Groundwork

The house is taking shape despite outward appearances.

The bathroom has now been completed.

New bathroom.

New bathroom.

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.

New double glazed windows - soooo heavy. It took four men to lift them off the truck.

New double glazed windows – soooo heavy. It took four men to lift them off the truck.

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.

Bath makes good raised garden bed. Potted herbs are yet to be added to make full use of disused slab.

Bath makes good raised garden bed. Potted herbs are yet to be added to make full use of disused slab.

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.

Making use of another disused concrete slab with a green house for seed raising.

Making use of another disused concrete slab with a green house for seed raising.

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.

Small rose bed cut out of lawn - a full days work to dig.

Small rose bed cut out of lawn – a full days work to dig.

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.

Huge, neglected hedges have been hard pruned exposing ready made gardens with lovely friable soil.

Huge, neglected hedges have been hard pruned exposing ready made gardens with lovely friable soil.

Two huge Rhodos named Alice (how could I resist them) planted under this tree, and nasturtium seeds sown along the outer border.

Two huge Rhodos named Alice (how could I resist them) planted under this tree, and nasturtium seeds sown along the outer border.

These should be looking pretty next spring.

These should be looking pretty next spring.

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.

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2 thoughts on “Groundwork

  1. Hi. Having seen the before you have achieved heaps. The garden has gone from the darkness to the light and im sure your neighbours on both sides appreciate your hard work. They can see very clearly all your hard work.
    The house has good bones and you have now made it very homely and warm and inviting. The cosiness and charm will make your invited guests not want to leave. Well done. Xxxxx

    Like

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