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Posts Tagged ‘plans’

Now that I am more conscious of mixing up plant shapes to achieve what I want in the front garden bed (yes Janna Schreier, I am thanking you for that inspiration), I’ve been trying to decide on some great mid-level plants to throw into the mix.

I will still progress the Agapanthus, but I’ve also considered throwing some Dianella into the mix. Particularly the Dianella that has vivid purple berries in the height of summer, as there aren’t a lot of colour options then in terms of flowers. Thanks to Gardening With Angus, I’ve narrowed my choices down to:

  • Dianella Little Devil: purple berries in summer, plus reddish tint at the base to mix it up and tone with the Heuchera leaves:

dianella-tasmanica_flax-lily_little-devil_2

  • Dianella Little Jess: bright blue berries in Summer and blue flowers:

dianella-caerulea_flax-lily_little-jess_3

In addition to the purple berries, thanks to a random plant spotto while I was walking with an ex-workmate and some significant plant detective work, I have also set upon Ligularia Dentata Reniforme.

It took me about 12 hours to get from “It might be a type of Elephant Ear” as advised by my ex-workmate, to searching for tropical garden plants with round leaves, to finding (and discarding) betel leaf plant, then finding and discarding Chinese Money plant (indoor, smaller) to Ligularia…which I tracked down by way of the websites for botanical gardens in Hawaii (USA), where I discovered Awa and ‘Uala, the Missouri Botanic Garden (USA)  and the Dunedin Botanic Garden (New Zealand) where I finally confirmed the shape.

If you thought a lack of knowledge about plant varieties and no actual photo of the plant taken in situ while on the walk, was going to prevent me from identifying a plant I want, without recourse to a garden centre and with only my eyes, brain, 8 fingers, 2 thumbs and Google to go on…you don’t know me at.all.

Again it’s tolerant of the WA climate, it has the most glorious leaves (like a lotus/water lily shape…a particular weakness of mine) and it’s the perfect mid-level plant to provide more complexity and contrast to the Bamboo and Elephant Ears.

There were a lot of articles about it in Hawaii and Dunedin – and in NZ in general, it seems to have been used a lot on NZ landscaping – but since I saw this version in a garden in full sun, in Western Australia, there are species that seems to cope in the Perth climate too.

It’s also called Tractor Seat Plant:

Ligularia_Reniformis_004_0

Tractor seat plant in situ…in NZ

Plus it looks great with Papyrus and would look great with Umbrella grass too…some other “fill in” options I’ve been considering too (the Papyrus is a pond plant, and you can see a version in the pond, below):

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So pretty.

I’ve been trying to work out how I can include dwarf Papyrus into the garden…but baby steps. So many options, so little garden bed…

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New Years Houseolutions 2015

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Padron Pimientos in La Bocqueria Markets, Barcelona

So 2014 was a big year for me, although not necessarily house-wise. I finished study, I travelled and more.

It is time to think about 2015, with one reservation: I know that I’ll be travelling again this year, so I will have to be conservative about pennies. And I will probably start studying again in second semester, so I will have to be conservative about time and energy.

So frustrating when you have all big things still to do, and an ever increasing list of new things to deal with #firstworldhomeownerproblems.

On the plus side, it’s less than 8 weeks into the new year and I’ve already kicked a couple of smaller goals (mostly serendipitously rather than deliberately)

2015 Houseolutions

Achievable:

  • Daybed up to DIY Dad’s Beach House: the daybed that’s taking up room in the studio and reducing room to paint in, needs to journey to its intended destination (finally)
  • New outdoor setting:
  • Deal with cat hair on clothes: it’s a personal peeve, lint rollers don’t cut it and it’s already dealt with thanks to the purchase of a new dryer (as well as a new washing machine) that I haven’t yet told you about.
  • Wet areas:
    • Finish painting bathroom cornices and fixing wall paint from last attempt to paint cornices (not a gift of mine)
    • Paint back door and window with the skirting paint, they are currently white…
  • Clean up garage: it’s started to become a dumping ground again, it needs to be sorted and organised. And many spiderwebs need to be swept down and removed.
  • Front garden:
    • Topsoil and levelling of lawn
    • Veggies:
      • Buy Padron Pimiento seeds
      • Grow Padron Pimiento peppers (I had them in Barcelona and they are the greatest vegetable that ever lived. Big call, I know.)
    • Finish front garden bed:
      • 3 more pots of bamboo, or maybe native hibiscus…I am currently toying with a different green and height.
      • Some more medium height plants:
        • A very dark purple agapanthus is currently on the radar

Not as pressing, but still on the radar:

Dreamable:

