Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A garden update

Lately I have found that rather than play "catch up" I long to simply document the day to day.  I find myself feeling guilty that I haven't written up the last trip to Canada (almost 5 months ago now, yikes!)  or the most recent school holidays and then, because I don't actually feel like writing about either of those things, the blog just gets ignored.  I am wondering if, rather than feeling guilty about not documenting my life in calendar order, it might be a better idea to just write about whatever I feel motivated to.  That way I might actually end up writing something on the blog, something is surely better than nothing!

Inspiration today lies in documenting the continuing work on the garden at our "new" house.  When we purchased this property the garden was virtually a blank slate and even featured a travertine path that quite literally led to nowhere.  As Ross and I are both passionate gardeners the unloved state of the garden actually appealed to us!  We both saw it as a welcoming challenge and have really enjoyed working on the transformation of the garden.

One of the first things that we addressed in the garden was the problem of the foot path that led to nowhere.

It is the front path that leads directly out from our front door to the street, but it just ended at nothing at the start of the nature strip!  It drove me mad as the letter box was on the other side of the driveway at the corner boundary of the property and there was no front fence, hedge or anything else installed to define the perimeter of the property or to make sense of that bizarre front path.

We deliberated for some months about whether to plant a hedge as a front border, install a traditional wood picket fence or to do a sandstone and picket fence combination.  The sandstone combination won out in the end.  We both felt that the sandstone/picket fence had more of a beach house feel and would ultimately be the easiest to maintain.  Picket fences are hard work, they need regular painting and hedges need frequent trimming.

Ross installing the frame for the wood "pickets" before the sandstone cladding went on.

The pickets going on post-cladding. 

When we installed the stone fence we also relocated the letterbox and chose one that could be integrated into the fence itself.  As someone will invariably ask, the letterbox is the Mr Kelly Integrated Front Open Letterbox from Robert Plumb .  Please ignore the front of the house and the rest of the front garden, that is all still a work in progress!  

In the rear garden the most recent gardening work has focused on building a garden bed that runs almost the entire length of the back of the house and deck.

We have clad this garden bed in the same stone from Eco Outdoor that we used for the front fence.  We also intend to use this stone in the landscaping that is currently taking place around the pool and to clad an indoor/outdoor fireplace that we have on the back deck/living area. 

Ross put a lot of thought into the plants in this garden bed.  Amongst hardy and drought tolerant succulents we have planted lots of sanseveria,  cardboard palms. philodendrons and rhoeo. At either end of the planter box have we selected two mature plants, a multi-headed dragon tree at one end and a frangipani at the other.  We placed the dragon tree at the deck end of the planter box as it is quite a statement plant and will look amazing once established.

The frangipani came from our next door neighbours garden and already looks like it has been there for decades with a lovely aged patina to it's trunk.  The planting of this garden bed has completely transformed the back of the house and I am thrilled with how it has turned out.

Meanwhile, work continues elsewhere in the garden, the pool truly is a construction site at the moment and another stone garden bed is about to be constructed further along the deck.  I am looking forward to sharing these projects once complete also!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The lengthy absence

I never planned to leave the blog unattended for so long or indeed leave without at least publishing some sort of a farewell note.  Life just got in the way as it is wont to do and blogging became something I really didn't feel motivated to do.  Every now and then though I will randomly be asked by a friend if I intend to return to it.  Initially, my responses were vehemently negative, more recently though I have responded with a hesitant maybe and then today, I decided enough with the procrastinating.  I need to update the blog, if only for myself as I love looking back at the past entries.

The most significant change in our lives is that we have moved.  We are still on the northern beaches of Sydney,  a few suburbs away from our old beach cottage.  The old house sold after a week on the market and smashed the street record!  Of course we were absolutely delighted, but also a touch sad to say goodbye to the house as we had truly put our heart and soul into the renovation and the garden.  A young couple expecting their first baby are the new purchasers and were absolutely lovely when we met them and so despite the touch of sadness,  I am also excited that a new family will now enjoy the lovely home and garden we created.

Our new house is mostly "done"  although we intend to make some smallish changes in order to put our own stamp on it, the garden however is a disaster and R and I are both looking forward to getting our hands grubby and creating a new magical garden space.

The pirates?  Well, they are no longer little.  I will have to start thinking of a new name for the blog now!  The 8 year old started at a new school this year.  An all boys school this time which I had never intended to choose for my boys and yet it has turned out to be one of the best parenting decisions we have ever made. The 6 year old started school this year, at the same school as his brother, and he too is thriving.

Back to blogging though and whether I will stick to it this time?!  I intend to try.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Life lately....

... has been busy. 

A shopping trip to Brisbane.

Nicasso's latest art work.

School holiday activities.  (...that would be the Colosseum made out of Lego)

The Mummy of a 5 year old boy who was missing a tooth (discovered recently via x-ray apparently).  Both were fascinated.

Armchair Collective.

