We've had fun this Easter weekend - we had a couple of house projects planned for the extra days off. Slightly stymied by the fact that in NZ, trading laws mean that shops (barring supermarkets, corner shops and pharmacies) are not allowed to open on a Good Friday. A fact that we didn't know before we set out looking for an open DIY store! Fortunately, our local DIY place was open on Saturday and Sunday ready for us to spend our hard earned cash...
Our first project was building a vege patch for me. I wasn't planning to do this before Spring, but having started reading a gardening blog on Stuff, where the author suggested that I get it in before Winter started and planted a green manure crop to dig in for Spring, I decided to stop procrastinating and get on with it.
So, starting from the back garden:
I dug out four by six foot from the grass and broke up the clods:
We spent a bit of time in the timber section of our DIY store with a very friendly man who helped us pick the right types of boards and cut them for us. The boards were ready cut so that they would slot together meaning that we only needed to nail the corners, and didn't have to spend time balancing (and dropping) the boards on top of each other.
Once the box was put together, I started filling it; beginning with a layer of cardboard and newspaper to try to keep the weeds down as much as possible. Then I added a layer of dead leaves (the magnolia and oak trees have to be good for something!), some compost from the bin (less than I'd hoped - I only managed to get a couple of forkfuls of properly composted food. But at least I took the opportunity to turn the compost over), some grass cuttings (yay - I mowed the lawn, too...), and finally a couple of bags of shop bought compost (plus three more after this photo was taken)
I also had a lovely surprise whilst I was digging - I was listening to a very happy bird singing away above my head, thinking it was our Tui, when I looked up and saw that it was a Bellbird - fantastic to have (at least) one of those in the vicinity, too.
Meanwhile, we were also busy inside. One of the rooms in the house was a very bright green, both walls and ceilings:
(White envelope to show the true colour - the camera was having fun with the block colours)
We played around with various tester colours, and picked a just off-white for the ceiling and an ice-blue for the walls (we weren't sure whether the green would show through so wanted to pick something that would at the very least tone down the green). The long weekend helped us here - we had enough time to paint the two coats each on the ceiling and the walls with gaps between for shopping, building the vege box and visiting a friend.
We're very pleased with the final results - for our first go at decorating, it went really smoothly (only one minor panic where a spot of paint missed the protective plastic - fortunately, the paint rag was handy and it didn't stain. Next time, we're buying a larger dust sheet - we just couldn't find one this time...) We kept the top border in green to slightly tone down the coolness of the blue, and the dark blue curtains (which I took the opportunity to wash whilst they were down...) really help to set it all off.
Added to the DIY, I also cooked a roast chicken and a quiche - definitely feeling the domestic goddess!
One more flower for the gardening aficionados to identify - this was a dead root up until a couple of weeks ago - I've not the foggiest what it is!