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Chris 'n' Steffie

Gaming, adventuring, DIY

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Down comes the wall!

Time for the fun part! As it isn’t a supporting wall (we checked!), it was a simple case of working through the wall from top to bottom. We re-wired the electrics so that we still have a functioning light in what was the dining room, and are able to still use the cooker.

Clearing it up was another story. It was a huge job, one of use had a trapped nerve for the past six months, so wasn’t able to do a lot to contribute. We are fortunate to have friends and family who were willing to help with the clear-up!

Lovely original wall colours!

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More extension related things!

With the concrete lorry off of the driveway, more jobs could be completed.

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Such as, putting in the flashing, the guttering, the uPVC boards, wood for the inside of the car port, and cementing in the drainage:

The fire-rated door inbetween the garage and the utility room has been started, as well as the waste for the sinks and washing machines:

The doorway into the kitchen has been moved a foot so that we can fit the new kitchen in:

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Although…

img_20170224_154251using it might be a little bit diffcult!

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Caravan hooks

We used to have a kitchen roll holder in the caravan, but it fell off! Reluctant to put any screws into the wall as the shower cubicle is the other side, we stuck up some hooks instead. Easy!

Garage – holes dug!

Not much footage of the holes being dug, very dark this time of year!

Everything comes at once, the blocks also arrived, so our previously large drive is running out of room rapidly!

Back garden Cull

One of our projects for this summer holiday was the get the back garden in order. Over the 18 months of us owning the house we have tried to keep on top of it but aparently not with enough vigour and as such, it was looking somewhat…bedraggled. The trees and bushes were encroaching on the grass and making the whole garden (which is actually a very reasonable size) look much smaller.

We mostly focused on the left hand side where the flower beds were full of weeds and unwanted plants and the trees and bushes were far too big.

First we re-discovered the dry wall that separates the two parts of the garden:

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Then we worked our way around the corner:

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Now, those first two sections took us an hour each.

Yesterday however, we decided to get a little more serious!

This is how we began the morning…

Sports Camera   Sports Camera

We had three pairs of hands today. Chris ‘pruning’ (more like hacking) the trees and bushes back as much as we dared, Chris’s Mum pulling up weeds and generally being an expert eye so we didn’t kill anything and me on the shredder…for hours! We had piles like this everywhere!

Sports Camera

We uncovered trees that we didn’t even realise existed, found weird and wonderful plants of all sorts and even re-discovered the rockery. We also filled the trailer with mulch!

Sports Camera

It looks awfully barren now but we hope that the bushes will start filling in again, but in the right places, soon. Here is the current look:

Sports Camera   Sports Camera

Driveway Part 2

Now this is the second time I (Steph) have written this blog post. The first time I managed to completely overwrite it with the post about the back garden so hopefully this time I wont make the same mistake.

After having the driveway cleared of grass and semi paved we thought we had better do something with the borders which we decided to keep. Now eventually we would like these to be raised beds with plants and decorative features but until we have the time/money to do that, we wanted to have a somewhat more presentable front view.

BEFORE:IMG_20160528_170133.jpg

From this picture you get an impression of what we wanted to achieve. We wanted rid of all the green here, apart from a few select plants. This includes trying to remove more large bushes and their root systems!

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We started from the left and worked our way around. As well as removing the larger bushes we have removed all the smaller plants. To do this we used a combination of a few tools. First we strimmed the areas with our battery powered strimmer, then (after much research on the right tool for the job) we used our new Dutch hoe to remove the plants just on top of the soil. Combined with our sprung rake to collect all the cuttings, the tools made light and quick work of the clearing. Soon, we had it looking like this: IMG_20160529_173404.jpg

All that remains is a few roses along the front wall, a gorgeous lavender in the corner and a handy rosemary bush in the far right corner.

To further avoid the reappearance of weeds and the plants that were there before,w e also decided to cover the beds with mulch. Again, much research went into finding the best solution of what kind of mulch but eventually we went for medium sized wood chipping. It did take a lot more bags than we expected but they always seem to be included in some sort of multi-buy deal!

AFTER:

Much better! 🙂

Taming the jungle

Don’t get me wrong, our back garden is gorgeous. We have a huge amount of space, mature plants, bushes and trees and even a green house and shed. In our amateur gardeners hands, the garden has become more and more like a jungle since we moved in and what little work we do seems to make little impact. Therefore, we are getting more drastic! It is time to tame the bushes that encroaching further and further into the space.

I started with the back section of the garden, where the greenhouse and shed are. There are paths and stepping stones here that are being eaten by grass and bushes far to big for their own boots!

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This first picture was taken after i had already hacked down a tree that had sprouted up between the shed and greenhouse. You can just see its remains at the bottom of the picture. 20160702_133659

6 hours and 1 green bin full of shredded bushes and trees later, I had made…a slight bit of difference…maybe…kind of….

A newly laid path in front of the shed:

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A rediscovered flower bed beside the greenhouse:

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And a bush with a quite severe haircut:

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Underneath the bush it seems there are actually scalloped flower beds…who knew!

 

This is only the start of a very long journey but I was proud of the little dent I made in the process that day.

Operation Grow!

On receiving a text from a friend that she had spare sugar snap pea plants I decided it was time to see if I would ever be capable of growing our own vegetables. She provided me with 4 small plants that she had grown from seeds and left them in my care…no pressure!

First things first I needed somewhere to plant them. It just so happened that the weekend before the plants arrived, I had been clearing some unwanted plants in the back garden and had created the perfect spot.

I removed the bricks  and mixed the soil with a little that I found in the green house. I also bought some bamboo and garden string and made a little frame to support them as they grew. I popped each at the bottom of a cane and then crossed my fingers with all my might…I am not the best at growing things…I tend to forget the watering part!

Here they are…all set up:

 

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