Saturday, October 25, 2008

Loose ends with clothesline

Is your clothesline one of those neglected areas of your backyard? Mine certainly was. Along with the previous footpath the weeds deighted in, the area around the clothesline had been left to grow unruly too.

So we finally decided to tie up one of those loose ends - the project we always meant to get back to.

This circle had been cut from the moment we installed the hoist, just so we could walk underneath it. I had to re-cut it however, to make way for the windsor blocks. I forgot to take a picture after the blocks were installed, so I'll just move on to the next stage.

This was destined to become the "fill" side, so the weeds had to go! I put them to good use though, which I'll share on another topic.

With the magic of digital photography, I can make the terrace blocks instantly appear! In real life however, it was a sweaty day throwing a mattock around to get the right level.

Mmm...but look at all those empty cavities, what should I do?

Time for some greenscaping! I scored these babies (mondo grass) for 3.30 a piece, from a local wholesale nursery. It's literally 2 minutes up the road. I'd normally pay between 7 and 9 dollars at a regular nursery for plants this size.

Fully planted out and bark down. We decided on using bark instead of the deco, because we wanted to have the feeling you were stepping down into a bit of nature. It also helps to cool the back of the terrace blocks.

And here is the full view. We used windsor blocks for the cut side and terrace blocks for the fill side. In case you were wondering how I got the circle, I tied a piece of string to the lower part of the hoist, then tied the other end to a piece of steel. You could also use a stick, but I had an odd piece of concrete rebar laying around (thanks to the builders). It was only 15cms long.

As the diameter span of the hoist was 3 meters, I measured the string to 1.5m and drew a circle around the clothesline.

Today I actually christened it with the new mulch down, and it was the first time in 18 months that I wasn't worrying about clean washing falling out of the basket! The footpath leads straight from the laundry to the clothesline and it's so much of a pleasure now to take the washing out. I feel embraced by the circle, the different levels and the greenery to one side.

Total cost for this project was $90. The blocks were the very last left over from our retaining wall project, so we didn't add that into the cost. Some were the seconds we couldn't use for the wall anyway, but they've still served a purpose in the garden. And they aren't sitting in a pile in the corner either.

Cost breakdown - I paid $66 for 20 pots of mondo grass (ouch - but worth it) and $24 for the bark. All up, the clothesline makeover PLUS footpath cost $102.

Sometimes those loose ends are worth the effort to tie off. I hope you're inspired to look at your own clothesline as a place of beauty, rather than a place of work. So many of those garden makeover shows, take away the clothesline as if it was never meant to be there. Well I believe it can be an outdoor room all of it's own. A place that embraces you as the washing goes up.

But I have a confession to make. Now I have to finish the chicken run, pronto, to keep curious beaks away from the mondo grass! I've been doing guard duty when they're out to free range.

I should have thought that one out better!


The Windsor and Terrace blocks referred to in this post, were manufactured by a local factory, trading as, Hanson. We are fortunate to have the manufacturer to buy from direct, but most landscaping supply centres will stock them as well. If you're only planning to do one course of blocks, don't buy A-grade blocks - go for the seconds. They should be cheaper!

The colour of the Windsor blocks used in this project was, "Santolina".
Terrace blocks, "Autumn Gold".

For further information, visit the Hanson website for landscaping solutions:

Where you buy them from however, make sure you also collect a Hanson "How to" brochure. Or you can click "Kingy's Tips", on the link provided. It will give you the basic understanding of how to lay the bricks, what to put under them, etc. With one course of blocks however, you won't need to be too concerned. It does help if they have a free draining base layer, such as blue metal, scalpings or gravel.

The main part is to have fun though, and don't be afraid to chase down those seconds!


  1. Whacko! That looks fantastic!!!!! I would never thought of doing that. Those chooks will get into everything lol

  2. Wow can I come to your house to hang out the washing???
    I currently have a pallet of pavers under mine :-)
    It is all looking so wonderful, I am glad the weather is cool for you at the moment!
    And yep chooks will get into it even if they don't eat it!

  3. it looks awesome Chris, i hate those makeover shows, i think the clothes line deserves its own makeover & is just as important as the BBQ & veggie gardens

  4. Yep, those chooks love a good search and destroy mission. ;) They have a professional operation going at the moment - they want my mondo!

    I swear, when I'm standing nearby they look completely disinterested. I turn my back for two second, and whammo! The rooster thinks he's all that, calling the girls over while my back is turned.

    But wouldn't life be boring without my colourful chooks keeping me on my toes.

    I have to say Emily, anything near the clothesline is fair game for the laundry basket, as far as I'm concerned. A stack of pavers, tree stumps, wheelbarrows, and even husbands pulling weeds.

    That's why I now have the trolley. ;)

    I have to agree about the TV garden makeovers, Nicole. I've never seen one with the clothesline incorporated into the design. Yet how many mums and dads spend their time hanging out washing? If the pleasure is in the garden - then why not bring it to the clothesline?

    I'd love to see Jamie Durie and good old Peter Cundle, do a TV makeover stand-off, to compete for the ultimate clothesline makeover. Which one will Australia vote for this week? Will it be the Balanese inspired Jamie Durie creation, incorporating a water feature. Or the keyhole, no dig, orgaanic vegie patch complete with worm farm, by Pete?

    Now I'd LOVE to see that!

  5. Gorgeous job U2, the yard is really taking off with all your "doings"


  6. i vote for Pete, im not a Balanese type LOL

  7. How lovely does the area around the clothes line look:D

    Love my clothes line, though the vegie garden is getting closer to the outside

  8. What wonderful landscaping! I wonder if you could make a shadecloth cover for the clothesline, so that you could sit under there with a mint julep on a hot summer's day?

  9. Thanks for the further comments guys. I haven't gotten around to acknowledging the time you all took in replying. Thank you.

    I have considered the shade cloth idea, and may still venture that way in future. Something about an open clothesline that says, "hang something on me", which is rather sadistic and inviting. The shade cloth may come when I want a bit more mystery.

    I would vote for Pete too Nicole. In a heartbeat! :)

  10. Know this is a late post, but I love what you've done around the washing line!


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