Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And roses go in.

The row might not look straight but it is!

After finishing digging it it was finally time for the reward. When we decided to sell our last house I took cuttings from my favourite rose plant to a local rose nursery and they were able to graft the cuttings on to new root stock. I had to do this if I wanted this rose at the new house because no one was growing that particular rose in WA anymore. It's a Floribunda rose ( always thought it was a HT) , non scented and I guess because of this not very popular. It's called Scarlet Queen Elizabeth. But I love the colour of the flower. After about 9 months of waiting anxiously I heard they had managed to get 17 plants from the cuttings I'd done so I took a trip up to Perth and picked out 7 to keep.
For months I've had an idea in mind for the rose garden. A zigzag look of two rows with room between for others. I'd drawn them on computer in the proposed layout and even set them out in their pots last week and thought it looked ok. However with the ground ready finally to take them I didn't like the look at all. Trying to imagine them with random roses between just didn't produce a good look in my mind's eye. So I've opted for a single row.

I will be buying some more roses later on. Some scented ones.

Black magic.
Black Velvet
"Black Velvet " in memory of my nan who passed away about a month ago. ( it was her favourite rose)and "Papa Meilland" will be three I will be buying.
Papa Meilland ( for it's lovely scent)

At this stage I'm not sure what others I will buy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dig, dig and more digging.

As you can see from the photo's this little bed is only the start of a huge garden production that will be a number of years in the making.

I have to wait until the 4th to find out if I can get any more tube stock punnets of the dwarf abelia. Hopefully they nursery will have some in stock.

I'm about half way through digging in the soil conditioner. It's a bit warm to finish atm and seeing as I'm not used to physical work I'm doing a small bit each day. I really need to dig it in further but this is just to make a start on the bed and then I'll use some more to increase the percentage of conditioner to sand when I actually plant my roses and other plants.

A few shots from slightly different angles of the bed I'm working on.

And some plants from Mum. This photo is really here so Fu can have a fit at all the dietes and rhoeos.

I found this nice little plant at the local "Thrifty Link hardware store. Quite like it. So took a couple of shots so I remember it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fans and Garden

Got home from Perth yesterday evening feeling quite shattered. We caught up with family and managed to do a bit of Christmas sales buying yesterday as well. Went to Beacon Lighting and picked up 5 ceiling fan lights for the house. This means all bedrooms except the spare will have a ceiling fan and we will also be putting 2 in the main living area. We did try to get the same ones exactly but couldn't get them in the same colour combinations so have settled for 2
different colours, 3 variations on the same model. We've had to leave 3 of the fans in Perth until our next trip as we ran out of boot space.

This is the one for our bedroom.

This is one of the ones for the main living area where the computers all are.
This one is also for the main living area and will be between two ceiling lights.
We have 1 chrome fan /light with wenge blades, One chrome fan with wenge blades for the main living area.
2 white ceiling fans with lights for the boys rooms and one white eco version (T5 fluro) light fitting for our bedroom. This one has a slightly more bulgy light fitting section but it was the only way to get the fluro light which is meant to be brighter than the ones in the other lights. They are all hallogen not CLF as this was the only version offereed in this light model. We couldn't find any other fans that we both liked although both of us saw ones we liked individually.
The brand is Lucci and the fan is called the Futura. Choice magazine didn't rate it super highly
(We didn't have $350 to spend per fan) but in the mid price range fans it was one of the better ones.

These are the minor bedroom lights. You can see our main bedroom one behind it.

Today I started on our first proper garden bed. ( There's a temp one for some plants that will eventually be moved near it) the weather isn't exactly perfect for gardening but I've been itching to get started and finally the retaining wall guy finished the last section of wall at the front of the house. ( I think we should have one more block but never mind perhaps he can add that when we eventually bring him back to do the other side of the house. I planted 18 dwarf abelias along the edge of the retaining wall. I'm going to have to go and get another punnet of 6 as I ran out.

