All hands on deck

The deck has inched its way towards being done. In fact it is all but done. A few aesthetic touches to go, possibly a weatherboard or more and a second coat of paint and then all complete. πŸ™‚

I wrote about the deck back in early July (see my post here) and works continued apace, a few hours each day until finally we are at the point where plants are in place and things are looking really good. The bricks for the rocket stove remain stacked inside the house until I find a large bucket of motivation and time in which to move them into their final resting place, build the rocket stove and mud it all up. It’s not going to be a small job but it is one, given what my kids got up to yesterday, that we will all enjoy. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, without further ado, here are some photos of the deck.

The silly creatures making a mess on my back deck.

Open deck with wires for a fence. Wires my monkeys continually stood on which made them loose and unsafe.

IMG_4808

Lots of room underneath for cold air, hens and children. Lots of mess on top too.

That’s before. Now…

It's still incomplete but you can get the idea for sure.

It’s still incomplete but you can get the idea for sure. The mess has simply migrated at this point.

All the windows were salvaged as was the corrugated iron we had put up a while back to stop escapees and cold air.

All the windows were salvaged as was the corrugated iron we had put up a while back to stop escapees and cold air.

As you can see, access under the house is far less easy. We’ve noticed the difference with less access for theΒ cold air of winter, although to be fair it could also be due to the insulation under the floors, in the walls and ceilings too.

We have also had the roof painted (did you notice πŸ˜‰ ) as the lighter colour will reflect the sun a lot more in summer and hopefully help keep the house at least a little cooler. Outside 40Β°C, inside 39Β°C was a little too much to handle last summer. 😦

The inside of the deck is still a “busy” place but now, most of the “clutter” is green. πŸ˜‰

My mango seedling that I grew from the pip from a shop purchased mango. I know they don't like our climate here but even if it never fruits, it looks mighty pretty and I have nothing to lose to give it a go right?

My mango seedling that I grew from the pip from a shop purchased mango. I know they don’t like our climate here but even if it never fruits, it looks mighty pretty and I have nothing to lose to give it a go right?

I had to move the banana up tot he deck as the frosts once again toasted it in the greenhouse. The inside of the trunk is still green though so I have a little hope for its recovery.

I had to move the banana up tot he deck as the frosts once again toasted it in the greenhouse. The inside of the trunk is still green though so I have a little hope for its recovery.

Once the repotted avocados decide whether they wish to live or die I can work out a little more what goes where. I have the lids from those bins to plant with my pineapples which will hang out of range of walking in to their prickly leaves and I hope to trellis up my piper nigrum (pepper vine) and vanilla orchid soon too. I hope to make the whole back deck a verdant passive solar greenhouse to help modify the temperature of the house. πŸ™‚ In summer we have many windows to open and I hope to install some trellises outside too up which I hope to grow a choko if I can find one and sprout it in time for spring.

Inside also provides a great warm and dry area to dry clothes in winter or when the weather is a little to inclement and I now have a place to store those pesky clothes racks too. πŸ™‚

It’s all experimentation but it sure is fun. πŸ™‚

 

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14 thoughts on “All hands on deck

  1. Jo says:

    Gosh, you guys are pushing on. It must be spring fever! It will be so great to have a ‘conservatory’ for all your tropical plant experiments!

  2. foodnstuff says:

    The deck looks amazing! You’ve done so much work!! You won’t know yourselves next winter

    • We’re already feeling the difference in temperature in the house. It heats up on the deck quite a bit and that’s translated into letting the fire go out inside. πŸ™‚ it might not make much difference in winter as it is now but with the rocket stove going out there… πŸ™‚

  3. narf77 says:

    Awesome job even if your builders appear to have gone as slow as slugs for the most part πŸ˜‰ Love the new look, very integrated and more Ballan then tropical Queensland (which, lets face it…you aint!). We temperate critters need to learn our boundaries but when it comes to things like mangoes etc. its all about mass planting. The more “stuff” that mango has around it, the better chance it has of not only growing, but fruiting as well. Check out Jackie French’s book “The Wilderness Garden”. She is growing in conditions not too far removed from ours and she has tropical fruit in her food forest. It’s all about testing the waters, pushing out the boat and checking the blurred edges and you, Ms Hippy, appear to be doing them all! Well done on that boundless energy. I need an injection of it. When you find out what it is that you are eating/doing, let us all know as you could bottle it and sell it to your less mojo fortunate mates πŸ˜‰

    • Mass planting won’t work here outside. It’s just too cold. However, some underplanting of said mangoes inside the atrium/deck/conservatory won’t hurt any. I’m thinking coriander for starters. πŸ™‚

      • narf77 says:

        Good idea but Jackie French lives where it snows but I think the secret there is that she has a bit of land to play with and enough room to create a largish food forest that forms it’s own biomass/ecology and protects the more sensitive fruits in the middle with the more hardy fruits on the outside. Coriander is delish. You either hate it or love it. Stevie-boy HATES it…I adore it πŸ™‚

        • Coriander is the BESTEST! πŸ˜€ Love it here too and Martin and the kids do too. πŸ™‚
          The banana IS alive too so I’ll underplant it today I think. πŸ˜€

          • narf77 says:

            I wish I could send you my banana…poor thing is on it’s own in the glasshouse and has survived for 3 years here now on nothing but the odd drizzle of water when I remember to water it

    • Ballan has a winter climate pretty much the same as London. Summer’s are hotter of course but the winters are pretty similarly cold like London apparently.

  4. Lynda D says:

    It does look good (I’ve seen it and walked it people) and i love the different height windows. It adds interest. So much going on at Chateau Twinn.

    • A lot has been going on that’s for sure but a huge amount of it has been work from the hands of others. It felt really good to get in and dig around in the garden the other day as that was work that I did with my own hands. Owning that work feels so good! πŸ™‚

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