Home and Garden….


The garden: 

The back yard is just a muddy mess and Roger has been clearing out dead plants and started pruning. Something that desperately needed doing is a huge macrocapa (a type of cedar) hedge than runs the length of the property down one side. It’s just got higher and higher over the years and has got to the stage where it truly needed to be reined in, it’s keeping way too much sun of both house and garden. It’s just a big job worthy of a great deal of procrastination but he bit the bullet and started.

At the beginning

At the beginning

Out of the second story bedroom window

Out of the second story bedroom window

  The raised garden out the front, the only garden we can grow in over winterIMG_3678

What most of the property is looking like, straggly and on it’s way to bareIMG_3683

I took this at 7 am yesterday morning off the front porch… a most beautiful sky before a dismal day.IMG_3674

The kitchen: Very little going on here apart from meals but I have been busy elsewhere. We grew out of our small kitchen summer of last year and Roger fitted out an old unused laundry on the middle floor for a larder. That has become too small too, once we put all the shelves for jars and 2 freezers in there was little room for anything else. There were all sorts of things that needed storing somewhere else.large selection of jars, brewing stuff, appliances…. so, I have emptied a small bedroom (actually our junk room) as far as possible and put everything in there. Several trips to thrift shops and the dump later we are organised!

House: Honestly, we seem to do everything the hard waysometimes ! We have hideous carpet. It’s 40 years old, stained, full of holes and getting worse, and regularly needs shampooing. We have mats everywhere. For 2 years we have been trying to find second-hand carpet but our lounge is longer than many and we have a staircase as well. Nothing would fit. We thought of used rimu floorboards but they are expensive and don’t come up often – this would’ve meant years of hoarding it somewhere to eventually get enough.


It doesn’t look bad in this photo but this is a good area, it’s had it. Before we painted the lounge we considering buying new carpet but then decided to just put up with what we have. So lounge painted, everything put back in and up and NOW we decide we will buy new. A local firm has 18 months interest free and good reduced prices so, in 3 weeks we have to empty out the lounge and dining room and put all downstairs for one day while they lay it.

One of our best buys ever – curtains:

When we moved here our lounge  had stippled ceilings, pink and silver floral wallpaper and chocolate brown worn curtains – they were so worn one fell apart in my hands when I was pulling them one day. Large curtains are terribly expensive and we needed 3 large sets including a full length pair that goes most of the way across the front of our room. It took us almost a year of waiting but some came up on our national internet auction site in the next town. Sometimes people will just have a Buy Now option and if you keep an eye out (and get in quick) you get a bargain.We got a houselot of curtains and steel rails for $50. They wouldn’t have been anywhere near our first choice if buying new but a whole lot better than what we had.


We had curtains in the other rooms so we just needed the living areas to fit…put them up and we are happy with how they look now, in fact the colours in our curtains lend themselves to the more traditional type of stuff that we like.IMG_3695

We thought we would put all the other curtains and rails on the same auction site to get rid of them. They all ended up selling for nearly $200.


I bring up the curtains now because I have a really weird thing going on about having to buy new carpet!! I don’t want to spend money each week for 18 months to pay for it. I am not being miserly about it (or am I? lol) about it but hoped for better options, sometimes they just don’t present themselves!

35 thoughts on “Home and Garden….

  1. Wendy, so much going on at your home I’m tired reading this. 😉 The curtains wouldn’t have been my first choice had I seen them some where else, but they do go lovely with your furnishings.

    I’m with you. The idea of paying for anything on time scares me in these uncertain times. Is carpeting the only solution you and Roger want? I’ve seen some interesting and inexpensive flooring options. I’ve seen plywood cut into strips and stained to look like hard wood floors, even paper bags stained and sealed. I don’t know if you have the flor squares available there but they are a good option as well because they come from recycled carpets and come in large squares you fit together. You could buy them a bit at a time and if a spot gets worn you only have to repair that square. I guess if you are doing the stairs to match that would be a problem.

    To leave this on a positive note, I love the privacy you have on your property especially in the front.


    • Hi Lois. I am tired thinking about shifting all our stuff again lol, every cell in my body is saying “Please don’t make me!”
      We have looked at other options but they wouldn’t be warm enough. We have a large underground basement that the wind gets through and we feel the chill coming up through even our carpet. Roger wants to use the old to insulate underneath but even just with that it wouldn’t make a huge difference it’s so thin. The only good thing is we are waiting on quake insurance to come through we can pay the carpet off with WHEN it finally gets here. …and that’s probably our only reason for going ahead with it. It could take simply ages though. I hate credit and rarely have used it – what you can afford 1 month can all change the next month.

      Yes, we do have alot of privacy and have grown alot to achieve that. We want to be able to walk in the gate and shut the world out for a wee while.


      • I’m glad you have the quake insurance to fall back on should you need it. I know all about cold floors. I would like to remove the carpeting in my apartment because it’s hard to keep clean especially coming in from the field, the wheels on my chair track so much in. But the problem is I have a floor of concrete and in the winter with nothing to insulate between the concrete and the ground below it’s too cold to even want to touch. Cork is a good choice because it insulates but I am concerned the chair over time would damage the cork.

        I know exactly what you mean about privacy. That’s partly why I love the field here. When everything fills in I can sit out back and be seen by no one. The building dampens the sound of traffic as well so all I hear is nature.


