Sunday, September 30, 2012

Side steps are finally done

I spent the weekend working on the side steps. I think they are finally finished. I started working on them just over a year ago here. The only thing I have left is to get a bag of small rocks to fill the gap between the steps and the house.

Steps are done

I added a skirting board on the fence side to help keep unwanted rocks and weeds from coming through from the other side.

View from the top

Elsewhere in the garden, Helen's rhubarb has gone completely mental.

Rhubarb on steroids

Monday, September 24, 2012


Wonderful weather this weekend, so lots of action around the house and garden. Weeding, mowing, chopping back trees, turning the compost, cleaning the windows.....I suppose you call it spring cleaning.
The flowers and veggie seedlings are out, and the cats were enjoying the sunshine.... although they had to move occasionally when it got too hot! A very satisfying weekend.

 Mifi getting some sun on her belly - so lady like!

Safi under one of the chairs - half in the sun, half out...

 We removed a semi-dead tree and had to put up a trellis so that all the people on the steps can't see in the house. Aaron is weaving flax leaves through the trellis to create more of a screen.

Tomato and courgette/zucchini seedlings coming through

Monday, September 17, 2012

Birthday toys

Helen bought me a table saw for my birthday on the weekend. I have been  in need of one for a while to complete several projects I have going. I am not allowed to start any new projects until I finish the ones I have going now. I have lots of ideas for new projects, so I need to get things finished up.

Both of my step projects required the table saw. For the fronts the second board is not a full width so it needed to be cut along its long axis. I could have done it with the jig saw but the table saw made it much easier, safer and straighter.

The steps at the back
I am not quite halfway done with the steps up the back. I have been using wood left over from the new deck, but I am nearly out. I still have plenty of kwila left over from the old deck to finish off the steps on the side. I have fronts on three of them now with five more to go.

The side steps
The steps out the back had several ferns growing out from underneath them which I transplanted to the north slope. They are kind of hard to see amongst all the weeds. Keeping this bank under control is a never ending battle. Each year we seem to get a little further ahead. Maybe some day we will have it under control. One of my future projects may help...

Relocated ferns (slightly right of centre)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wining and Dining in the Wairarapa

Last weekend was our 7th Wedding Anniversary. Can you believe it? We can't. Aaron took me away for a relaxing weekend over in the Wairarapa. The weather forecast was aweful - and a few hours after we got over to the Wairarapa they had closed the road over the Rimutakas due to the 140 km/h winds. Fortunately this didn't interfere with our plans to go wine tasting around Martinborough. In fact it was nice and quiet as there were very few Wellingtonians there.

We went to 3 wineries. We like to go to the small ones that don't sell at the supermarkets, and where the person doing the wine tasting/selling is usually the wine maker. This time we went to Hawthornwaite where Mark, the South African wine maker, spent a good hour telling us all kinds of stories, about the wine, about how he came to have a winery, etc.. We were about half way through tasting the wines when his wife came out and the stories all stopped.... and we were then rushed through the last few wines.

The second winery we went to was Muirlea, where the wine maker is a real character and was getting us to try his experiments with mixing Pinot and Syrah... interesting how the Syrah overwhelms it even when there was much less of it. Finally we went to an old favourite, the Cabbage Tree vineyard, where they make the only chardonnay in New Zealand that I like and where the woman was very chatty and we chatted about life the universe and everything - especially the terrible job the current government are doing...

After a nice dinner and a wild blowy night, we went to the local daffodil fair in Carterton and had a quick look around and helped the local economy... before heading back to Wellington. A very pleasant weekend.