Mischiefs' Folly

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Yes - putting the house on the market, downsizing and moving. And that's exactly what I've been doing. Amazing how much stuff I haven't even used in the 5 years that I have been here, yet how hard it is to part with thingsā€¦. I like the concept that making a vacuum in the house will suck buyers in!

    If you are feeling too lazy to empty the bucket often, half fill it with shredded paper or wood shavings and it soaks up the pee and reduces smells. It's not able to be diluted in water and spread around obviously but goes well in the compost.
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Hoping things go well for you and you get what you want- word of caution....be careful what you ask for, or as I discovered, be more specific. God/dess,the Universe, might just decide to listen and give you exactly what you said you wanted.

    Do you feel less cluttered now you have had your clearing out?
    Its supposed to be good Feng Shui to let go of the old stuff. I had a clean out too and didnt realise how closed in I felt with all that useless stuff lying around.

    Yesterday, the plumber came to check out what I wanted done with the tank and so on. The old gutters need replacing as well and he has recommended getting colour steel ones instead of plastic even though they are more expensive- he already knows how I feel about plastic shstuff.
    We've arranged for this to all be done in a couple of weeks, which gives me time to make sure of my budget and move the aluminium framing thats in the way.

    I have cleared out the area between the new woodshed and the fence, pulled all the weeds that had started to grow here and laid down a....ahem, plastic banner that was used elsewhere as ground cover under yet more stuff that was got rid of so I wont be getting upset with weeds growing where I cant get to them.
    Some of this framing has a sloped top that has to come off. It would have been better if I had just built the greenhouse now to cut out the double handing, but never mind.
    I havent figured out how to do it yet and besides a couple of asparagus plants are in the way and need to be dug up over winter when they are asleep and moved or potted up.
    I'll get the gutters along the woodshed run and hooked up to the chooks' tank as well as hooking up the marine hand pump for the outdoor kitchen.

    I've been trying to think of what else I could do with the old gutters so I dont have to send them to the dump, so if anyone has an idea for these, please let me know.I did think of putting one bit along the bottom of a wall in the chooks scratch yard and using this as a feeding trough to put their wheat or pellets in.

    I checked out the old concrete tub at my friends place and realised that it was Not going to work in the laundry. Its just alittle too banged about and was dropped when it got pulled out and now has cracks all round the base. She didnt want it and kept saying that I'd find somewhere useful for it and to take the big double tub as well.

    I did find a home for them up on the concrete slab behind the old wash-house/woodshed. They will both fit, just, along the front of the slab. I'm going to put my herby things in them, for once I'll have them all in one place.
    We managed to manhandle the single tub up onto the back of my truck. When I got home, it was just a matter of backing up across the courtyard and hoisting it up a couple more feet. and 'walking' it into place
    I'm going to need help with the double tub, she wont be able to help with that one. She has a young couple she calls in when she needs help and said he should be strong enough to lift the next tub and move all the framing as well.
    Depending on how much time he's got to spare me, I might see if we can move the metal tool shed to its new home.
    I had to move it to make may for a small mountain of soil when the water tank hole was dug out and now that has been dealt with and the ground made level again, it can go back.
    I dont dare do it by myself this time cos its starting to get alittle rickety from being dragged about.

    When I was explaining to the plumber that I wanted the far end of the front gutter to be tilted so that water stayed in it for the birds, I got That look. So I had to explain that they are used to it being there and that we have a Tui over winter in the Banksia tree who uses it and that I didnt dare set up things for them at ground level because the cats can get them...all explained and understood.
    This lead to a wee chat about how nobody seems to make allowances for the wild life and how they are all struggling.
    He got quite excited and told me how he and his wife (word Not emphasized), had noticed this too and about the things they had started doing for birds in particular.
    They have alot of self sown Kowhai seedlings sprouting under their trees and told me to go over and dig them up to kick start my little baby native forest.
    I had said how I had tried to grow some of my own firewood but wasnt too impressed with it so far and thought the space would be better used to grow trees for our native birds.
    The firewoodman had been over the weekend and had cut down the two large wattles, so he could see the small amount of actual firewood they had turned into. They still grew faster than say an oak or macrocarpa would have and are coppiceable, so I still dither about keeping them.Every little bit helps.

