23/52: flashback to a flash flood 1991

Way back in 1991 we did our first extension to our house.  From the photographic evidence, obviously the next step after extending was suitable drainage.

Meanwhile, our young daughters had lots of fun frolicking in the mud, while I had lots of fun (?) washing their clothes, although that was a small price to pay for the amount of enjoyment they experienced.

While Jackie tentatively splashed around, her little sister Bridget had no such restraints.

Playing in puddles 1991

Busily indulging in some water play, Bridget was positioned only a few metres away from the current location of the tropical garden adjacent to the patio, featured in my previous post, progress of the palms.

Bridget busily playing 1991Splashing about 1991

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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.

161/366: fab new pergola

My trips down Memory Lane are becoming a little more frequent lately. In Winter I spend less time in the garden, so it is fitting to remember past achievements.

Loving the pattern-paved concrete in the driveway, we decided to create an outdoor living area far superior to the patio and pergola we originally started with, although they served us well for over ten years.

We hired professionals to erect the trussed structure, which has become a fabulous outdoor entertaining area, and leads off from the family room right through to the garage, and has housed 21st birthday parties, along with 50th celebrations (or was that commiserations?).

Once painted, the next step would be the concrete.

Money well spent, once again.

157/366: the case of the sneaky camellia

Back in the early 90’s it was fashionable to have an all-white garden. I remember later reading somewhere that Audrey Hepburn had a garden completely devoid of coloured blooms.

We decided to have a small garden next to the extension with an all-white theme. At least this time we allowed plenty of growing room for the three plants: one rhododendron in the centre, flanked by two white camellias.

Here is a photo of the white camellia on the right.

That’s not white, you say. Yes, it turned out that the tag on the plant at the nursery had faded, making it look like it was a white camellia, when in fact it was pink.

Fortunately, by the time it flowered I didn’t really mind it being coloured, as by then I could see the limitations of an all-white garden. When it flowers, as it is at the moment, it always brings a smile to my face, as I remember how we were tricked by the sneaky camellia.

125/366: tiles off, tarp on, time for trusses

In May 1991 the extension continued. At the end of April, 111/366: it’s a frameup, progress slowed because my husband’s holidays were over. Then came the roof. I learned a lot about house construction. The tiles on the established building had to come off so that trusses could be erected and the new tiles added. Things like spouting and downpipes I would never have even considered.

Of course we were left with a builder’s site, all thoughts of a beautiful garden far away. But as with this ever-evolving garden, that too would come.

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.

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!