Showing posts with label The garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The garden. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2011

The weekend...

Meet Percy:

I love him!  Made by a local artist, wish I could credit him/her! 

Apologies for the appalling photo, husband took it on my phone.  Lucky his job has nothing to do with photography!  Anyway, on Saturday night we attended the Ronald McDonald House Gala Ball which was lots of fun and excitingly they reached the target of a million dollars raised in one night!  Husband also acquired a signed jersey belonging to Cadel Evans from the 2011 Tour de France in the silent auction.  He has been instructed to hang it in his office.

On the Sunday my Mum and I took the opportunity to duck out and explore a nearby garden that was open for the weekend:

Set on 8 acres with meandering paths beside creeks, waterfalls, ponds and rainforest gully's. It was a fabulous place to wander through and explore.  Dotted throughout the garden were all sorts of lovely treasures.

Including this divine little fairy house. 

One of the highlights of the garden is Lily:

She reclines in the garden permanently! Her face is carved out of sandstone and her body is made from moss.  Truly magnificent!

The base of the waterfall, the water trickling down the rock has created a natural waterslide into the pool. The pirates would have loved to try it out!

The garden was also full of interesting plants.

Lastly, I think that this has probably done the blog rounds but as it is my favourite love song and now a love song to an iconic Sydney landmark I wanted to share it with anyone that might have somehow missed it:

Monday, May 30, 2011

A nocturnal visitor

I woke at 5am this morning to R shaking me and saying... "I think there is a possum on top of the printer," ha ha I thought, he must be dreaming,  He wasn't.  There it was, a little ring tail possum perched on top of a stack of paperwork sitting on the printer.  The first thing I thought of was this book:

A popular bedtime read chez Pirate, about a possum that gets into the house and wreaks havoc in every room. AAARRGH!  What is it with the wildlife around these here parts, stuff like this never happened when we lived in the Eastern Suburbs!  Anyway, as these thoughts were racing through my head, amazing really considering the time of day and that I had just woken up!  Mind you I did have the  presence of mind to reach over and grab the camera!  The possum observing our discussing it sensed that it was time to make a jump for it and yep, made a flying leap into the space in the bed recently vacated by Ross.  I screamed. The possum wisely jumped back off the bed, dived under the bed, emerged on the other side and then clambered up the wall to a hole in the ceiling (grrr renovation) and back into the roof.  Now to get it safely back out of the roof before all the holes are sealed.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The renovation so far.....

For Betty in Brisbane (R's old flatmate who is a lovely friend) and Grandma and Grandpa in Morocco (having a glamorous holiday exploring places like YSL's holiday house) and for all the other people who keep harassing me/us for photos of the reno.... this is where we are at people:

The front of the house, photo taken standing on the driveway.  New roof (Colourbond windspray) and new front deck.  Loving Ross' decision to do double deck posts, so pleased with how they turned out!

Panelling under the new front deck.  Also thrilled with Ross' insisting that we do exposed eaves here.  I was initially a bit reluctant as all I could think about was the spiders that would be nesting around them, but I am so glad he won this one as they look fantastic.  Warning to all spiders: those eaves are going to be brushed regularly with lemon oil.  Move on hairy legs!

Standing on new front deck looking towards the driveway.  As you can see one of the apprentices has been "helping."  Mum and Dad, note the new retaining wall.  The Czech guy, who brought his Mum along to supervise and yell at him (in Czech) did a brilliant job.  It matches the rest of the retaining walls perfectly and you would never know the wall was moved to accommodate the extension! 

Front of house.  Front door will be in the centre little nook, set back a bit.

Inside the new front bedroom, we are putting vertical VJ walling in all the bedrooms, above the fireplace and also the laundry.  I really wanted to do it in the bathrooms as well but Ross the spoilsport was worried about waterproofing. It looks similar to groove and tongue for anyone unfamiliar with VJ.

Looking down the drive into the new "garage/playroom." 

The first half of this room will be garage storage for bikes, skis, surfboards, scooters etc etc The back half will be a playroom/spare room.

