Spring in full swing – new house plans, garden reno

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Edgefield. We’ve been working on getting the house through the planning phase and resolving issues that have come up. I’ve got myself a new client for whom I’m going to be working a regular two days a week till the end of the year – sweet! The garden is in full bloom so I’m spending a fair bit of time in there and it’s school holidays – madness!

The new house

Our focus has been on the new house (as it probably will be for the next 12-18 months). So far finance has been approved and the planning application is being assessed. The Mundaring Shire threw us a curveball when they told us we couldn’t access the new house using the current driveway, which is actually Shire land and a road reserve. Of course, we knew that but it’s been used as a driveway since this house was first built in the 1970’s so we hoped, not unreasonably, that this could continue to be the case. Apparently not. So they are assessing the application as if it were a subdivision, despite the fact it’s not, and requiring us to build a full public road which could cost us $100-120K. Obviously, that’s not going to happen. So, the only other option we’ve come up with is to blow a driveway down the northern boundary of our block between our neighbour’s fence and our current house, all the way down to the back block. It’s do-able but it’s going to obliterate my vegie garden and most of the beautiful native garden planted at the front of the house. It’ll come awfully close to the house too which is not desirable from an aesthetic perspective but we have no other choice if we want to make this house work. So we’re currently exploring this option in more detail. Jeff amended the site plan and drawings last night. We have to flip the new garage to the southern boundary but on the plus side, it opens up the area which will be lawn down the bottom and may very well be a better scenario in the long term anyway. We’re trying to see the silver lining in this because we may as well. No point crying over it, we have no choice. But it’s going to cost us a lot more (money we don’t currently have) and it’s going to cause a lot of damage to existing infrastructure, destroy amenities (the vegie patch for tenants), and nullify a lot of hard work i’ve done on the block, e.g. I’ll have to lift and relocate the entire reticulation system I put in last year. Ugh! BUT, we get a new house…think positive!

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The new site plan with the driveway down the northern boundary of the block.

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The floor plan

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The house as we want it to look eventually. The pool and deck may come later (when we can afford it) and they both may be sunk to the lower level, but this is pretty much how it’s going to look.

Garden

Tasks completed so far:

  • Citrus grove by the house pruned, fertilised and completely mulched and the underneath planted with pumpkins (Wee B Little and Buttercup).
  • Other areas within the house block mulched, watermelon planted next to bamboo which will ramble all over and cover up that mulched area.
  • Slowly revitalising the garden beds in the vegie patch with new season tomatoes, marigolds, capsicum, beetroot, mizuna, lettuce, spring onion, spinach and pyrethrum daisy. Lots more seeds sprouting which will need planting…
  • Vegie patch paths gravelled
  • Bananas fertilised and mulched
  • Separate pen made for Snowball the broody hen (isolated with final clutch of  5 eggs about a week ago)
  • Bottom area whipper snippered and mowed
  • Dog Line electronic radio-controlled fence installed and training with the dogs commenced 5 October. No more escaping for Zen…ZAP!!

Geez, when I write up this list, it seems like I’ve hardly done anything but this has taken me so long! 

Seeds i’ve currently got germinating:

  • Beetroot – Chioggia, Bull’s Blood, Detroit 2, Burpee’s Golden, Baby Beets
  • Beans – Snake, Lazy Housewife, Purple King, Giant of Stuttgart, Flageolet Flagrano, Dried Winter Bean Mix, Dwarf
  • Pumpkins – Wee B Little, Buttercup, Waltham Butternut, Japanese / Kent
  • Capsicum – 8 colour mix, Bull’s Horn
  • Chilli – Joe’s Long Cayenne
  • Rockmelon – Delice de la Table, Ananas, 
  • Russell Lupins
  • Herbs – Basil, Coriander, Thyme
  • Eggplant – Long Purple, Listada di Gandia
  • Celery
  • Agastache (flowers)
  • Sweet corn – Balinese, Honey and Cream (F1 hybrid), Breakthrough (F1 hybrid)
  • Artichoke
  • Tomatoes – Roma, Principe Borghese, Tommy Toe, Red Fig, Beam’s Yellow Pear, Costoluto Genovese, Green Zebra, Tigerella, Lemon Drop, Cherry Roma, Broad Ripple Yellow Currant, Sugar Lump (RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF TOMATOES!!)

So, I’m overdoing it again but it’s fun.

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Jeff and I after finishing mulching the citrus…phew!