Isn’t it amazing how you get used to the sound of technology? The house is so quiet, (well it would be if there weren’t elephants clomping all over the roof and gnomes with hammers mining beneath my floor boards.) The power is off while they upgrade my mains to support my power habit. Apparently it is unreasonable of me to want to be warm, have hot water AND run a computer at the same time as I cook dinner. It was unheard of in 1950 of course – when we moved in there was one power point in each room and none at all in the bathroom. I remember being very surprised to see Dad shaving in the bedroom – he had a newfangled electric razor, something this house was obviously never expected to see. Suddenly I’m cut off from the world (for several hours they predict.) Of course I’m sitting here on the couch with the laptop on my lap typing posts, but still there is a slight sense of being unable to do anything. I need to phone the parents of an old school friend – but I need the electronic white pages to look up the number (heaven forbid I actually try reading through the paper copy sitting on the floor behind me.) I could I suppose look it up on my mobile, but I’m not paying mobile rates to call them, and… all the phones in the house are dead.
I had a huge list of things to do while waiting for paint to dry (I put the third coat on the floors today, so half of the house is a no go zone.) But I can’t mow – it keeps spitting with rain. I can’t sort the shedlet because they are pulling the circuit box apart and that is right outside the shedlet. I can’t pack up the study or empty my wardrobe because they are drilling and hammering into those walls and it’s not pleasant. So I’m sitting here, staring at the view that will soon be my everyday view – the Mountain, my garden. After so many years of living at the front and side of the house it will be strange to be at the back. This view, which I love is almost a full 180⁰ mountain panorama. (Except at the moment a few of my trees are a bit overgrown – lopping them was supposed to be someone else’s problem when I thought I’d be selling the house so they haven’t been touched for the last couple of years. Guess whose problem they are now!)
I’ve been meaning to start a Tuesday Tour on this blog, and I guess the reason I haven’t yet is I couldn’t decide where to start. Since the house is currently a disaster area (electricians are the messiest tradies) I think I’ll start with the backyard. I can’t imagine living without a view of ‘the mountain’. If you want to know what the weather will do look at the mountain. If it’s wet it’s raining, if it’s covered in snow it is cold, if it’s swaying it’s an earthq… ok, no, really, most of our weather comes up over the Mt, so we seriously can predict a great deal from what clouds are hanging around it. But really, just watching the play of light and cloud across it is mesmerising. I haven’t been in the habit of coming out to look at it in the mornings, and I must say I’m looking forward to having a bedroom window that will show me the weather before I get dressed.
So, welcome to my back garden. On the right the fence extends down beside the unit, then through the next house and finishes at the highway – a walkway access, not big enough for a vehicle unfortunately. I have great plans for this garden now I own it. Because if the sideways design of the house the back door is actually closer to the front fence, and the front door is closer to the clothesline, but neither of them lead you into the back garden. So it really has never been used. It’s very nice to sit inside and look at, but bbqs etc in it are impractical and tend to gather in the front. So I want to break it up into some ‘rooms’. I figure I can make some little paved and even roofed nooks to sit in with a laptop or a book (going to have a heap of students living here). I also want to be able to drive into the back to deliver soil, mulch and remove green prunings etc. At present every bit has to be hand wheelbarrowed from the front…and it’s a long garden. However to do that it looks like I need to sacrifice the mock orange on the right. I’ll have plenty of plants to regrow, but it will take a while to get to the size it is now. I’ll have to reconsider it once it is not in bloom, at the moment I’m inclined to say ‘who really needs vehicular access?” (I DO!!!) The other thing that needs to move or change is the Hills Hoist. Lots of ideas spinning (haha) around in here at the moment. One big problem is much of the yard is shaded, either by trees or the units next door. The best drying spots put it in the middle of the best views – the main reason I want to move it. Secondly it is currently in the best place to put a vegetable garden. Of course I can’t move it too close to trees or gardens, it can’t be too shaded, it needs to be fairly accessible to the doors (which are on the wrong sides of the house…) So far the only really useful thought I’ve had is that a) it doesn’t have to be a rotary clothes line, a retractable would work just as well and b) I could put it in the middle of the ‘drive’ area that I’m creating – I’m not going to be driving down more than once or twice a year and the poles could be removable. So, back to the trees. There’s a few bottlebrush, a variegated xmas bush and a golden conifer (all of which may go…) on the left hand fence as you come past the house. Then there’s Nanna’s wisteria photo added of it in flower last year). The original is still growing at the house where my father was born, the story is that it was given to my grandmother as a wedding present, brought out by a sea captain from China especially for her. (I’d love to get it DNA tested in comparison to the one in the Botanical gardens (1857 planted I think) and the one in Kew gardens from which most in cultivation in the pioneer times were supposed to have come.) Then the past veggie beds, now full of flowers and, temporarily, some vegetables. I tossed a heap of old seeds in last Winter and it’s amazing what has come up. Sweet peas, cosmos, larkspur, beetroot, carrots.
Then the red dogwood, maple and horizontal viburnum in what is known as the peninsula bed. Conifer corner behind them, a NZ lacebark beside the tallllll almond, then a variegated liriodendron (tulip tree), a cantua (pink bell flowers), a dark leafed viburnum, the lemon tree and a bunch of buddleias and things on the right hand side including the mass of white of the mock orange and a white flowering cherry.
Now, where can I fit a summer house?