Category Archives: Garden

A Weekend in the Garden

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The other day I posted an update on the creation of our woodfired pizza oven and hanging herb garden.  You can read that article here.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Hanging Herb Garden

Last weekend we also completed a few other biggish jobs about the garden which I thought I would share with you.

With the arrival of a puppy to the household (and to help with his toilet training) we thought it best to forgo the ‘no mow’ stretch we had at the back of the house for some lawn. It once looked like this.

Gardening

Now it looks like this.

Gardening

 

gardening

It was a huge task.  Firstly the rhoeo border had to go as Murphy, the dog, loved pulling them out. Sections that survived his culling were flattened as he loved to run through it.  Next we had to move cubic metre after metre of stones and replace it with soil.  Once the whole thing was leveled, then we could lay the turf.  Hopefully the dog appreciates the time and effort everyone put in for him!

Instead of wasting the stones  and the pavers from this section of the yard, we decided to use them to top up the stones down one side of the house and put in a path.  Here is a picture of our finished job, still drying from the wash down.

Paving

pavers

Again this was a big and annoying job.  As the side of our house is angled every which way and there were obstacles to avoid, it was difficult to work out the line of best fit for the pavers.  We had string lines set up all over the place.

Some smaller jobs also got completed around the yard including a touch up coat of paint on the pizza oven.  I repotted and replaced a few of my herbs, including my parsley, which was gobbled up by the resident possum.  Hubby also hung a heater in the patio area so that we can sit out and enjoy the pizza oven and not freeze in the cooler weather.

It was nice to spend the weekend outdoors, even if it was dirty and back breaking work at times.  With these tasks completed, hopefully the whole family – but especially the dog – can enjoy the garden even more.

 

Pizza Oven and Hanging Herb Garden Update

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We were doing a whole heap of work about the garden on the weekend and I realised that I never posted about our finished pizza oven. You can read about the start of the project here and here.

The completed pizza oven, and accompanying hanging herb garden, brought a 3 year plan to fruition and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

Here is what the area looked like before.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Woodfired Pizza Oven

And here is the completed pizza oven and hanging herb garden (please forgive the awful shadows in the pics).

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Hanging Herb Garden

 

And some pics of it in action….

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Woodfired Pizza Oven

In  the end we bought a pizza oven kit and hubby, with the help of a bricklayer friend, assembled it over a series of weekends. It wasn’t as big a job as they anticipated.

We already had a slab down and some besser brick pylons so with a little more block work and a poured concrete top,  the base was constructed.  This left a sizable space underneath for us to store wood and other patio essentials.  The oven kit was really simple to piece together and after some curing, the whole thing was ready to paint.

Woodfired Pizza Oven

After some hit and misses with how best to fire up the beast and cook a perfect pizza, hubby now has it down pat.  In fact it has become his little ‘thing’.  When the pizza oven is being fired up, he does everything,  including making the dough. Hooray a night off for me!

The plan was to use this for all sorts of cooking, like roasts and breads, but we haven’t really got into that.  As the weather warms up here in Australia, we will have to perfect these other dishes too.

This weekend just gone we fired the oven up for pizzas.  At the moment we are loving this prawn, prosciutto and basil pesto concoction my husband put together. Yum!

Woodfired Pizza Oven

Pop by later in the week to see some other changes we have made in the garden to make it a more useable space for the whole family.

Making the Most of Departing Warmth

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I must apologise as I haven’t been around the blog much lately.  The days are getting shorter and nights more chilly Down Under, so most of us are trying to wring the last out of the sunny, warm days that remain in early Autumn/Fall.

Our little family has been hitting the outdoor activities pretty hard.  I have been snapping pics left, right and centre to get some good ones to put in my Project Life album (see post here).  Today I thought I would show you some of the activities we have been up to in this glorious weather.

