Saturday, December 10, 2011

Garden Mojo

As the title suggests, we got our gardening mojo on recently and were finally able to put some plants in the backyard!!

Let me remind you of the blandness BP (before plants)

We were given some free Clivias from 'B's' Mum recently to provide a bit of ground cover which you can see below.  They've not overly liked being dug out of their previous home and transported to ours but hopefully they'll come good.  This pic also shows the 'frame' for a screen we have since put in...

Here are the Dracaena's we planted back in October.  Only difference in this before pic is a bit of mulch.

And here's the garden bed in front of the Family Room BP

Which in itself was a major improvement on what it had been for quite a while....

After visiting our favourite plant nursery as well as Engall's Nursery (which was equally fantastic if you're specifically looking for citrus plants), we came home and positioned the plants how we thought they'd look best

The fantastic guy at Engall's helped us choose 2 mandarin varieties and an orange tree which all bare fruit at different times, one after another.  They grow between 2 - 4 metres which is perfect.  We already have a Dwarf Lemon, Dwarf Lime and Kaffir Lime Tree in pots which is why we've chosen how we have.

Along the back fence we chose 5 Little Gem Magnolia's as our feature trees.  We love the look of them and growing between 2 - 4 metres suits us perfectly.

For the ground cover we chose Lilirope Muscari. I think it contrasts perfectly.

Along the Family Room we chose Daphne's.  These will grow 1m high & 1m wide which will be perfect for this spot.  Daphne's love pots with good drainage and potting mix *apparently* so underneath the weed mat are 6 plastic tubs with lots of drainage holes drilled in and they're filled with nutrient rich soil.

And here's everything planted...

Cannot wait to smell the Daphne once it flowers! D.I.V.I.N.E.

Okay, so still a little on the bland side but it's so much better with a bit of extra greenery.  We can't wait till it all looks more established and also when we get some garden lighting.

'B' has also finished the screen behind the sculpture.  We did a screen here for 2 reasons. 1) To help create a separate space between Alfresco and back garden and 2) To make the sculpture stand out a little more.  Later we'll get some nice lighting to shine onto the sculpture and also another to shine onto the BBQ.

You can also see we've put some bamboo screening up.  Couple of things... we need more to cover the top of the colorbond fence and we also need to secure it a little better.  It's looking a little wonky after the recent weather.  We plan to continue the screening down the side of the house but not on other fences.

We added some of our favourite Rhoeo's as a border in the Alfresco too...

Lastly, we bought a few pots of Jasmine to put outside our Lounge Room window to have something nice to look at instead of a fence.  Yet to be planted.

So, between the Magnolia's, Daphne's, Jasmine and future herb wall we should have a really fragrant garden :)

We are in the middle of working on some more projects too so I'll share those soon.

Happy gardening / building / decorating etc etc!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

3 Month Maintenance Inspection

Hasn't time flown?  On the 15th November, we'll have been in our new home for 4 whole months!!  Feels like we've been here for years and only 5 minutes all wrapped up in one.

True to their word, Eden Brae came over on Tuesday to conduct their 3 month maintenance inspection.  Tim couldn't have been more helpful and happily wrote down everything on our list.  Even the missing toilet roll holder from the granny flat which technically was our mistake for missing it prior to hand over!

So, "How has the old new gal held up since moving in?", I hear you ask.... Pretty well.  Nothing major, really.  Here's our list...

1) Carpet in our bedroom still rippling and not secured at the edge near ensuite

2) Carpet edge in Living Room not secured properly and is fraying.  Di Lorenzo Carpet were really the weakest link in our whole home building experience.  Shockers!

3)  Few spots need to be re-grouted in all 3 bathrooms

4)  Some timber quad (trim) lifting in the kitchen

5) Patch & paint dent on pantry ceiling

6) A service and some sanding & re-staining required on bi-fold doors.  They're a bit 'sticky' to open which causes the doors to scrape on the bottom door frame.  Also, where they've patched some nail holes before staining is showing as a different colour.

7)  Patch & paint some damage on the Alfresco ceiling

8) One of the touch catches in the kitchen isn't working

9) Some of the floor boards near laundry are a little springy & one other spot seems un-even

10) Door lock on internal garage door doesn't work

11) A few cracked roof tiles that had never been fixed but should have been prior to handover

12) Cracked tile in Granny Flat ensuite where they've secured the shower screen

13) Toilet roll holder missing in Granny Flat ensuite

14) Repair brickwork at front of the house (this section has never been right!)

