Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garden Renovation: Time to enjoy

Garden Renovation: Water Feature

A succulent garden in a bed of white stones, with various rocks used in the water feature to break the noise of the flow (which sounded like a constant bath running). Stepping stones and feature plants have really lifted this area, which will require a lot of weeding. We've also since added papyrus and lillies to the water, creating a water based garden too. This really has created a feature at the heart of the house since its visible from all rooms

Garden Renovation: Pool

A retaining wall has been constructed with the rocks found in the garden, and a new bed made. The conifer was removed and a new tree has been added. Bamboo planted along the wall and succulent potplants added to enhance the cactus theme. The tree with the yellow flowers fell from the top during a windy night - apparently the trees Jules cut back were protecting it from the wind up until now. Some roof damage resulted, but nothing major. We now get a lot more sun, so decent trade off.

Garden Renovation: Courtyard

We initially wanted to keep it simple since we rarely use this side of the house, but in the end we decided to create a new garden with flanking beds to make it more attractive. 5 new trees with wild grass and some bushy flowering plants give it a modern, minimal look. Who knows, we might actually use it now...

Garden Renovation: Entrance

Paved steps are redone, plants are neatened, monster is removed, new ground cover creepers planted, and yucca is cleaned with new plants added to bush and grow. We no longer have to dodge plants to get in

Garden work begins...

The two week process begins with Anamaria (084 802 8213) clearing out rubble, dead grass and rocks. Most of the plants in the garden were relocated - not just replaced. It took her and a team of 5 guys (including Lucky, Sunday, Happy...) 2 weeks to complete the gig - they're efficient, neat and professional.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Front Door

Steps and pathway will be redone, as will the grass to the front door, and the beds in front of the bathroom.

Spring Cleaning: Garage

We will make a bed in the garage to ensure the entrance to the house is appealing. Hadn't considered this before but seems like a great idea.

Spring Cleaning: Water Feature

Eugh. Having grass by the pond hasn't been ideal since every cut creates a green pond. We've decided to stone this area and make it a cactus garden. Some varnish and fresh water should fix up the water feature.

Spring Cleaning: Margaret

We will build a retaining wall around Margaret's bed and add more plants, and take the confier on the far left down

Spring Cleaning: Pool

The back area is being cleaned up extensively and neatened, with bamboo style plants and new beds. Neighbours have cut back trees so we're getting a lot more afternoon sun, and we will also chop down the conifer to ensure we get more morning sun.

Spring Cleaning: Courtyard

The yuccas will be moved here and a new bed made where our herb and vegetable garden got wild... The grass will be retained and essentially this area will be made clean and simple.

Spring Cleaning: Entrance

We will finally move this and restructure the entrance - the monster has been cut back so many times as it's an obstruction to the front door

Spring Cleaning 2010

So the garden has deteriorated a bit with us not being hands on gardeners. We've contracted Anamaria from Natural Spaces Landscaping to remove everything, re fertilize the ground, install irrigation piping, relay grass, redesign beds and plant afresh. She will be doing this over the next two weeks, along with moving a lot of the existing plants around. The brief was simple - turn it into a lush overgrown jungle and compliment the house.
I will keep as much detail of what plants go where and how to maintain and take care of them. The major shift however is from All Season's Evergreen Grass to LM Grass - a much tougher version and a grass that creeps.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Library/Cottage Blinds



Finally, library complete and spare bedroom sorted with blinds. Next will be the roof leaks, the repaint, and the building of the outside patio... Watch this space

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Library: Roll out the carpet, pack the books, install the lights, invest in Zodiacs

Library: Structure complete

Although the work did take longer than expected, we needed to get the structure firm enough to support a custom ladder - as you can see some of the shelves are at the ceiling

Library: July/Oct 2009

Work starts on clearing the room out - which wasn't very difficult since we had no idea what to do with this room anyway - it's impractical as a second lounge and too large to have a use for guests who stay in the spare bedroom. Let's build a library!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Wedding day

We got married in the house, 1 Sep 2007 - first sunny warm day in Joburg for awhile - and the first day of spring

Watching things grow...

We've planted two silver birches next to the vegetable garden - I know they're two close and this will really cause issues in 8-10 years time. It seems so far away...

We've also made a cactus wall with cacti bought from various parts of the Western and Northern Cape.


We're thinking of making the entrance hall a place for all pics and paintings, and not books and couches since it's not the most comfortable spots to spend long hours reading (doesn't get any sunlight). We will make the current 2nd Lounge into a reading room - Ulindi's project for the early half of 2009.

Guest bathroom

Hardly ever used, but still nice to have since it gets great northern sunlight

Pool and Ensuite

The pool and ensuite bathroom

His and Hers Studies

Ulindi's gone for Deep red and modern as a theme - clean lines and colourful - which makes a great change for the earthy greens and browns i tend to choose.

I selected a 110 year old desk with a modern chair to offset it.

Some fine art and furniture

some more furniture - specifically some designer stuff since Ulindi's become a fan - and some extra paintings and pics. We're running out of wall space :-)

Vegetable Gardening!

Nothing like inviting friends over to help you figure out what you're doing. In short, we overdid pretty much everything and have had an abundance of lettuce and tomatoes! But the gorund is fertile, and the Marigolds have kept the critters at bay. The only parasite we have are slugs and snails under the tomatoes bushes - fairly easy to control organically. Lots of herbs, onions, peppers and beans. Enjoy!

Preparing a Vegetable Garden

we made the soil ready for at least a month before planting a garden in the sunniest area of the house - at least 6-7 hours of sunlight fall here.

There's been some rain since last I updated... :-)

besides the fact that there are always dogs in the pics (i have two staffie shadows), we've laid pathways to prevent the constant footpaths margaret and shelton make. The delish monsters are growing at a rate they block the red light of the armed alarm. we've also planted some shrubs in front of the garage dividing wall - but they're proving pretty slow to take.