Tag Archives: tree

Just buy a Christmas tree

I’m feeling a bit battered this morning…

But let’s start with a promising beginning!

One sunny Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago I was scurrying around the front yard tidying up here and there… I broke out my loppers on a tree stump that is supposed to be dead but persists with sprouting “branches”. I keep telling it to just give up but it’s not listening (maybe I should call it Master W the Second). Once I was done giving it a real good telling off the branches got put aside instead of joining the ever-growing heap of garden waste on the trailer. I had an idea you see…

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The first five minutes went well and things started taking shape quite nicely:

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I think you can see where I’m going with this…

Except as soon as I put my hot glue gun down it all turned pear upside-down-christmas-tree-shaped. Those little sticks just didn’t cut it for the base. Sigh… thanks to Andre for coming to my rescue and supplying a solid block of timber (not so pretty but it does keep that tree up the right way):

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I hummed and hahhed over the decorating thing for a couple of weeks then decided to keep it nice and simple. I had some red and white striped ribbon I’d been intending for another project… it got cut into flags. And more hot glue later we had…:

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… a sailing ship! Not quite what I had in mind so the flags/sails were barely on for two minutes before I ripped them all off again. Are you sensing a theme here? “Try, try and try again” maybe? Or “just give up now”?

The next night… out comes the hot glue gun (I opted for the first theme suggestion) again.

1207_5553And we have a simple stick tree! Thank goodness for that! Let’s call it done and have a closer look…

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Oooh pretty!

I got to enjoy it for about 36 hours before this* happened.

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I have to say this for it – at least it landed on its feet… well, foot. Perhaps it has a bit of cat in it and still has 6 lives left? Or shall I give up now?

*This being a boisterous almost 3 year old monkeying around on the sofa with the cushions.

It’s a jungle out there!

I’m a bit embarassed to show you the state of our backyard – I guess because it’s hidden from the public eye it’s literally been left to grow wild. It’s even worse than the front yard and that makes me cry every time I pull into our drive.

Anyway, in the spirit of keeping it real and looking on the positive side, here it is, with a few pleasant surprises:

The umbrella was a christmas present for me and I was more than happy to whip it out on this cloudy day while the little one splashed around in his “swimming pool”… besides that, you can see the ugly back lawn which was nicely manicured ready lawn when we moved in, but due to a depth of less than 10cm it became a mush pit during winter and died over summer and now the only thing surviving is weeds. The black netting around the deck is something that is usually put down when making new roads (Mr happened to have some to hand when we were talking about toddler proofing the deck a while back so that’s what went up and has stayed ever since)…

From the right hand corner in the above picture the view is to the garage. You can see where we’ve started digging up the back lawn under the clothesline. We plan to continue with this but need to finish another project first so we can reuse the dirt rather than just dump it. There is a funny little corner deck which is a bit bizarre but must have made sense at some point. This whole backyard is concrete, with little terraces and odd shapes everywhere which have not quite been disguised (see a slab under the deck above). The coolie chairs are the only bright spot in this back yard and will have pride of place on a new deck one day.

Here’s the full triangular piece of deck which sits over a cavernous bit of concreteness. This view is of the neighbours house, which we hope to screen with some fast growing (but happy in a raised garden bed) trees – because they are much lower than us we figure raising the fence might make them feel a little like they live in a hole, but if we plant trees just over the current fence height then “suddenly” they’ll be up at the height we want without seeming like we’ve planned it that way!

Here’s a bit more of a shot of the first corner, just to show the jungle that is our backyard, it has literally been left to grow wild – we’ve done no weeding, no trimming, no removing or planting of plants.

So it was with some surprise that I had a call to “come and look at this!” from Mr just the other day… blackberries in our backyard! Yes I know they are a weed and quite hard to get rid of, but we’re just enjoying them for now (note to self: must take photo of little one with grin and blackberry juice smeared all over his face).

And this one is not a surprise this year as this is our second summer here (wow, is it really?!) but we’re home early enough to enjoy them this time and the birds are not getting them all… plums (this is the little tree in the corner of the triangle deck)!

So, it’s not all bad is it?!

And we have plans for a much more orderly back yard with a vegie garden, room for the kids to play, and a bigger deck for outdoor dining. What do you think of this?:

One of those raised gardens might well turn out to be a paved play area as I’m not a super keen gardener and two gardens would probably be sufficient to keep me busy and as our little one grows he will want to play outside more and more. Because there is concrete under this whole backyard we’re doing away with all grass and will probably use white pebbles between the garden beds and sandbox. We also need to be a bit careful with what we do over the triangular deck in the top right corner as we don’t want to have to reinforce it – hopefully half a low-ish sandbox, and a bit of hedge in a raised bed won’t be too heavy. We’ll keep the plum tree in the corner too, which I’ve left off this plan. The deck will be about the same width as it is currently, but will extend almost to the fencline, with a “service” pathway between it and the hedge. We’ll keep it to the current height also, otherwise it will need consent, so it does mean steps down from the house but we’ll just have to live with that. The only thing completed on this plan is the clothesline, so we have much to do! If you have any ideas on the above plan feel free to contribute – we’d love to get some more takes on what we can do with our jungle!

 

It’s pink!

Some time ago, we planted a cherry tree and I’ve been watching with increasing nervousness that we killed it during planting… Most of the cherry trees around now are laden with blossoms, and ours has been teasing me with no more than a few buds for the last few weeks.

But this week it’s decided to show its true colours – pink! I think they may be the pink kind that turn to white but will keep an eye on that. We thought it was white when we bought it so I was a little surprised at the pink but could grow to like it once our house is painted. Right now the pink and peach combo just doesn’t inspire me. Pink and a pale grey however, could be one fine combination don’t you think?

Here are a few snaps of the beautiful blossoms:

 

Hello Cherry

We’ve always loved a front yard with a feature tree big enough to hang a swing!

So one of our first adventures to Roger’s involved a trailer. We went with “cherry tree” in mind but Rog tried his best to sell us various other “lovely foliage” and “striking colour”. Being the bit stubborn that I am (and having always wanted one) we came home with a cherry tree.

Knowing the tendency of our little boy to get well and truly in the way we plopped him right in bed and got stuck in with the spade.

This is about as far as it got before we hit pay dirt solid rock.

Thankfully we had a rock breaker hanging around due to another project underway but no go with that outside Otto’s bedroom at nap time!

No nap forthcoming unfortunately so off we all go back outside to get those rocks out.

There they are! Fun times ahead for all landscaping projects…

Here’s the only photo of me – just to show it’s not just Andre who does the real work!

And in Cherry goes – a couple of handfuls of sheep pallets in the bottom of the hole and a whole lot of compost right around.

Beautiful! (If you squint right you can miss the trailer full of tiles – yes more terracotta tiles gleefully smashed… more on that later – and the scruffy flax bush on the left).

We envision a tidy hedge right the way round, minimal/no garden at the foot of the hedge and a decent lawn area (minus a whole lotta existing concrete) for playing and… ahem… trailer and boat parking. And if we stay here long enough, a swing hanging from our great big cherry tree!