      • I do not envy you your concrete floor! We have that downstairs and it is way too cold down there in winter. I just feel the draft in the lounge when I sit on the floor, it’s very chilly.
        I have not seen cork flooring here for donkey’s years. I really like it but it’s no longer available….or carpet squares.
        That must be nice, to feel all that spaciousness around you but still have the privacy.


      • Carpeting it is then. 🙂 Too bad your room is so large wool carpeting would be out of the question. Do you have expandable foam available around you? It’s not exactly the “greenest” option but it is great to spray on the underside of your floor to keep the cold out.

        I do love my privacy in the field, it’s such a gem for a renter to come across around here.


  2. Red sky at night, shepherds delight. Red sky int he morning, shepherds warning. You had a most beautiful warning. 🙂
    We got our carpet cheap as we went with what they had on sale on their showroom floor. It was on sale, available now (which we needed) and close enough in colour we could live with it. 🙂 Curtains are on our current shopping list as are pelmets to help keep the heat in even more.
    Good luck with your purchases and also with that quake insurance coming through and soon.


    • We did 🙂 I don’t often feel the desire to photograph the sky!

      Sometimes you just have to get these things ay, no way around it. I am pleased with the price and terms so I guess it’s as good a time as any we’ll get 🙂 Good luck with your purchases too of curtains etc!


  3. I had the most awful stained cream carpet that almost made me cry each time I looked at it. Same with the curtains. We’re slowly replacing them room by room as we can afford it. Good luck.


  4. Great job in getting curtains for a wonderful price. I am shocked at the price of brand new curtains/carpet/flooring… so we tend to buy used. Garage sales and thrift stores are definitely more budget friendly. And what a pruning job your husband has taken on. I hope it goes well and that he is able to finish quickly.


    • We have used carpets in the bedrooms but for all our searching we just haven’t managed to find anything. I don’t know how many houselots we have looked at that have just been ugly and the lounges always have quite worn carpet. Alot of money though for new ay?!

      Yes, an awful pruning job to do, sometimes I feel very fortunate I am not the man of the house.


  5. First I just want to say what gorgeous photos you have taken – your house could be a magazine feature! I love Roger’s heart! The curtains work really well with your style and everything is purposefully placed and decorated and looks just lovely!! You are the queen of shabby up-styling!! 🙂

    If you could see the amount of dirt and debris and living things in your old carpet you would never quibble over getting rid of it! New carpet also has it’s issues with the off-gassing of chemicals etc, but I would rather have that than generations of flea eggs and sundry other creepies! Sometimes we just have to prioritise and as you say ‘bite the bullet’. You have gotten the best possible deal in this situation, so well done for that! Though I absolutely understand your horror at having to move everything out and back in again. Back in the day when I was a tad better off financially I did a whole house in one go and decided never again 🙂 Now I can’t do it even though I would really love to!!


    • All very selectively photographed and cropped Pauline 🙂

      The carpet looks revolting, I hate to think what is in there and won’t be sad to see it go. If it wasn’t so scummy looking I would just buy more rugs and make do. I would hate to see it under a microscope.

      I can’t imagine getting a house lot done at once, that’s a huge amount of work. Roger wanted to do our room as well but I think he will be glad I said no on the day.


  6. Karen says:

    You won’t regret the new carpet Wendy.It will really transform the place and make the new painting and everything else come together.


      • Karen says:

        Yeah it definitely will be. What colour have you chosen? And, crikey Roger!! be careful up those trees..


      • Hello sis 🙂 Scary job ay… I am glad I am not the male of the household!
        It’s sort of a darkish brown with a lighter fleck. It is darker than we were wanting but we couldn’t get the right colour for the price – but I do think once all the pictures go up it will be nice.


  7. Those curtain compliment your décor Wendy And I just love your back yard, whether.. 🙂 And ooooh what I wouldn’t give to have that Sunset view from my kitchen window.. Spectacular… xxx


  8. Roger looks like a monkey up there in that Macrocarpa! Is that a lovely autumn/winter flowering Buddleia I spy in that first image? Ours won’t flower for another month yet but don’t they smell amazing? 🙂

    Love the sideways dovecote/birdhouse in your car port by the way…another one of Rogers conquests methinks? 😉

    The bliss of new carpets is often dampened when you have to remove all of the furniture. You have my comiserations on that one!

    Before you knock yourselves out for the next 18 months (with you on that score…we are debt free and want to stay that way and I would be resenting 18 months of slaving for the man as well…) have you thought about checking out government auctions? You can pick up all kinds of things but large government buildings tend to have very large expanses of carpet and if you can find where the ex-government auctions are taking place you might get a really good surprise…check it out, might save you 18 months of twitching


    • We love the Buddleia tree, I actually took a photo of it for a post – it does need a severe pruning though a the end of the season. The birdhouse we got at a garage sale and it is up there drying out before I paint it.

      I have never seen a government auction advertised here, and we are in a really small town so even if they have them in the cities the closest is 3.5 hours away. I hate debt too Fran but two reasons we decided to go ahead – we do have insurance coming st some stage and the carpet was interest free and has a 15 year guarantee against staining, wear etc. We worked it at at $3 a week for fifteen years at least of good carpet sounded reasonable. Not our normal way of buying though!


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