    The woodshed has been painted and looks fabulous. It did rain yesterday, so I hopped in to see just how much actually got through the gaps and was pleased to see not much did.
    Rain, did I say rain? After it stopped, I went out to harvest the rest of the Maori potatoes and found the soil was bone dry..??? I'm sure it didnt just rain on the woodshed but unfortunately, wasnt enough to even moisted the top soil at all. Either that or when the sun came out again, it was so intensely hot it immediately evaporated it all again.

    I've been told that what we call Maori potatoes was actually brought over by European settlers and is known elsewhere as Fat Lamb potatoes.
    These had been let self sow again and I havent done anything with them just to see how they would grow. The chooks helped clear the ground and probably ate alot of them and I found little tunnels where a rodent had also helped themselves, but there is plenty left for me, probably about 5-8 kgs from a not quite 3x3 metre area.

    Broody mum has been taking her babies out into the big wide world and has not been bothered by any of the local cats. One littlie did get trod on by a big girl and was most indignant about it but otherwise unharmed.
    I think from now on, if/when I get eggs to hatch out, I wont bother putting the hen in a cage, they are obviously quite capable of looking after themselves without my interference. Of course, we dont have as many predators to worry about as in other countries, which helps.
     
  3. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I can't remember how big your place is mischief? Are you in town or on acreage?

    The photos look great : ) Everything looks very tidy & fresh & pretty : ) You're certainly doing a lot of work!
     
  4. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Thanks, I've got to update the photos on the woodshed now that its actually finished.
    It is alot of work and it does get alittle overwhelming sometimes. Unfortunately, parts of it are not looking tidy or pretty, but I will get to them eventually and whip it back into shape. Like most people, I'm sure, I usually only let people see the good bits. Grahame did promise to post pics of his nightmare bits if I did but.....

    I'm on the outskirts of a rural town, with a quarter acre section. Just about all of it is in the back yard. The front part of my driveway up to the back yard, technically, is mostly on the council side of the boundary as is 'the roadside garden' and the rock wall I built.
    I did hear on the grape vine that someone was looking at buying the defunct timber mill, across the road and round the corner from me and turning it into a mall....?? here??? and that they were going to be putting a roundabout right outside my house, meaning I would probably lose most of the road frontage I have been making use of.
    Thats why I HAD to put the parking area up the back. When I first talked about doing it, I thought I was going to get flack for wasting time money and space on something so un permie as a car park, especially one that is so big but not to do it would have been a huge mistake. I m really pleased with how that has turned out, my daughter says it looks luxurious.( a 1000% improvement on what was there).
     
  5. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Yes the cleaning out has made me feel much better, less stuck and surrounded by ugliness. It's also proving useful to put me back in touch with happy memories as I find kids things from when they were young. More to go yet, but getting there in stages.

    Can you make a vertical garden using your old guttering? Attach lengths of it to a fence or wall, close the ends and fill with soil?
     
  6. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    whenever i feel uninspired and witless, i come and read what you're up to and then at least i can get enough energy together to pull the covers over my head and take a nap.

    : ) you rock.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I concur!
     
  8. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Haha songbird, thats funny but I'm glad you are enjoying it.
    I try to add my mistakes or the things that didnt actually work out so others can Not do them or keep them in mind if they decide to experiment with it anyway. There is so much info in books that seems to be rewritten from elsewhere and is either just plain wrong or doesnt apply to everywhere-like Angelica being sweet for example and it annoys me. I think its important to add them.
    One 'surplus' we can share is knowledge/ ideas/experience,(maybe that is three, oh well). Once you've done it, thought it, it doesnt go away so its free to be shared and costs me absolutely nothing but might be priceless to somebody else. (I know some of it is pricelessly funny occassionally)

    I tried spraying 4 day old pee on some weeds, some of it was couch grass. They havent died. I threw a whole bucket load over a nasty spot behind the garage where the birds have deposited blackberry seeds....they are looking rather lush still, so I'm not too sure that this is true either or else I'm just alittle too sweet for my own good.lol. It was alittle pongy for a day or two and I worried what the neighbours would think if the wind blew it in their direction....until I saw them mow their lawn and straight away put the sprinkler on for hours to keep it look green.

