Wednesday, April 30, 2008

a work in progress

Ha! I bet you all thought I had skipped town. Would have been nice, but, alas, that was not the case. I've been here all the time. Just had other stuff to do. You know how it is. Wow, I can hardly believe it - as of tomorrow we'll have been living in this house for 13 whole years. Tomorrow is also a public holiday (Labour Day, Ascension Day and Father's Day all rolled into one neat package this year) so we'll be relaxing out on the terrace if the weather is fine.

Mr. M. finished off said terrace back in March and somehow ended up with a big pile of dirt that needed to be moved somewhere. And because he just can't leave well enough alone, and also because even after 13 years, this place STILL isn't finished, he announced that he was going to think about a new solution for the rain barrels and maybe build a few steps on that slippery slope leading down the barbeque. Little did I know that it would take 500 kg (no joke) of cement and an awful lot of elbow grease on his part to complete this task. But he loves stuff like this, in fact he says he often dreams about moving to Oregon and making a living as a handyman. Hmm, yeah, I'd be in to that. Just need to rustle up a couple of green cards.

Anyway, here's how it looked starting out.

As I mentioned, where the stairs are now there used to be a dusty, steep path leading down to the dark and dismal place where we keep the barbeque and other assorted gardening junk. You really needed to watch your step to keep from slipping but somehow we never did anything about it. Until now.

Here you can see a pile of the flat stones he used to create the steps.

Halfway done...

Finally! A decent place to park the barbeque.

Almost finished...

If you squint you can see the lids of the rain barrels in the back of the photo. We have four in this location and two more at the front of the house and since we do get a lot of rain here, we mostly use that to water the garden. The barrels used to be above ground, so to speak, and were pretty much in the way and not all that attractive, so Mr. M moved them and made them their own little wall to hide behind.

Ta daa!

Well, OK, not quite ta daa. The grass still needs to fill in at the bottom of the last step and it's my job to plant all those flowers in pretty pots and create a pleasing arrangement. We decided to extend the stairs around that curve because nothing grew under the big tree anyway and this way we can have a lot more colour and variety. It's not officially planting time yet in Germany, there's still danger of frost, but what the hey, eh? Nothing like living dangerously.

So what have YOU been up to?

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At April 30, 2008 2:27 p.m., Blogger Maribeth said...

Oh I totally love it, Mausi! It's beautiful! Does he want to come here and do something like that for me?

At April 30, 2008 2:27 p.m., Anonymous ian in hamburg said...

Wonderful the way you presented the whole job in such a way that we could see it develop before our eyes. Enjoy May 1 in your new and improved surroundings!

At April 30, 2008 2:43 p.m., Blogger Alison said...

That looks so beautiful! You'll have to post some update pics when everything is in full bloom :)

At April 30, 2008 3:48 p.m., Blogger swissmiss said...

Wow that looks fantastic! Did the boys help out - seems like it would have been a fun "guy project."

At April 30, 2008 5:44 p.m., Blogger Maria said...

I would tell you what I've been up to, but now I am embarrassed by my total lack of production of anything that has physical presence. LOL! You did a great job!

At April 30, 2008 8:32 p.m., Blogger Thimbleanna said...

Oh my gosh! What a lot of work!!! It's just beautiful -- I'll bet you just love it. Do you just sit out there and admire the handywork??? What a great project!

At April 30, 2008 11:06 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I can't even begin to tell you how impressed I am, Christina! That is a true work of art and you can tell Mr. M I said so!!!

At May 01, 2008 1:21 a.m., Blogger illahee said...

it's beautiful. maybe your husband can come out to japan and finish our garden? no? ah well. :)

i've been waiting for spring. looks like this year is going to be one of those winter-right-into-summer years.

At May 01, 2008 2:05 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

rain barrel projects are a specialty of Aquabarrel - have your guy take a look at - you will find downspout filters, downspout diverters, first flush device from Australia....

At May 01, 2008 2:27 a.m., Blogger Laura said...