First I started by digging in some of the soil conditioner and garden mix into the builders sand pad and then added more as I dug each section for the plants themselves. I plan to grab some wood chips to mulch near each plant when I go to the nursery tomorrow to buy the extra punnet of abelias.

I still have to dig the rest of the soil conditioner into the rest of the bed. The bed is about 10 m long by 3m wide. Once its done i'll water in some molasses.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Started on Christmas decorations. Finally!

Today our youngest, 'R" decided he wanted to help me put up the Christmas tree. The tree is definitely looking the worse for wear with one branch base broken and quite a few bits broken off it now. It's well past it's use by. Given that we bought it 2nd hand many, many, years ago it's done well to have lasted so long. It's the tree type that has conifer type branches with individual bits and they aren't the type of tree you see that often any more so it will be hard to find something the same but it really will need to be replaced for next year regardless. While I am tempted to rush out and replace it now I guess it's nice to have it join us for our first Christmas in the new house.

Anyway on to the decorating: Once we had finished "R" declared that it looked better with less so off came 1/2 the decorations and it's now down to red/blue/gold as a theme.

So no lead crystal decorations that I purchased when still working back when I was 7 months pregnant with the eldest and which have been on the tree every Christmas since. I haven't figured out what to do with them "instead" yet but perhaps I'll find a place for them somewhere. No embarrassing pics of the boys as very littlies that hung in Christmas wreath photo frames, no crafty decorations this year.

After we'd finished I tried draping the silver tinsel that we had and it just didn't look right so it's come off for the moment. Perhaps if I buy some gold tinsel it might look better. The tree lights will need to be tested as well. haven't put them on yet. So the tree is a work in progress.

This is what I started on last weekend. Pulling out all my Christmassy ornaments and putting them together in the lounge room. The Santa used to be a light as well and when the boys were young we'd place it on a coffee table in the lounge room with a snack for Santa and the reindeers next to it. The battery light hasn't worked in it for years but it still makes a lovely ornament.
Today I've added the stockings below. One for each boy. The Christmas Tree one belongs to "C" and the reindeer one to "R" I asked them if they really wanted them up but they told me they didn't want to miss out on finding surprises in there on Christmas morning.

I wasn't sure what to do with these stars. I used to dangle them from the curtains in the lounge room in our old house and then I realised I could do something with the electric fire so this is where they will sit for the moment until I come up with something else. Perhaps a stack of christmas crackers. I'm not sure. Had to switch on the light mechanism to make it appear more realistic.
We picked up our new organza sheers for the lounge room yesterday. they have turned out too short for the window. I did give the correct measurements to the curtain girl and explained how far from the floor i wanted the curtains to finish, asking her advice as to what drop to make them to achieve this but some how they've ended up at least 3-4 cms too short. Luckily the rod is quite high above the window and DH will be able to drop it down about the amount they are short. So not too big a drama to solve because as they are at the moment they look terrible. We love the colour and look though.

I've draped a chain of Christmas bells across them . It looks very festive although it hasn't shown up in the photo terribly well.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

R's been doing some constructing of his own.

Youngest has been "landscaping" the front yard this week. So far we have a 2 hole golf course.
( I've been roped in to play 3 games with him today) and now our very own stone circle.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

more pictures

back filling is still to be completed. but It looks great. So much so we are going to get the guy to quote us for the retaining wall we need on the other side of the house. which is probably a bigger job and is certainly more fiddly as it will include several direction changes and a set of steps. He's been brilliant backfilling over our septics as well. It seems they weren't covered the way they were supposed to be. So he has backfilled with some of our additional soil and covered up a service pipe so it's just visible instead of being nearly 500mm above ground level.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

finally some action.

Still waiting on the maintenance guys,

still waiting on someone to put in some trees


Finally our first retaining wall was started today. yippee The first of several. We plan to put them in gradually.

Once this one is done we can start on the front garden which I have been so looking forward to.
The guys will be finishing it off hopefully tomorrow.