    I do look through or over the fence sometimes (when I know they arent home). Its picture perfect.
    Nice neat small gardens in each corner mulched with rock. Some have afew plants in them. The largest one by the front door is all rock with a team of Rugby Gnomes on top.( I shudder- "So....um different? declasse?).
    The grass is green, nicely manicured edges. The Orange tree does look rather healthy. With their lemon, I thought they had cut it down and was quite shocked, but there is a new trunk staked up to replace the old.
    The fence is waterblasted at least once a year and stained and looks lovely with the lemonwood- Tarata growing on their neighbours' side, making the whole area sheltered from any fierce winds we may get. Any piece that dares to poke through the fence is religiously snipped off and returned to its owner, ( I know this because I find snipped twigs from my hedge tossed over).
    Its an oasis of calm surrounded by a wilderness of others.

    Picture perfect as I said and sometimes I look at this and wish I was still asleep and had my yard looking the same. It would certainly be alot less work.
    'Everybody' who sees it admires and congratulates on a great job.....Then I shake my head remembering how often I see him spraying and how few birds and insects I see in their yard- I have taken time to watch just in case I am merely assuming, and think to myself " yes, a picture perfect, green desert, where nothing lives there, not even the owners who spend most of their time inside their house".....and then I turn around to look at my dogs breakfast and try to see it from their point of view and shudder too. But one day it will be just perfect too....my way.

    On the other side of the yard is an equally lovely section with larges lawns and gardens full of grasses and shrubs and ferns again picture perfect in a different sort of way. It does have one Flowering Cherry that feeds the Tuis in spring in the back yard(there used to be two) and a couple of huge Palm trees in the front that are great homes for the smaller birds.
    They at least grow some vegies and do make an effort to provide for the wild birds. I look over t their yard too and sigh.

    Then I start weeding. The other day I was weeding the driveway alongside the house and looked up to see that neighbour watching me with a bemused look on his face.
    Why? um..., because I was weeding out the grass that was growing through my edging of dandelions.
    I had got a 'special french' variety that grew nice big fat leaves as well as lots of flowers for my 'Country lane'.
    I had decided on this for the edging because it is deep rooting and wouldnt be too upset if it occassionally got driven over, is a great bee plant, has nutritious leaves and my grand daughter loves them.
    As this area never gets watered, these are just perfect for along here.

    When the driveway was graveled, it covered most of the ground leaving two feet along the house and 3 along the boundary line. I had to mow this to keep it looking neat once the weeds started to grow through where the vehicles dont actually drive over.
    Not my most favourite occupation, I had to do it on the highest setting so I didnt flick rocks everywhere. One day, I asked myself why the hell I was doing this if I hated it so much. Ping!!
    I mulched it heavily with the next lot of lawn clippings I got from the lawns I mow for other people (I dont have enough from my own 'lawn' down by the road), leaving just enough clear so I could drive up.
    Its slowly starting to look interesting.

    There is one plant in particular that has moved in from somewhere that is quite tough. It spreads out on top of the gravel and doesnt seem to mind being occasionally run over.
    I wondered if this might be a good thing to transplant on the sloped section of the driveway to hold the gravel in place when we get heavy rain. I have a feeling that the car/truck will start skidding if I do that though.
    When I get to work on the sloped section, I might plant this along the edges that seldom get driven over to see what happens.
     
  9. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    i suspect you have to put enough of it on the leaves of the plants when it is hot and sunny out, but not so much as to actually wet the soil. also, the best is early morning first up pee. : ) not that i've done this to thwart weeds, but i did try a potion when we had deer grazing our trees repeatedly. it stopped them for a few days, but then they were right back at it. when they're starving a bit of pee, mouthwash, cayenne pepper wasn't about to make them go away.

    as for the rest of it, yes, i live in the middle of dead land almost all around due to farm fields. the only life around here is mostly concentrated around our little plot. the perfect lawn syndrome is not quite around here as much as it is in the cities. around here most people have big lawns that they have to mow. most are a bit more practical and don't get into the weed and feed cycle, they just mow it. in the city, a lot of people have lawn services which come and mow, trim and will also spray for weeds and fertilize. the smell is rather sickening at times, like a chemical factory.

    i love the story about the dandelions and the neighbor. along with the story about the bits of trimmings ending back up in your gardens. heheh, free mulch!

    would avoid grass on a slope, yes slippery, also during rainy times it can tend to form ruts (which would channel water and erode the gravel/dirt). around here any dirt drive is often shaped to a high point in the middle and gravel is put on to keep it from being too muddy. still some have deep ruts every spring and/or large puddles.
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Maybe I didnt put enough on, it was just lightly sprayed and I didnt really aim my throw all that well over the blackberryeither. I know it did get covered though.

