111/366: it’s a frameup

At last we could really see how the extension was going to look, and it also gave us some idea of what we might do regarding landscaping the area.

The frame went up, followed closely by the windows and doors. With that, April 28th 1991 signified the end of my husband’s holidays, so progress slowed down somewhat.

Look at that adorable little girl helping sweep up some of the sawdust. I think that may have been the last time my daughter did any housework!

Those cute little conifers were lovely before they got too big. We used carpet underfelt and then put mulch over that, giving longer protection against weeds. It was all taking shape and we were very excited.


110/366: after-effects of spray painting

It’s amazing how some black spray paint can improve the look of items in a garden. (For before shots, see day 108/366: a can of black spray paint.)

On this lantern I used flat black.

The stand for my cuttings was green, but has undergone a change to semi-gloss black.

Last but not least, in gloss black, I present to you the classy black corner.

109/366: a minor improvement

Just when I thought my makeover was magic, who should come along and prove that it could be even better? My cat, Zorro.

He adds a lovely finishing touch, but of course I am biased. How is it that a cat can sit in any position whatsoever and always look gorgeous?

This boy is thirteen years old now and I treasure him daily.

108/366: a can of black spray paint

It’s amazing what a coat or two of black spray paint can do to lift something from ordinary to special, or at least newer-looking.

Taking advantage of the sunny day, with no rain forecast, I placed drop sheets on the lawn and gathered some items to beautify.

Some only required one coat, but the very large pot will need a second coat.

I had an idea to invent a new type of spray paint one time when my finger was getting sore from pressing down on the button, but then I went to Bunnings and found that you could already buy these special cans with both a button and a trigger. They are more expensive but much more pleasant to use. Another of my inventions wasted!

If you would like to see photos of the finished products back in their homes, click this link for the updates: 110/366:after-effects of spray painting

107/366: please,what plant is this?

Out in the garden this morning, I was pulling out weeds, when I came across this bush. I certainly did not plant it, and I have on occasions seen others of its kind. The berries are about the size of a small blueberry, but I wasn’t going to taste it since I didn’t plant it myself, and it might be poisonous. See, I did listen to my mother, after all.

If you could help, I would love to hear from you.

106/366: makeover magic

Having been so busy in the garden with multiple projects since starting this daily blog, I have neglected some areas requiring maintenance. As I eat my breakfast, I see the patio. Why not give this area a revamp since I look out at it every day?

The old adage of a stitch in time saves nine can be true in the garden also. I had to tackle a number of problems before I could work my makeover magic.

The Black-eyed Susan needed cutting back, as it was entwining itself around anything and everything. Unfortunately, I had been untangling it and carefully trimming extraneous vines when oops, I mistakenly cut the wrong one and ended up losing the whole lot. Oh well, it may grow again.If not, at least I still have photos of it!

Meanwhile, the asparagus fern had been having a party of its own, wrapping itself around branches, as well as the string of LED lights that I had placed on the bush some months ago.

Once all that was cut back and detangled, I utilised my earlier vision to create an arched effect. Adding a few pots, I actually spent no money on the whole job, because I recycled and relocated things we already had. Another achievement!

105/366: succulent city

Two little girls in transit (day 50/366) found themselves a new home in Succulent City.

I also moved the big pot from between the lower and middle tier in the back garden down to this re-vamped garden bed. (See day 48/366: ready for a new role.)

Finishing it off with conifer mulch, I recycled the leaves that had dropped onto the area next to the barbecue. Liking the burnt orange colour of these dried leaves, I think it suits the desert/semi-arid theme of succulents.

Situated under the bay window is a new town now known as Succulent City, with a population of two, not including ducks.

104/366: great time management

As owner-builders we got to lockup stage on our extension in record time. This was largely due to extensive planning by my very particular and precise husband, traits that at times can be annoying, and at others fantastic. This was one of the wonderful uses of his skills.

He utilised his annual leave for this project, so although he didn’t get much rest, it was a challenge and ultimately a great achievement.

Ah memories – looking at those nappies hanging on the line. What an eternity ago that seems now.It’s peculiar how the extension looks so small before the walls go up. Perhaps it’s because you can see all the land still left around it, especially since we have an extremely large block of almost 1/3 acre, or 1284 square metres. The extension consisted of two large bedrooms for the girls, plus a room in between which we called “the kids’ retreat.”

The concrete footings were poured, base brickwork and stumps done by the brickie, and the subfloor by my husband and his mate Peter. Now the frame was ready to go up!

103/366: planning the extension 1991

In 1991, Australia was in the midst of a recession. Unemployment was at an all time high. We needed more space in our 15 square home, now complete with two children and two cats.

I had resigned from teaching to focus on my family, and thus was able to access some of my superannuation. Quotes for the planned 4 1/2 square extension to be done professionally ranged from high $30’s to mid $40,000.

With my husband’s tradesman background and his brilliant planning ability, we set out to do the extension as owner-builders. Because of the economic climate, we were able to attain some of the best craftsmen around, for reasonable fees. In fact, we did so well that we completed the three-room extension for under $18,000.

Needless to say, the garden was a worksite for some time before we were able to tackle it again, but the extra space inside was well worth any inconvenience.

102/366: another project completed

A sense of achievement prevails with task completion. This time we enlarged the area near the washline and eradicated the mulch. Guess what I used to do this? River pebbles, of course. We laid the extra row of pavers on a bed of concrete, after chipping away the outer edge of the previous row.

I had fun using the level and tapping the pavers down so that they were even.

Now the concrete has set really well, so today I finished off the project with those lovely river pebbles and a couple of chairs from the patio that have seen better days.