet start to Spring here. Great for plant establishment but unfortunately also great for the weeds and blackspot on roses.

The lawn is overwhelmed with weeds. It hasn't had a good weeding for nearly a year. DH has vowed to spray it as it's so bad but it's been too wet.

Last week noting my despair he attacked the weeds in the smaller of the 2 side beds in the front and whippersnippered and weeded it. He then spread mulch over the bed.
It's looking far better at the moment.
Out the back we've planted a new lemon, "Eureka." Lots of thorns but delicious lemons.
A sublime lime. Both have been planted in the damp area below the leech drains. Hopefully they can soak up some of the moisture.

We've also planted a variety of wet/damp loving roo paws, and other plants in and around the leech drains including some damp loving boronias to try and help manage the bog that was the result of our extremely damp last couple of months. there are lots of weedy grass patches and DH has decided to keep them, hopefully tamed but still growing as the dog loves romping in them and it's better than having to chop them every week and putting up with a leech drain smelling dog from boggy bare earth.

The sole roo paw in our back garden has again flowered.
The mulberry "tree" ok stick is fruiting.
Both apple trees have survived 9 we think) though they are only just getting leaves back.
The native orchard spikes are beginning to appear and we continue to plant little tube stock natives under the trees. ( another 4 or so recently) though sometimes, missing my azaleas I'm tempted to drop in a couple of them. ( haven't succumbed yet)

Pet's are happy.
 Except when they think they will get to enjoy some sunshine and it starts to rain.

Fog 2 weeks ago. looking back towards the house.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

And it goes on

Well the new fencing looks fantastic. G has recently completed ( bar cuts) a small path along the front of the house. We went to  the Small Farm Field Day in Balingup  last weekend and bought some ground covers to protect the soil as it drops down from the rose garden to the path.  Now we just need to move the additional soil elsewhere ( hmm  side garden??? and we can plant the ground covers  out). There's quite a bit more soil against the bricks than shown in the pic below now that hubby has finished the paving path.  We need to get a new wheel for the barrow before the soil can be shifted.

The bricks will be used for a new wicking bed around the side of the house as I plan to remove what's left of the veggie garden out the front.
Once the soil is moved I can order some blue metal for against the house and for the wicking beds.

See here for some wicking bed ideas.
This post is from

I've been researching this topic recently as I'm planning to move my veggie beds from the front garden into a dedicated area out the back. I have been wanting to do some wicking beds but was put off by the cost of the water cubes used. I've found a few more ways to do this. Here are some links in case anyone else is interested.

Original inspiration from Costa.

Using ag pipe, stormwater pipe and even plastic storage crates.
wicking bed you tube clips This link to a blog is refusing to working this morning but the link usually works.

Related PDF's

Report this postSome links to previous threads on Homeone.

Petars fabulous Wordpress blog link. It has a list of more links at the bottom of his blog page.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Almost there. Just a little further.

We finally decided to get some fencing quotes for the next fencing project.  Price came back and was pretty darn good so  we got to, organising  the fencing man. Trouble was he wanted to do it a week earlier than we could be ready so there was a lot of frantic clearing of pavers off the wall , weeding and paving done by G.  There is still about a 1 metre to go paving wise. But the fence looks fantastic.    Riversand framework and primrose( cream) panel and lattice.   We like it so much I think we will end up continuing it on in for the rest of the retaining wall but in a 1.2m height.

Temporary fence has since been removed. I'll replace this picture later today with one without the temp fence.

  We still have to fill in the gap between the house and paving and G has 3 paths to lay but these are minor in comparison to the huge expanses of paving already completed.

