Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Gems of Chaos

The sweet chaos that is having one's house renovated...

Yucca recurvifolia
Chaos - that's possibly the best word to describe our lifestyle at the moment. Or perhaps the word 'disrupted' as we modify our usual routines to adapt living in a house that is currently lacking in facilities, and surroundings, both in and out of the house strewn with mess, dust, and building materials.

You wouldn't want to walk with thin soled footwear in our garden at the moment...
Who says the road to beauty and order is always convenient, neat, and tidy anyway? Heaps of sacrifices now will eventually pay dividends once all the building works have been done, with the end results of it we are both very excited about. Something to look forward to and sees us through as we currently live through chaos, albeit a self inflicted one.

So how extensive is the work ongoing in our house at the moment? This will give you some clue.
The patio nearest to our house, by virtue of being the closest to where all the work is happening is looking chaotic too. With plants living along side a myriad of debris, rubble, and building materials, gone are the aspirations of making this area neat and tidy for this summer. Rather, the goal for now is to just keep as many plants in this area as healthy and individually looking good as possible. Besides, once all the house work is done (and the affected areas of the garden tidied up at least from the fire we had last month) this patio will receive a makeover soon to tie it in with the changes in the house.

The past, present, and future of the top patio...
But despite the chaos and the minimal attention we've been giving the garden and plants, it's still wonderful to see most of them doing so well and looking good even if they are not displayed in an aesthetic sort of way (rather very functional). The gems of chaos I call them...

A pair of potted Magnolia dealbata
Brahea armata
Euphorbia 'Portuguese Velvet'
Lindera macrophylla
From bare, leafless trunks to lush in two months. So glad they flushed again this year - Cycas revoluta
Knickers the poser
An accidental border of exotics
Left - Farfugium 'Bumpy Ride'', Right -  Farfugium 'Argenteum'
The red poles will make its final appearance this year
A pair of Pyrossia sheareri
Brachyglottis repanda.....
Such gorgeous leaves don't you think so?
Summer haze...
Our priorities are understandably in the house at the moment but we're glad to see that most of the plants are happily getting on just fine despite the bare minimum attention we've been giving them. The warm, sunny days interspersed with heavily rainy days certainly helps and makes it easier for us in maintaining the garden too with the little spare time we currently have. 

Oh and a little preview....


Mark :-)

34 comments :

  1. I can understand your frustration with the chaos, I've had work done on a previous house in the past. But of course, our houses here in the U.S. are almost all constructed of wood. Is yours all brick construction? Adding on to a brick house is a much more complicated proposition than adding on to a wooden one. Here sometimes we do brick veneer. My husband is a Brit and my in-laws had a brick house. I remember my FIL being astounded that we lived in wooden houses here, he thought it was a dreadful fire hazard. I hope your chaos doesn't last too much longer.

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    1. Hi Alison, most of the houses here are indeed constructed using bricks, mortar, and concrete blocks. I think it's mainly because it just evolved to be the traditional way of building houses here. And with so many old properties any extensions and alterations are best done using the same materials. The use of wood and glass are increasing though especially with more modern materials and insulation more readily available unlike before.

      I'm aware that most houses in the US are built mainly with wood and it works just fine :) I think the fire risks between wooden and brick built are in reality just the same. Yes, adding and altering brick built structures is more complicated and messier hence the disruptions to our routines. But we're both so looking forward to the finished product!

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  2. Out of chaos...will come splendor. I wouldn't exactly call yours self-inflicted, but what a good idea to take advantage of it to make your place even better. What, by the way, ARE those gorgeous leaves? Of course I agree!

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    1. We hope so Ricki :) It's a shame Brachyglottis repanda is not hardy enough to be permanently planted out in our garden but it does make for a good potted specimen!

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  3. The plants and cats look happy despite the chaos. Hope you get through all of this inconvenience quickly!

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  4. Wow, so many changes going on in your lives right now. I can't imagine dealing with the aftermath of the fire then diving into a major renovation. All the plants are looking very happy though. Can't wait to see the final renovations.

