We recently had some block out blinds and pelmets installed in our kitchen/meals/family area. We previously didn't have blinds as we don't need them for privacy but I decided to get them to a) finish off the room, and more importantly b) to help with insulation. In winter you can really feel the cold through the windows and the heater works overtime which costs $$$ so hopefully these will help.
It was hard to get a picture but here they are.
We have two of these windows side by side but I only took a pic of one.
So I finally planted and mulched around our new paved path beside the garage.
Rocks were placed on one side of the paving, against the garage, as there is drainage along that wall. These rocks match the rocks placed in other areas of the front yard. The other side I edged the pavers with Dianella Petite Marie. These cute little plants will grow approx 25cm x 25cm and once grown will form a nice little border.
I also planted two more Nandina plants along the driveway to continue the line of Nandinas planted some time ago.
There is also another Lomandra Lime Tuff, which looks so tiny compared to the established ones but, if the others were anything to go by, it will grow in no time and fill the void in that area.
The rest of the front yard currently looks like the below pictures. Some plants still have a fair bit of growing to go but I'm happy with how it's all come together, especially as I have done it all myself except the concreting and paving.
After a layer of crushed rock was laid it was time to pour the concrete.
Once the concrete was leveled it was starting to take shape.
The landscaper came back a week or so after the concrete cured to lay the pavers. Here are photos of it when he just finished laying and grouting the bluestone pavers. It is still wet in some areas.
The empty side against the garage has a thick layer of scoria and agi pipe underneath so I can't place a garden there. So instead it will be filled in with rocks. The side against the retaining wall will have plants - once I decide what to use. That's the hard part - plant selection.
So happy with his work and I would recommend him in a heartbeat. I will be getting him back to complete some landscaping work in our backyard once we finalize exactly what we want to do.
After living here for almost 2 years my front yard is, finally, almost finished!
I enjoy planting a garden, watering it, feeding it and watching it grow. What I didn't think of is how long it would take just to do the front yard when we have a 10 meter setback, sloping site and heavy clay soil! We have been in our home for 19 months and I have *almost* finished planting the front garden. The sloping site proved to be a bit of challenge. In November 2014 we had the garden retaining walls put in. You can see them in this post.
Main front garden
I planted these plants in March 2015. There is a mix of Phormium (Black Rage and Yellow Wave), Lomandra (Lime Tuff) and Nandinas. I also have three Birds Of Paradise and a Magnolia Little Gem. There are also three Acmena Forest Flame plants, which are a type of Lilly Pilly.
Then of course we have bucket loads of black mulch!
A few progress photos taken in March 2015.
The images below show how it looks now; 12 months later 😊
The Phormiums will grow to approximately 1.2 metres so they still have some growing to go. The Lomandras shouldn't get too much bigger, I just expect them to get a little more wide and bushy.
We will be laying pavers and stone between the retaining wall and garage. It will form a path so we can wheel the bins to the back of the garage so they're no longer an eyesore.
I have left the garden bed at the side of the driveway, towards the front of the house, bare as we will eventually be putting in a low fence and electric gates. Well, that's the plan anyway. So I didn't want to plant a garden there only to have to rip it out later. I spread mulch there so at least it looks neat.
We have had these bluestone pavers for 10 months now. I'm sure we will get around to laying them eventually 😂
My Magnolia Little Gem ❤️ I have had this tree since November 2014 and it has grown a fair bit since I planted it. I cannot wait for it to grow.
Raised garden bed
Hubby built a garden bed for me in front of the driveway retaining wall. I'm lucky to have such a handy man ☺️
In early October 2015 I planted a row of Kangaroo Paw Regal Velvet, which has lovely large strappy foliage. I then planted more Lomandra Lime Tuffs as a border.
By late November they were flowering like crazy!
The below photos show what the garden bed looks like today. I have trimmed the flowers from the Kangaroo Paw as the flowering season is over. Both the Kangaroo Paw and Lomandra have filled out quite a bit. The Lomandras impress me with how quick they grow, even in difficult sites. You can also notice in the below photos we have placed rock/stones between that garden bed and the house. Underneath the rock we have plastic sheeting which has been laid in such a way that it directs any rainwater into a drain. This is to further prevent too much water going under the subfloor area; a common problem with sloping block sites. We haven't finished spreading the rock, I think that's a project for this weekend. The same rock will also be used in my first garden bed project in the backyard.
Narrow garden beside driveway
Unless you're on a very large property with a sweeping driveway lined with trees **sigh** we all have the "awkwardly narrow garden next to the driveway" garden bed. I didn't know what to plant here, it was doing my head in! I know I wanted low growing plants towards the front of the property as I didn't want to block our vision leaving the driveway and taller bushy plants towards the house. I also couldn't have anything that grew too wide. I could trim it often of course, but who can be bothered with that!? So I planted Nandinas along the top as that is what I have lining the bottom part of the driveway on the other side (leaving a space for the future gate/fence pillar) and Pittosporum Stephens Island for the rest. I was initially dead against Pittosporums as they're everywhere, however I came across Stephens Island which I had previously never heard of before. They have larger darker green leaves than most Pittosporums with a black stem. They only grow 2.5 metres tall by 1.5 metres wide which is perfect. Sold!
I planted this side of the garden back in November 2015, so it's only four months old. In that time the plants have filled out a little. I expect the Pittosporums will have a good growth spurt next spring.
Just before Christmas we had some concrete steps and path laid which leads from the side of the driveway, down past the side gate and into the backyard to meet up with the back steps. As you can see I have some narrow space between the concrete and the fence to fill. I'm considering some Mondo Grass for the more narrow sections and Lomandras in the wider sections but I haven't decided as yet.
For a long time I have been eyeing off the below Braniff Airways vintage poster. I don't know why I was so attracted to it, but I was. I searched high and low for a reasonably priced framed print, however whenever I found this framed print it was marked at $500 or more. I love it but I don't love it THAT much.
I went into bargain hunting mode and I found a huge A0 size (841mm x 1189mm) print on eBay for under $90 including delivery.
More bargain hunting led me to Eastleigh Frames in Moorabbin where I purchased an A0 size poster frame for $65. A few extra dollars for craft spray adhesive from Bunnings and I have a framed print that sells for $500+ for under $200.
Our bar is finally finished! Just in time for hubby's birthday party. I've just been really slack with updating this blog.
This is the empty space we started with.
Some of the carcass and panels prior to installation.
Then we fitted the LED lights on the outside of the bar. The lights can change colour or stay fixed on a colour.
LED lights were also put on the inside of the bar to illuminate the bench at night. There is a spot for hubby's laptop and mixer.
Mirror back and glass shelves installed, along with a black glass splash back. We did buy some tiles to use but our glazier friend convinced us to go with black glass for the splash back instead of the tiles. We also installed two downlights above the bar, otherwise that area was really dark. We need to be able to accurately measure our drinks after all 😉
Our bar fridge with LED lights. We usually have these turned off unless we are using the space. The fridge is disgustingly empty. I plan to fix that very soon!
I adore this matt black sink mixer. I went to Bunnings with intention on purchasing another mixer but when I saw this I loved it and knew it would suit the dark coloured theme my hubby was wanting to achieve. Lucky he loved it too!