Of my back: I've been officially discharged from the care of the back surgeon. His comment was that when they opened me up they were astonished that I had been able to walk.  I need to get on to a physio soon and  get more strength building  exercises.  I'm still not doing much garden or otherwise. Though I did manage to plant 5 things yesterday  I wasn't ready to risk using a shovel so the holes were dug with a trowel. I also managed to remove one of the steel temp fencing posts by myself.  It was still enough exercise to make me a little achy last night. I'll have to be careful to not lift anything heavy for a few more months and to take each day as it comes.  The surgeon said there is still the possibility I might need further surgery later and to come see him if I have back pain later on. All up to me now.   He was very surprised at how stable I was and that I was able to walk nearly 5 kms within 3 weeks of surgery, get out of a straight chair just using my  legs etc. etc.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

13 days post op.

Well I'm alive, kicking  and almost bored silly.   I'm gradually watching all  my favourite tv shows and movie collection. The operation was a huge success.  The entire cyst was removed. It was "well adhered" according to the surgeons notes for the physio.  Apart from some terrible pain and discomfort for the first day or so from the surgery  and a few minor post op effects I was 100% straight away.  None of the pre op pain existed from straight away.    It's now 13 days later.  I get tired quickly if I walk and can't go far yet. The first week going to the shops with G  meant I was shattered after 30 mins  from trying to stand and walk nice and straight etc.  I can feel the area that was operated on when I lie flat on my back. As in, I'm aware of it.  But no pain.  On a bad back day it feels like I've  over done the gardening and my back is left aching.  But that is less and less. The 23 staples were removed last Monday, exactly a week after the surgery. If some people go back to work after 3 weeks which would be in 8 days from now I can't see how I can't start doing more  in another week.  But I'll have to wait and see. I haven't been in a car for any great distance since returning home from the hospital.  That was done on 3 stages of 50 mins or so with back support and stops for a 10 mins stand and walk break. However I intend to get the youngest to take me to work on Thursday so I can talk to the teacher who will have my class and do a bit of a handover. She will also be my Friday job share teacher as we've decided I am going to only work 4 days a week from now on. I guess that means they are now, OUR class. Yippeee. 
Lying on my stomach is still far too uncomfortable and I was told not to do it but not for how long not to.  It is the same with all the other restrictions. told not to do them but not for how long.  I just have to stop myself  bending( a no no) or doing anything I'm not meant to.   No gardening, cleaning, cooking, washing, hanging washing etc.  hmm  well I've been making sandwiches for lunch since day 4.  Have cooked dinner twice.  The first time I was a bit tired by the time   prep was over.  But I've managed to cook a couple of cakes etc.  which is something I always try to do when on holidays. I am looking forward to seeing the physio next week hopefully although I haven't had a notice yet so I'm not sure when I'll be contacted.  I hope that the physio might be able to advise when I can start driving. I certainly can't imagine not driving for another 6 weeks.   Hopefully I'll get a letter with my post op appointment for  mid Feb soon.  Whilst it might not be 100% wise to drive yet I am not that limited and could do it easily.   I try not to twist or bend  as per surgeons instructions but of course sometimes you do.  There is no pain. Not to say that  it isn't stopping the healing process though. so very frustrating and I do try to limit the times I do it.
Poor dog and cat are  waiting  to be fed atm as I chose to bake for breakfast instead of feed them. I figure that's my "bend" for the morning.  I'll get eldest up soon to give them food.

The yard:
  The lawn was given a serious weeding by me before I left for the operation. It was also given a good dose of a soil wetter and minerals to try and help it out over the very hot patch and a seasol and molasses treatment.  I can see the weeds coming back. I know better than to try and weed although I've pulled out a couple of weeds that taunted me too much for me to stand.  1-5 good.   15  not so good. Won't do that again but I guess I could use a weed wand and poison them.
I am hoping to talk one of the boys into doing some gardening for me today. A few bits that are really annoying me. I guess it depends on how warm it gets though.
As the weather has been really warm G has taken the opportunity to have a break from paving but  I know he wants to get back into it and get it over with.   It will be good to see it all done. It's  a mammoth task.  Most garden work atm consists of watering to keep everything alive during this very warm period.