DIY Pallet Wall

There is something exciting about a project that grows step by step. Piecing together and putting up a shiplap type pallet wall is just one such project, due to the nature of how it is carried out.

For some time now, my husband has been steadily working away on the first of two decorative timber walls we are planning on creating. It is definitely a build-as-you-go project, because the walls are each being created by re-purposing wood sourced from free wood pallets in our local area.

Businesses are often very happy to pass on surplus wood pallets freely when asked. If you are happy to do a bit of foraging through the piles of various pallets they have spare and available, you can find some good pallets amongst those they offer you, and which will in turn be great for your particular re-purposing project. 

Since wood pallets invariably become damaged, the business owner will have no wish to re-use them or send back to their original supplier. It is a win-win situation for both them and for you, when you are looking to source wood for projects as cheaply as you can.

This particular home DIY project has definitely been a project that involved committing a bit of time and energy when preparing to carry it out, because you are re-purposing and recycling previously used materials. However it has been worth it. 

My husband has had to pull apart each pallet gently with a crowbar, strip the resulting pallet planks of all their nails, and in turn each plank has been sanded down a little also. Still, the timber has been free, and it has been perfect for the overall vision we have set sail with.

We also recycled cupboard doors that were surplus and used them as a layer between the original gibboard wall and the pallet panelling. These were trimmed down and attached to the wall. Each prepared door was specifically aligned to be attached to actual underlying wall joists. We have peace of mind that everything to the wall overall will be held securely, because we chose to align everything with the internal wall joists.

The beauty of using the cupboard doors as an underlying foundation over the original wall, is that at any point in the future the whole project could also be dismantled and removed, with very little overall damage to the original existing house wall. Rather than hundreds and hundreds of screw holes to putty up in fill, we will only have to deal to those that occurred due to putting up the actual lengths of re-purposed doors.

We have chosen to use screws rather than nails for attaching all the doors, as well as the pallet planking to the wall surface. I plan to add decorative door knobs for a certain purpose later on, and it will be so much easier to take off and then replace any particular pallet board again later on (More about why these door knobs are being added will be revealed later on). 

Rough edges have been sanded down on each length of planking as mentioned, and where possible we have made the most of using pre-existing nail holes also. The variation in wear and tear across the panels of planking creates wonderful visual interest.

We have endeavoured to select interesting wood also when choosing the planks for this project. The variaton in colour and natural wood patterning also adds quite a lot of visual interest. 

I absolutely love how it is already looking and am excited about how the overall end product is going to look in this particular space! 

The beauty of using pallet wood is that it makes it virtually a free do-it-yourself home decorating project. I am still deciding just what colour (or even colours) I will stain or paint the completed wall in, but it will definitely compliment what else is going on colour palette wise in this particular space.

I will keep you posted on the progress!

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Digging Dessert

Doesn't the idea of planning and planting a dessert themed garden just seem such a delicious one to pursue? Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, clusters of rhubarb, a wandering passionfruit vine.... are all part of the envisaged dessert themed garden I am currently in the process of creating, here in our neck-of-the-woods.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I have started to work on an area of garden in our backyard that I have duly named "The Dessert Garden." Although there are areas of our backyard that also have fruiting vines and trees alongside vegetable beds, this area will be one that solely has fruit producers within it.

For a long time this particular area of the backyard has been used as a bit of a catch-all area. When you are busy on landscaping projects like we invariably are, you often find you need to put odd bits of timber, etc for other garden projects somewhere. It can all soon pile up and become a bit too scruffy and messy, and then that specific area of the garden eventually demands some attention itself!

There has been lengths of timber, an eclectic group of potted up plants and even broken pieces of concrete...... Well quite frankly, a range of both old and odd bits and pieces that have lurked a little too long in what became the catch-all area in our backyard. However! The time has come to de-junk this area and give it its very own makeover! It has duly been grandly named, "The Dessert Garden" and is now on its way to looking a lot better and being a source of fruit-filled deliciousness itself!

