Garden Before and In-between Shots

Planting out a garden is primarily an exercise in patience.   Only the very rich and greatly assisted can create an instant amazing garden.  For the rest of us it takes planning, patience and time.  Lots of time. 

I posted about this last time year about the wonderful Apace nursery from which I bought a load of cheap Australian native tubestock to plant in our laneway.  They were tiddly little sprigs of nothing at the time so I thought I should update to show how they have progressed.   I've actually had to cut this all back heaps already because they have been growing lilke billy-oh.

Below is garden bed I planted out in about November with succulents etc.  Every single  plant in here was either a cutting gift from a friend or someone who is not a friend but who's plants hang over their fences.  I know the proper names of virtually no plants, but never forget a gorgeous plant I've seen.  I'm so envious of the brains of people who can casualy drop some latin name of  the plant they happen to be standing next to. 

There's still a way to go here, for all that creeping purple leaf stuff to take off over winter and fill in all the gaps. 

These clay pipes came out of the building site when they took down the old washouse.  They don't make em like that any more.  Today pipes are all white plastic and look like they will last about six months.

Now that summer is well and truly over it is time to start planting again here in Perth.  I might be a bit over zealous, planting into a building site that will still see plenty of clumpy boots and choc milk cartons, but I've bunged in some more Apace tubestock down the side of the new side extension. 

There is a coastal salty-sagey-looking thing in there, and in beween is 'Running Postman' which will creep around and cover all that ground.  Now that's one name that is hard to forget, what a lovely image Running Postman counjours, which also has little letter-box-red flowers.    I planted some last year, this is what it looks like after 12 months.

My garden design principals are to get stuff in that will grow in the place of weeds, with minimum water or effort.  Once that is achieved there is time for fancy smancy flowers etc.  And maybe learning the names of them too.


Brian Clopper eat your heart out

The extension walls are up and suddenly there is a sea of brickwork in our backyard.  Which is good, because at one point I was about to go and do a bricklaying course as we could not find a bricklayer for love or money.  Both of which I'm feeling a bit low on at the moment after the recent trials in our renovation experience.  But find a team we did, and they have done rather a fine job I believe.  They have also been OK with working around our Victorian steel windows from England, which have caused a bit of head scratching.  Here are some pictures.

Our project is somewhat different to most of the building work that has been going on in this neck of the woods over the past years.  Most brick buildings are constructed with midis (get me with my brickie speak) and then rendered to give a flat finish.  We have built with quite a lot of face brick (or exposed brick) both inside and out.   Once the second storey (not brick) is up the brickwork will hopefully be not quite so inyaface.  Otherwise we run the risk of being referenced to the work of Brian Clopper. who was a very successful architect in Perth in the 1970s through to the 1990s.  No offence to Brian, I really like his buildings with their earthy tones and rustic materials, but when the modernist resurgence hit domestic design in the 1990s anything that looked like this immediately became a bit daggy and dated.

Brian Klopper’s Raphael Street townhouses.

But I bet there will be more of Brian's buildings still standing in 100 years time than some of the stuff going up today, mark my words. 

 Hopetoun Terrace House (1983).
Anyway, they say fashion is cyclical and hopefully we are pioneers in relaunching a more rustic and earthy (meets victorian industrial colliding with 21st century utilitarian) feel.   Reading that I realise we are sailing dangerously close to the seasick winds of design dog's breakfast, but I like to think passing by and through into the calm waters of contemporary classic.

In the blood

I wrote last about our experience at the swapmeet, in an attempt to relieve our home of a slither of the pile of vintage tatt I've spent (happy) years collecting.   I've vowed, no more opshopping.  Or maybe just a remission.

The lady over the road died last year and a new guy, Colin, has moved into her house.  It is a fantastic mid century 60s house with basement carport, lots of built in teak cabinets and wood pannelling.  He's a nice enough guy but has no appreciation of the period details that I love and is gradually 'modernising' it, perish the thought.  He's starting with replacing all the bakelite light switches. 

We've just had our regular council verge collection, or  'bring out your dead' as I like to call it.   I had to stop when I came home the other day via Colin's house and noticed these canisters he was in the process of putting on the verge.

Colin!  Those are collectable!  I said, followed quickly with the assurance that of course I don't covet things like that and would not be requiring them.  But I do have a friend who might like them.  That will be my alter ego that still can't overide vintage scavenger gene.

Well, there is a  bit of space up in the loft now, so maybe I can just find somewhere to stash them.  Interestingly, of the selection of things that we did actually get rid of at the carboot was four cannisters very similar to this.

And when I got the home and gave them a clean... what do you know, a bonus unopened bag of flour.   Can the day get any better?