Category Archives: Bits

Planter changeover

The planters on the deck are a mess. The original idea was to have a tree grow in the middle, surrounded by low, leafy herbs. But the trees don’t grow, and the low herbs turn into tall stems that go everywhere.



One has a Tahitian lime, which got trashed by hail and, while it’s recovering, it’s having a really hard time of it. The lime is surrounded by white peppermint, spearmint, tarragon, parsley and a strawberry which never produces any fruit. In stark contrast to the ones on the meadow stairs, which are going gangbusters.

The pots are pretty dry; we’ll need to give them some reticulation if we want to get things to really grow well in them, and be a bit more conscientious with their feeding.

The other┬áhas irises in it, which are nice, but it’s also got a fungus that gets into the bay laurel.

The fungus goes for whatever leaf is lowest

The fungus grows on the wood – it’s just half a wine barrel. As the wood ages it rots, and fungus grows up at the edge of the soil where it’s damp.

There’s a long-term plan to put in some magnolias around the grassed area. We’re going to try to get them going in these planters, with the addition of two new ones.

Baby magnolias (with the big leaves) waiting in the seedling table

We’ll give them a proper clean-out, and line the inside of the barrels so that the wood isn’t wet. Hopefully that will stop the fungus from returning.

So step 1 is to remove any plants that we can – the laurel planter yielded a tiny sage bush, two chives with two leaves each, a strawberry plant, an oregano plant that is all flower stems, and a bunch of common mint, which I’ve developed a distinct dislike for. I don’t know how it became common; it’s the worst kind of mint for anything.

A snug bed

The dirt level on the fence side of the chicken coop is a little low and the wire isn’t properly dug in there. So we prop up some rocks to make a wall on the downhill end, throw some more rocks along the wire and then back fill with dirt.


The dappled shade here, even at noonish, and the soft dirt make this look like a really snug bed for something leafy to grow in.

Of course, this area is under an ash tree and is pretty much constantly being pummelled by sticks so it needs to be pretty tough, too. It’s not an accessible spot, so it’s no good for a food crop, either. Hmm. I wonder what?

We’ll extend that big rock across the gap to the fence to make a second small wall, dig and back-fill again and back the worm farm into the spot where the bits of wood are.

Garden trashed by hail

It’s not often that you see the rain radar go up to its highest rating.

A hail storm came through very suddenly and just trashed everything. The hail stones were about as big as a Tom Bowler marble.


The leaves were falling from the sky in a rain of their own. The belladonnas didn’t fair well, and the Mexican puffball has a whole bunch of holes in its giant leaves.

Hail on the roof – noisy! (3.5MB movie)

Picture wall

Behind my desk in the study is my picture wall. Also got a new work chair as a birthday present to self. Who would have thought the Eames Aluminium Management Chair would be better than an old country kitchen chair with a pillow on it?


Another book shelf on the go

Bless you Mitre 10 Emerald and your structural Tassie oak. Cheap, thick as your arm and comes up a treat. A bit of bark here and there comes right off with the plane.


Also got 3 out of 5 of the stud walls done for the wood shed – but it’s taking too long and meanwhile the fire wood is getting wet. Will need to cover it up quick smart. And focus on one project at once. Might help.


The ute debacle last weekend was in aid of collecting a big 3-stacker door that we got on ebay for $26. Well, it’s the doorway and the window portion, the two doors are missing. Still good, though, since I want to make the doors with double-glazing. Anyway Ross down the hill agreed to help me move it from Cockatoo.


Too big to go under the house. Either have to dismantle it until we’re ready to use it or wrap it with something.