Archives for posts with tag: House building from scratch. Parkhurst.

 

My wire chickens have finally come home to roost.

My beautiful beaded, wire chickens – made by a Zimbabwean called Stuart and bought on a nearby street corner – have finally come home to roost.

It’s been a while….  Settling into a house still teeming with workmen has been quite challenging and very time-consuming but in the meantime, the garden has started to take shape and it’s all looking more like home.

There are four distinct parts to the garden:  the pavement (sidewalk) garden, the office garden, the driveway and what we call the front garden but which would probably be called the ‘back’ garden in the States.

I called in the help of a friend of mine who has a small landscaping business, Parktown Gardens.  Marion helped with various ‘rejuvenations’ of our old Dunkeld garden and I knew we’d understand each other here.

So this is how things are looking now:

The garden team arrives and gets started.

The garden team arrives and gets started.

 

Laying out the flower beds in the front (north) garden.

Laying out the flower beds in the front (north) garden.

The bench against the wall was originally in my mother’s East London garden and has survived several moves.

Plants waiting in line.

Plants waiting in line.

Standard Iceberg Roses, Jasmine and Agapanthus in the narrow bed on the west side of the driveway.

Standard Iceberg Roses, Jasmine and Agapanthus in the narrow bed on the west side of the driveway.

 

Front entrance taking shape.

Front entrance taking shape.

Starting to come together.

Starting to come together.

Water feature functioning at last.

Water feature functioning at last.

Water Feature up-close.

Water Feature up-close.

The flower bed along the front of the house.

The flower bed along the front of the house.

As you can see, there is still some building work to be done.  Where the loose tiles are laid between the beds, there are supposed to be more steps.  Unable to face asking this contractor to start anything else at this stage, I will tackle these sometime in the future…

The bed along the east boundary wall.

The bed along the east boundary wall.

First Crested Barbets to visit.

First Crested Barbets to visit.

In the absence of a big enough tree, I have resorted to a metal stand on which to hang a bird-feeder.  Perhaps it’s the proximity to the park but we were astonished at how promptly the local bird population came to visit.  Within hours of hanging up the feeder, Thrush, Cape Robins,  Grey Louries, Weavers and these beautiful Barbets had all come to their own house-warming party.

As you can see, there are still building materials piled up in the corner next to the pool and we’re still waiting for the decking to be installed.

 

Garden office yellow cymbid

Garden office pink cymbidBoth these cymbidiums survived the move including a few months of neglect while we were in Cape Town.

The first clivia and first (white) azalea flowering in front of the office.

The first clivia and first (white) azalea flowering in front of the office.

We’ve planted buffalo grass in between the pavers but it seems to be taking rather a long time to get established.

Planters around the office.

Planters around the office.

We’ve put five of these planters along the high-level bed around the office.  There are bougainvillea plants in all of them, chosen to withstand the heat and in the hopes that they will eventually ‘tumble’ over the edge of the stone wall.

Standard fuschia next to the front step to the house.

Standard fuschia next to the front step to the house.

There are lots of gaps to be filled in with annuals and I hope to get to that soon.  In the meantime, it’s such a relief to have a garden again and the lawn has even had its first mowing which took all of 5 minutes.   The sprinkler system is up and running and we hope our summer storms will not be too late in starting this year.  Watch this garden grow!

By the end of last week I had to admit defeat.  It was abundantly clear that we would not be able to move in this Friday.  So we’re now officially a full year overdue.  We’ve pushed the moving date out by a week but have neglected to inform the contractor of our change of plans.  So the site has been a hive of activity for the past several days with different sub-contractors falling over themselves and each other.

There will be one small delivery of furniture on Friday, just to keep everyone on their toes.  We had some things stored in a friend’s flat and that has to be vacated by the 3rd so there will something of a mini-move.  Just enough to instil a little bit of panic, I hope.

This is how things looked this morning:

Taken from the kitchen (90% complete) towards the bay window.

Taken from the kitchen (90% complete) towards the bay window.

The Oggie flooring is almost complete throughout the house and it looks beautiful.  They were working on the stairs today which made the upstairs inaccessible.  One or two more enterprising workmen used a ladder.

Kitchen, taken from the bay window.

Kitchen, taken from the bay window.

Living room floors.

Living room floors.

And the brick paving of the driveway got started this morning:

Compressing the soil in front of the garage.

Compressing the soil in front of the garage.

Looking up the driveway towards the street.

Looking up the driveway towards the street.

Looking down towards the path that leads to the park.

Looking down towards the path that leads to the park.

Eventually a pedestrian gate, matching the driveway gates, will be installed in the opening on the left of this picture.  The wall on the left is one we built just inside our boundary, allowing us to leave our neighbour’s old, decrepit wall intact.  Which seemed to be the way she wanted it to stay.

We also started the process of laying instant lawn today so hopefully some of the dirt and dust will have settled by the time we do actually move in on the 10th.  Having paving down on one side and grass on the other should make a big difference.