Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

bushfires

There have been some bushfires to the south and south east of us here.  6 separate ones in fact. The fire at Margaret River saw the destruction of thirty one houses, four sheds and nine chalets, including the historic Wallcliffe House, while 16 houses and one shop were damaged at Prevelly, Gnarabup and Redgate.
 
I took the dog for a walk yesterday evening. The smoke isn't too thick here as we are about 90mins drive away from most of the fires. But it is thick enough here to make for an eerie sky.  Have heard 2 planes go overhead today though Hope that doesn't mean more fires.







Almost home.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A few snapshots

Just a little progress around the place.

The front gate went on.  We decided to go for a "pool" type gate as they are much lighter than a traditional gate. Attempting to dig a deeper hole for a bulkier and longer support post for a heavier gate would have been a major drama  in our rocky ground.


Doggy door frame arrived from the UK finally. It was cheaper to buy the same kit from there than to buy it locally  from Perth and have it posted down ( by over $70)
or to buy it even more locally ( by over $100) 

We've bought some paving.  Around 240m2 in fact.  They are 2nd's.  Given we could easily use another 100m2 with ease and end up spending closer to 20k for fancy paving we've decided to opt for a less fancy paver and  keep costs down.  With 2nds it  means a little  more cracking, some bowing, and a bit more variation in size and colour.  But overall well worth the savings as we ended up paying around $5.500 including 2 lots of delivery charges. ( we bought a smaller batch to test the waters then decided to get the lot) The plan is to do a small amount every few days.  We're no longer spring chickens and G is pretty much doing it on his own.  Doing a brilliant job of it too. The last time paving was done we were around 20 years younger so doing a small amount a few times a week is less strain on the back, the knees and  the rest of the body. G semi jokingly said he'll be finished in Feb.  I'm holding him to that.  Oh to win the lottery and be able to afford to pay some one. :)

At first we decided we quite fancied the underside of the pavers, but as work progressed we realised it wasn't as good a look as we had hoped for. So up they came.    Then when the alfresco area was almost completed G worked out why he was having more difficultly than expected in keeping the paving straight.  The first pack opened were slightly more square than the rest.  Up came the pavers again and they were all relaid  in the  same direction. 

It was amazing just how much dirt had to be dug out to level the ground.  
We have little mounds of builders white sand pad sand around everywhere that pavers have been laid.  We'll be using it to  cover up a bit of rocky ground near the fruit trees once the pavers have been sanded in.
We have baby pink lady apples.
 

 We've left a paver width gap up against the house for all paving areas except where there is a doorway.  This will be filled with bluemetal.  This is to assist the pest control man.  He had told G that they charge almost triple on jobs where they have to drill through paving ( every 1m)   to do their sprays as they will not lift pavers. His suggestion was to do the stones. So I guess when our next pestman visit happens we'll see what the bill is.




  Ever so nice to sit outside with a cuppa and not be in sand.


After a short break with not so practical paving weather.    G started on the front.
Lots of angles. Once all the whole piece paving is set out here G will buy a saw blade and do all the cuts.
Wattle loves roses. He likes to admire them for a second then bites them whole off the plants.  He only picks those in bloom that look  good never any that  have finished and are wilted.  His "handiwork" can be seen here on the pavers.  Usually he runs off to the lawn with the flower to scatter petals everywhere.
Once the paving is finished I'll build a retaining bed around the rose garden out of the leftover house bricks.

Pets.
Wattle wants to be friends. Mia isn't impressed. No matter how much she hisses and growls at him he whimpers for her and wags his tail and wants to play. (pounce on her)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Updates



He's 17 weeks tomorrow.  Has developed a "I'm being naughty" bark when he's doing something he shouldn't. It's a ," Look at me. I've got something/done something/ gotten somewhere  forbidden."
Yesterday he dashed into the office while I was sorting out the cat's breakfast because I'd forgotten to put the barricade back up.  When I went to "inspect" his current mischief he has a cat pompom toy in his mouth and was very pleased with himself. Can't wait for the doggy door to arrive and be installed. Hopefully the post will come this week as we now have to put his inside bed up in the mornings or he drags it through the house or outside.
He is getting much better at knowing our routines on weekdays. he knows I disappear in the mornings and no longer stands waiting and whining at the door for me to reappear. As soon as he hears the front door go in the afternoon  he knows it's me and is standing waiting for me as I open the door into the family room. He's much more compliant about morning nap times and at coming in after his middle of the night toilet break.  yippee.  No more standing outside trying to  find him in the dark and get him to come. He and the cat  have not yet reached tolerate stage.  He tends to want to bounce at the cat which she of course doesn't like at all. But they more frequently lie on the floor about 1 m apart either side of one of us when we are in the kitchen without a carry on. There is hope.


