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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339/366: a seasonal change to the patio

In the interests of having a jolly holly Christmas, I thought I would make the patio a little more festive. Where has the year gone by the way?

I cut some holly from my real live holly bush, and then I spray painted it gold. I’m not sure how long this will last on live leaves, but it’s worth a try. Perhaps I should have let them dry out first? But then they may have looked withered. Time will tell.

golden holly leaves

Once they were dry I put the sprays in a little pot stuffed with oasis foam (the type florists use in arrangements), then topped it off with some of my ubiquitous river pebbles.

sprays of golden holly

It now rests on the outdoor table, attached to the umbrella with a cable tie, to prevent it falling over. Underneath, as though they are under mistletoe, are two kissing cherubs.

under the mistletoe

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Seasons Greetings from Sandi Claus.

175/366: shadow plays table tennis

In days gone by, we used to play table tennis out on the patio. There were special house rules though. If the cats climbed onto the table while a game was in progress, the game continued, and if they got in the way, bad luck for your point. Shadow loved participating. We had some hilarious family times doing this, and I captured some of the moments for posterity.

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.

160/366: two-fold task

Many of the projects in my garden involve at least two stages. This is due partly to the fact that I like to recycle, so sometimes one idea has to wait until another is ready to come to fruition. Then I can rearrange and reuse, two of my favourite pursuits.

The pavers used down the laundry side by Dimension Landscaping in yesterday’s post, pay the professionals, were from the original patio my husband laid in 1985. (See practically perfect patio.)

A plan for a newer, better pergola area than the one we had before was taking shape, which necessitated lifting the pavers.

One of the attractions of stone and pavers is that they can be reused in a different area.

42/366: practically perfect patio

Having levelled the backyard, it was time for our first major task: the patio. Before a career change, my husband was a plumber. Being a tradesman is very useful for undertaking home handyman jobs. Today the pictures can help us re-live the project.

And what a great job he did! In this last photo, in the front corner, are our first two cats, Bubble and Squeak, whom we adopted from an animal shelter on Mother’s Day, 1985. Bubble is the very visible white cat, while grey tabby Squeak is cleverly camouflaged.       As you can see, a new patio is something fresh to explore.