    I never thought of free mulch.... thank you. I just thought it was Rude to 'borrow scenery', then just snip and chuck.

    My Dandelions, haha, the plumber didnt know what to make of them, I saw him look hard at them. Its pretty obvious that they are supposed to be there.

    I've been trying to work out ideas for slowing rainwater down so it doesnt wash out the sloped part of the driveway. Its hard to tell if its been working because despite everyone complaining when it rains, we havent actually had a torrential downpour in the last couple of years-cant remember now when I got the driveway done. Since then anyway.
    Widening the gardens along the side of the house I think, helps, this is a flatter area and I know letting the violets grow over most of the concrete front path to the letterbox has, rain used to just run down this and now it doesnt. If I didnt Have to have a easily negotiable front path the front door for legal reasons, I would tear the whole thing up and turn it into garden. I did think about it, but here, you must have good access to the front door in case 'official visitors' need to visit.....doesnt say I Have to answer the door though. I cant hear anybody knocking anyway, with the hall door shut which means I dont have to waste my time with casual callers like JW's and people doing surveys.

    When the driveway was re-graded to lessen the gradient because I would get 2 or 3 channels appear. All the gravel from these would wash down onto the footpath making it quite slippery and of course, I would have to go scrap it up and put it back again.
    The contractor covered a wider than necessary area with gravel, which of course means that because I dont spray, has sprouted with Things all along the edges, mainly sow thistle and Hawk bit- I think. I have lots of that already, so it would be nice to get something different to grow here.

    I'm sure there are some NZ natives that prefer shallow soil over gravel. Going to do some research to see if I can find out what they are. I'm sure one is a daisy from the South Island. They would have to be able to handle occasionally being flatten though, I found that I need the extra width when I'm backing a trailer up and round the bend, so I decided that I dont really mind too much about the extra cost of the gravel.
     
  11. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I enlisted the help of my mums garden-serf(a very well paid one I might add), to help me move the aluminium framing away from the old shed. Most of it fitted in the to be lean-to area and looks quite tidy. One piece had to be leant up against the woodshed and tied down cos it was too tall and would stick out over the fence, looking tacky.
    Another was just waayy to long, so I had to come up with another solution for that.

    I still had the leftover corro iron in the last quarter of the chooks forage yard to get out and the pallets my brother was supposed to have for firewood.....and a rather large patch of couch grass growing in front of the hedge.
    Solution: Put the pallets down over this spot, pop the corro iron on top so it completely covers the couch grass and lay the long piece on top of that. This should completely block the sunlight to this problem causing it to wither and Die!!!Yay and neither the iron or framing cant get blown around by the wind.

    I can still get to the hedge to take out the last 4 metres that has fence behind it and along the side wall of the tool shed to fit the trellis onto its posts.... Sorted.
    Now that all the iron is out of the forage yard, I feel better about fencing it in - I didnt want to have to cart long bits of sharp iron through narrow gateways to get it all out.

    I was bored waiting for mum's lad to show up and did move the metal tool shed myself. I had finally remembered how I got the cupboard into it, meaning I could now get the damn thing out. When I moved the shed before, I just couldnt get this to come out and had to move the shed with it still in there, that just took ages.

    The Lemon verbena growing right in front of the shed just needed the long top bits and one main trunk removed so I could swing the shed around and back it up against the fence. I should have moved the poor plant last winter, ne'mind.
    It was driving me nuts trying to level the shed until I realised that it Was actually level and it was the fence that was on a lean.
    The floor of the shed is just weedmat stapled to the timber that the shed sits on and held down with the pegs that came with it. and yes the cupboard went back in and much quicker this time too.It had to have off cuts slipped under the bottom corners so it wasnt wobbly.
    Mums' lad was quite taken with the lemon verbena and popped a bit in his pocket, so I'm going to pot up a cutting for him.