Friday, October 2, 2009


oh dear

We had a call this morning from D the man in charge of WA C B maintenance team He wanted to call in and see our issues as per the paperwork we handed in yesterday. Very fast work. It seems we have some painting dramas to look forward to.
A-M I'm thinking of your painting dramas now and feeling a bit stressed.

ceilings need redoing, sanding, re-taping, repainting in at least 2 areas. One of them being the main living/dining/kitchen/games area. then cornices need patching and repairing. It's going to be messy. Paint sheets everywhere.

he's said something about getting in a cleaner afterwards "if " it's messy. but it looks like a few weeks worth of work as it's a several stages job.

We also need an extra bit of guttering to be added near the front door and also had a suggestion to wait 'til next winter to look at getting additional downpipes put in. He seems to think we don't have enough downpipes and need2-3 more. Hubby grimaced at that although he felt the same. the last thing hubby wants to do is dig more soakwells. oh joy.

hmm hopefully they start no earlier than late next week when the kids and I will be away and it's only hubby here and not while my mum is staying at the beginning of the week.

at least it's a good excuse not to finish our own painting. We might as well wait until the builders painters have finished. .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tick tock time passing

IN reverse order:
Tomorrow I must be brave and finish the curtains for our bedroom. They've been sitting partly cut, unpinned and not sewn for 2 months now as I nervously dither about how to sew them. No more.

Today we handed in our 4 month maintenance form to the builder. We should get some action of the few things that need fixing hopefully in the next week or 2/3. Much is cosmetic but there are a few things that do need to be looked into including a section of guttering that seems to hold water rather than sending it flowing down the downpipes.
Our S.S. mentioned that our ceilings needed redoing in the main living area 3 months ago just after we first moved in. This will be something that hopefully gets sorted out now the follow up team are due to start their part of the process.

We've purchased a couple of extra towel rails for the bathrooms for hand towels. Still need a wall cabinet for our ensuite or else for the temporary mirror to be hung. ( Perhaps in the next wave of drilling)

Have looked into getting some earth delivered to do some planting and it was quite reasonable for very ordinary soil. It looks like the plants I have put in will get moved yet again. I think they are too far from the house for the garden border they are meant to be part of.

Yesterday the first of our pictures were finally hung on walls. There are more to do but it's amazing what a difference it makes once a few things are up.

We've had a couple of mini bonfire/fires to start to clear up some of the wood we have here. It's been fun sitting outside on a still night. C has discovered the joys of toasted marshmellows and R loves dropping leaves on the fire.

We splashed out and bought a new tv. Time for some family movie nights.

Several weeks ago our outside clothes line went up. Yippee. Airflow in the garage wasn't the best and it was taking ages for things to dry that couldn't be put in the dryer.

Finally all the soakwells have been dug. Hard going in rock and gravel as hubby will happy tell you. He's just glad it's over with.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I have a very talented and clever MIL. She makes handmade cards for Christmas and our birthdays every year and we even got a special "welcome to your new home" card from her when we moved in. It had little hand made paint rollers on the front and was very cleverly made.

Today our eldest turned 14 and she made a gift card for him. It looked exactly like a wallet. Which turned out pretty much the perfect card because he was actually hoping to get a new wallet for his birthday as he had lost his wallet several weeks ago when we had a family outing. ( yes he did get a new wallet from us)

His wallet card from the MIL had 2 little "cards" inside with messages and also had some money in it as well which pleased him no end. I wasn't home when she rang this morning but I hope he thanked her and my FIL for the gift.

Thank you B & M.

Friday, August 28, 2009


My LSL is over. We have several half completed soakwells waiting to be filled in. Hopefully G's arm will be ok enough for him to get these done this weekend. We have purchased a basic wireless doorbell. Yippee. So that can be installed this weekend.
We have hooks so our pictures and wall clock can finally be put up. Again, hopefully this weekend. Then the house will start to feel more like home.

The seascape will be going above the electric fire. ( used as a light effect only not for heating) and the Escher s will be going in the hallway.