Feeding the ducks and afternoon bike rides….. I thought I was being such a fun mum, whisking the boys off on an adventure after kindergarten.  All was going well until jealousy erupted over the choice of transport I brought for our bike ride.  Nothing says ‘fun’ like a crying 18 month old at the park!

Autumn Happenings Autumn Happenings

Autumn Happenings

Fishing….We all love throwing in a line and the thrill of winding in a fish.

Autumn Happenings

Autumn Happenings

Bush walks….This walking area had a playground and an education centre.  Many an hours could be spent here.

Autumn Happenings

Picnics and playing at the beach….This wasn’t one of the white sandy beaches I like going to.  This was a mud flat, mangrove beach the kids love to go to.  Lots of sticky mud and messy fun to be had.

Autumn Happenings

Autumn Happenings

Long drives and country shows…..we went to the Marburg show the other weekend.  It was great to see the horses and cattle, check out the ute muster and flower, cooking and art competitions.

Autumn Happenings

Winery lunch….We have a lovely winery with a greatcellar door restaurant not too far from us.  You get to sit under shady trees, looking out over green, grassy hills.  completely relaxing.

Autumn Happenings

As soon as the weather cools down completely, I know I will be about the blog a lot more, but for the moment I want to savour this joyous weather. I hope wherever you are, you too are enjoying wonderful weather.

A Weekend in the Garden

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Our Sunshine State has not been looking that sunny for a while now.  The rain has been hanging around for longer than I care to remember.  I hate it, but the garden has loved it.

So for the last few weeks I have looked out over garden, happily watching my trees and plants grow visibly.  I have also, not-so-happily, watched the weeds grow.

This weekend I decided that I had to wrestle back control of my garden before it got too unruly.  Here’s a look at what I got up to on Saturday before the rain descended – AGAIN!

This is the alcove area where I love to have my coffee in the mornings.  You can read about it here and here.

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Weekend Gardening

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You can see the weeds have well and truly taken up residence in the stoned area and my poor succulents in the small pot and agave in the large pot, have not faired too well in the wet weather.

After a fair deal of weeding, sweeping and some replanting, I improved the plants and the outlook of the area.  I put freshly laundered covers on the lounge’s cushions and treated the area to some new scatter cushions and placemat.

Weekend Gardening

 

Weekend Gardening

I just hope the rain stays away long enough to enjoy this area before the weeding has to be done again.

The front yard was looking a little messy with a lot of the summer toys still strewn about the place, like the paddling pool.

Weekend Gardening

 

Taking the time to pack things away and give the outdoor furniture a wash down, improved the area a lot.

Weekend Gardening


Weekend Gardening

I cleared out the garden beds and staked all my Cordyline plants that have grown out of control.  Each plant has sprouted 2-3 shoots. Until I decide what to do with all my ‘free’ plants, I think it is best to leave them as is.

Weekend Gardening

Take a look at the lemons growing on my tiny tree.  It really is the most prolific tree for its size.  As it is only its second season, I removed most of the fruit, at least 25 lemons.  I don’t know how this pipsqueak of a tree thought it could handle that many fruit!

Weekend Gardening

Tomorrow the plan is to tackle the backyard.  There is lots of weed pulling, pruning and replanting to be done.  I’ll pop in and show you the progress.

 

 

 

Easter Tradition: Easter Egg Seeds

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Last Easter I posted about a new Easter tradition we started that involved planting a garden with Easter Egg Seeds.  You can read the original post here.

Easter Egg Garden

Basically, what happens is that at some point before Easter, the Easter Bunny leaves my kids a packet of seeds to plant in the yard.  If they are good and very lucky, they will grow into Easter eggs by  Easter Sunday.

The Easter Bunny left our seeds for us to plant today.

Easter Egg Seeds

Master O is taking his gardening role very seriously, watering and watching for any growth.  We are certain that a few eggs will sprout before Sunday ;)

While on the topic of preparing and looking forward to Easter, we had a little poke around the shops this morning and bought some Easter decorations on sale.  I think they are just adorable, so I had to share them with you.

