Wednesday, January 30, 2008

First day at school

Doesn't she look all grown up in her school uniform. She has been so looking forward to this day!

We had a few teething problems at school. Had no detatchment issues when mum left, but had problems doing what the teachers told her to do. I suppose there are going to be good days and bad ones, but I know our girl always tries her best. Even if she does get it wrong occassionally.

Aren't we all human like that?

Happy first day of prep my little one. We are so proud of you! May you fulfill all your dreams.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Garden shed retaining wall (day 2-6)

It took us many more days of hard labour to get the wall up but we are now done!

Nearly broke my back compacting the roadbase by hand with a metal mallet. No pain no progress!!

The first course of Terrace blocks are laid. Not too shabby although not entirely professional either. If we thought the worst of it was over now, we had another few courses to go!

Here you can see three courses of Terrace blocks with dirt ready to backfill.

Da-dah!! All four courses laid and not looking too bad. We didn't put down a string line to create a dead straight wall. With all the natural scrub and barely anything angular about it, we decided to see how best we'd go on dead reckoning. We're pleased with how it turned out.

Here is another view of the four course wall, almost completely backfilled to a flat surface. Time to get cracking on the cut side now. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!! To think it was all done by hand too. The only machines employed was ourselves and some trusty hand tools. Not a job for the unfit or undetermined but worthwhile in the end.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Garden shed retaining wall

We need a garden shed and and area to pot plants - maybe even some room for a compost bin or two? The only way to achieve this on a sloping block is more retaining walls.

This will be our first one with prefab blocks, specifically designed for retaining purposes.

We're still waiting for the blocks to arrive, but I'll show what we're up to:

Watch out! Man with a pick and he's prepared to use it! David gets ready to finish off the pad we already started. Everything's done by hand, approximately 6m x 6m worth!

This was taken earlier today, so we've done more on it since. You get an idea how thick the scrub is and how much attention is needed to make the areas useable. Once we have the retaining walls completed and shed up, we'll pave this area so we don't have to deal with weeds overgrowing again.

Tomorrow I'll take photos of the trench of road-base we're packing down, ready for the blocks!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dinosaur cookies!

We all made dinosaur cookies today!

David started the project with our daughter this morning, but when he had to go to work, I helped her finish them off.

We iced them later on, and topped them with colourful sprinkles.

They should be really yummy!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Watertank garden (day 3)

I had to wait a day for the rain to pass, but finally stage one is now complete.

Stage two will be the careful placement of large sandstone, butted against the bricks. And stage three will be a concrete trench against the rocks, carefully disguised with more (smaller) rocks placed inside the trench.

I'm just happy to get the plants in, as they were practically bursting from their pots. Now they have plenty of room to spread out and hold all that lovely soil together.

I have a few other projects coming up soon, so I don't know when I'll be able to start stage two of our watertank garden.

Stay tuned.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Watertank garden (day 2)

It doesn't seem like I've done much more, but there's another agapanthus plant plus more bricks. I've also placed some rocks on the bricks as an example of what I hope to achieve with more rocks.

I want ones slightly larger than what I have in this picture and we're lucky to have a local sandstone quarry nearby.

At the moment it's raining outside. I was hoping to finish before we got more rain but looks like the heavens have opened up already.

I'll have to see what damage is done tomorrow morning.

Watertank garden (day 1)

It's been a lovely January for 2008. We've had plenty of rain, and plenty of reason to fix up the drainage issues with our water tank.

We installed the tyre retaining wall, which has helped emensely by diverting water run-off. However, the weeds are trying to take over.

Solution - beautify the area around the tank, implementing erosion control plants and diversion infrastructure.

Day 1:

I'm bricking in a garden bed, utilising the leftover bricks from the house and blue metal shavings.

I've found blue metal helps with drainage for plants if it's dug into the soil, but it also makes an excellent mulch. The soil is always cool and moist underneath.

The plants I've chosen are blue agapanthus. I've only planted one at the moment. The idea is their roots will hold the soil together, and once filled out completely, their strappy foliage will cover the tyres completely.

I have more ideas for how I'm going to present the garden bed. Hopefully it will implement a dry river bed, filled with rocks, which will double as a water diversion trench for run-off.

In the meantime, I've got more gardening to do...