Friday, February 10, 2012
This interactive water feature was a big hit. It provides a platform for making mud-pies, handling wet pebbles and water play.
This double log bridge over a creek allows parents to balance alongside and hold a hand if need be. Here are some benefits of this kind of play from the Kidsafe website.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
I'm excited that our business is featured in November's issue of Australian House & Garden Magazine :
Paving Types : Natural Granite Paving and Cobblestones were used as an inlay to break up a large area of Hanson Imagecrete Exposed in ' Classic Rose '
Retaining Wall : A rendered brick retaining wall was built to create a level area of paving next to the house as a parking spot for a trailer. Dwarf Dianella softens it.
Planting : A three layered garden bed of Dwarf Pittosporum,Viburnum and Flowering Plum Trees . These will grow to screen the neighbour's existing retaining wall.
Play Areas : Having a large family meant plenty of spaces for play was a high priority. We created a stepping stone area as a platform for a large spring-free trampoline.
Alfresco Area : An outdoor kitchen was installed in the back garden, complete with an oven. The steps, screen / feature wall, deck and lighting were all new elements incorporated into this garden renovation. New fencing and a pool area make-over were also part of this project.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Spearwood Alternative School have a very modern and colourful teaching kitchen. The children told us stories about stinging nettles and the exciting plans that they have for their garden.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Easter and Anzac Day were so close together this year that it meant six days break from work. We were invited to spend this time with friends who were staying on a Station near Mt Magnet which is a 6-7 hour drive, North East from Perth.
Meeline Station was originally a sheep farm but is classified as having been in drought for the last 14 years. As a result, farming is no longer viable. These sheep and milking goats are the only ones left. This one is so desperate for some green fodder that it's eating Eucalyptus leaves. They're also quite partial to Bougainvillea shoots from the garden.
With sunsets like this and clear starry skies we didn't miss our TV or Computer screens at all. One night we saw at least six shooting stars. There was also plenty of cooking and eating to be done. We cooked some Hot Cross Buns on an open fire.
Surprisingly there was a fair amount of vegetation for such a dry place. The most noticeable tree was the Bush/Desert Kurrajong - Brachychiton gregorii . There were also some Eucalypts and Sheoaks growing near the homestead.
This Flannel Bush - Solanum lasiophyllum was one of the only native shrubs flowering at the time and it really stood out along the roadsides. In this part of Western Australia it's well and truly survival of the fittest.
Stony ground makes planting a crop out of the question but it does create some nice scenery. Naturally occurring Sandalwood trees have been harvested here in the past. Wild Goats have also been a source of income more recently.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I look after my Nephew on Wednesday afternoons and we usually visit a local park together. We try to visit a different park every week. Last Wednesday it was Millet Park in Innaloo.
This park has a variety of areas to enjoy depending on your chosen activity. There are wide open spaces to run around in or fly a kite, paths for children to ride their bikes, a bbq area, benches for relaxing and there are lots of large shady trees to sit under.
The most popular attraction at this park is its amazing climbing frame. It's an elaborate web of ropes and platforms kids love to get entangled in. There's a listing on A Coffee in the Park in their 'Great Parks, No Coffee ' section. This website's a great resource for choosing a park to visit. Especially if you like coffee!
The City of Stirling won an award for design excellence with this park in 2008. I like the contrasting gravels that draw your eye to this very simple yet effective piece of public art.
The plantings are native, informal and nicely maintained. They fit well with the Eucalypts which I assume were existing. The park appears to be watered by a bore which has unfortunately stained a lot of the new installations. The toilet block could do with some updating. Parking is also an issue with only a couple of designated bays available.
After I'd taken this photo of the bbq my nephew asked me "did it smile?" We had such a good time here that we went back this week. Trying to convince him that it was time to go home was very difficult!
Friday, August 20, 2010
We have a new addition to our family. Her name's Bonnie and she's a 6 month old Chihuahua x Jack Russell. She was adopted from an organisation called SAFE and we can't recommend the experience enough. Prior to bringing her home they conducted a yard inspection to make sure our garden was suitable for a her.
The first obvious danger was our pool. Bonnie needed to learn where the steps are should she fall into the pool when we're not home. Because it's winter at the moment we didn't have the heart to throw her in the freezing water. So in the meantime we put up a temporary bamboo fence to prevent her from gaining access to the pool.
They had a good look at our fences and gates to make sure she couldn't escape. Being a small dog she didn't have much chance of climbing these but we needed to make sure there weren't any small holes she could get through.
Bonnie had been with us for a few days when some not so obvious dangers came to light. I noticed her eating something outside which in itself wasn't unusual as puppies eat everything! On further investigation she had eaten a berry which had fallen from a Cape Lilac tree hanging over our fence. Knowing that these are poisonous I rushed her to the vet who induced vomiting.
While she was at the vet for observation I hastily cut the tree back to prevent any future incidents. The tree was on council land so we reported it to them because we were concerned that it was near a children's playground. It has since been removed.
When I was in the garden I noticed some more berry producing plants that are also toxic. I'd been meaning to remove these Asparagus Ferns for a while because, like the Cape Lilac, it's also a weed. It spreads readily when birds ingest the berries.
If you're wondering if any of the plants in your garden are dangerous to dogs, this is a good website ASPCA.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
We recently spent a week in Sydney to attend a friend's Wedding. It was planned as a holiday but ended up being a working trip due to the amount of work I had at the time. We did find some time to get out and about though. These photos are from our visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.
The simplicity of this bed, a single Mauritian Hemp surrounded by a Succulent caught my eye.
Some Public Art amongst Beach Lilies with yellow Canna Lilies in the background. These seed sculptures were crafted by Bronwyn Oliver in 1999 to commemorate the location of the first farm in Sydney Cove.
A formal hedge bordered Herb Garden. This style of garden is surprising in a public setting and it was attracting a lot of interest on the day.
The gardens not so welcome residents, grey headed Flying Foxes. These animals inhabit the gardens in plague proportions and there are plans to relocate them due to the amount of damage they're doing to the gardens.
Definitely a highlight was Jamie Durie's succulent garden created in 2003 for 'Sydney in Bloom' and donated to the Botanic Gardens trust. I don't think I've ever seen such a varied selection of succulents and cacti in one location. They're planted in and against a stunning steel structure which really sets them off.
A wide flag stoned seat curves around the perimeter of the garden for rest and contemplation. It also helps keep visitors a safe distance from these spiky specimens. I couldn't help feeling a bit sorry for the grounds keepers here. I would want full body armour before tackling any weeds in this garden!