broken bridge

Our latest project was a bit daunting, we’d put it off thinking it would be difficult and time consuming. There is a bridge over the stream at the bottom of the hill in the rainforest


and the timbers have been deteriorating since we moved in. No longer was it safe to traverse in a tractor…….


……the time had come. Michael had sourced hardwood from a local sawmill and it was already stacked and ready to go. After cutting them to length


we laid them out to make sure we had enough

4.laying out5.laid out

and drilled the nail holes in preparation.


The old boards were easily prised off


and the new ones were dragged down the hill a few at a time.


One by one, they were set in place ones

and nailed to the supporting beams (old telegraph poles).


We were pleasantly surprised at the progress we made


and the old ones were stacked for future use.

13.old ones

The last of the old ones came off

14.last one off15.all old ones off

and the new ones were all laid.

16.all laid

It was hot work but the surroundings made up for the discomfort.


Side rails finished off the edges and Poppy was on hand to give advice.


We thought it fitting that she should be first to test the strength of the new bridge.


After that hard work in the heat, there was only one way to get back up the hill.

23.up the hill124.up the hill2

wonder wall

Last month, we completed a project that we had been working on for a few weeks. There was an area along the driveway where the land dropped away to the paddock and the driveway was being undermined.

We looked at all sorts of retaining wall solutions and decided used tyres were the way to go. The fellas at the local tyre service were happy to help and put aside any tyres of a specific size for us. Each week, we would collect them


place them in position


fill them with soil (we had a truckload of clean fill delivered) and stomp the soil to pack it down.

Of course, Poppy was on hand to help.


The dead tree close by was removed in case it came down on the new fence line. It will be next years firewood.


The posts for the new fence were positioned

and stabilised as we went.

The grasses didn’t take long to start growing in the new soil.


Finally, we were up to the top row


and more soil levelled the tyres with the driveway.

Once we get some rain, we will add grass seed to the top level and the wall will be complete.


Now for that fence…………


A big thank you to the guys at Tyreright. If you need new tyres or are thinking of building a wall, you’ll find them here

splendid shed

Having a veggie garden meant I had to have a potting shed. A few quick sketches and we had a plan. Once the posts were in place for the veggie enclosure, we built the framework for the shed to make the most of the concrete delivery.

1.shed frame

We then finished the veggie patch before embarking into the unknown. With the outdoor workshop in place


we set about building the rest of the frame using reclaimed hardwood.

The roof frame came next


and the verandah.

We wanted to retain the rustic look and the scavenged corrugated iron was perfect for the roof.

It was starting to feel cosy inside.


We bought the windows from the local salvage yard and they were next to be fitted.

The mezzanine floor isn’t quite big enough to sleep on but it’s great for storage.


The floor joists

27.floor supports

were followed closely by the cladding. Again, the local salvage yard just happened to have the cedar cladding we needed, painted white on one side but that didn’t matter – it’s on the inside.

We allowed ourselves a break


then finished the cladding.

Michael’s bespoke stable door is a work of art.

The flooring is Tasmanian oak seconds

and the ceiling is reclaimed pine flooring.


We found a huge Macrocarpa slab for a bargain price at the salvage yard and it became the workbench.

The potting shed was complete. The chair is a gorgeous circa 1910 commode I couldn’t resist.


We had just enough bricks to pave the verandah,


the perfect place for freshly picked pumpkin.


Everything I need for playing in the veggie patch is in “my” potting shed and it is the ideal environment for drying onions & garlic.

We are very proud of our shed and, as you probably noticed, our home-brew stout was a crucial element to our success.



veggie patch paradise

Many years ago, I saw this picture in a magazine and have coveted this veggie patch ever since. It is Pete’s Patch, a working vegetable garden in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart, made famous by local legend Peter Cundall.

1.Pete's patch

There was a veggie plot of sorts when we moved in, with two long, narrow, concrete edged beds and a big space in the middle for spuds.


Our new design incorporated the existing beds as paths and we set about building.


We procured reclaimed hardwood roof trusses from the local salvage yard to make the boxes.


The centrepiece was designated for our fruit salad tree – one tree bearing lemons, limes, mandarins & oranges.


The posts were sunk and braced in readiness for the concrete.


I was eager to get some vegetables going. We ordered a truckload of loam and, after laying six sheets of newspaper, filled the boxes with a lovely soil/ mushroom compost mix. The planting began.


Another truck, another load – road base this time – was wheelbarrowed and spread along the paths.


I don’t mind admitting the whacker packing is man’s work!


Seven months into the project, the first bricks were laid.


We collected old bricks from wherever we could find them. Fortunately for us, a house nearby burned to the ground (it was empty at the time) and we scavenged most from there.


Michael laid, I laboured, just over 3,000 bricks!


Now to keep the critters out! A double layer of shade cloth around the bottom also helps with protection from the wind. Wire around the top to deter any climbers.


Almost done.


The “verandah” of wire around the top is supposed to keep possums out because they won’t climb upside down.


Michael very cleverly made the doors to fit the angles of the slope


and we were finished.


Now we can just enjoy the veggies.

Or so we thought! Following a stealth attack by parrots, we decided we needed a roof. Gable supports and bird netting did the trick.


With some left over bricks & timber and an old laundry tub, Michael constructed a fantastic washstand to complete my dream.