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.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sick Gum and first garden bed

After much googling it seems my sick tree is a Marri tree (red gum /corymbia calophylla ) and is likely suffering from canker. There is no cure. It will eventually kill the tree. If this is the case it also effects flowering red gum trees. Mum recently told me she has a flowering red gum tree tube for me. Not much point in me planting it as they are the only other gum susceptible to this canker.

The tree that is the furthest from the house appears to be suffering. If it falls it will not hit the house but could damage trees closer to the house.

At this stage we will leave it there but it doesn't look too good. I've tried googling to see what I can find but all the things I've read seem to suggest that if it is weeping that much sap it must be dying.
black cockatoos being very aggressive here . they have completely stripped the bark off some other trees we had removed that were prob the same sort. But they've left the other trees we have standing, alone. don't think they are the same variety.

Today I made a start on a small experimental garden bed out the front of the house near the front door. After some excellent advice from" Fu" I've added organic soil conditioner and some pig poo to a section of the builders sand pad. After digging it in. ( Also added some kitchen scraps) I watered the area with a molasses -water mix in a watering can.

Still to get a couple of products when I go to Perth in a few weeks but I've made a start. I hope to plant something in the bed next weekend. Giving time for the soil additions to settle in.

Friday, August 7, 2009

On higher ground

Things I bet you didn't know.

It seems there is a downside to living on the highest block around here.

earlier in the week we received a note from the Water board to say they would be turning off the water between 8am and 4pm yesterday. Fine. We prepared. Filled the kettle. Put water in 2 buckets ( for loo flushing) made sure our several water bottles ( 2L ones) were all filled etc. I arrived home at 5pm to G not happy at all. Water had still not been turned back on. He'd rung the water board who told him water was on and they didn't understand why all our taps were blowing was air. They said they'd send someone out. Around quarter to 6 the man arrived. it seems because we are uphill from everywhere around us the pipes needed a good flushing after whatever work was done so that we could get water where as everyone around us would have already had water. :( hmmm

The emergency call man wasn't too happy that this hadn't been done. ( 35 kms + traveling time to get out here)

He was here for about 90 mins. Had to flush water from 2 outlet pipes one on the block next to us and one down the road a bit and then had water running from the fire hydrant point across the road from us for close on an hour. I hate to think of all the water that we saw running into the stormwater drains. He said there was a lot of black, dirty water coming through and that was why he'd run the water out for a while. Finally by 7pm we were allowed to turn our taps on. yippee.

The other downside I've mentioned before. The power earthing issue. Due to our rocky block, being the current, end of the line ( no pun intended) and supposedly because we are again on a high block. blahhh This problem seems to have been fixed now. Thank goodness.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

same view.

Same view but now the sun is out.

Maybe 3 hours later.

Standing at the sliding door looking out past the alfresco. Lots of sand to cover up sometime down the track. A pity I couldn't capture it properly on the camera. The view is much clearer. Mist in the distance. The plum trees distinctive and the view to the paddock behind and the forest beyond. Oh well. A shame as it looks quite lovely in real life but dirty and dull in the photo.

Time to sit with a cup of tea and look out over it while everyone else is still asleep and all is quiet except for the magpies I can hear outside.