|We have a flash new front garden!
Our front fence has been needing replacement for some
time now - but we decided a couple of months ago that we would do more
than just replace it! You see, the side fence didn't run along our boundary at all, but rather up to about
4m inside it, and in doing so came up flush against the pathway to our
front door, giving the whole entranceway a rather crowded feeling. The
high dilapidated fence hid our property, which was becoming increasingly
bushy, behind it and we didn't see the opportunity hidden there for a
couple of years!
|Once we did go and do some investigation, we decided we
could extend our garden back to our side boundary, by moving the fence
further out to the side and running a small retaining wall along the
lower end. We removed three sections of the old fence to get a better look
and to clear out the accumulated bush debris, trim back the trees,
remove an old tree house from the large tree that was soon to become
part of our new front garden, etc.
Right: View of the garden with the old front fence and
old side fence posts (centre left in this photo) still in place
|Then in early December we got our builder to do the fence
and retaining wall, and extend the railings on the bridge to our front
In January a lot of the trees on the bushy slope beside the bridge
were given a long overdue prune which helped open up the area even more,
and allowed a lot more sunlight through to the new garden. We planted up
the extended garden area after laying down new weed matting, and then
added an irrigation system (important in this garden as it is largely
sheltered from the rain by the large tree overhead).
|And here's the final result - what a transformation!
The new fence really smartens the whole place up, and the extended
garden not only offers a more generous approach to the bridge to our
front door, but gives visitors a better view of our house and property,
including views down to our new lower deck. We've given the bridge a big
tidy-up, removing the natty Perspex enclosure around the front door and
water blasting the whole bridge (plus the pathway and driveway). I
then painted the railings in New Denim Blue (the same colour as our new
roof and fence posts - these photos make it look a bit more blue than
it actually is...). Finally, Brent filled in the new railing at the end
of the bridge with more trellis to match the rest.
Below: How the area has changed over the past 3 years!
(Don't forget you can click on
any of these photos to see them bigger)
We were planning on revamping our other gardens after this, but our
re-roofing project has put an unexpected halt to those plans. You see, we've
finally managed to get a more reasonable quote on re-roofing the rest of the
house (and carport etc), which will involve a lot of scaffolding and
activity around the perimeter of our house. We expect this job to proceed by
early April. We therefore decided the gardens surrounding the house
should be left bare until the job is completed. I've therefore shifted my
focus to waterblasting all the other balconies and decks of our house, and
repainting all the railings (and some external doors) in the new denim blue.
Still not finished, but well underway... As soon as these are all finished,
and the new roof goes on, we'll be left with a much smarter looking house!
(We'll probably be able to show all this off next update...)
|Emily's First Birthday!
Wow - Emily is now one year
old! We gave her a double celebration: The
first was immediate family dinner on her actual birthday; the second was a
kiddies party including wider family and friends, on the following Sunday.
The kiddies party was held down on our playdeck so the children could play
on the playgym, ride the trikes etc after their party feast. We had a
face-painter come and paint all the children's faces as well. The weather was
fantastic and the adults also had a great time catching up while basking in
the sun! Even our dear wee Emily seemed to enjoy herself immensely, so a
great day was had by all!
Happy Birthday to Emily!
Finlay is Spiderman!
Lydia with her big cousin Kelsi
In just two weeks we'll be doing it all over again, as Lydia turns three!
going to be a busy month... Until then Lydia is having a great time playing
with all of Emily's new toys!!!
Our girls' progress
|Lydia and Emily are getting on great together -
they love each other dearly (Lydia even likes to tell her this in the bath!)
though, like all children they occasionally get into little fights over toys
etc, but it soon blows over and they're all hugs again. Lydia insists on
dressing up as a fairy every afternoon and pretends to dance like a
ballerina (even doing it all properly standing and twirling right up on her toes!)
which is so cute to watch! Looks like its time to find some dance classes to
take her to... Emily is a real Mummy's girl which is becoming a
problem, so we're slowly working on that! She's looking more like her father
all the time, right down to the dark curly hair (Lydia's was still
straight at this age).
||A few months ago was the long awaited Christmas 2003.
Lydia had been looking forward to it for the whole of December, asking
to sing along to "Jingle Bells" over and over again, see Santa etc, so
we were a little puzzled when the day finally arrived she was very
demure and didn't even want to open her presents in her Santa sack! We
initially put it down to over-excitement, but after a few hours she
became inconsolable and a belated check of her temperature (40oC!)
sent us rushing off the the Accident and Emergency doctors (yes, on Xmas
day!). The final diagnosis was Tonsillitis (Emily had had this about a
month earlier!) - what rotten timing! As you can see from the photo on
the left, once the Pamol kicked in, she was back to her happy old self!
Emily has finally become a lot easier to live with in the
past few weeks - all her reflux and wind problems seem to finally be on the
mend. After battling with this for a year I say HOORAY! She's become a
fantastic eater (tasting virtually everything we give her), and is also
becoming much better at playing by herself. She's not just walking now,
she's running and climbing, and in a cute twist, she has recently learned to
crawl!!! She's still on two day sleeps and Lydia is still on one, which
means they sleep at opposite times, and I'm stuck at home with them all
afternoon! I look forward to Emily shifting down to one sleep, but she's not
quite ready for it yet... I'm so glad we have the playground downstairs, so
that one can play there while the other is asleep. Worth every cent!