Jan 15, 2016

Due to spam I've temporarily stopped blogging & have deleted my posts.

Oct 17, 2012

Spring Garden

I love how the garden looks at the start of spring...green & lush with a hint of colour starting to come through. I thought you might enjoy a look at the garden waking up from it's winter sleep.

Front yard:
The front border has blue & purple plants. I'm sorry I missed taking photos of the rosemary covered in pretty little blue flowers & the purple Iris's in flower. The lower level has white plants such as the Arum Lilies that flower in spring & in late spring to early summer my red & white grafted roses will give a beautiful show of Christmas colour.

Garden at the back:
Rock Rose (pink) starting to flower. White Hebe's have stopped flowering. David Austin Roses & Floribunda Roses in white & pinks will start flowering in late spring to early summer, this David Austin is early.

The pink & white colours come from the Pansies, Star Jasmine & Pierre de Ronsard Rose.

Courtyard view of the backyard leading down to the vegetable patch. It looks very green at the moment but there will be colour in the summer when the blue Hydrangea's flower.

White Hebe's in full bloom & one white Tulip (others have already died back). Rock Rose starting to flower. In summer the Hebe's stop flowering & the Roses will be out in full bloom.

Planting has started in the planter boxes. Silver Birch in all it's glory. Pear trees have finished flowering & are now starting to get their leaves.

The Vegetable Patch.
Look I have strawberries...yummo. Can't wait for hubby to pave under the pergola so I can put my little table & chair there.

Looking from the BBQ Deck:
Silver Birch blocking my view of the vegetable patch & pergola. Thank goodness the trees block the shed as I still haven't stained it.
Gorgeous & green with pops of colour...don't you just love spring!

Sep 8, 2012

No dig garden

 Our no dig garden is all ready for planting.
We might need to top it up after having had some wild weather here in Melbourne over the last couple of days...high speed winds & heavy down pour. Waiting for a nice day so we can plant out our seeds & seedlings.

 Pavers being laid using a sand & cement mix.

 1st layer is newspaper (layer it thick) to suppress & kill any grass or weeds.
Wet the newspaper down as you go. 2nd layer is lucerne.
Lucerne is used for it's nitrogen. You can even add grass clippings at this stage to for added nitrogen.

 Then add your compost & fertiliser (we used chicken manure).
Alternate layers of lurcern, compost & fertiliser, layering until you have your desired height/depth. We had a chicken manure/compost mix delivered, this was easier as we needed 4sq mts. It did seem very heavy & water logged, so we mixed a couple of bags of potting mix through the top layer only.
Once the seeds & seedlings are planted we will add a layer of straw over the top to act as a mulch.

Our seeds & mini hot house are bought from the Diggers Club at Heronswood Dromana.

A little bit about the Diggers Club

We have Australia’s largest range of heirloom vegetables, cottage flowers and fruit plants that can be delivered direct to you.
You may not have heard of us because we don’t sell the ordinary sort of plants you’d find at nurseries or supermarkets. We have specialised in growing hard to find, non-mainstream seeds and plants for over 30 years. All our plants are trialled for hardiness, drought tolerance and flavour before we list them for sale.
You can find our seeds and plants in mail-order catalogues and online, and we will pack your order at our nursery and deliver direct to you, whether you’re in Darwin or Hobart.
You can find inspiration at our gardens and in our catalogues, and pick up plants and seeds from our nursery. If you are tired of tomatoes that bounce, dwarf bedding flowers and tasteless supermarket fruits of deception, then you are our sort of gardener. We have passionate gardeners, chefs and horticulturists on staff eager to help you.
So if you are interested check them out here.

Aug 31, 2012

A peek at some of our garden

We have been busy in the garden pruning, weeding, transplanting & building this week. I thought you might like to have a peek at our garden & see what we've been up to. We still have plenty to do outside as well as inside, but I thought you might appreciate the look around. You will probably notice a lot of unfinished projects...hoping they will get finished one day!
Middle Level Courtyard

 Front yard & lawn area leading down to the house

Front of the house...still a lot to do! I was hoping for a veranda this summer...maybe next year.

 Side courtyard that looks down the backyard.
The main bedroom's french doors open onto this courtyard as well as our side entrance (hallway/sudy nook).

This is the start of our "no dig vegetable garden beds".
The "no dig vegetable garden" beds needed to be built ready for planting at the start of spring. So this is the main reason for there being no updates on the hallway/study nook.
I will do a post on our "no dig vegetable garden" for any DIY's who are interested. We will continue the hallway/study nook this week. I really wanted to get the veggie garden in this year, our water tanks are full & there are no water restrictions in place (so far) this year. 
I hope you enjoyed a little peek into some of our garden! We are on an acre so there is plenty more to see. I will try to update these pics in summer when the tree's have their leaves & the flowers are in full bloom.