Easter Decorations

These lovely bunnies cost me just a few dollars each at Bed, Bath and Table.

Easter Decorations

And this ceramic Easter egg, also from Bed, Bath and Table, pairs nicely with my big bunny and is perfect for holding chocolates for our guests to help themselves to.

There were so many lovely decorations on sale that I know I will cave and be back to buy more before the end of the week.  Stay tuned!

 

 

Creating our Childrens’ Outdoor Play Area

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In all the hustle and bustle of the last few months I completely forgot to share the outdoor play area we created for the kids. Take a look……

When my husband and I purchased our house pre-children, we were happy with its small yard.  We were young and didn’t want the upkeep of a bigger lot.  It is perfectly located across the road from a massive park, so we knew that when kids came along, that having a small yard didn’t mean they would miss out.  But since having kids we have realised that having space for them to play in the yard is still important.  Wanting to inject some more kids space into our place, we set about utilising our almost unused side of our house.

This side of the house was only ever accessed to hang laundry.   It only housed some pots and a mostly unused water tank.   There is no lawn, just stones.  Sorry, I didn’t even think about taking a ‘before’ photo!

My husband, bless Him, started with grand plans for softfall cover and a fort but I had to reign in the enthusiasm.  The truth is we are outgrowing our house.  We have two small boys now who will soon grow into big boys.  We will need to bite the bullet soon and move, so any kid’s space additions need to be easily removed for future buyers.

After removing the water tank and rearranging the pots, the space just sort of evolved.  There were no solid plans, we just set about pulling together bits and pieces we thought would work.

Master O loves the sandpit at daycare so the first addition to the space was one of these.  We made this by bolting together some sleepers and giving it  a lick of gorgeous ‘Regatta Bay’ blue paint.

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While we were painting, Master O kept himself busy dropping stones through a piece of old plumber’s pipe.  My hubby, clever clogs, saw a toy in the making.  The boys can now shovel the sand in the top to have it shoot out the bottom.

Outdoor Play Area

When at the park, both my boys love to play with the steering wheel and  telescope.  On a visit to my local hardware I came across these playground toys – a boat’s steering wheel, a periscope and a phone.  Rather than attaching these straight to the fence, we first cut and painted a section of blueboard to hang on the fence for them to be attached to.   This panel became the activity centre.

Outdoor Play Area

With the left over blueboard we cut it into two pieces which we also attached to the fence.  Master O is learning to write, so I thought the addition of chalkboards would be a great idea.  I sourced some lovely red coloured chalkboard paint to cover them.  Outdoor Play Area

Outdoor Play Area

I had a couple of Ikea Bygel rails going unused so we attached these here and hung the matching Bygel containers to hold the chalk.

Outdoor Play Area

We were going to leave the area as is until we stumbled across this cute picnic table.  It was lovely and sturdy and had a sandpit hidden under the lid.  With its addition, the area became more multi-use and an area which we could spend more time in.  Now we can have morning or afternoon tea and a play out there, or retreat there to do our craft projects with less chance of mess.

Outdoor Play Area

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We have been using this area for some months now and the boys love it.  It was inexpensive and it came together in a flash.  I am so glad we did it!

Outdoor Wall Art – Frame Collage

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It’s no secret that I love a good collage.  They are scattered all about my house.

 

It is no surprise then,  that when I gave my alcove area a bit of a makeover (you can read about it here and here), I incorporated another collage.

After making a nice area to sit, the area was already so much nicer to look out at, not to mention, use.

But I wanted to add something more interesting to look at on the fence.

I had potted our massive agave plant into a terrazzo pot that had once had another life as a water feature in the same alcove.  I had put this up  by the fence line and loved the green leaves.

Wanting to inject some more gorgeous green into the view, I gathered a collection of old frames.  A good spray paint and a lot of nails later……

 

my outdoor collage was complete.

I’m loving my new green outlook from indoors. Much better than the plain old fence.