I'm so impressed! I love it when house stuff gets "checked off the list"! I'm sure this must have been a biggie on your house list. It looks wonderful.

At May 01, 2008 10:52 a.m., Blogger J said...

That looks fantastic!

At May 01, 2008 12:54 p.m., Blogger Michelle said...

I'm impressed! Looks great!

At May 01, 2008 8:03 p.m., Blogger TheElementary said...

Love the garden, and am really enjoying the blog as a new reader.

At May 01, 2008 9:37 p.m., Blogger Silvia said...

Awesome! Can I borrow your hubby for some projects here? He must be a genius!!!

At May 01, 2008 9:48 p.m., Anonymous amy said...

that looks wonderful!

i live in Oregon and have a yard that needs LOTS of help - so come on out! : )

At May 02, 2008 3:20 a.m., Blogger Rositta said...

You could always get him to go to Vancouver? It's a little like Oregon isn't it? Garden is beautiful...ciao

At May 02, 2008 11:09 p.m., Blogger Di Mackey said...

Love it ... congratulations!

At May 03, 2008 7:44 p.m., Blogger Mar said...

He did a wonderful job, it looks beautiful!!

At May 04, 2008 10:06 a.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

WOW... What a difference! Excellent job. Can't wait to see the final result once you've made the flower arrangements :)

At May 04, 2008 4:02 p.m., Blogger Betty said...

Oh , please, on your way to Oregon, stop here. I have 2 acres that need a little something. It's just gorgeous.

At May 05, 2008 2:23 p.m., Blogger Diane Mandy said...

Oh my! It looks really really lovely!

At May 06, 2008 4:40 a.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Been late reading blogs lately. I absolutely love it too! It's so beautiful, wonderful and really reminds me of a bit like what your parent's place looks like. I can see why you would like to do something like this. And the bird houses etc. How cool!!!

At May 07, 2008 12:12 p.m., Blogger swenglishexpat said...

Christina - Time well spent, and Mr M is a very handy man by the looks of it. I am sure you have displayed those flowers in the most elegant way in the garden by now. :-)

At May 07, 2008 11:11 p.m., Blogger christina said...

maribeth - I'm sure he'd love to! You have such a beautiful piece of property.

ian - Thanks! Mr M wanted to have some pictures for posterity so I took quite a few.

alison - Things are moving along quickly now and everything will be in full bloom soon.

swissmiss - Boy15 helped a lot since he's almost as tall and strong as his dad now.

maria - Yeah, I always seem to get stuck with the work that gets undone in three seconds flat and needs to be done over again. Oh to be a construction worker, eh?

thimbleanna - We do love it! It has really brightented up the whole area and we don't have to worry about wiping out any more. :-)

ginnie - Thank you! I told him and he was very pleased.

illahee - Just send a plane ticket and he'll be there! I don't think we'll ever be finished here but we're trying.

laura - It was actually a spontaneous project, but we're SO happy to have it done now.

J - Thanks! You should visit some time and check it out.

michelle - Thank you! I'm impressed too. All I could do was stand by and watch. :-)

theelementary - Thank you so much for visiting. Always nice to have new readers.

silvia - A genius, eh? LOL. I'm sure he'd love to hear that. He just loves building stuff and is pretty handy at it.

amy - I'll send him over right away. :-)

rositta - Well, he liked to dream, but he's actually terrified of moving anywhere, so we'll see.

di - Thanks! We've been enjoying it so much with all this great weather.

mar - Thank you! He's moving on to new projects now.

cswiss - Yes, now I'm all "MUST go to garden center and buy more flowers right away!"

betty - We could build a wall to keep out the gators!

diane - Thanks! I just keep going out and walking up and down the stairs. :-)

expat - Thanks! Yeah, it does kind of look like my parents place, doesn't it? I guess he must have been thinking of that when he had the idea.

swenglish - Yes, he can fix or build most anything and I'm really grateful for that. Still working on the flowers!


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