    Two posts were put on each side for the trellis to be attached to.(some of those reinforcing mesh I cut down to size for garden trellises) I was going to have the trellises go all the way along the sides of the shed and grow a native climber over them in the hopes that this will help shade the shed so it wont be so hot inside- its unbearably hot in there in summer.
    I decided that because it could get into the neighbours Orange tree and as he is so handy with his sprays, I dont dare let any vine grow to close to him. Instead, the trellises will only go along and over the front half.

    I'm dithering again, this time over whether or not I should paint the shed the same colour as the house so it 'disappears' and doesnt reflect the afternoon sun towards the terrace-the concrete slab behind the old woodshed. This spot and the garden space next to the tool shed are already sun traps without the help of reflecting metal.

    I still hadnt heard from the plumber about the estimated cost of hooking the tank up etc... so I popped in to see him. He had a couple of options to show me on the newer type guards that stop leaves from getting into the tank, so we looked over these and chose one we thought was best.

    Now its back to finishing what I started. I got the plaster mix to finish the curved wall around the plum tree and a couple of bags of ready mix concrete to fill in the missing corner of the terrace. That was deeper than I thought even with filling it with broken bits of rubble, so I need to get one more bag to fill the last bit in.

    The mustard the decided to grow in the curved path behind the tank has finally set seed and dried off alittle so thats now in the porch finishing off. I wondered if the last lot of seed was smaller than it should have been due to me picking it too early, so I left this lot til the leaves disappeared and the plant started losing its colour.
    Now thats out of the way, the path has been checked to make sure its the same width all the way around and the brick edging put in place so I can see how it will look.
    This was going to be 3 bricks high, but two looks better and gave me more to work with elsewhere, like a planter box on the door side of the shed. I've placed bricks here to to see how it will look too.
    I'm seeing one here and another outside the to be greenhouse with an arch between the two. Southernwoods nurseries have two types of apple that only grow 60cm wide and 3m tall. I'm thinking they would suit this spot and look fantastic, continuing (my concept of) the mediterranean theme.

    The space between the tool shed and the terrace is an odd shape and incredibly hot. I've been scratching my head trying to work out what would be best to put in here.
    Now that the old Totara fence post has been taken out, I've got pretty much a clear space to work with. Except for the old privet tree that just keeps growing. Its ruining my symmetry!
    I had the idea of putting my tubs of different mints in this space and under planting them with the different thymes. Meanwhile, the big blue tub I use to stand on/or sit on, is currently popped over the top of the privet in an attempt to stop it from growing again.

    Now I'm off to finish the curved wall while I wait for the plumber to turn up.
     
  12. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    sow thistle is one of the plants here that is nearly impossible to get rid of once it gets established (the heavy clay soil makes it very tough to dig out all the bits of root system). smothering it with other plants works eventually, but some of our gardens don't get that tall of growth.

    while i understand the whole philosophy of what is and isn't a weed, i still make sure to head this plant off any time i see it trying to grow in a new location.

    in the wild gardens, where it tries to come back from when it used to grow in the burn pile areas, i keep digging it out at regular intervals and plant other rapid growing broad leafed cover crops (buckwheat at least does not have thorns).
     
  13. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I'm abit confused....sow thistle doesnt have thorns or prickles as we used to call them as kids Its a tradtitional food for Maori but usually needs to be rubbed together and washed to remove the bitter sap.

    Are you talking about things like Scotch and Californian thistle? Very spikey with purple prickly flowers? The sort you need heavy rubber gloves in order to deal with?
    I was told That thistle is quite high in silica and would make a good liquid tea for leggy plants that need abit of a boost to strengthen their stems so I have let some of them flower and self sow for this reason and also because I noticed that the bumble bees seemed to like it.
    Now that the hedge is flowering they have moved onto those flowers so the Scotch thistles are being cut out and chopped up, popped into a bucket and left to break down. I'll be mixing the tea with the seaweed and comfrey teas to use on seedlings next spring.

    I did find that the seaweed and comfrey teas combined and really watered down, helped the seedlings keep their roots inside the tray, whereas before they were sending out roots even before they had got to the 4 leaf stage. That was with bought seed sowing mix and bought compost. I still had leggy seedlings that looked quite spindly, so I am hoping the thistle tea added will fix that.
    I vaguely remember reading somewhere, probably the library's Bio dynamics book, that this silica tea is good for spraying on or around trees, but cant remember why. I'm going to have to get my own copy for my little library.

