The house is taking shape despite outward appearances.
The bathroom has now been completed.
The old, brown bathtub was removed to make room for the addition of a toilet. The window has been replaced and relocated, and we now have a lovely, big shower cubicle complete with both a removable and large overhead rain water shower head. What a difference – especially nocturnal loo visits which previously meant a trek to the back porch. Although enclosed, the porch is freezing, so nocturnal visits were only manageable with slippers. Now its a quick barefooted visit to the bathroom adjoining our bedroom, and we hardly need open our eyes. Size constraints meant we had to forfeit having a double vanity, but we can live with that.
We’ve had the windows to the living area and our bedroom replaced with double glazed aluminium framed windows. The kitchen window has been raised which meant new weather boards were needed, and also on the same wall a lot of weather boards had deteriorated so needed replacing. Our kitchen has been ordered and we’ve booked Tom the builder for the 21st of this month to come and fit it. Paul will be his labourer.
The hedges and trees have now been pruned, and garden beds have been started. New perennial plants ordered on line are now planted, along with cuttings, bulbs and other bits and pieces donated from both my sister, and our good friend Peta.
Rather than remove old concrete slabs around the property, we’ve utilised them. One concrete slab had the remnants of an old built in barbecue on it. We’ve placed the old brown bath on that, have filled it with good soil, and have planted some herbs and spring greens. We intend to place large pots of herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes etc around the bath garden. In a month or two I think that’ll not only be looking aesthetically pleasing but it’ll be supplying food for our table as well.
On another slab Paul erected a little green house that just fits perfectly. We now have a good few containers of seeds sprouting in there ready to transplant when the weather allows for it. So far we have Sweet Alice, Cosmos and Snapdragons for the flower beds, and several heritage types of tomato seeds planted.
Digging new garden beds is a lot harder here than in the sandy soil of Perth WA. This garden bed dug out of the lawn took almost a full day to dig. It was like digging refrigerated butter. Hopefully the three Just Joey rose bushes planted here, along with some Bearded Iris, peonies, geraniums and dianthus will thrive and reward us for our hard work.
New garden beds aren’t all hard work though. Years of pruning neglect inflicted on the hedges and trees around the garden have resulted in mounds of hidden leaf litter underneath. Now the pruning has been done the result is lovely friable, easy to dig soil underneath. Whilst the garden beds are yet to be defined properly, I’ve started planing in them anyway. A bit of pea straw to mulch and a bit of lawn edging will define the beds when we get around to it. I’m hoping the recent plantings of Oyster Plants, Peonies, Hostas, Lambs Ears and Foxgloves will soon be providing a spectacular show.
Despite all the hard work though, apart from the bathroom, nothing else looks very different yet. Most of the work done has been groundwork, both inside and outside the house. Give it all another 4 – 8 weeks though and I think our hard work will be showing. The kitchen will be in, the laminate flooring to the living area will have been laid, and the gardens should be well on the way to flourishing.