Looking around the house and garden, I feel a great sense of satisfaction. The strawberry patch is flourishing once again and, having given away as much of the excess fruit as possible, I've been using the rest to make strawberry and vanilla bean jam.
Early this morning I planted out tomato seedlings along with corn, cucumber, zucchini, basil and two varieties of lettuce. A local magpie popped in to supervise, just as I turned on the sprinklers. Meanwhile Peter trimmed back the dense Pittosporum hedge overhanging the footpath running along the northern side of the house.
The timber fences have been freshly oiled; and we're just about to paint the stuccoed pillars on the fence surrounding the courtyard. Once that job's done, we'll make a start on the blue/grey stuccoed exterior walls of the house. It shouldn't take too long, because we have vast expanses of glass.
With renovations to the courtyard garden well underway, I have sold my vintage Adirondack chairs, which were falling apart. (The original owners had left them sitting on wet grass under tall trees). Peter repaired them over the years, but sadly the rot had set in. These have been replaced with brightly-coloured resin chairs in the same style. Fortuitously, they were on sale at Aldi during the week. I have teamed them with an outdoor coffee table (resin and in perfect condition) purchased for just $5 AUD at our local tip shop. What a find!
Also gone from the courtyard is the giant swing umbrella. With its five-metre span, heavy-duty steel construction and winch mechanism, it used to take the two of us nearly ten minutes to put it up. While we save up for stylish shade sails, we'll keep the place cool with a smaller cantilever-style market umbrella, bought online at the bargain price of $89 AUD (free delivery).
Home renovations involve long hours and plenty of hard work, but Peter and I can barely wait to see how it all comes together. I think we'll celebrate with a gin and tonic or two... enjoyed in the courtyard.
So, please excuse me dear readers for not posting here on the blog as often as I might like, but there's something kinda wonderful about getting on with life.
Tell me, do you enjoy gardening and home renovating?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.