    I've just been told to make a strong tea from the convovulus and spray it on neat. I'm not too sure they know what they are talking about but at this point anything is worth a go. That experiment is going to have to wait for next year too cos there wont be enough time to make this before the plants go dormant for winter.

    I found that to get rid of the unwanted thistles, I had to use secateurs to cut the stems off below the ground. Mine didnt seem to regrow.
    I do this for alot of weeds especially Dock. With that I found that eventually, it exhausts itself and the roots just come away with little to no tugging....meanwhile, I have had a good harvest of mineral rich mulch from them.

    My cat does not like scotch thistles, so this has been a good thing to lay down where I dont want him or other cats using the soil as their toilet.

    A neighbour of a friend of mine said they no longer considered wandering jewel weed to be a problem after they were encouraged to collect it, put it in a big tub and pour boiling water over it. Once it has cooled or left for a bit they use the liquid as a fert and the green waste as a high nitrogen mulch and say their plants thrive on it.
    I need to ask about this again cos I cant remember how long they said to keep it before straining it and using it.
     
  14. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    ah, i looked it up and see that the version you see on wiki is not at all the same plant we call sow thistle. now that's got me curious about what we call sow thistle is called elsewheres...
     
  15. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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  16. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Intriguing. Ours arent the prickly ones, thankfully, I dont think I have ever seen a thorny one.
    I have my quota of thorny plants with the scotch thistles and whats left of mums roses.

    After reading more about our sort, this is something I cannot afford to get rid of cos it is apparently quite high in calcium- just what my girls need for the shells of their eggs. I have been throwing the spent plants into their pens because I noticed that they like it, but might have to deliberately sow them in trays to make sure there will be plenty for them.
     
  17. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    we have several related varieties here. one is smoother than the others and may be more like your version. the other several spiny ones are a terror nearly as bad as the purple globe thistle (because i am also allergic to them). if they were non-spiny i'd leave them alone as i do like the yellow flowers.

    glad you have the nice kind! : )
     
  18. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Wellllll, I thought the plumber would have turned up by now but I'm still waiting. Starting to get nervous again, its getting close to my winter season when I just dont have any time to much more than throw chook food out on my way to a nice hot bath. I hate chasing people up, why cant they just turn up when they say they will, its not hard, I do it all the time!!

    Seems to be the theme for this month, I'm still waiting to find out I get to have a nice knarly ol bit of Oak for my splitting stump. I cant start the back steps up to the garden til some sort of stump is in place cos it will form one side of the bottom two steps. The curved bit around the plum tree looks good so far but as I can only go so far without doing the steps without getting into trouble with it, I'm alittle stuck.
    Still waiting to get hold of my friends' garden-serf to help load the second concrete laundry tub onto the truck. The up side was, after four years of begging, I finally got a box of real crocus bulbs from her. Cant wait for them to start flowering, should be any day now seeing as hers have just started.
    I've been trying to do things that dont cost anything like scraping the dirt out of cracks in the concrete, filling them with mortar followed by a gentle wetting to get it all to set. I'm sick to death of opportunistic weeds turning up in stupid places so I've been attacking things that bug the hell out of me.
    One bad spot was up on the terrace. I finally got around to digging these cracks out and carefully brushed in the mortar. When it came time to wet it down, I was alittle shocked to see a couple of gaps open up and both the mortar and water pour into them. Uhh....oooo alittle tap with the back of my trowel told me it sounds awfully hollow under the concrete.I did manage to get the gaps filled in but am wondering just how much seepage over the years has occurred and just how much soil has melted away under there.It might not be as stable as it looks.

    With the new woodshed now useable, I will be able to completely empty the old one, meaning, I will finally be able to get to the back concrete block wall.
    I have known that the mortar holding the concrete block wall on this side was blowing out- the mortar holding the blocks together was no longer there, but there was always that last little bit of firewood in the way and then of course it was filled up with the next seasons lot.
    So once I get to use the current seasons wood stored here, I'll have an empty space to investigate and fix it up.
    Part of me is hoping there is a space under the concrete slab that with alittle work could be turned into a small cellar.
    Maybe I'm alittle delusional. I mentioned this to friend of mine and was told that night she had a terrible dream of me disappearing one day never to be seen again. Only to be discovered in 20 years time by a future owner when they decided to renovate this old shed too and there I was buried under ton of concrete.....so maybe not such a good idea.