Dinner at Hugo's Manly.  Beef carpaccio is back on the menu, thank you universe for answering.

Peonies from my parents garden.

Looking perfect in my kitchen!!!

The view from my bed when the Jacarandas are in flower is magic.

Love that they are still not too old to try and build these crazy towers out of wood blocks.

A darling little friend for a sleepover.

Admiring street art.

There's also been a trip to Melbourne.  The boys are quite the fans of the pool at The Olsen. I wanted to steal the towels.  I didn't though.

Admiring the Christmas windows at David Jones in the city.

This child is impossibly cool.

This child is still impossibly cute. 

A trip to the Opera House to see 'Twas the night before Christmas.  

and much, much more.... to be documented at some point soon hopefully.  

Merry Christmas to all. xx

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Milestone Birthday and a giveaway!

Yes, next week I turn 40.

  I have decided to celebrate rather than have a meltdown.

My Father recently said to me that as you get older Birthdays become much less about age and gifts and much more about spending time with family and friends.  I have thought a lot about this as my 40th has approached and I have decided to agree with him.  

(Side note to husband: this definitely does not apply to you R!  What's more do not even think of trying to tell me that my new, albeit expensive tennis racket is my 40th birthday present!!!! The cheek of it!)

Turning 40 is a significant milestone though and I do want to acknowledge it on the blog, so for all my lovely blog friends  I have a few giveaways organised.  

The first of which is a stainless steel drink bottle from Pottery Barn with a lovely rather William Morris like print of two parrots on it and a clam shell with an Ecoya Frangipani Soap to go in it!  To enter you must leave a comment.  You don't have to become a follower but if you fancy it you are more than welcome to!

Good luck everyone and yes you can enter multiple times by posting about the giveaway elsewhere and so on but please leave another comment telling me that you have done so!  The giveaway ends next Wednesday (the 26th of September).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Dulux House

Investigating my stats recently I discovered that a great number of visitors to the blog were searching for images of the Dulux House, so I thought for all the like minded house stalkers out there I would provide you with some more images of it's fabulousness!

The front entrance, so pretty with the frangipani tree and scattered flowers on the lawn.

The gorgeous backyard.  The whole of the downstairs looks like it is a huge open plan room, this now seems to be a pre-requisite when designing a beach house.

Love the old milk bottle basket full of vintage bottles and flowers on the dining table.

Gorgeous tap and butlers sink in the island.  Do you think the little room off to the left might be a butlers pantry with the fridge in it?  I would seriously love to have a good look at this kitchen!

Living room with an open fire and stone surround.  I am not convinced by the very high mantle though.

Another living area in the main part of the open plan area.

With views out to the backyard.

A perfect beach bathroom.  The vanity is lovely and simple and not unlike our one.   I am also pretty sure that they have used the same travertine tiles on the shower walls that we used on our bathroom floors.  

Such a pretty house.  All images are from here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The old boat sand pit or as it's being called on Pinterest, the sand box!

After writing the guest post for Carolyn I have received numerous emails asking about the boat sand pit/box.  The photo I posted of the boat is apparently very popular on Pinterest...

Before I even had children I had daydreamed about creating a play area that involved an old wooden boat.  As a child I adored many books that involved boats:

 "there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" (Ratty, The Wind in the Willows) or sailing to the end of the earth with Reepicheep and Prince Caspian in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my favourite of all the Narnia series), or  playing pirates with the Walker and Blackett children in Swallows and Amazons and who wouldn't have wanted to run row away to The Secret Island?  One of Enid Blytons' first and possibly best books.

This early love stemming from children's books combined with my love for anything vintage and nautical and well, it is just simply something that I have always wanted to do.

So where did we get the boat from? Well, my aunt (technically my ex-aunt but she is still very much part of our family) and her husband live on the water.  Their garden is lovely green rolling lawns that wind down to a private sandy beach. After storms all sorts of debris washes up onto their little beach and they are then responsible for disposing of it. Often they find old tenders (or small row boats) washed up.  Naturally as soon as I wanted one there were none to be found.  However, the universe provided, one washed up on a nearby beach after a storm and remained unclaimed.  After waiting several weeks for an owner to materialise we nabbed it.  It was definitely not sea worthy anymore, so perfect to be re-purposed into a sand pit for my little pirates.  If you don't have access to a beach where boats might randomly wash up, try ebay and also the tip.  I have often seen old boats at our local tip, we do live near the sea though.

Do they play in it often?  In winter, yes.  In summer, not so much.  We have a pool though and in summer they spend a lot of time in the water.  In winter though they use it a lot.  Not just as a general sandpit for digging, trucks and the construction of elaborate waterways and dams. But also to play pirates and sailing around the world type imaginative games.

It is unique and I adore it.  I find the standard sanitised backyard play items available for children these days so boring.  An old boat, surrounded by sand, in a ring of old sandstone pavers truly is an enchanting and wondrous place for a child (or childlike grown ups!).


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