15) Point up some brick sections at front porch and clean down bricks

16) Stormwater pipe broken at end of driveway

No cracks in walls, no leaking pipes, all major appliances work i.e. air-conditioning, oven etc, so not too bad really.  Majority of these things were picked up within a couple of weeks of moving in so it's not like things have continued to deteriorate or anything.

You only get one chance to make a list by the way, so it helps if you write things down as you notice them.  Also, best to keep a few bricks just in case you need some replaced like we do at the front of the house.  If they had to order some more bricks, chances are they'll look a different colour as each batch slightly differs.  Also good to keep some spare roof tiles (make sure yours don't get taken away by the cleaners like ours did!)

Our Maintenance List has now been handed over to MGH Contracting to coordinate the relevant trades to do the repairs.  I heard from them the same afternoon Tim had been out and twice since.  Everything has already been pretty much confirmed and lined up for a few weeks time.  They ask you to provide about 3 dates within a week or two and then they try and get all the trades to come on one, maybe two of those days and then organise the painters to come on the last day if required.

Assuming all goes well from here, I'm impressed.  Again, this has been straight forward with no hassles.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Faux pas

Well don't I feel like a boob?!  All this time I've spelt the title of my blog - Keeping up with the Jones'.  When the correct plural of Jones is Joneses.

Sigh.... and I pride myself on my decent spelling and grammar.

*hangs head in shame*

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Well looky here....

Three cheers for something other to look at other than boring colorbond fences!!!  Yes, that's right.  We couldn't help ourselves and bought a few plants.

The garden bed alongside the alfresco is in the shade majority of the day so we chose 3 Dracaena Tricolour plants as a bit of a feature.  They are extremely hardy, slow growing, love sheltered positions and require very little maintenance.  Ticks all the boxes.  I think someone at the Nursery mentioned "thrives on neglect" - SOLD!

Try to picture some small plants to fill in some ground space, dark mulch, bamboo screening to hide the fence etc etc.  This little spot is by no means finished.

 A close up of the colours on the leaves.  The more sun the plant gets, the more the red features.

Next to the barbie is a little spot that came about quite by luck - just the way the retaining wall heights stepped down - and it's the perfect spot for the sculpture my brother & sister in law gave us for our wedding.

I'm in love with the little green / purple decorative plants around it too, called Rhoeo. They're only $2 each from Sydney's Plant Market (best Nursery...seriously!)

And I just had to get a pic of 'B' cooking our first BBQ last Tuesday the rain....

Picked up this fab pot & Dracaena Marginata for inside too.  Has livened up the rather bland corner and ties the inside in with the outside.  My sweet little boy who is 2.5 years old has been quite diligently saying, "Play in dirt outside, not inside."  to anyone who'll listen.  Brainwashing - tick. 

So what's next?  Some Little Gem Magnolia's along the back fence, some Daphne for the garden bed outside the Family Room window (have you ever smelt Daphne flowers? AMAZING!)  and some citrus trees continuing along BBQ fence line (lemon, lime & mandarin). Oh & I haven't forgotten about the vertical herb garden I've wanted all along outside the Dining Room.

One step at a time...  Got to save some more $$$.  Lots more $$$!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bit by bit it's getting there

Haven't had much to update lately - boo - (not for lack of wanting) however there's been a bit of activity over the last week or so!

I last left off showing the finished deck out the back.  'B' has now given it a sand, a wash down and oiled it - and wasn't that a job and a half!  Would have been easier & quicker to hire a floor sander but 'B' was happy to do it to save a few $$$.

Here it is in it's pre-oiled glory

"What's taking you so long?" I'd shout through the glass intermittently when walking past...
(kidding haha)

But I'm jumping ahead of myself.  First he built up the BBQ area and hooked up our barbie to natural gas.

 Here's the deck all sanded and freshly scrubbed.

And here it is after 3 coats of oil!

All the rain we've had lately has really helped to establish our lawn.  So nice seeing something green outside!

Turn away now if you're a BBQ snob because this little beauty only cost $148 on sale from $380 at Bunnings!!

Cannot wait to get some plants in!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...