    With the terrace all smooth and junk free,the brick edgings lined up (not concreted in place yet) and my little cafe table and chairs up there, it actually feels like a nice space. I have been taking my breakfast and dinner up there rather than eating inside.
    I had thought this was not quite a metre above the courtyard, but there had been a small lump of water tank soil in the way. As it is a metre high, it needs to be 'fenced in' in accordance with building reg's....Damn!
    I figured out a solution for the curved bit, by using the mesh and stapling it to the two end posts so that is is also curved. I had just put this up and was throwing myself against it to make sure no drunk heavy person could fall through it when I got visitors- they always seem to show up when I'm in the middle of weird shit. Anyway, its very stable and doesnt move at all. I figured that once the plumber had been and the supports for the downpipe were put where they need to be, I can use the terrace side of that to attach another of my sheets of mesh to it. Just means I have to turn the laundry tub around so the straight side faces that way instead of the sloped side. I had to dig out everything out of the single tub so I could turn it around and the fill it back up again.

    I discovered herbsnz.co.nz recently and finally found French Tarragon amongst other wee gems I have been looking for. This is once again planted out in the single tub and doing well inspite of having been made to sit outside while I messed about with its new home.
    All the other tarragons I've seen for sale have been the Russian tarragon which I think does not have as nice a flavour. If you're in NZ, I think they are worth checking out.

    As I have been trying to work my way around the yard and finish each part as I go, or get some sort of solution sorted out for problems I can see, I have been trying to work out what I can do to block my view of my neighbours horrible rugby knomes. I did think perhaps I could put a trellis up and cover it with a vine, maybe use that horrible tall gate that 'somebody' insisted I needed to put up to lock the back yard up. But with the old woodshed roof sticking out so far, it would mean there would still be a gap and I could see myself, perversely, peeking around it.
    Its driving me nuts, then I find myself planning on planting a rosemary hedge along here that eventually will grow tall enough that no matter what my fettish, I wont be able to peek....but hang on a minute, didnt I just pull out a hedge because it was stupid to have a hedge in front of a fence? um, Eco, do women my age, you know, when we are going through That time get somewhat odd?
    At least my slippers match when I go down to the dairy for milk.

    I dont need to wonder about what I will plant to grow on the 'fence' between the courtyard and the terrrace. I had planted a grape cutting in front of the shed last year and had thought it had died. Maybe it liked having the aluminium framing and black glass in front of it cos it has decided to grow again.. I think this one is a Black Hamburg grape.Thankfully, it is next to the window not right underneath it, because at some point I will move the door to there.
    I like the idea of having things growing in front of and over sheds and houses/cottages. I think this will do quite well here. Once the plumber has been and gone, it wont take much to run afew wires infront of the shed for it to grow on, then onto the mesh in front of the terrace. Not too sure about letting in grow over the tank though.I dont fancy the idea of clambering up onto the tank just to harvest grapes.

    Another thing that has been bugging me is the hedge along the back part of the yard. I had let it grow quite tall so I had some privacy from neighbour dave, but I have been finding it just too tall to manage and it keeps getting away on me. I resigned myself that this will have to be cut back down to a manageable height again. It has done really well to shelter the yard form some fierce southerly gale, so I think it would probably be a good idea to work out what evergreen SMALL tree/shrubs to plant out in front of it to serve that purpose, maybe all my citrus trees? They'd get full sun in winter.
    He was nearby, so we had alittle chat about it and agreed short is definitely good. I mentioned that I got eaten alive by mosquitoes when I was last trimming it. He thinks this is because the shade along here is deeper due to the walnut tree from our other neighbours place and assured me that he didnt have any still water anywhere near the hedge. I dont either and cant see any on the other neighbours side so maybe it is from too much shade. This has only been a problem this year, so hopefully, trimming our hedge will help. Other than that, I dont know what to do. I havent been able to sit on the seat I have along here without slapping myself silly.
     
  19. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    No they don't. The rest of the world gets odd and they are the only ones that notice. ;)
     
  20. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I am abso-bloody-utely sure that it's the time when we have lived long enough to be able to distinguish shit from clay at 50 paces, & have enough balls to call it that way.
     

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