Looking up to the new extension from the garden.  Ash (one of the builders, as in a real one, not a pint sized wannabe one) is standing at the new playroom doors.  The next door/window to the right is the new laundry.

Looking up at the new back deck and bifolds into living room.

The back half of the house, the current living/dining/kitchen which is inside the frame in the above picture is getting pulled off next week to be re-built! Aaaaagh!  Further renovation updates to follow soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Exterior/Street Front Inspiration for Chez Pirate

The renovation is about to begin in earnest and the pressure is on to make some decisions.  For some time I have been photographing houses in our neighborhood and the surrounding suburbs for inspiration and one of my husband's hobbies is to spend hours perusing real estate sites so we have amassed quite a collection of images to inspire us in our latest renovating endeavour!  Currently concentrating on exterior colour, weatherboard style (ie. classic,rusticated etc) and fretwork...

Love the colour of this house (am pretty sure it is the house in the Dulux ad!) and we are also planning to do a similar path of sandstone pavers across the back lawn to the pool.

Closer shot for y'all of the colour!

This house is in my Aunty's neck of the woods and everytime we drive past I swoon!

Another divine weatherboard!

Love the porch light!

This house is even further North at Palm Beach and is truly spectacular.  Image is from Architectural Digest and if you want to see more photos of the interior (divine) see here.

Love the colour of this house as well, in fact I love it so much that I knocked on the door once on my way back from the beach with dripping wet hair and still in my bathers and asked the owner what the colours she had used were.  She was just gorgeous and very kindly shared with me!  (Image originally from Domain.)

Another jewel on the Northern Beaches.  The pirates often play at the playground across the water from this house and I find it very distracting! (Image originally from Domain.)

Here are all the colour samples painted onto the side of the house... we are leaning towards the centre one.  Any thoughts? 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Swimming Pool Update and a visit to Abode Bazaar

We have had a rather industrious weekend at Pirate HQ.  My parents have been up visiting, which has been lovely as R and I were able to complete various tasks around the house.  Often a challenge when small children are "helping" or feeling needy, so it was fabulous to have some extra pairs of hands!  One of the main jobs on my to do list was to source some pots similar to the one above.   My mission was unsuccessful unfortunately, however at Abode Bazaar in Willoughby (one of my favourites!) I found some other lovely pots that I decided were perfect anyway!

This is one of the new Abode pots with a lovely Bromeliad in it, I so love the aged, stone effect of the pots.  They remind me of the gardens in India for some reason.  Whereas, my blue and white china pot makes me think of KL and Singaporean gardens ( that particular pot was purchased years ago when we were on posting in KL though.):

Another to do list job was to complete the landscaping around the swimming pool.  R has been pottering away at it for the last few months slowly but having my Dad around for a few days, they both got stuck into it and I am truly impressed with the result.  The stone is from Eco Outdoor and is  the Random Ashlar "Clancy" one and they did it themselves!  In one day!  R also did all of the decking himself, that did take a fair bit longer than one day though!

In this photo you can see the pile of stone that was delivered.  They then stuck each piece of stone onto the cement sheeting, fitting the pieces together like a puzzle.  The more random the better it looked we decided!

My Dad hard at work,(R is cracking the whip somewhere in the background!):

The end result!  (Ignore garden and pool furniture for now, still working on those parts...).  Although, you can admire the lovely new glass pool fence!:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Apprentice

There is a new apprentice working on the decking around the pool...  I so love his choice of workwear.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Garden

The garden is just looking marvellous at the moment.  The lawn and the swimming pool are sprinkled all over with Jacaranda petals and just look divine. I used to have issues with Jacarandas, as when I was at university there was a saying: "If you haven't started studying by the time the Jacaranda in the Main Quadrangle blooms, then it is too late!"  I had Archaeology in that corner of the Quadrangle and had to pass the tree a few times a week.  Anxiously I would examine it for any signs of blossoms! University now seems like a lifetime ago and as I live in a house surrounded by four jacaranda trees I have grown to adore them!