Jul 11, 2012

Timber Floor Sealers

We are sealing the Spotted Gum timber floor in the hallway & study nook before we do anything else. I'm unhappy with any polyurethane finish, especially on Spotted Gum. We have tried 2 different brands of polyurethane finishes on our floors - the first was Feast Watson a single pack polyurethane. It's a high gloss finish & very hard wearing but my problem with this product is over time it darkens & yellows, so all the gorgeous colours in our Spotted Gum has become a dark orange colour. When we did the entrance timber floor we decided to use a different brand of polyurethane. We tried Cabots CFP Oil Based Floor Sealer in a gloss finish. It's hard wearing, but again the floor has darkened & is starting to yellow. We have also applied each of the products using a different applicator. The first polyurethane we used a lambswool applicator & half way through we found it to be quiet stodgy (if that makes sense) so we put a clean cotton sock over the applicator which made a huge difference. The second time we tried using a wide brush, I would not recommend this, it went on way too thick leaving brush strokes. So after our experience with polyurethane finishes & reading a lot of reviews we have decided to use a water based product - these are just as hard wearing & some do not darken or yellow over time.

Water Based Timber Sealers

There are so many & all different! So how do you choose?! For us our choice came down to couple of things. One being direct sunlight, so we needed UV protection & the other was keeping the Spotted Gum colour as natural as possible - so a non yellowing product was needed. Oh & price! Keep in mind that some water based products use solvents in them which in time will yellow. Make sure that the product states that it's non yellowing.

Top sellers Bona Mega states it's non yellowing, comes in gloss, satin, matt & extra matt, it's around $195 for 5L. Bona Traffic HD has low VOC (solvent) which could yellow over time & it only comes in satin & matt - price is about $195 for 4.95L. Polycure AQUAPRO 8270 Advance 2K it's low VOC (solvent), again possibility for yellowing, the price is about $128 for 4.5L. Also I did not read anywhere stating that these two products are non yellowing. Intergrain Envropro states that it's non yellowing. It comes in gloss or satin & retails for about $133 for 5L. Last but not least Synteko Trek Plus 15 is non yellowing & has UV sceening agents with an added 15yr warranty. It comes in gloss, semi-gloss & satin & retails for about $133 for 4L. This is used on a timber floor in David Jones, so if it's good enough for David Jones, it's good enough for me.

The first coat of Trek Plus 15 was applied last night - it's like pvc glue. Hubby decided to use a 5mm nap roller. It went on very easy resulting in a nice thin coat which soaked into the timber & has dried to a low satin finish. We purchased the satin finish as they didn't have any semi-gloss in stock & I did not want to wait...we know how that ends. I also found that my high gloss floors show up every little bit of dust, so a semi-gloss or satin seemed like a better choice. If we are happy with the end result we will redo all the other timber floors in the same product...so far it's looking that way. The colours in the Spotted Gum are just gorgeous as the water based product is applied... I hope they stay like this.

 The water based product Trek Plus 15 was chosen for it's non yellowing & UV protection

 Getting ready to seal the timber. Wood putty any gaps & edge nail heads.

 Give them a sand, we used a belt sander with a 120 grit.
Our boards were pretty good so they only needed a light sand.

 Applying sealer with a 5mm nap roller.

Before applying sealer make sure the boards are spotless,
free of dust or any other particles.
We vacuumed the boards & walls, then wiped them down with a
micro fiber cloth & then gave them a final vacuum.

 Oh the colours...just beautiful

Going on like a dream

When it dries after 2-3 hours, you can give it a light sand using
200 grit sand paper by hand. Vacuum & wipe, then recoat.
Recoat until you have your desired finish.


May 30, 2010

Where do I start...

I'm very new to the blogging scene, first time...so here we go!
We have been renovating & extending our little bungalow/house for quite a while now & much to everybody's horror really enjoying it. Hubby has rebuilt & extended the little old bungalow/house himself into a larger more livable home (we still have a long way to go). We have an acre of land which runs down to a creek. The house when purchased needed to be dozed...but I had totally fallen in love with the old house, I felt so safe when hubby was working night shift & I was the protector of our two littlies with a gaping big hole in the wall, a thunderstorm & no power, yes me who hears noises every two seconds...felt safe. So with that said I could not doze this house, someone or something was making sure it stayed put (that's my story & I'm sticking to it). Plus we really could not afford to doze & rebuild. We decided to renovate, stating to all that it will be "a money & time permitting renovation" which will probably take 10yrs or more.
I hope you enjoy our renovation blog.