On the home front

It’s been a while since I documented any changes to our home, and there have been a few. I love to be able to look back at photos to see how my garden and house evolve over time, and this blog seems to be the best place in which to record those changes. I love the way a blog serves as a bit of diary for such things….. So, if you’re interested in this aspect of my blog please make yourself a cuppa and get comfy while I show you around. If, however, you prefer to follow along only with my travel posts, then please feel free to by-pass this post…..

My orchid, given to me on Mother’s Day 29 years ago, is blooming. Orchids are a bit like roses, neglect them with barely enough attention to keep them alive and they’ll probably survive. Then when you start to take an interest in them – the right position with morning sun, a bit of fertiliser, and a lot of love, and this is how they reward you.

12 flower spikes this year

A pot of jasmine, intended to be kept clipped into a confined plant to provide perfume in spring, seemed to be thriving in it’s chosen spot. The artificial creeper we had used to cover our small courtyard wall, while looking okay, didn’t thrill the way a living plant does, and although the many potted plants all around the edges of the courtyard provided living greenery, the effect was cluttered. We decided to replace everything with raised garden beds. Purposefully built garden beds would have been ideal, but they’re very expensive. Instead we’ve gone with cheap Bunnings raised beds. We may end up cladding them in future years, but for now we think they’ll look fine once the plantings we’ve chosen reach maturity. The jasmine has now been planted in the garden beds in the same spot in which it had been thriving in a pot. A third mirror has been attached to the wall to create an illusion of space in an otherwise very small courtyard, and trellis has been installed for the jasmine plants to climb up and around the mirrors. The plants are still putting on a bit of autumn growth, but I expect that’ll come to standstill shortly. They’ll soon come to rest for the winter but when spring comes around, I’m expecting they’ll take off with wild abandon, and will do a much better job than the artificial creeper did of providing a green back drop for our little courtyard.

In time the jasmine will be trained to frame the mirrors, and should reward us with it’s heady perfume in spring

The other wall of the courtyard has been planted with clumping bamboo. It’s quite shady there in winter, but in summer when the sun rises high in the sky it gets to much direct sunlight for a lot of plants to grow successfully. We’re hoping the bamboo will provide the answer to all seasons and will help to create the tropical feel to the garden that we so love.

We’re hoping the clumping bamboo will spread along the wall and will suit all seasons

We’ve planted a cascade of spider plants in the corner where the two garden beds meet, and continued these along the front of the garden beds. I’m thinking that as the plants grow and throw out their trailing spiders they’ll look just right trailing over the dark coloured garden bed. We’re deliberately keeping the variety of plants to a minimum with the idea that ‘less is more’ in a small garden. However, as we wait for everything to grow we have dotted other potted plants along the garden beds along with pine cones, rocks, and little ornaments to temporarily fill in the gaps. I expect by Christmas it should be well on the way to looking as it should look, but only time will tell if we have the right sun aspect for the plants we’ve chosen.

A cascade of spider plants, not yet grown to full maturity

Paul has removed our tiny clothes line and erected a bigger one in a different area. The one that came with the house, while being conveniently located right outside the laundry, was also visible from our courtyard seating area. As well as that it was barely big enough to hold a queen sized sheet. In the place where the clothesline used to be Paul firstly attached temporary shade over the old clothes line. He’s since erected a small, permanent shade area for our bigger shade loving plants. The Elephants Ears are thriving in their new position with some of the leaves reaching almost a metre in length, and being visible from out courtyard dining area, they look magnificent, especially in preference to clothes hanging on a line.

Now the clothes line has been removed a more permanent, neater structure has been erected in its place.

So that’s a few changes to the outside. Not much has changed inside except we’ve changed our third bedroom into a bedroom/study. All we did was push the queen sized bed against a side wall, and put the two bedside cabinets against the opposite wall with a nice piece of wood over top to form a make shift desk. We still have our main guest room, but when we have need for the two guest rooms it’ll just be a matter of lifting off the make-shift desk top, centering the bed again and moving the bedside cabinets to either side of the bed. It seemed silly to keep the room as a second designated guest room when it can double as a study for our own use for most of the time.

The third bedroom is now useful to us as a study, but can easily be transformed into a second guest room when needed

We’ve had shutters fitted into our bedroom, and have ignored the chocolate brown carpet. Who on earth would choose chocolate brown for a carpet – well some-one did and, it’s still in really good condition so we can’t justify changing it. To start with we tried to pick a colour that would contrast nicely with the chocolate brown, but once the shutters went in we decided to just ignore the brown. We’ve hung some of our favourite sea side wall art, and have used navy and white on the bed. We’re happy with it, in spite of the carpet.

We’ve chosen to ignore the brown carpet and have gone with a coastal theme for our bedroom

Yesterday the electrician finally arrived to fit lights to do justice to our Phil Hollett print of the Boranup Karri Forest. Phil Hollett is a renowned photographer from our area. We normally prefer to frame our own photos, but there is no way we could have taken a photo that could have been blown up to even half the size of this print with any sort of clarity. We loved the print when we saw it in the gallery, but when we put it up on our own wall it became clear that without some sort of gallery type lighting shining into the picture it looked dull and lifeless. It’s taken us nearly nine months to work out how best to light it up. We ended up with two bright LED lights fitted into the ceiling about a metre back from the print. We’re thrilled with the result.

It comes alive when the lights shine into the print

So that’s it on the home front for now. Hopefully later in the year I’ll be able to do an update showing a small courtyard transformed into a green oasis perfumed with the heady scent of Jasmine. In the meantime, we’ll be getting ready for our trip up to Broome later in the winter. This year our son and daughter-in-law will be coming down from Darwin to meet us there. Kelvin has been to Broome before, but this will be Dara’s first trip there. I’m looking forward to sharing sunset drinks on Cable Beach with the two of them……

12 thoughts on “On the home front

    1. Yes, carpet is bloody awful. I don’t like discarding just for the sake of fashion, but one day my dislike of the colour will be greater than my conservation conscience. The colour is such that I don’t think I could give it away for re-use. Perhaps I could ‘accidently’ drop some bleach on it – lol! The Bunnings planters do look so much better than the lots of pots that they replaced. I think they’ll look really good when the spider plants cascade over them, but I’m not sure how durable they are. If they start to deteriorate we’ll possible put a thin stone cladding on them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We are Peggy. We both love our home and garden. We only have a small courtyard garden now, so not much to look after. A bit of a challenge though to get it right. There’s no room for mistakes when there’s ‘no room’.


  1. As always, you have worked hard to create an attractive sanctuary for yourselves and any guests, Chris. Great lateral thinking with the wooden bench desk on the bedside cabinets although make sure it and the chairs are ergonomically sound if you spend any length of time there writing blog posts. I made that mistake some time ago and ended up with a sore lower back.
    Mr Tilly didn’t seem to mind that carpet and neither do I! Looking at the photo the dark carpet kind of works because being so dark, it provides a contrasting highlight for, and focus on, the white furniture which is what you want the eye to focus on. And it won’t show any stains!


  2. How lovely to catch up with all that’s happening on your home front Chris. From your garden and beautiful orchids to that chocolate brown carpet, there’s always something changing and needing doing. We’ll be home in under two weeks and I imagine there’ll be a tonne of things waiting for us. Enjoy. xx


    1. Are you looking forward to getting home Miriam? Your dog will be doing back flips! I loved travelling when we were full time on the road, but now that I have a home again, I love going away, but not for too long.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, you’re right Chris. Harry will be doing back flips for sure, either that or he’ll run the other way cos we e been gone so long! It WILL be nice to go back but I know there’ll be changes, interesting tones ahead for sure.


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