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Previously we had created some raised garden beds, to try and provide some small amount of produce for our own consumption. These worked to a degree, but were never willing producers. Although lack of production could be attributed to some lack of gardening expertise on our part.

Enter the Wicking Beds. Not comfortable to sleep on but they seem to be good producers so far…a quick ‘google’ will give you the idea, but basically a largish sealed vessel is part filled with gravel, after laying down a weeping hose along the bottom and up one side to allow water to be filled into it. On top of the gravel we placed geo-textile material, then on that filled in the good earth for growing. Fill the water every week or 2, and of course power-feed on a weekly basis. Come summer time we will need to look into a shade option over the beds.

wicking bed

Patio update

So previously we had a large shade sail, which we erected in the warmer sunnier months, to protect the large living area windows from direct sunlight.

We found this very useful and functional during these summer months but less useful as a living space to use as an outdoor area in summer, and also winter time, when you might have a good clear sunny day. During winter the shade sail was not erected, so sitting outside or barbecuing was less attractive.

We decided, after much research, to have a skillion roof patio built over the decking, and remove the shade sail posts. These posts were recycled into 2 of the posts for the patio.

We had also been using the area next to the decking for a firepit. The rocks worked well, but we have now changed to a old iron style pit, and it too is doing a fine job. Ash from the fire is mixed into the compost bin.

Patio deck

We had tried to be environmentally friendly with Miss Jayne’s driveway, with the jarrah sawdust, and this had worked to some extent. However the downside was in the dry summers when the sawdust would ‘drift’ in the wind.

A new drive was designed, along the lines used by Josh Burns in his Solar Dwelling’s designed house. A nerocell or hydrocell, which is like a 550mm square and 30mm thick plastic egg crate style tile, underlayed by geotextile, and covered by crushed rock/gravel.

So after removing the jarrah sawdust, laying a couple of cubic metres of sand, the cells and then cubes of crushed gravel, we now have our new environmentally friendly (water drains through to water table) driveway.

20170707 (14)

Vegies anyone

Vegies anyone

We wanted something a little more natural for the garden, and also to grow a few vegetables and herbs ourselves. So, we found an idea from the DEC people who had laid jarrah sawdust at some of the camping grounds as footpaths, The sawdust compacts down to be a pretty firm base to walk and drive on. We are putting it down in a small garden area we will call our ‘ID garden’ where Deborah’s hammock can go up. It is was the driveway for Erin (now Miss Jayne) the caravan, and around the vegie gardens as you can see in the pictures.

 

 

 

 

2012 to 2015

2015

Its been over 5 and a half years since we commenced the hard work of getting the, mainly, native garden started. Here are a few pictures from early 2012 until recently. As usual, i’m having troubles finding the most recent photo, 2016/17 version. Enjoy what you can see here though, because we certainly do. The 2 pictures below are from 2012 and 2013!

Our side yardRunning solar powered water featureWe now have a fully operational solar powered with battery back up water fountain on the Deck.

The bird bathPinky & PerkyWe have found the perfect location for our Bali style bird bath in our own native sanctuary. The bench seats are currently being oiled to protect there long jevity. Our Singapore baby elephants (packaderms named Pinky & Perky) water feature have been carefully positioned inside the bird bath. You will see the running streams creating a kiss signifying happiness. This is powered by a solar panel which has installed onto our unique mail box. When the sun is out the elephants shoot out water, when the sun goes down, the elephants have a rest.
Great work Ian, all done in acordance with Deborah’s finger giving direction.

Empty, Full?

Tanks are 2/3 full

Man of many guises

Man of many guises

Feature on deck

Feature on deck

Our water feature

Our water feature

Our bali benches & lanterns

Our bali benches & lanterns

Mum Dad and the happy chappy

Mum Dad and the happy chappy

Man of many guises

Man of many guises

Protector

Protector

We made a surprise discovery this morning and we welcome our new happy chappy. He is looking out for Brodie and bringing peace to our home. Ian has been busy making the slabs for the Bali benches and lanterns. He also had time to set up our new water feature. We will be purchasing a solar pump next. We are both on holidays and now able to enjoy our outdoor area any time we wish to use it. Merry Christmas to one and all!

This is what Ian is working on next.....Entertainment area from the garden endPrep for the next stepThe private relaxed gardenOur entertainment areaOfcourse I can’ t tell you what we are planning next….so stay tuned.