-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Monday, March 24, 2008

latest cottage floorplans

Da da... we have more floorplans. The only difference from the previous set is the addition of the profile drawings at the top showing the view from all 4 sides. I really like it, so unless Dad finds something that needs to change, we're now *almost* ready to go ahead with permit applications. At last!!!

New vs existing floor plans:

Cottage - new floorplan
Cottage -existing floorplan

Profile drawings of the house:

Cottage - East Elevation

Cottage - North elevation

Cottage - West elevation

Cottage - South elevation

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ebay win: Victorian plant stands

Anyone who's read my post about the iron gallery at the V&A will know I love wrought iron.

It's so hard to find nice pieces of metalwork these days that don't cost a fortune, so when I saw these planters come up on Ebay I couldn't resist. Even better it turned out they were just up the road from Mum's house, so collection was not a hassle. That's fate. :-)

victorian plant stands

From the Ebay description:

These Victorian Metal Plant Stands were purchased from an estate auction of furniture from a large Victorian homestead in NSW approx 15 yrs ago. ...

Both the planters are complete, however, one does need to have an underneath section re-welded, but the part is complete & unbroken, just the join has come adrift. Although not in pristine condition (see photos) they are original & haven't been touched. There is surface rust present & discolouration of the metal due to age &/or weather. I'm definitely not an expert & I'm not sure what type of metal it is, but I'd guess cast iron or similar, as they are quite heavy for their size.

In all my travels to auctions, antiques shops, antique fairs, clearing sales etc, I've only ever seen one other pair. These had been painted & repaired, but the price was astronomical - well over $2,000. I have no doubt that someone with a bit of knowledge & time could do these planters up beautifully & make more than a tidy profit if they wished, but due to illness & time constraints, I'm sadly unable to do so myself... Anyway, my loss is your gain! Enjoy owning a piece of history!

Measurements are as follows: 80cm H x 31.5cm across the top x 95cm circumference at the widest point.

Here's some more photos showing the detailing. I quite like the rust and colouring - it shows they've had a life - so any repairs we do will be with a very light touch and structural only or to stop further deterioration. I'm not intending to paint them.

victorian plant stand: bottom Victorian plant stand: top part

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

water bottles for trees

Both Dave and my birthdays are coming up in April, and Mum asked what present we wanted. So, I immediately thought of Amherst and suggested a lemon tree for the orchard.

But of course, lemon trees need a lot of water, far more than the others in the orchard. So I came up with an ingenious solution. Why not give any ultra-thirsty trees their own little water butts set on a drip feed going right under the soil? It wouldn't be lost to evaporation that way and they'd be able to have as much water as they wanted then provided the water butts were big enough.

I looked on Ebay and - tada - the perfect solution. Old olive barrels already fitted up with taps and in a fetching terracotta colour that won't look too out of place:

old olive barrel

This is the description from Ebay:

This 190L Rainwater/Greywater barrel has a brand new 1/2 inch garden tap fitted. It is ideal to store water for the garden. It features an open top 2 piece lid . The lid has a hole in the centre and it and comes with a sink plug to stop the mozzies from getting in. In a former life this drum held olives and I have rinsed and leak tested it. The drum after rinsing retains a slight smell of olives but this will go in time.

During Melbourne's recent rain, using these type of drum/ tanks I caught 700 litres of water off a 6m x 4m shed. I then used the water to wash clothes and used the greywater to water the garden. This drum could also be used to catch the water dripping from your air conditioner or you could catch the overflow from your rainwater tank.

Tank Size approx 900 x 550mm.
Lid size 320mm diameter

We bought three of them and Mum liked them so much she bought two more for herself. I plan to just prop them up on bricks next to each tree that needs extra cosseting, they'll look quite cute. :-)