 On the house front.
A small amount of pavers have been ordered  and delivered for the alfresco area and the front verandah and path.  If these seem to be ok we will be ordering enough to do all the paving areas. The pavers are 2nds and discontinued but I have been informed there are plenty available at the moment so as soon as we know they aren't too much a problem to lay we'll order more. Not sure when w e'll get  to lay them but they are a bargain price not to be repeated so it's a case of buy while we can.
 There's a lot of time juggling going on at the moment. The weather has finally improved enough to get into the garden and do some work on the massive amount of weeds  that have appeared.  G spent yesterday whipper snipping the weeds on 1/2 the verge and all the weeds out the front around the driveway area. Remember we are on a corner 3/4 of an acre block so this was no small area.

I'm not keen for his to  do the same in the front garden. Too much risk the plants we want to keep will be damaged. I think it will be a matter of weeding while puppy sleeps as  they are so bad I need to use a shovel/large weeding fork on some of the larger ones and I can't do this with puppy around.
Pup does enjoy tearing off with any hand weeded weeds, giving them a few bites then returning for a new weed.

We had a bobtail visit the garden yesterday. Luckily G spotted it from the kitchen right near the wire fencing that divides the back from the front before the dog did.  I was able to go out and push it through the fencing.  I gave it some banana that had been left too long for us to eat. We then let the dog out so he could look at it.  What a carry on.  I ended up taking the bobtail into a neighbouring block along with the banana treat.

Friday, September 2, 2011

puppy

Much fencing and prep later.  Our laundry finally has some wall shelving for additional storage and a small broom cupboard
And  puppy is here.
He still has some growing to do. as he is only 12 weeks old. I'm guessing he'll be about double this size when he finishes growing.

Her's sound asleep under the table at the moment ignoring the dog bed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garden is changing.






We are still swamped with weeds but there's been a few changes.
Have discovered 4 native kangaroo paws growing in the garden. One has come up in the builders sand pad.  No nutrients  there at all I would have though. They are still small plants but to get an idea of what they will look like take a look at these ones I purchased and planted last year and earlier this year.


The biggest news for us is that our family has grown.  We've introduced pets for the first time in a long time. Although we've had guinea pigs and crazy crabs it's been 10 years since we had a cat or a dog.





Starting with a cat last week. Her name is Mia. She  is 5 and her owners moved back to the UK and put her in to CARE Perth rescue. After 9 days she is settling in well. But that's not the finish of the pet news.




After a number of years of research and testing we've found a dog that our eldest can  cope with without getting ill. We already knew he didn't seem to have a problem with poodles but we weren't too keen on getting a poodle. So after road testing the parent dog, and checking out 5 different pups from 3 litters we are taking on a Mini labradoodle. His name is Wattle. He will be 12 1/2 weeks old when we get him next Friday. Wattle will potentially be a stud boy for one of the 2 labradoodle  breeders here in WA who are part of the labradoodle association in Australia. This means they test for  genetic diseases in  all their breeding animals, do hip tests at 12 months on future breeding animals and  have quite rigid rules about selling  dogs and what happens if someone can't keep one.


 So there is action in the garden as we prepare.  More fencing going up.  Photos to come later today if I get time or otherwise added tomorrow.

Links below to the association and to Wattles breeder.



http://www.laa.org.au/
http://www.offtheedgelabradoodles.com/

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

from the front

April 26th 2010

June 29th 2011

Same view, Just waiting for as thick a fog. This is the closest we've had so far since the new house went up.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Orchard and forest view to the south.