Here are some photographs to let you all have a peek at what has been achieved so far. I will share more photographs over time and reveal more of the bigger picture of this garden area as it gets sorted out and set up (Its much nicer to share the changes being made, than a whole bunch of photographs of miscellaneous and scattered timber off-cuts and stacks of broken tiles and rocks, right?).

A dessert themed garden just wouldn't be the same without a whole bunch of strawberry plants being planted out in it, in my opinion. I have begun planting out the pots of strawberries I have been collecting from various sources. Some of them were gifted to me by family and friends, others I have purchased when they are on sale (it is even nicer to buy things on special and priced down when you can!).

I have noticed there are a variety of strawberry plants that are able to be purchased, so I will do some research to see what each variety offers. It will be interesting to find out more about them and work out what will work best in our very own dessert garden; sticking with one variety or perhaps planting out a diverse range.

I have started to plant out what I hope will turn into a substantial hedge length of blueberry bushes. So far, I have planted out two varieties of blueberry.

I understand they do better if you plant out a variety in an area, so here's hoping that it will indeed make a difference in the long run. May the quantity and quality of the resulting fruit being fantastic!

I have tried previously to grown blueberries, and have not had much success. I am hoping this time, with a diverse variety positioned near each other, it will all prove to work out much better. I will aim to keep you all posted on how it goes!

In amongst the eclectic mix of plant pots, have been a number I planted out with previously separated clusters of rhubarb. I have found it doesn't take long for a cluster of rhubarb to get established, and each cluster can then quite easily be split up to create another and then another. These can be potted up and put aside, ready to be re-planted out in other garden areas. I hope to establish a really good border of rhubarb over time in our newly set up "The Dessert Garden."

Rhubarb has been in our experience a good staple to have growing in a garden. We often choose to include it in with other fruit in a fruit crumble or the like. I am planning to underplant some fruiting vines with a good length of rhubarb running along them and acting as a garden border also. That way each cluster of rhubarb can act as good ground cover, and by doing some deliberate companion planting, it will also allow for us to make good use of all available space.

When you feel like rhubarb in a pie or fruit crumble or even as a breakfast side, it is so easy to go out to the garden and simply twist off by hand a fistful of stalks. Once the leaves are broken off, and either put back on the garden directly as groundcover or put into the compost pile, you are good to go indoors with your harvested stalks.

A quick rinse under the tap, and the stalks can then be chopped up into inch length pieces and popped into a pot to boil away and soften. Yum! It makes me what to go harvest some rhubarb right now, jsut writing about it!

So, these photographs just show you the first steps being made to dig in and get a dessert themed garden sorted out here in our backyard. I love the fact that you can get so many plants quite cheaply, if you keep an eye out for specials at places like The Warehouse, or even hardware stores like Mega Mitre 10 often have things at budget friendly prices also. Family & friends are often generous and kind about passing on things like clumps of rhubarb too.

It will be fun to share more of the progress being made in The Dessert Garden, as it occurs. Weather permitting, I am hoping that there will be time to get out and get digging this coming weekend. Such is the weather at present, that you just can't plan too far ahead or get your hopes up too high.

Still, the days until it is officially Spring are decreasing every day (only 13 days to the first of Spring to go, Folks!).  Digging for dessert, step by step no matter how long it ends up taking me, can only be a good thing, from now on. Happy gardening and home-making, Everyone!

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Pretty & Cosy in Winter

Hello Fellow Home-makers! 

I hope you all are keeping warm, dry & well, if like us you are in the throes of winter. August is rather cold & wet at present, here in my neck-of-the-woods in the Northern Waikato Region. 

Don't you just want Spring to roll around, and things to get a bit brighter (and drier!) in the garden? I certainly do!

This rainy, cold, windy business, that is part & parcel of Winter just gets to be somewhat boring & annoying, after days upon days of the same old weather patterns at times, doesn't it? Still, it all has a purpose in the bigger scheme of things, I know.

