Community garden

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Garden progress and a growing menagerie.

One of the things about renovating on a budget is deciding if, and when to splash out on something.  Every time we pay more for something, we choose to pay less for something else, or prolong a project.  So splashing out needs to be worthwhile.  We have a set budget on this place, and it's small and won't be extended if we run out of money.  I don't believe in the saying "bigger is better" especially when it comes to the family home.  It simply doesn't bring me joy!

One of the biggest struggles for us since moving here is the garden.  The block is great, the fruit trees are amazing but it was dusty, hot, and no where really for the kids to play.  I noticed it immediately as my usually outside boys suddenly wanted to spend lots of time inside.  Which is not great for them, or my sanity -  lets be real! So we have bumped the garden up the list of priorities.
William is still working on his cuttings project.

We have tried with other houses to plant lawn by seed, but with two big dogs, kids and an outdoor family is has proved to be a failure, even when sectioning off areas.  We crunched some figures and did some research on suppliers and we splashed out to buy roll out lawn,  I love this product.  We choose Sir Walter.  Its a buffalo so it's thick and fleshy.  Its tough for high traffic areas, and it is a water wise option.  We have planted a couple of varieties in the past but Sir Walter is a winner for us.  Also it spreads well, so from this point on we will just cut squares and transplant them in the orchid where the chooks are and in the front yard eventually.

Grants moved the clothes line - 4 hours it took him to smash up the cement around the bottom.  4 hours of sweat dripping, jack hammering work.  We could not believe it.  It was the toughest cement we have ever seen.  Filled with rocks and gravel.  You'd think they were building the foundations for a sky scraper not a simple clothes line!  If we were not such tight wads we would have cut it with an angle grinder and got a new line - the thought crossed our minds by about the third hour!  But they don't make Hills hoists like they used too and eventually he won.  The seal of the wallet is strong in this one!
The washing line is near the laundry still but tucked around the corner a bit out of plain sight which is nice.

I now have a sitting area with a lovely shade sail to make it comfortable.  Gosh this space makes all the difference in the world to our home!  I cannot describe how healing it is to now overlook green lawn.  Suddenly we are all outside!  The dogs are lazing on the cool lawn, the kids playing out there, the dust is suddenly far less.  The horror of the pinery bush fires seems just a little further away....
We got some good rain the other day too.

More recycled brick edging from the piles of old bricks around has been laid.  Free is good!

We also welcomed a new member into our family on the weekend.  Meet Sooty!

She was a give away kitten from a house seemed to be breading kittens.....and fleas.....But after a bath and a flea treatment she is looking, and smelling far better.  

We were asked by bewildered family members "Why do we need another cat?"  And the answer is because of love.  I want my boys to grow up looking after animals that rely on them, to grow up loving lots of animals, to know we look after those smaller and weaker then us.  The joy we get from having pats far outweighs the cost for us.  (Besides we do have an awesome old school, cheap country vet who is in it for the love, not they money.) We are homebodies, they are not a burden to us, but a joy.  Besides Max is such a social cat.  It makes me sad when we are not home he has no one.  Now he has a little friend.  Not that he is thrilled about that at this moment in time, but he will come around.  I do like the idea of having pairs of things,  everyone needs a friend.  The cats keep the mice down also.  Which can be attracted by the chooks, and keeping mice away will help keep snakes away also.  It all works.  I also may be just a little soft and making excuses.  ;)

But I think this big old world needs a little softness, so I'm quite OK with that.

Well I best be off as it is dinner time here soon and a stir fry is on the menu and I need to get started on it.  Simple. quick, healthy.

Much love,
Emma
xx

14 comments:

  1. Wow!! The lawn makes a massive difference...well based on what I've seen from your pictures :) I understand your reluctance to get rid of your hills hoist, they really aren't the same anymore...and not all that cheap either for a half decent one.
    Congrats on the adoption of Sooty, hope she settles in well.
    Cassandra xx

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    1. We had a new one in our last place which we installed, and I broke an arm! Grant had to weld it up. I hung something super wet and heaving on it....I think a beanbag?? and i broke it. They dont make them like they used too, lucky it wasnt one of the kids swinging on it! LOL! ;)

      And Sooty is settling in beautifully, Max is getting used to her a little more.

      xx

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  2. Looking really good. :) I bet you won't regret that lawn purchase in a few years time. So long as it does well in your climate, on natural rainfall. I like your new seating area, its very inviting.

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    1. It will need some water, but we do have tanks. Its worth it for the pleasure it brings I think! A lot of the old farmers are commenting that they have been cursing having to mow their wives lawns for years, but the wife's green lawn is the only think that saved the house in the recent fires.

      One day we will build a pergola but we have to build the extension first so this will do for now. That will probably take a couple of years. :) For now it have made a lovely usable area. :)

      xx

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  3. Your lawn looks fantastic Emma. So worth the money. Glad you kept the hills hoist. They are so solid.

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    1. Arnt they just? You should have seen Grant yanking it about trying to get it free. Only an original one could withstand that amount of shoving it about. Mind you it IS a little wonky now. ;)

      xx

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  4. Emma and Grant what an amazing job you are doing on all fronts. Your house and garden, your boys. Your wisdom and follow through is truly lovely to read and should be an inspiration to many. Congratulations to William on his cutting garden, good job. I send many blessings for your family. William your Mummy probably knows this but you could grow her some roses from cuttings if she wanted some. x Annie Jones

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    1. Naw, thatnkyou for your kind comments, they are just lovely to read!

      Oh good tip on the roses, I had not given them much thought, I just pointed him in the direction of succulents as I figured they are tough for this time of the year, its not ideal cutting season! But we do have some lovely roses here, Id love to get some more. :)

      xx

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  5. Oh Emma the yard looks so different! How fabulous for you all!

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    1. Thanks becci, there is still lots of work but it now feels like its on its way! :)

      xx

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  6. What a difference in your yard!! I can see how it would have lifted your spirits no end. What a lucky cat being chosen to join your lovely family. I agree with you, there is plenty of love to go around for those who need us. So glad you also got some of this amazing and much appreciated rain. Perfect timing for your new lawn.

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    1. I know! Its been amazing. Though Im stunned at how fast these winds dry it up. We had a horrendous dust storm today. I thought the rains would have given us more of a break. but the clean, fresh air is appreciated while its here. :)

      I dont know how lucky she is, she has three little boys obsessed with her!! haha! I have to rescue her and put her in her own room sometimes. Hebry calls her "liddle meow" so cute. :)
      xx
      xx

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  7. Moving the hills hoist has given you a beautiful and uplifting view and keeping the clothes line was the right thing to do. I just love them. I can imagine the concrete was tough. They don't make things like they use to! Adorable pic of your son and the new kitty. So kind of you to take her in.

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  8. "The seal of the wallet is strong in this one!" Loved this quote. Gave me quite the giggle as my hubby is the same way most days.
    I haven't been doing the blog rounds lately and need to do some catching up by the looks of things. Everything seems to be going very well for you at your new place. This is great.

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