The "exam tree" in bloom!  Aaaaaahhhh!!!  Image is from here:

The rest of the garden is looking fabulous as well!  I recently read (I think in House and Garden) that for every $1000 you spend on plants for the garden, the value of the house can increase  by up to $5000!  My planned New Years Resolution preventing future nursery purchases might be unnecessary, I am investing in the property!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mayhem Chez Pirates!

An eventful few days were had at Pirate HQ whilst R was away in Melbourne playing golf, staying at a glamorous hotel and dining at establishments like Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant. He had lobster and apparently it was outstanding, can you tell I am a teeny bit jealous...

Incident 1.  The Snake

The Captain announced calmly to me from the french doors that lead out into the garden, "Mummy, there is a snake in the garden"  the calmness of this statement threw me and I ignored him!  In my defence, I was thinking to myself that it must be a stick he is looking at.  A second, more urgent sounding "Mummy, there is a snake in the garden" got my attention though and I got up to have a look.

"Get inside the house and shut all the doors and windows!" I screeched, grabbing the phone to call husband and seek his advice on what to do.  Of course he was in Melbourne playing golf.  Admittedly and in his defence, it was a charity match raising money for Ronald McDonald House, however at that point in time I was outraged that he was not at my beck and call.  He suggested I ring WIRES.  They were very helpful and identified the snake as a non-venomous tree snake!  Phew! 

Incident 2. The demise of the Dishwasher

Out of frustration and to punish husband for his neglectful absence in my time of need I went and bought myself a shiny new Miele dishwasher and to go with it a lovely new Miele oven.  Well, it was on special and that never happens with Miele.  Plus, our stove top is Miele, so now everything matches and looks lovely!

Incident 3. The Power Failure

Tree-loppers across the road  in their attempt to remove some Bangalow Palms managed to accidentally knock down a giant Strezlitzia straight onto the power lines! No power for hours, this was merely inconvenient compared to incident 4 though.

Incident 4.  The Wardrobe Malfunction

I left the house at half-past eight and dropped the Captain off at pre-school.  Then with the baby went to do the shopping, pottered around Spotlight buying party items, had a coffee and some lunch and then visited several of my favourite junk shops.  During the course of the day I chatted with numerous people, but it was not until half-past two when I went to collect the Captain from school, that one of the other lovely Mums sidled up to me and whispered in my ear, "Emma, your dress is on inside out!" I was mortified! I have decided to blame R for this incident. If he had been at home he might have perhaps noticed such a significant wardrobe malfunction.  Also I might not have been so  distracted (see incidents one, two and three). 

Thankfully, throughout the mayhem, my two little pirates were angels... thank you boys! 

 P.S. I love my new oven and dishwasher and it made walking around the northern beaches with my frock on inside out all better, admittedly some rather extravagant retail therapy though!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The swimming pool renovation begins!

Finally, after various threatening phone calls, emails and demands for our deposit money back the pond pool renovation has begun. We are all thrilled. R and I are delighted as the cesspit in our backyard will finally be gone. The boys, although disappointed to be losing their tadpole/mosquito/bacteria breeding ground, are equally as delighted as the associated activity has kept them entertained for hours. They are both out in the backyard observing/annoying the workmen all day long.

Cleaning the interior with acid! I relocated the boys to the chatterbean (little one can't say trampoline!) for this part:

These are the waterline tiles that we have chosen. We really wanted to use a darker tile colour, however as we are on the northern beaches of Sydney and the odd funnel-web does turn up in swimming pools here (eek!), the pool company STRONGLY recommended that we stick to a light interior and a light tile. They then proceeded to show me pictures of funnel-webs in pools and how much easier they are to spot in a pale pool interior. After researching funnel-webs and their lengthy lifespan under water (an alarming 5 days) and chatting to the neighbour, "oh yes that's right, the former owner was bitten by a funnel-web in the pool!" (what!? eek!!), we decided to follow the pool company's advice.

The new sandstone coping for the pool edge:

Now the dilemma... I have always adored swimming pools that are part of the lawn.



Am I crazy? Will half the lawn end up in the pool? Should we deck the entire area inside the pool fence?



Or a bit of both? Decking around part of the pool? Where the sunloungers will be and where the steps into the pool are located?


Love to hear any tips or recommendations!


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