  • New sofa: G-Plan needs to be re-upholstered and moved into the office, making way for a slightly longer, slightly higher-off-the-ground new sofa.
  • Passive Solar Measures
    • Insulation: I type this on a stinker of a Perth February Day. It can’t come too soon.
    • Get universal tile ventilators for roof: I type this on a stinker of a Perth February Day. It can’t come too soon.
  • Front verge
    • Plant front verge with drought resistant plants that attract pollinators and/or are native bush tucker foods (with the aim of total cost of plants being less than $50, so far no money has been spent :D)
    • Mulch it like it’s hot

Longer term

Some other goals that are optional and will probably not be achieved in 2015, but one can live in hope (and carry them over into 2016 and beyond):

  • Buy some big (preferably retro) pots and trees for front:
    • Yellow desert lime
    • Fig tree:  DIY Dad has a very neglected Fig Tree in a pot at his. I will be bringing it to mine and seeing if I can resuscitate it.
  • Shelving for garage
  • Get stainless steel + sailing wire trellises for out the back and plant with passionfruit
  • Restore roof and then get solar panels: to make use of abundant resources and for guilt free electricity
  • Grey water system to water lawn
  • Render house
  • Paint external window frames
  • Carport: Shade sail is out on practical grounds, car port it will be.
    • Build a permanent car port over paving at front, dealing with underground power later: to protect car and shade house
    • Then rip up some of the paving immediately below my lounge window and plant with shade loving plants (no point doing this until the shade option is in position)

Previous Houseolutions

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New Years Houseolutions 2014

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Looking at the moon through fake plastic LED trees

Housie New Year! It’s that time in the early part of the New Year when I review progress on the houseolutions of previous years (as well as my other list of things to do/buy for housie), am pleasantly surprised at the progress I have made, and set some short, medium and long term houseolutions for 2014.

I have had to take the 5.4m x 5.4m shade sail off my list of things to do, although I still haven’t achieved it. I did a bit of research over the holidays and, it’s not a good idea to install a shade sail immediately below a power line… so have altered the goal (two options now) and added it to the possibles list rather than the achievables list because it will be more costly.

2014 Houseolutions

  • Office: Finish work on the office: Get one more 4 x 2 expedit (to finish addressing the storage crisis) and sell old desk (to reclaim space)
  • Garage: clear it out a bit, it’s getting a bit cluttered and I haven’t been as diligent about storing things and returning things to their rightful places as I should have been.
  • Wet areas:
    • Finish painting bathroom cornices and fixing wall paint from last attempt to paint cornices (not a gift of mine)
    • Paint back door and window with the skirting paint, they are currently white…
  • Front garden
    • Continue to revive front lawn:
      • Topsoil and level
    • Finish front garden bed:
      • 3 more pots of bamboo
      • Some more medium height plants:
        • A very dark purple agapanthus is currently on the radar
  • Install some passive solar measures to cool house:
    • Get universal tile ventilators for roof
    • Get insulation for roof

Wrap up some older goals:

  • Re-pointing
  • Plant front verge with drought resistant plants that attract pollinators and/or are native bush tucker foods (with the aim of total cost of plants being less than $50, so far no money has been spent :D)
  • Restore freecycled furniture in my garage

Longer term

Some other goals that are optional and will probably not be achieved in 2013, but one can live in hope (and carry them over into 2014 and beyond):

  • Buy some big (preferably retro) pots and trees for front:
    • Yellow desert lime
    • Fig tree:  DIY Dad has a very neglected Fig Tree in a pot at his. I will be bringing it to mine and seeing if I can resuscitate it.
  • Shelving for garage
  • Get stainless steel + sailing wire trellises for out the back and plant with passionfruit
  • Restore roof and then get solar panels: to make use of abundant resources and for guilt free electricity
  • Grey water system to water lawn
  • Render house
  • Paint external window frames
  • Either:
    • Get underground power and then buy a 5.4 x 5.4 Sunshade in charcoal and install over paving at front: to protect car and to shade house; or
    • Build a permanent car port over paving at front, dealing with underground power later: to protect car and shade house
    • Then rip up some of the paving immediately below my lounge window and plant with shade loving plants (no point doing this until the shade option is in position)

Previous Houseolutions

Although I moved in late August 2009 (after painting and rewiring the house since mid July 2009), I apparently didn’t write a set of New Year’s Houseolutions for 2010. Probably because everything was still so big and there were so many things to do. It’s a little bit of a shame, as I would have liked to document how things have changed and how I am achieving things across all the years I have been in the house but the time and ability to sit down and not be swamped by the things to do is a little bit of a luxury. I needed 2009-2010 to do that…

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Fake plastic trees

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Now that the G-Plan in place, I need to revist my cushion colour scheme. The dusty grey/blues with occasional pops of very subtle palest pink worked well with the brown/grey tones of the old couch, but the G-Plan is an in your face combination of Emerald Green and Turquoise.

