Thursday, 7 July 2011

Verandah (part III)

634 (from memory) pavers, one malletted finger and a near toe-severing incident with a concrete saw later the verandah was done! It was a little wonky in places, but I'd done it all myself. Satisfying. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Verandah (part II)

Once Beardie's little concrete wall was up I had to backfill with compacted gravel - hence the vibrator - and top that with sand before the pavers could be laid. Don't be fooled by the pics of dad holding the rake - I did the whole lot on my own, he just came for a visit and photo opportunity! I shovelled, barrowed, raked and vibrated tonnes of gravel and sand. And, of course, I did it all in one manic week in and around the cafe...


You probably noticed in all those garden pics that the house had acquired a skirt. For the first twelve months - due to various tradie dramas and lack of cash - the house's drawers were on display to all and sundry. Not only embarrassing for a modest abode, but also a nuisance to have to step out the front door onto dusty gravel in summer and mud in winter.

After returning from a couple of months in Ubud where pavers are used judiciously we decided that they'd work for the verandah. Cheaper than timber, durable, low maintenance... So I measured up the depth of the verandah, worked out the number of pavers we'd need, the depth the verandah would need to be to save cutting a row, marked it all up and called Bruce the concreter. After badgering him for weeks he palmed me off onto his son-in-law who turned up once then never again... One of Zak's mates, Beardie, had worked with Bruce and had recently set up his own business. So, I called, he came and he did the job on Australia Day 2009.

Garden (part V)

Spring 2010, about twelve months since the planter boxes went up and the wind-break plants were put in. It was a revelation...

Garden (part IV)

Garden (part III) skipped from mid-2008 to Spring 2009. Not much changed. Then the house got pummeled by the worst winds we've ever experienced up here. Bugger the view! We needed shelter. So I bought dodonaeas and acacia cognatas and planted them along the front fence about a metre apart in two rows. Fast growing, wind-tolerant, they just needed to get tall...

I also sourced around 300 natives that were wind-tolerant, bird-attracting, had appealing foliage and/or flowers and planted out most of the space in front of the house in two flanks - one on the east, another on the west. That was October 2009 - the plants went in as tubestock, so no more than about a foot tall.

Then, in late November Andy returned. Plans were afoot to convert the carport into two extra rooms - a bedroom for the best little helper, and a study - and that meant making space for a new carport. Andy excavated a cutting in the hill and used the fill to build up some of the front yard near the western planter box. He also stripped the topsoil off the strip between the house and the vegie patch. We'd found that it was angled so that it collected water and brought it back towards the house. So Andy fixed that and broke up the clay substrata to allow freer drainage.


To stop water pooling in the opposite corner - between the vegie garden and where we park the cars - I needed to put in a drain. So, I dug a trench with the little helper, laid a slotted pipe and covered the whole lot with gravel. We also had to move the vegie garden just a touch...