Monday, October 31, 2011

Tree removal

Special bonus blog...

The tree trimmer came today.

The pohutakawa is gone. You can now see the whole of the extension from the street.

As is the laceybark. We can see a bit more the neighbours but the tree is not taking over the garden anymore.

We can see heaps more of the hills

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Staining breeze boards

Breeze boards re-stained

Another step added

More weeding completed

Living room greenhouse

Monday, October 24, 2011

Labour Day long weekend

Helen had guide camp for the first half of the weekend and I spread my time between the garden and the garage. I adjusted the travel on a couple of suspension forks and swapped them between bikes. My old Reba Team with a fresh new damper cartridge went on the Duster along with the original crankset from the GT and a new chain and cassette.

Out in the garden, I tweaked the bottom step on the south side of the house, making it wider. It now extends all the way to the under-house access. This area had just been an uneven pile of dirt. By extending the step, it makes a nice smooth surface to walk on while ducking under the steps. It also makes for a nice transition for the gravel I put under the steps.

Still a bit of work to do on the back bit.

On the north side of the house I have hacked the slope back a bit so I can build a small block retaining wall. The bit between the wall and the house is going to get weed-matted and gravelled.

Helen weeded around the Chatham Island Forget-Me-Nots.

On Monday I got most of a third step sorted before lunch. My drill bit broke so I couldn't screw down the bit next to the house.

After lunch Karl came around and we worked on getting his bike sorted, while Helen went to visit a friend who just had a baby.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


We are starting to get ready for the next phase of landscaping. We are going to build a deck, do some paving for the base of a greenhouse and sort out a few drainage issues. This is all going to happen on the bit of flat ground between the house and the new and old retaining walls and planter boxes and the north side of the house.

Can you tell where we stopped?

The north side of the house.

Helen trimmed the hedges.

After a week of watering the concrete it finally got to dry out and tidied up.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sonic the Hedgehog

We had a visitor in the garden yesterday evening.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pouring concrete and more landscaping

Saturday the weather was pretty awful so we did inside chores - cleaning the house and homework. Sunday, the sun came out and we got to work on the garden.

Today we learned how to pour concrete. It turned out pretty well.

We got the old bit of concrete slab out and prepared the area for the new concrete. There was one last bit of re-bar holding it in place so we had to cut it free with the hacksaw.

While I was digging out the hole to fill, Helen cut the weed mat and planted the daisies.

Mixing the concrete in the wheelbarrow. We used 105kg of dry concrete and probably could have used a little more.

Helen trowelling the concrete smooth.

The new bit of concrete is in!

After the concreting I managed to get another level of the steps screwed down, whilst Helen weeded and tamed the back part of the garden.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

More landscaping

Another day spent working in the garden.

The borders are all tidied up now. The bit right up next to the house will go in first. The plan is to put a few Marlborough Daises in and surround them with cobbles.

The upper bit where side edging had to be blended in with the existing garden edge. The plan is to get grass growing up to the edge of the first step.

Here I am reusing the treads from old deck to make screens to cover up the path along the side of the house. There are several reasons for ding this. The pavers can get very slick when wet and they spaced oddly making it pretty dangerous to walk down them when it is wet. The other is help keep the weeds that always seem to grow under control.

We will give them a fresh coat of stain when done so hopefully they will look a bit nicer. it is going to be a while though: it takes a long time to de-nail the old treads, cut them to length and then screw them into place. They might be done by the end of summer!