Reno Update (20/4/09)

We spent a few hours on Sunday afternoon removing a lemon tree, pruning the frangipani and fairy trees, pulling heaps of weeds and running loads of garden waste/prunings through the mulcher.  We also planted some corn, zucchini, tomato, chive and strawberry plants as part of our re-landscaping the front gardens.  We had beautifully landscaped gardens prior to the drought, but didn’t seem to have the heart to re-start the process once we had the water to use (we lost several thousands of dollars worth of plants, as well as over 30 rose bushes some of which were very rare).  We decided as part of the Reno that we would also make-over the front gardens by removing all small non-edible plants (except gingers, emperors and two roses), keeping most of the larger plants (lychee, mandarine, palms, frangipani and fairy tree to stay, jasmines to go), add some pathways that are rustic and low maintenance, plant as many edible fruits and vegies as possible to fill the other areas and add some extra little fun niches and hidy-holes for the kids imaginations to run wild (they already have concrete animals, mini-ponds and kid-sized passages).  Eventually we are going to replace the current bridge beam retaining walls with block walls that will match the house and the feel of the gardens (not in the budget yet).  Anyway we made a start and here are some pics of the results so far.
Some harsh pruningTomato and ChivesCorn, Zucchini and Strawberries

We are aiming to reduce the size of our Carbon Footprint with everything we do in this Reno with recycling, solar power, smart air-conditioning, insulation, pool covers, sustainability and the garden changes of course.

We have received the corrected plans that are very interesting and have already generated some great builders quotes.  The solar and air-conditioning are still in the quote stage, but we are happy with the verbal quotes so far.  The pool is on order and the floor coverings have been decided upon.  We may be changing our mind about painting ourselves at this stage as we are having trouble getting the time off together to achieve such a big job.  We should be starting the construction some time next month (fingers crossed) and Quentin has even got the OK from the Crane company for their part of the job – don’t ask as it sounds really silly but saving us two weeks, a lot of potential damage to the entertainment area and about $2000.

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