Wednesday, January 27, 2010


My pet hate? Rubbish bins permanently stored at the front of the house. Ugh. Add a burnt-out car to the front lawn and it'd be picture perfect.

Since we're a bit tight on space, our bins have been living at the side of our house, just in front of the gate. Handy, but not ideal from an aesthetic point of view.

So over the weekend, Bike Boy collected together the leftover bits of decking from the front porch, picked up a few other odds and ends and made the bins disappear. Voila:

As a bonus, it hides the gas and electricity meters and the Telstra box. It also just screens the top of our shed from view. Very nice. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting impatient now

The start of the big landscaping project is now four weeks away and I'm just wanting it done NOW. Patience....not a lot of that around here. Anyway...

This is the basic plan for the back yard:

Bottom left is the gate leading to the front yard. The back of the house is to the right - there's a sliding door from my studio that leads out there. And the main part of the yard, with a nice big covered alfresco room is at the side, with our main living area and the formal lounge both opening onto it.

Preparations are underway though - we've had a plumber install a couple of extra taps to make watering easier. A drip system will be going in down the track, but for now we'll just make future provision by running conduit under the paving and stick with hand watering for this summer. The budget isn't infinite...

I spent some time yesterday attacking the weeds with Roundup - for the last time, hurrah! And Bike Boy did a proper repair job on our timber bench, after my makeshift effort lasted only about a month.

I also made use of some pots and some plants that I already had and created a couple of nice features for the shady alfresco room:

I just need a bowl or squat pot for my cacti, probably something in earthy tones to complement these two.

Next weekend we'll probably do a clean up and arrange a hard rubbish collection to get rid of the final bits of crap that have accumulated outside. We also need to pick up a few large pavers and create a nice even surface behind the new screen. Then we're about done... no point shopping for plants at this stage; it'll drive me nuts trying to keep them alive in pots through the hot weather.

Now to try to exercise some patience. I'm filling in the time researching plants and changing my mind about every five minutes about what to plant. It's worse than choosing colours for the house!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Landscaping work: Step 1

Bike Boy has toiled away this weekend, building us this screen, which sits just outside the al fresco room:

In keeping with our tropical theme with Balinese influences, it's made of merbau. Apart from making a lovely backdrop for a potted plant, yet to be bought - the Giant Bird of Paradise is just a prop for the photo - it hides an ugly but necessary utility area from view:

Once the pros do their bit, there'll be a raised planter in front of the fence (which is to the left and out of shot in these photos), and with the help of some judicious planting, this messy spot should be pretty much invisible.