Archive for the 'The Jungle' Category

Sunflower Living Playhouse – Demolition Free Zone

I thought I would forget for a moment about the demolition at the house and have a look around the garden – OK I will have to ignore the fact that the garden is currently being used as a dumping ground with excuses such as ‘burning pile’ and ‘dirt for fill’ and ‘yeah – about that’ being bandied around – but I am trying not to note the rising of blood pressure and focus on the pretty things – like my Sunflower, Sweet Pea, and Borage living playhouse that I made/grew for the bubs.

The living playhouse - in the beginning...

The living playhouse is about the burst into life!

Sunflowers, Sweet Peas and Borage - living playhouse a la Pump house cottage

Sunflowers and Sweet Peas in the living playhouse

Stars of the living playhouse

OK, so the fact that the bubs are completely disinterested in playing in it is not going to put me off doing it again. Next time I will plant my Sunflowers out earlier and plan a reinforcing system so the wind doesn’t win.  Have to say that the Sweet Peas using the Sunflowers for a climbing frame is awesome, and fragrant and inspired! And the Borage was free-range but seemed to fit the bill. The overall affect was quite ‘dense’ so if the kids had been into it there would have been some awesome playhouse-o-rama action!

Before you ask – if you are dying for some graphic renovation pics – watch out for my next post – it is going to be full on carnage….. promise!


Where there is smoke…..

There is fire! Yes the fire brigade visited the pump house cottage the other day – and know it wasn’t because of some fanciful drill thinly veiling the kids desire to check out a fire engine – there was actually a fire!

The local firemen were called out to the pump house cottage late last thursday. Some over anxious neighbour had rung and reported a fire – and there was – we were having a good old fashioned burn up!

Check out this photo of the IT guy and the youngest fireman ever having a good old chinwag.

Even though the firemen came thrumping down the driveway with ‘your doing something naughty’ purpose – they left satisfied because we actually have a fire permit and did everything by the book – you can ask all the neighbours we wrote to telling them we were going to have a fire – crazy!

Now some tips if you are going to have a burn up:

1. get your washing in off the line first – I didn’t do this….

2 check the wind direction – away from the house is preferable – we didnt check this….

3. Shut up your house if the wind is blowing in anywhere near that direction – didn’t do this either

4. Prepare yourself for all the neighbourhood kids ‘dropping in’ with sticks laden with marshmellows – weren’t prepared for this

So now we have alot of smelly clothes, towels and linen, and a house that smells like a smokehouse, I am not even going to contemplate the damage to our carbon footprint! But our kids have new friends and photos with firemen – and we have NO MORE RUBBISH – not really bad result really.

Merry Christmas from the Pump House Cottage

The Brand!Merry christmas to all!

The folks here at the pump house cottage are celebrating by decorating the flegling pine growing in the jungle (a mere baby pinus radiata at only 4 metres!) with fairy lights and are planning to eat a christmas dinner of roast lamb, potatoes and kumara (thanks Prestons and Pak n Save) with sides of peas and brocolli and a salad of lettuce, spring onion and radish all (from the jungle/garden).

A small crop of strawberries will be harvested and served with cream and trifle – little will be remembered after this point as the rest of the day will pass in a sherry induced haze. 

I hope the rellies/friends/neighbours enjoy the newly branded pump house cottage elderflower cordial and marmalade.

So, the first festive beer has already been consumed, and pak n save has been cleaned out of $8.99 Lindaur rose. Auntie ann is coming around and the festivities will roll on into the new year if the Lindaur supply holds out.

My recipe for a great christmas – family & good friends, good food, happy smiling bubs, sunshine and bubbly.

Cheers! And have a great christmas!

Whats Happening at The Pump House Cottage

Clearing the Garden - Room for a Garage?

Clearing, clearing, clearing – and clearing. Funny thing has happened – the garden just got a lot bigger! We have been going crazy clearing out weeds, and we have been regaining a shocking amount of space in the garden – the place is huge. Check out the photo! Unfortunately this newly cleared space is now harbouring piles of wood (bought from the dump – yes you can buy stuff from the dump!) and piles of greenwaste (seems the laws of conservation of energy apply in the jungle and the weeds do not magically disappear once you have pulled them out). Not sure what is going to happen to this space – wood pile? Mulch pile? Sheds? Or maybe a garage? Watch this space…

IMG_3182I cleared all of this garden island during one of Lauries afternoon sleeps – any spare moment is spent in the garden! I have now planted a couple of vege in here to see how they get on – have bare dirt – will plant!

The Vege Garden - 16th NovemberThe vege garden is making progress too – seeds have sprouted – though I am still awaiting the appearance of the elusive Lebanese cucumber – I haven’t given up hope yet… The patch looks pretty green from the photos – but don’t congratulate me yet – most of the greenery is weeds – being the novice gardener I am I don’t want to go crazy pulling them out until I know which ones are my sprouting seeds!

Potatoes! (Not Just Weeds) GrowingSome wanted growths are pretty obvious – check out the potatoes! But the potential scatterment of the cucumber seeds by the cats has even stopped me from weeding the potato rows – excuses, excuses! OK the weeding is on the list!

I think a lot of the weeds sprouting are borage – maybe I could start a cottage industry selling borage seedlings – anyone for borage??