We bought yet another gargoyle today. This one's a concrete "limestone look" one and we also purchased an Emperor Mandarin.   The gargoyle looks very much at home perched on a corner of the limestone retaining wall at the front of the house.
We've ordered both a dwarf granny smith and a dwarf pink lady ( pinkabelle) apple tree  from the small, in town nursery. They'll call us when they are in.



                                                      Trying to decide whether to fertilize or cut the lawn perhaps?





Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Quick update

We've added a few plants to some bits of the garden but not a lot.
We've been investigating adding a front gate near the garage and at this stage we have started considering pool gate type fencing as it would be the lightest option.
Had a win last weekend as I discovered one of the pool and spa companies in Bunbury stocked zeolite as a filter medium for some of their pool filters( zeobrite) so was able to get 2 15 kg bags. :)


Wednesday we went and purchased half a tray of seedlings for a hedge. We now have some people who have bought the property 2 from us and want to get a hedge started. The area is so rocky that the only way to do this is to buy small tube stock and let it find it's own way through the rock.
I've also started on some chicken wire to cover over the post and rail fencing so try and keep the rabbits out. It's hard going. My fingers are soft and they get very sore wiring up the 2 fences with wire. I've gt at least 70 more metres to go. I hope they don't come exploring tonight . My back is sore and I need to stop. Hubby spent almost  3 hours of measuring and digging with a crowbar produced holes big enough to plant small tube stick seedlings.  34 Pincushion Hakea's have now been planted. So now we have a hedge planted. One plant every 1.5 m. The last 3rd became steadily more and more rocky as you can see.
We have one left and 4 other plants to go in later in the week.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Time to get into it

We've been back a few weeks now and the rains have finally come. The garden bed is swamped by weeds, the roses in desperate need of pruning, veggies need pulling out and new soil put in. New veggies need to go in.
I've pulled up the tomato bushes and as of today, pulled up the carrots.  Not a success as the ground was too poor and hard. What we've ended up with has multiple roots and having left them in disgust, today when I finally pulled them up so I can start again, many are split. Still had to get a photo though.  If I get lots of improver  in I might try again with normal sized carrots but not for a while. (I planted baby ones.)
 On Mothers day I planted garlic from a friend. At almost 2 weeks in these are looking pretty good.
Garlic after 13 days.


Snow Peas


Capsicum

Baby Carrots. I didn't enrich the soil enough and make sure it was friable. The seeds germinated and everything looked promising until I started to pull them up. They all had multiple roots.  So I left the rest to rot in the  ground. Today I decided to pull them up anyway. The results were as I expected, pretty awful.  You can see what happens to carrots left in the  ground too long.  




Time to get organised for the day.  I'm off to buy new pruners.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rain

We've been so looking forward to rain I had forgotten about the down side.
 Back three days now. The garden is covered in green. Not good green but weed green. There are weeds everywhere. Far too many to weed by hand. I will be getting the rake and hoe out and  working on clearing them.  The drive still looks great but I notice there is some of the white sand mixed through it. Not too happy about that as I think it spoils the look.
Plants in pots seemed to have survived our 8 days away thankfully. I suspect the ground is still as rock hard as ever for digging but I'll need to get into it  and plant the hedge. At least one of the grevilleas is looking almost complete dead in it's pot.  I have some spongolite and zeolite to collect from a store in Bunbury to dig into the holes for each planting so it depends on whether or not the stock has arrived . Calls to make.
Also need to decide what veggies I want to grow over autumn and winter, buy some soil improver and veggie seedlings. ( or seeds)
Loved all the tropical looking plants around our accommodation in Bali. Took a few pictures but not heaps. Will upload later.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

AWAY Soon



Yes we are off again.
For a week this time.
Birthdays for friends.  Celebration time.

I have instructions to find a temple to visit.  Not sure which to choose.
I would love to go to Pura Luhur Uluwatu and see the kecak fire dance at sunset but I've heard the monkeys at the temple you are forced to pass are pretty nasty. Trained to steal.  so now I'm looking for something else.
 Perhaps the temple at Lake Batu-Bali Batur Temple

 Or somewhere else just as pretty.
There are main amazing places to see.


I've decided to try and recreate my original traveling blogs here--> Have Passport
I'll add some old blog stuff I saved when geocities died when we get home from Bali. But for now. It's all about Bali.