Monday, 4 November 2013

Landscaping Adventures

Nearly 6 months has passed since we moved into our own home. It feels like this has been home forever but at the same time everything is still new and exciting and has so much potential.

Since we are waiting for money to come through from EQC for the interior of our house, we decided to tackle some much needed landscaping, especially in the back yard.

Our section is decent sized (600m2+) with a tiny house (80m2) so there is tonnes of space at both the front and back. So far out the front we have taken out a few big bushes and trees that were blocking sun from our lounge. I even used a chainsaw for the first time last weekend to destroy a camellia bush - so much fun! I also did a big weed killing mission so everything is dead muahaha. Our Big Plan for the front section is to turn most of it into a carport with light coloured gravel stones and a minimalistic carport structure. Since we don't plan on using the front section for entertaining we thought it would be better put to use as low maintenance car storage. The best part of this Plan is that we might have to hire a bobcat - FUN!

But every other fine (and not so fine) weekend since we moved in has been spent in the back yard. 2 trailer loads have gone to the dump already with a third loaded up ready to go. So far the majority of the work has been demolition which is fun and accomplishes a lot with very little money!
Here are a few progress pics of what we have been up to!

First up - the aviary. What the cuss? There was a giant cherry tree growing up through the mesh roof of the triangular monstrosity and a lot of chicken wire and plastic wrap. And not a bird to be seen. Last weekend it came down with some power tools, a sledge hammer and some brute force. We decided to keep the planter that was part of it (?) and it turns out it is the perfect sunny place for some strawberries. The sheds behind are staying for now, since they provide much needed storage. I will probably end up giving them a lick of paint to make my eyes feel better.

Such green grass! Thank you spring weather! I think this was a very prolific veggie garden some 10 years ago - when we inherited it, it was a mess of wooden planks and uneven ground. Now it is one very liveable, playable lawn. 

Before - the yard as it was when we moved in - the junk pile is all the rubbish left on the property. The back right section is the part we have made the lawn in. There was an old, cracked concrete pad front left that our LIM report says was for a garage in the 60s that was never built. So Dave decided it was the perfect place for a shed. 

After - Fully loaded trailer. Picnic table that keeps getting moved for lawn mowing purposes. Lush green grass.

The process of creating such lush lawn. A LOT of digging and turning over soil with a shovel. I *may* have found out I was pregnant halfway through this job (but I kept going because it is SO satisfying turning a horrible section into mud!) After that was a few evenings of putting on our gumboots and stomping over the mud patch to make it level. Then came the sowing of the grass seed and daily watering and thanks to the crazy all-4-seasons-in-one-day Christchurch spring weather we had a lawn in a month!

The biggest job was removing these two sections of fence and hedge-covered-fence. It opened up the yard so much after it was gone and we discovered another concrete path. We decided to level off and box up the tiny garden in the middle and turn it into a veggie and herb garden It gets a lot of sun and our broccoli are loving it!

Dave's first job (obviously) was building a very man-sized work shed. We bought a cheap kitset and got to work and of course the pre-drilled holes didn't match up so it took more time than anticipated. Dave ended up enlisting the help of two of his most manly friends to raise this beast. Once it was up however, 6 foot 3 Dave discovered that he could only stand up straight in the apex of the roof. It was perfect for 5'6 Amy though! Dave's solution was to add 200mm of planks along the bottom of the shed and add the same amount above the doors and call it perfect. He is a thinker that guy. I am still not sure how he managed to jimmy the shed up onto the planks though - he did it all by himself one afternoon.

This is our latest project. It seems our fingers have become quite green this year. The most I have managed to grow previously was a pot of basil on the kitchen windowsill which went to seed and died. I am now wise in the ways of basil growing - pull off the seed heads and your plant will keep growing!
After hearing stories of sneaky birds eating tasty red strawberries, I insisted on getting some bird proof netting to save the berries. Now the hard part - waiting for them to ripen.

I hope to have more garden updates for you after summer - we have a few fruit trees and I have no idea what they will produce so there will be some surprises there. We might even get the carport done if things go well!


  1. Wow!! I've seen it with my own eyes, but seeing it right next to a before picture is amazing. You and your man must be SO proud! You've transformed it, and it's not even finished yet - how much cooler can you make it? I know I'll be impressed!

    Great job!!!
    And Woah! He put the whole shed up by himself? And added the height? That is rather impressive too.

  2. WOW! Amy, what a spectacular job you've done!!!!!! It doesn't even look like the same place! Incredible.


I would love to hear from you!

Non Googlers can post under Anonymous but leave your name so I know who you are!