The $23 Trademe Kitchen Installed!Up at the house – not much is happening – but the “new” kitchen is in!  And it is awesome! One small prob – we only have a hot tap at the moment – the cold tap doesn’t quite line up with the sink (???) but that is OK – Apparently there is a new cold tap in the “pipeline” courtesy of Al Brown again – thanks! But even this Logan Brown kitchen karma will not make me like their paua ravioli. The rest of the $23 trademe kitchen ended up being freecycled, and so did the scary stove – freecycle is the new black – or maybe green….

Even Trademe Won't Take This One!But trademe – and even freecycle – wouldn’t take the old kitchen – here it is in all its ripped out glory – exposed on the front lawn…. and now disposed of and in the big rubbish tip in the sky… somewhere near Brooklyn Wellington….

Naked Ladies in the Garden

And the’re all called Iris. Confused – confusion is a permanent affliction around here. The pump house cottage garden is springing into life – it must be confused too – as I could swear it is still the middle of winter – the odd ray of sun does not a summer make.

Beige Iris's Anyone?Anyway – to oddest colour Iris has begun blossoming in the garden – the best way to describe the colour is european nude. I am not sure I like them – but at least there is some interest factor – and prehaps – like Stacy  – they will grow on me (more about Stacey later). Pax is facinated with them – and they quite often bear the brunt of his 3 year old stick welding hobby.

Is the a Serious Vege Garden I See

Ok, so! Labour weekend is the big gardening weekend of the year – pre summer – and seeing I am telling all in sundry that I am going to grow my own veges I thought I better get on to it….

When we signed on the dotted line the agreement to buy the pump house cottage the first thing I went out and did was ransack the mitre 10 vege seedling section, how naive I was, the poor little seedlings then spent 6 weeks languishing in their crowded little pots before I managed to dig a small plot to plant them in.

The Vege Garden - Stage One

The 'Old Tea Lady' Garden

So I suppose we could call that my “old tea lady” garden –  I have moved on in my mentality now – I am all about the seeds…

So over the last week in perparation for the big planting weekend, I cleared and chopped and hacked and dug and excavated, and managed to clear an area for the vege garden.

Here is another before shot so you can get an impression of just how much digging chopping and hacking took place! I even cut down a tree! And the blackberry is all gone from the bank (don’t worry – it got its pound of flesh – literally!)

The Vege Garden - Before

Some things disturbed me during the whole process. Firstly that a previous occupant of the pump house cottage (who owned a horse) used the garden as a rubbish tip – or a Midden to put it a bit more nicely (in time team speak). Cultivating the garden is a bit more like an archeological dig then a mere dirt turning activity. The novelty is wearing off – there is only so many bottles, bricks, horse bits and spoons that are interesting before they are just a shovel stopping pain the arse.

So I spent the weekend digging in compost, cultivating, throwing out objects of national significance and pretending I knew what I was doing. 

And then- drum roll please! I planted seeds! Parsnip, carrots, spring onions, potatos, corn, beans, cucumbers, basil, and corriander! Sometimes the archeological elements won and I had to plant around deeply entrenched artifacts – But in all I am a happy camper! Check it out!

The Vege Garden Post Labour Weekend

Will they grow? Do I really know what I am doing? Watch this space.

The Cath and Kim Love Seat

The ladies that lunch came over for morning tea – and no! It wasn’t all cucumber sandwiches and earl grey. The rumor was true – they would do anything after a glass of bubbly! CFD and Kim could not resist the jungle (you can’t stop at pulling just one weed!) the weeds must have thought there was a tropical cyclone rumbling through!

Not only now thanks to CFD and Kim does the pump house cottage have a reinstated herb garden – but a love seat was unearthed! How could a love seat be lost? I hear you say – oh the mysteries of the pump house cottage – this place keeps you on your toes!

I challenge you all to spot the love seat in the before picture below – a clue maybe the position of the love sick feijoas (as mentioned in a previous post) – poetic…

Cath & Kim Love Seat

Where is the love seat hiding?


I have already enjoyed a few cups of tea and biscuits on the seat – though (as you can see from the ‘after’ picture below) the cups and plates are not making it back to the kitchen – everytime we run out we head down to the love seat for a collection.


Hey Presto! The Cath & Kim Love Seat

Check out the huge pile of weeds that was keeping the love seat in obscurity! Must get on to the compost heap construction – I am feeling very guilty about taking all this to the dump – though my revenue generating potential for WCC has increase 10x!

Now I have a new item to add to my ‘to do’ list – make a hand carved plaque with ‘Cath & Kims Love Seat’ engraved on it to put in pride of place on your seat….

Thanks Cath and Kim – you guys, your support committee and entourage are welcome back any time – bring your gardening gloves…

Oh! I can’t forget to mention that a rustic looking number8esque candle holder was found in the vacinity of the love seat – I have now even found a candle for it – I would post a picture but it is missing in action due to the arrival of a $23 trademe kitchen – huh? Yes well – that is another story entirely – watch this space and I will post pictures of both next time I:

a) find the candle holder

b) can coordinate the camera/computer thing

c) am feeling skinny enough to squeeze past to boxes into the office to tip tap at the computer.

d) all of the above

off down to the love seat to have a cuppa now…

Gossip Over a Cuppa

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Feed me the Tea!