I would really like to put up all the postcards in their frames that we had up in our last house but they need re-framing and I'm not sure where to put them so for the moment that won;t be happening.

We have a busy week next week. Our wedding anniversary and both boys birthdays to get through. so I'll be busy cooking cake and doing other things as well as catching up on what my class have been up to for the past 2 weeks and finding out what wasn't covered from the war and peace sized file of work I left for the replacement teacher.

Monday, August 24, 2009



Hubby has dug the soakwells in a fair way but not technically as far as he is meant to go. Soakwells are meant to be buried with their lids 600mm below ground but in the case of our soakwells they are around 300mm below ground level. The first 3/4 is digging into sand but after that it's sheer determination, bloody mindedness , energy and luck as to how far down he can get. When you hit huge rocks and they can't be dug out by hand there is only so much you can do. G has been digging out the smaller ones but after relocating the holes numerous time to allow for bigger rocks i't becomes a matter of get the soakwells in where you can. After these two he only has one more to go.

Meanwhile I had another go at planting some things in the front and marking out garden areas.

As a friend (W) who lives nearby recently said, " If you want to plant anything it means using a crowbar or a pick." He wasn't exaggerating. Dug 15 holes to plant some border plants using a pick and a trowel. Went back 3 hours later and realised that most were in the wrong position so out came the pick again to move them. Must learn to wear gardening gloves and remove rings. I have a lovely blood blister at the base of one finger now.

I think I had better refrain from gardening today.

We were given a weather station by the inlaws on Friday. Youngest helped me put it together and we placed it in the "garden" to try it out. It has a fairly accurate temperature thermometer. Compared it this morning with another weather station tool I'd bought Hubby for his birthday and it was pretty much on the button.

I am on LSL atm. My 2nd and final week about to start. Should have been in Bali but it was not to be so spending time here getting a few things done, feeling a bit down in the dumps over missing out on Bali but also fighting off a slight cold which I've had now for more than a week.

Most inspired by a friends garden. W & P have been here 2 years and are on a 1/2 acre block and there is barely a vacant patch of ground. Lots of native plants but they also have roses and at least one camelia and several raised veggie beds. I really want to get some soil in to do proper garden beds. I've ordered a couple of" ned kelly" grevillias. yippee should be here in a week or 2. I intend to plant them below the trees out the back. Mum has offered to propagate some kangaroo paws from seed for me and I will have to do a trip up to Perth with minimum luggage and passengers and fill the car with more plants. Hopefully will get to collect a mulberry tree from Maggie, from H1 who offered to grow one from a cutting for me.
When we first lived in Joondalup there was a huge sand bank just across from the estate entrance area that was covered with paper daises ( everlastings) I loved seeing it each year and I am hugely tempted to plant some here. I've noticed seed bags of them for sale in the local hardware store. When we went to visit W and P's last week I noticed they have a small drift of them at the front of their house.

It's funny that I love everlastings as I'm not a fan of pink flowers and pink themed gardens.

Getting ready to return from Perth on Friday afternoon my eldest declared that he'd really like to go in costume to to local Medieval Fair on Saturday. So we had a last minute dash around to a fabric shop and I managed to pick up some black poplin fairly cheaply and also some stretchy silver material. Youngest declared he wanted to dress as a thief. In the end I talked him into wearing a cape with a hood. ( what a sewing disaster ) 2 attempts later he had to live with a some what sad cape. Eldest had declared he fancied being a monk. He had visions of a "Monty Pythons search for a holy grail" type monk. Forgot completely about him needing a cross or prayer book to carry. Luckily G was able to fashion a cross from the stem of some bracken while we watched youngest play soccer on Saturday morning at the local oval in the town where the fair was held. Given the short sewing time I'm quite pleased with his monk tunic and hood but the stretchy silver fabric was a nightmare to sew and I ended up re-cutting fabric and leaving it with mostly raw ends as you can see from the photo. After all the late night sewing we didn't end up staying long since youngest had the beginnings of a nasty cold and felt quite miserable.