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    1. Us too Deanne :) The house renovation has been planned, with the fire an unwanted coincidence. But focus will remain on the house. Once it's mostly sorted we can pay attention to repairing the fire damage to our garden.

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  5. You have a lot on your plate for sure. Are you changing the house because of the fire or was that already planned? The plants are looking great!

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    1. Hi Candice! The house renovation was planned and was ongoing already when the fire had happened in the garden which we weren't expecting at all. An unwanted coincidence rather. Still focus remains on the house for now :)

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  6. Sure it is messy for a while. But all of a sudden it all falls into place and your new home starts taking shape by leaps and bounds. Hang in there - exciting times are coming your way!

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    1. Indeed and thank you! We're excited!!

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  7. Any old excuse to live like a pair of pigs for a while :-) It will be all over by Christmas.

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    1. LOL!!! Well we're hoping it'll be much earlier than that :)

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  8. What I really meant to say was what a superb choice of unusual plants, which have given me a few hours of Googling. Even amongst all the chaos there is beauty.

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    1. Plants are great things aren't they? :)

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  9. Oh I remember reno's like that. The cleaning afterwards goes on for months taking that long for the dust to finish settling, but it was worth it. This has been a really crazy year, even for you guys that always have something going on. The plants are doing well fortunately.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Ahh the madness of it all Cher! And yes you're right about the cleaning, there's so much to do we know it will go on for months afterwards...

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  10. You guys are going through an insane number of changes! It's good to know that our plant friends will wait patiently for the time when we have more time for them. That sneak preview is tantalizing! Such a gorgeous light-filled space you'll have!

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    1. Thanks Peter! It's all a bit mad and manic here at the moment but it'll be worth it in the end :)

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  11. Very nice of you to sneak that preview shot in at the end, so lovely! I can't wait to see how the house renovations turn out. Are you touching any of the space out front? Where you were thinking of adding some landscaping?

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    1. Thanks Loree :) Yes the front will receive some makeover too, first with the addition of a porch then later on, perhaps late this year or early next some metal railings to demarcate the boundary. There is very little space at the front as you've seen but we'll keep some blue pots there just to have some greenery (and it's a good place to grow succulents too, perhaps).

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  12. Very soon the renovations will be completed and you'll hardly remember the process (sort of like the tendency to forget the pain of delivering a baby). And, in your case, the associated chaos seems to produce some great ideas for future plant pairings!

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    1. Thanks Kris! So looking forward to getting to that stage. Although we're enjoying the process of the makeover, you also get those moments when you'd rather have all the conveniences already set up.

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  13. You two have the best attitudes; it's not easy living through a reno, let alone with a fire. Your garden looks beautiful and I can't wait to see the final result!

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    1. Thanks Heather! The end result keeps us going :)

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  14. I am in awe of the determination and positivity you both have, it really is quite inspirational. Hats off to you boys!

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  15. Makes our kitchen/hall/dining room chaos seem positively tame in comparison, and that is more than enough for me, I admire your fortitude! Will be worth it all I have no doubt, and look forward to seeing the results (assuming you share any of them). Wonder if you will come up with some new planting combinations with all your plants in pots all jumbled together avoiding the building materials? Amazing how healthy they all look, catwalk queens down amongst the dust and dirt, still strutting their stuff.

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    1. Thanks Janet! Your last sentence made me smile :) Funny enough yes, I was looking at some of the planting combinations that resulted just by chance with the pots all jammed together, we picked up a few ideas from it!

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  16. Having lived through several house renovations (and I'm sure with more to come), I sympathize Boys. It's the dust that depresses me most - it just gets everywhere. Bed linen included. D

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    1. Tell me about it David! Constant vacuuming is needed...

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  17. Oh green, green, green with envy, a conservatory, can't wait to see what else is going on. Would love one of those but might find we 'cook' in it inthe summer being directly south facing.
    Can I ask please what do you feed your cycas revoluta?

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    1. Thanks Libby! The conservatory is north facing so hopefully shouldn't get too hot there in the summer (no need for blinds too). We give our cycads a high nitrogen liquid feed in the spring then water it loads to encourage them to flush :)

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