It's taken me ages to decide what to do with the garden. Yes, I have planted the odd thing here and there. Keeper has been the deciding factor whether they lived or died. But I now have some wooden planter boxes which I intend to trial square foot gardening in.
The massive trees outside the kitchen window - an ancient plum tree, an equally ancient jacaranda, a chinese bell tree, a huge and rather ugly palm tree, and a smaller and somewhat straggly palm have all gone. All were planted far too close to the house, considering how big they are when mature - and believe me, these had reached full maturity. This left me with blocked guttering and downspouts, and a huge amount of light blocked out.
I got three quotes for removal. They ranged from $250-$1,000. Quite the price range, considering all three were from reputable companies and all three companies have indemnity insurance, and all three quotes were for the same work. I had decided on the cheapest, not only because they were the cheapest but because the man also volunteered information which told me quite clearly he knew what he was talking about - things that the others didn't mention.
While the issue was relegated to the back burner due to my father being hospitalised, I arrived home from visiting him in intensive care one day to discover the work had been done. Fortunately by the company I had decided to go with. I acknowledge I had indicated that I would accept his quote - he took it as a done deal. So. The trees are gone. All I am left with at the front is a fully mature silky oak - the bane of my life since it sheds incessantly, and a fully mature Norfolk pine tree. However, they do not block my light and therefore I'm leaving those for the landlady to deal with, no doubt in the far distant future. It all looks rather bare, so I have been scouring my favourite gardening blogs, books and NZ Gardener magazine for inspiration. I have decided (since that front corner of the section is shaded by the house, though open shade now the trees have been removed) that there will be two clumping fairy bamboos, and several hostas. Possibly a Chatham Island Forget Me Not. In the house, still the sitting room to sort out.
I have a few problems with this set up. For one thing, it all looks so bland. It needs a colour injection.
The big two seater and three seater couches looked great at our old house - the 100 year old villa with big dimensions. They sit a little like giants in this much smaller space. We haven't lit the logburner this winter because we can't push them far enough away to avoid probably singeing the fabric on the arms. I'm thinking of either selling the whole thing and going for a corner lounge suite, or possibly keeping the two seater only and getting a recliner to tone in. Since spring is in full throttle, this is not something to worry about immediately. Any time before now and when we would like to light the logburner next winter will do.
Those salmon curtains are possibly the most hideous things I've ever seen in my life. And they match absolutely nothing I own. They will be going, and will be replaced with something with warmer tones.
The 1 metre quare pine coffee table which has done me proud for years and years is now too big and cumbersome for this smaller place. It has been sold and replaced by a pine chest of much smaller proportions.
I'd really like to get a rug to go under it in warm reds and oranges or similar.
I also need to get some artwork on the walls. We have hung a few pieces since this photo was taken the first week we moved in. Essentially everything is in the same place though, as the room leaves little scope for re-arranging.
So that's where the "So much to do" bit comes in.
The "So little time" part is due to the fact that I work full time, that there is only me to do all this, and I actually have a life to fit in somewhere along the way as well.
And the "So little money"...... well, that part probably doesn't need any enlarging. However, we have been promised that this is a long term rental, so the way I see it is that I have lots of time to accomplish everything I want to do.