342/366: rose arbour renovation

In 2009, the decision was made. The rose arbour as it was had come to the end of its useful life, so we decided to get rid of the back half of it. (82/366: renovate or relegate?)

This entailed expanding the paver path out to the width of the now single-arched rose arbour, removing the sleepers, and edging it in beautiful bluestones.



Sleepers removed and ready for edging 2009

The plan takes shape 2009

Bluestone edging past the rose arbour begins 2009 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

189/366: all the world’s a stage

After the extension was built in 1991, again we had to wait and save money to finish things off. In the meantime, we put bricks and planks at the back colonial sliding door to step down to the back yard.

We had plenty of time to plan what we might do to the area. Rather than just a couple of steps, we decided to make it a reasonably sized decked area, which we refer to as “the stage”, because the bluestone-edged steps opposite are reminiscent of tiered seating. I also used to harbour dreams of becoming a famous actress, so the idea of my own personal stage was very appealing.

The bluestone steps were still to be constructed at this stage.

Every now and then we need to replace the slats, as we opted for the natural weathered grey look, which ties in nicely with the bluestones featured in our back yard.

127/366: the first bluestone wall

Sleepers separated the lower and middle tiers on the eastern side of the property, while we had left the western side until we could afford a bluestone wall. The sleeper retaining wall was our first major job in the back yard in 1988. (57/366: let the bobcat begin)

Originally, my design was a straight line across the block dividing the levels. The plan was modified during those few intervening years. Sometimes delayed gratification pays off, as my ideas had time to evolve into the use of curves and angles to make it more interesting.

Hiring an expert in a project of such proportions is highly recommended. As I drove around neighbouring suburbs, I found a wall that was beautifully done, so I enquired within, thus finding out the name and number of Derek, (Garner the Gardener).

Credit goes to Derek for his idea of creating a lower garden incorporated in the design. His craftsmanship was superb. So finally, in December 1991, the first bluestone wall was built. Still standing solidly twenty-one years later, we have never regretted for one minute the expense of  its construction.