There has been some developments in the garden, as the weather has permitted, which has been lovely. You can see some of it in the photographs shared here: 

A garden built along a side fence boundary has finally had some significant attention. It has been planted out with box hedging and pretty cyclamens.
All the box hedging in the various garden areas, has been grown from cuttings we have struck ourselves, or it has been re-planted from other areas around our property where it was no longer required. 
The cyclamens (these are an outdoorsy type) are just so bright and happy looking. They offer a lovely splash of colour to this particular garden area. They were purchased over time, as dollars would allow and it has been neat to see the vision for this particular garden area come to fruition finally. 
Don't you just love it, when something you envisage DOES work out to be just right in reality!

A punnet of cabbages planted out, has been steadily growing over several months, with many now having hearted up. 

Overall the slugs and snails were kept at bay, and only the occasional outer leaf, here and there, is showing signs of a few white butterfly pecks. There are sure to be some stir-fry meals soon on the menu.

A collection of chard is doing well in this particular strip of garden. Hopefully we will have more growth soon, and then there will be plenty to add into salads in the warmer seasons.

A discounted pot of flowering chrysanthemums down to the grand total of $3.99, seemed too good a bargain to walk away from a few weeks ago. The pot contents were divided up and have now been planted out in the garden. It is to be hoped that they will enjoy their new home, out in a greater earth mix with greater room available to them.
Slowly, but surely things will soon really take off all around the garden, and the Spring growth spurt will make a big difference to how everything currently is shaping up.

The furry members of our household have all been far more keen to stay inside and keep cosy over the last months. They seem to have worked out whatever differences they may sometimes have, simply to insure that they can all mutually enjoy the benefit of resting up by a nice warm fire indoors! 
It is quite entertaining where we sometimes find each of them, parked up and blissfully sleeping through the worst of the greyness of Winter.

Soups & casseroles have been on the menu more so these past months. Hubby has been mastering the art of using the slow cooker. There is nothing quite like a cup or bowl of warm soothing soup on a cold evening is there! With the slow cooker, you also have the perk of the delicious smells that waft through the house through the day. Whoever invented the electric slow cooker, was truly a genius!

I have started to think about what I definitely want to get sorted in the garden a lot more lately, and have already started working on an area of garden that has needed some major attention for a while. Stay tuned over the next few weeks, as I will enjoy sharing the developments gradually being undertaken and occurring in this part of the garden we have deemed, The Dessert Garden. (Doesn't the very name just make you want to go peek at what is planted out there!).

So without any further news at present to really share, I will end this post here and go put on a cuppa. Ginger & Lemon Tea has been my go-to drink these past months. I am sure it has quietly helped ward of some of the usual winter ills. 

Keep warm & cosy, fellow Southern Hemisphere Folks! There are 14 days of Winter left, and then Spring and all its gloriousness will officially be here to greet us! Yay!

P.S Feel free to go on over & like the Household Logistics Facebook Page, so you can keep up to date with what's happening over there also! Here is the link to the Household Logistics Facebook Page: /

Signs of Spring

Evidence that Spring is around the corner is starting to appear! Here is a photograph of some of the first daffodils that have sprung up over the past few days in the garden.

I planted around 100 daffodil bulbs some time ago, and they have just recently begun to flower. Seeing each of these early signs of happy, bright Spring colour is a source of joy, as we are still weathering our way through the biting cold & repetitive bleakness of Winter.

I look forward to seeing more & more evidence of Spring truly being not that far away, over the coming weeks.

Goodbye Winter! Your dreary greyness is no longer wanted. The harsh cold, and the dark cloudy cloak of your repetitive rain, are oppressive and tiresome. Goodbye! Be gone!

Instead, bring on the wonder of Spring's bright pops of floral colour!
Bring on those happy Spring days of copious warming sunshine!
May millions of bursting blossoms come out soon, to all trumpet in the bright & glorious, wonderful days of Spring!

The countdown to the first of September, (the first official day of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere) has surely begun.

The Promise of Strawberries

It feels really great to be at that time in the year when you can start to think ahead towards planning and planting out potential crops for both spring and summer. I planted out some strawberry plants this week, having spotted them turning up for sale in the local shops. It feels somewhat less bleak and wintery, when you get to plant things out in the garden like strawberry plants!

I have also noticed in the last day or so that the daffodil bulbs I planted some time ago are already sending up the beginnings of their leafy foliage. Once they start to bloom, it will really feel like winter is on its way out!