The palest pink cushions have been retired to the bedroom (where they are providing elements of girliness which are not being counter-balanced by my frothy white princess bedspread).

I pulled out some old spotted silk cushion covers I had from days gone by and have been using them to provide pops of electric colour amongst the grey/blue in the living room:

Coloured cushion attack

Coloured cushion attack

…but some of the silk cushions are a little worse for wear.

You might not think it, but it is actually quite hard work to be a cushion on a couch, particuarly when you have been made from a rather fragile fabric that is prone to catching on pretty much everything.

They have lasted over 12/so years (if not a little more), so they have done pretty well. And I won’t be throwing them out, just giving their fragile little fabrics a well needed rest.

So I have been wishlisting cushion covers like the wind, on Etsy.

Current mood is:

  • bold graphic contrast
  • colour-colour-colour
  • hollywood regency trellis prints and graphic patterns (in Navy, Green or Duck Egg Blue).

I don’t think I can have all of those ideas in it at the same time, without breaking the bank and giving visitors to my house a colour-pattern-graphic overdose…but I am almost willing to have a crack.

So far my favourites are:

Aamazing jewel tone lozenge and spot cushions by Wicked Walls:

Wicked Walls Shop: Purple Magenta Green Spot Designer Cushion Cover Pillowcase

Wicked Walls Shop: Purple Magenta Green Spot Designer Cushion Cover Pillowcase

Graphic tree silhouettes also by Wicked Walls:

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WickedWalls: Funky Retro Black Gray White Tree Designer Cushion Covers. Pillowcases

Two amazing berry toned cushions made out of Japanese fabric by Mia & Stitch:

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Mia & Stitch: Japanese fabric cushion cover in natural background with fuschia circular floral motif

A version in a kelly green Japanese fabric, also by Mia and Stitch:

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Mia & Stitch: Japanese fabric cushion cover in natural background with green circular floral motif

A navy trellis pattern cushion made by Modernality2 (bottom left):

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Modernality2: Premier Prints Navy Blue Pillow Cover- 14×14 inches- Hidden Zipper Closure- You Choose

A set of scrabble letter cushions by Personalized World:

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Personalized World: Set of 4 SCRABBLE LETTER decorative pillow cases cushion covers — READ or choose any 4 letters

I finally decided on “read” but was also considering “play“…

Some multi-toned grey polka dot cushions by Wicked Walls:

cushions2

Wicked Walls: Funky Retro Spots Cushion Covers Black Grey/Gray Designer. Pillowcases

Clearly some winnowing needs to happen because I will run out of room to keep cushions before I run out of desire to own cushions, but still it’s nice to dream 😉

p.s. I am embarrassed to confess that this is only half of my cushion wish list. At some point I will be doing another Want post on cushions.

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New Years Houseolutions 2013

Happy Lunar Housie New Year!

I am taking a study break (one of the reasons why the blog hasn’t been updated as regularly and why I haven’t progressed much on some of my 2012 goals: no time!!!) so decided to make a progress report on my 2012 houseolutions and my other list of things to do, plus I still haven’t written my 2013 new year’s houseolutions yet :O

No this is not in my house, but it is pretty so I thought I would share

No this is not in my house, but it is pretty so I thought I would share

2013 House0lutions

  • Buy a 5.4 x 5.4 Sunshade in charcoal and install over paving at front: to protect car and to shade house
  • Get some storage for laundry (Hello Ikea’s Lerberg, I be looking at you)
  • Continue to revive front lawn:
    • Topsoil and level
    • Get a lawnmoving man in to cut regularly so it looks like a lawn and not a wild grass forest.
  • Finish front garden bed:
    • 3 more pots of bamboo
    • Some more medium height plants (I have yet to decide what)
  • Fig trees:  DIY Dad has a very neglected Fig Tree in a pot at his. I will be bringing it to mine and seeing if I can resuscitate it. Plus there might be one growing out of my compost bin (still to confirm)
  • Finish work on the office:
    1. Get a couple more expedits to finish addressing the storage crisis
    2. Buy a kitchen counter top from ikea and legs and build a new desk that fits with new alignment of room (sell old desk)
  • Continue:
    • Re-pointing
    • To plant front verge with drought resistant plants that attract pollinators and/or are native bush tucker foods (with the aim of total cost of plants being less than $50, so far no money has been spent :D)
    • Restoring the freecycled furniture in my garage, I have made a good start on several pieces and want to finish them by winter

Still putting a hold on ‘collecting more freecycled furniture’ because unless it is something that totally needs to be rescued by me, I am out of room in the garage until I finish a couple more projects.

