Painting Posts

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Yes, this is a post about painting but more importantly, we were actually painting posts.

We have a large area under our highset house which was simply an untamed soil embankment when we first came here almost 15 years ago.  This was unusable and generated a lot of dust in the house.  A few years later we had most of the area concreted.  We had no specific plan and for the last 10 years it has mostly been a storage and work area.

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Nevertheless, in the back of our minds was a half-hatched plan to turn at least part of it into an outdoor entertainment area.  Part of the reason is that this is by far the coolest area of our home during the summer.

Our half-hatched plan has developed over a few years but it was not until this year that we have had time to really get started.  We intend to screen part of the area using Ekodeck battens.  The first step of this process was to paint the steel posts.

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Most of the posts are painted dark gray to match the other exterior paintwork on the lower level of the house.  However, we painted the posts which will be in the middle of the designated area in a much lighter hue.  This will ensure that they are easily visible.  We will combine this with strategic placement of furniture and plants to minimise any risk of accidents.

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We plan to create a green screen using multiple hanging baskets hung at different levels in the section which contains the light-coloured cross-bracing.

Several weeks ago we bought the timber for the support rails.  The 21 pieces have been cut to length, painted and are stacked in preparation for the next stage of the construction.

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After much planning and preparation we are finally seeing results.  The difference between the first and third photos in this post is the result of about 5 hours work by GMan and I today.

I think we deserve a couple of rest days after that effort.  We have a lunch date planned for tomorrow and are going to the movies on Saturday.

 

 

Compost Bays – Completed

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We now have 4 new functioning compost bays, and as promised, here are some views of the finished product.

Because of the slope, the ground needed to be levelled once all of the structure was in place.

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Close-up of some of the details.

We wired the mesh panels to the star pickets.

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Geotextile stapled to the inside of the timber lattice.

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The 5 metres of geotextile and 1 star picket were the only new purchases we made for this project.  Everything else was already here and most of it had been salvaged or recycled.

One of the most important considerations when planning this project was the street view.  The back of the bays are parallel to and only 1 metre inside our boundary fence which faces the road.

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I am very pleased with the result, and if anything, it has actually enhanced the view from the street.

 

Compost Bays – Stage 1

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I mentioned at the end of my previous post that GMan’s latest garden project was building compost bays.

We have a small acreage (1.5 acres) in a temperate sub-tropical area with a high rainfall and good soil.  This means that everything (including the weeds) grows at a rapid rate and we are constantly trimming, pruning, weeding and mulching as well as the regular kitchen scraps.

There is a compost tumbler but this is nowhere near sufficient to keep up with the demand.  Over the years we have employed several methods of containing the compost, including a small rainwater tank cut down and 44 gallon drums plus enclosures made from a selection of wire panels.  At times these have been located within the vegetable garden area but as we expand the crops we are growing we needed a more permanent solution.

These photos show a couple of the previous solutions.

Cut down rainwater tank and compost tumbler in the background.

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Wire enclosure and metal rubbish bins beyond the garden beds on the right of the photo.

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We wanted our permanent compost bays to be within reasonable proximity to both the house and the vegetable garden/orchard.  The other limitation is that much of the land is either very steep (the rear of the block) or subject to intermittent flooding during heavy rain.  Therefore, the best site was quite close to our front boundary so it needed to be aesthetically pleasing.  This is no mean feat, considering that it will be constructed almost entirely from recycled and salvaged materials.

Two large panels of timber lattice will form the back of the bays and this will face the street.  We acquired these from a former neighbour about 10 years ago and they have been stored under the house.  GMan painted them ‘Woodland Grey’ to match the fence post and pergola.  The posts had been left over from previous landscaping projects and were painted and cut to length.

Because of the slope of the land, the bays will be stepped as can be seen from the height of the lattice.

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The central divider is made up of pieces of a roller door that retrieved from a friend – once again, many years ago. GMan riveted them together and cut it to size.  There will be a total of 4 bays, 2 on each side of the central divider.  These will be created using sections of Weldmesh panels which were here when we bought the house 14 years ago.  We have used them for a multitude of purposes but this will be the final location for some of them.

There is no more work happening on this today as GMan is the baker as well as the gardener/handyman around here and today he is making sourdough bread.

However, I will post some more photos when the compost bays are completed.  I will include a view from the street so that you can see how we have managed to keep it looking neat and integrated with the rest of the garden structures despite being only a metre from our front boundary.

 

Chicken Castle

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We have been working on a new chicken run for a couple of months now.  The end is now in sight and at last I can show you that we are really making some progress.

Chicken run

The chicken wire is unrolled and attached temporarily to the top wire in several places.  Obviously, it still needs to be tensioned and attached but we have a much better idea of how the finished product will look.

I hope that by this time next week our chickens will be firmly ensconced in their new home.

New coop

We have assembled the coop which we bought online.  It was easy to assemble and I think it will be perfect for the girls.

What a Weekend!

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Our weekends are usually full of activity at home because we are at work all week.  This one was no exception and I have to admit that it is great to get to Sunday evening and feel a real sense of achievement.

Of course there are all of the basics to be done so I had 2 loads of washing done and hung out on Friday evening.  The weather has been fine and dry for the past few days so the washing almost dried overnight.  This meant that I could do the ironing on Saturday morning.

Our first job was to split and stack some more firewood.

Woodpile

We will probably not use the fire much more this winter so there is now plenty of wood split and ready for next year.

Pile reduced

There was a huge pile of logs that needed splitting and they are almost all gone now.  Just lots of smaller pieces to be sorted and stacked into boxes.  It was great to get this done as we will be keeping the woodshed but dismantling the adjacent chicken house before long.  That is because we a building a new run for the chickens.

The new chicken run has been a considerable time in the planning and preparation but now you can actually see some progress.  We have dug the holes and set the 4 corner posts in concrete.  There are another 4 intermediate ones done, too.

Posts for the chicken run

There are still 6 more holes and posts to do so we are hoping that the fine weather continues so that we can do them next weekend.

The garden is looking really good at the moment as you can see.

Lemon tree

The lemon tree is groaning with the crop.

Vegie garden

Vegetables are growing well.  We need to have bok choy with a few meals this week before it completely overwhelms everything else.

AzaleaThe azalea is looking particularly pretty.

In between the outdoor work, I managed to do the shopping at the local Co-op, fruit and vegetable stall and Aldi as well as host some guests through AirBnB last night.

Here is a final shot looking down from the verandah of the area which will be the chicken run.  There will need to be some re-arranging of some of the plants that fall within the area, although I think the mango tree will probably stay.  This was taken late in the afternoon but you can see the peach tree on the left of the photo which is already starting to blossom.  In another couple of weeks it will be in full flower.

Garden

All in all, it has been a fun and productive weekend.  How was yours?