While the current winter weather is fickle and shifts so easily, occasionally thrown into the mix is a random day full of highly appreciated lovely sunshine! Today was one such day, and schoolwork (we homeschool our children) was done outdoors on cushions; so we could all enjoy some much needed sunlight.

Gloomy grey days that are overcast and oppressive are typical fare in winter.

Days with endless buckets of rain falling repeatedly, plus crisp frost-licked mornings with thick fog hanging around most of the day, start to really wear thin after a while.

However, planting out things like strawberry plants this past week, definitely puts a little hope back in one's heart. It reminds us once again that Spring WILL eventually relieve us of winter's thick grey cloak.

When strawberry plants are turning up in the shops, when daffodils, tulips and hyacinths planted some time ago start showing the first signs of reaching up from the dark and damp soil, you know winter will not hold us in its grip forever! What a relief it is!

Yay for strawberry plants! Each one currently being planted in our backyard garden is a source of joy.

My Backyard: Winter

Here are some photographs which were taken recently in our backyard garden....

It is always exciting to finally see results, after a time spent planting seeds. 
For what seemed like ages, I would come out & peek into this particular garden bed,
 hoping to see some evidence that carrot seedlings had finally sprung. 
Finally, they have surfaced! 

Our grapefruit tree has produced its first crop this winter!  
Seeing clusters of fruit coming to fruition is exciting to behold.

The grapefruit are all a good size, so hopefully it will not be too long now 
before we can be sampling our very own squeezed grapefruit juice.

Calendula flowers are still brightening up one small area in the garden.
They are a bright & happy addition within our backyard garden, 
as much of the garden seems so bare & stark at present.

Another calendula flower that was spotted looking lovely in the winter morning sunlight.

Miss Lucy was rather keen to take a close-up look at my camera.
She is quite inquisitive and was obviously trying to figure out what
I was doing with the strange object I kept pointing around the place!
She certainly looks so much better now that her feathers are all grown, 
and moulting is well & truely behind her for another season. 

The final photograph for now, from time spent in the backyard garden with my camera......
A closeup of one of several cabbages that are starting to fill out.


"Gratitude can transform common days into
turn routine jobs into joy,
and change opportunities into blessings."

William Arthur Ward

My Backyard Garden: Autumn Plantings & Produce

We have been busy raising the raised garden beds. We felt it would be better if they were higher (less back breaking), and so they have gone from being one sleeper in height to three.

This is the first of the actual beds that have been made higher, and in turn it has been filled and finished off with a planting out of Autumn crops. Hopefully the netting will help keep both much beloved pets and unwanted pests out of the completed raised bed from now on.

Chard, Kale, Feverfew, Beans, Parsley, Basil, Carrots and Cabbages have all taken up residence in this raised bed.

These were cabbage seedlings bought in the clearance section at The Warehouse. They are looking so much better now they are planted out in their new home in this raised bed.

A friend quite some time ago kindly gave me carrot seed she had saved as part of her own seed saving endeavours. They were the nicest carrots I think I have ever tasted! She informed me at the time, that if you save seed for three generations it becomes perfect for your own garden's conditions. This has certainly proven to be true, in our own experience to date. I hope this latest planting of carrot seed will be successful, and I can save seed for next season also!

I had to include this photograph again of the ample harvest of grapes we are having currently. I am going to look at juicing some of the bountiful bunches of Albany Surprise Grapes we have been so delighted to see on our grapevine this year. It will be wonderful to be able to freeze it, and have it as both hot and cold drinks in the months ahead.

This caterpillar was spotted today, on the other side of our boundary fence. We had a HUGE Swan Plant in the actual garden with little activity seen on it this year. However, this plant certainly had been visited at some stage, as there are a number of crysalis and caterpillars present.

One of several crysalis found attached to a range of plants other than the original Swan Plant the caterpillars would have started out life on. I will be interested to watch these over the next few days.

Lavender always makes me think of my grandmother and maternal aunt. This flower looked so stunning and delicate in the sunlight this afternoon.