Some other goals that are optional and will probably not be achieved in 2012, but one can live in hope (and carry them over into 2013 and beyond):

  • Trees for front:
    • Yellow desert lime
    • Pomegranate tree
  • Shelving for garage
  • Get stainless steel + sailing wire trellises for out the back and plant with passionfruit
  • Solar panels: to make use of abundant resources and for guilt free electricity
  • Grey water system to water lawn
  • Rendering house
  • Paint external window frames

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My walls are in a bit of a catch-22 at the moment.

Technically, my walls are not in any catch-22 since they are firstly inanimate objects and secondly they are walls and they support things (roofs, plaster, pictures etc), so remaining standing and supporting things are pretty much all they need to do; I am in the catch-22 because of my plans for my walls.

For those of you who don’t know:

A catch22 is a paradoxical situation in which an individual cannot avoid a problem because of contradictory constraints or rules. Often these situations are such that solving one part of a problem only creates another problem, which ultimately leads back to the original problem. Catch-22s often result from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to but has no control over. (Thank you wikipedia)

Because I paint quite large canvases and want to be able to switch in and out canvases from rooms (it’s easier than moving the furniture around when you want a change, and it doesn’t scratch the floors so much…and now that I am in my own house, I do worry about these things), I decided I wouldn’t put any pictures, paintings or photographs on my walls until I had installed a gallery hanging system.

Gallery hanging systems are ideal for what I want to do, as they are basically a concealed track where you can slip hooks in or out as required, sort of like the modern, more subtle equivalent of picture rails you see in federation houses.

Segue

Why don’t I just install picture rails? Nice as they are, they are quite instrusive to the design of the room. They become a feature element, while I want something that doesn’t draw attention to itself or detract from the artwork, walls and cornices. Plus my house is a very different style to houses which could have feature rails and my ceilings aren’t tall enough to make them look anything but a slightly self-concious and unnecessary addendum. And I absolutely loathe it when people try to traditional-ify a modern era house (reproduction federation houses and villas so prevalent in the 80s and 80s are the devil).

Back on track

So, I decided on a gallery hanging system – the wall locator FX Hanging System in silver, to sit right below my cornices in the lounge room, bedroom, hallway, office and studio:

Hanging around

I could paint the system so it is even less obtrusive but I like the idea of an industrial silver band immediately below my cornices.

At a rough estimate, I  will need about 10 x of the 3m straps and 4 x of the 2m straps; plus hooks. So ~ $500.00 plus all the hooks I need. On the positive side, I don’t need to buy it all at once, I can purchase it room by room (or wall by wall); but until I do my paintings are sitting on the floor, propped against the walls.

This isn’t great for the paintings, they may get scuffed and can fall over; so it also means that I won’t finish and varnish any of them until I can hang them as I will have to do minor repairs on them. Hence the catch-22, because it would be nice to varnish and finish some of my work and say “Done, never touching it again”.

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New Years Houseolutions 2012

Every good new year’s should either begin or end with a boardgame

Housie new year!

Being as it is now 2012 (and I am having a day off from re-pointing), it’s time to make a progress report on my New Year’s Houseolutions from 2011 and my other list of things to do and make some new Houseolutions for 2012.

2012 House0lutions

  • Buy a 5.4 x 5.4 Sunshade in charcoal and install over paving at front: to protect car and to shade house
  • Get some storage for laundry (Hello Ikea’s Lerberg, I be looking at you)
  • Continue to revive front lawn:
    • Topsoil and level
    • Reseed bald patches
  • Finish front garden bed:
    • 3 more pots of bamboo
    • Some more medium height plants (I have yet to decide what)
  • Restore more freecycled furniture (commenced)
  • Continue re-pointing
  • Woodchip front verge to make it tidier

I have to take ‘continue collecting more freecycled furniture’ off that list because unless it is something that totally needs to be rescued by me, I am out of room in the garage until I finish a couple more projects.

Some other goals that are optional and will probably not be achieved in 2012, but one can live in hope (and carry them over into 2013 and beyond):

  • Plant front verge with drought resistant plants that attract pollinators and/or are native bush tucker foods (commenced)
  • Big pots for driveway, to plant fig trees and pomegranate bushes
  • 2 recycled chest of drawers for either side of my bed
  • Shelving for garage
  • Get stainless steel + sailing wire trellises for out the back and plant with passionfruit
  • Solar panels: to make use of abundant resources and for guilt free electricity
  • Grey water system to water lawn

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