Before and After Pics: Hacking, Chopping and Renovating

Well, the foggy cool days of winter are behind us, with views like this just a distant memory:

Foggy, foggy, oh so very foggy.  I’m sure the sun used to exist…


The sun is now out, and Spring, while not ushering in an explosion of blossoms as it does in cooler climates, has still brought with it the motivation to get some new projects up and moving.

Hacking, Slashing and Burning – Reducing Venomous Snake Habitat

You may remember my angst over the last few months regarding the presence of venomous snakes on the farm (ok, so I’ve only seen three snakes but they were probably three too many).  After some general dithering, we’ve decided the best way of handling the situation is to reduce the snake-friendly habitats here on the farm, especially those close to the house.  It gives me a large amount of environmental guilt, but we really do need to be responsible parents and do the best we can to ensure the safety of the kids.  To this end, we’ve been slashing and hacking (and burning where the other two methods haven’t met any success) to clear any scrubby areas that might shelter snakes.  Additionally some wonderful visiting relatives came bearing boxes and boxes of solar-powered snake repellers to place around the house as a further deterrent to snakes – thankyou!

Project One – Bye, bye Bamboo

The tall stack of bamboo that had been sucking nutrients out of the vegie patch and beginning to act a little weedy has been removed:


Tall bamboo growing next to vegetable patch




Bamboo removed at ground level


Project Two – Massive Fig tree Be Gone

Hubby has also been waging war with an old fallen fig tree.  We had left the decomposing fig tree where it was as a habitat for beneficial insects, etc. but the risk of it harbouring venomous snakes, in our opinion, outweighed its ecological benefits.  It’s still in the process of being removed so here are the ‘Before’ and ‘During’ pics – ‘After’ pic yet to come.





Project Three – Exposing the World’s Ugliest Retaining Wall

Our retaining wall used to be draped with a very pretty mass of seaside daisies.  Unfortunately this was the number one favourite hiding spot for our resident snakes so the daisies had to go.  Once we whipper-snippered away the daisies we discovered that lurking beneath was, you guessed it, the world’s ugliest retaining wall.  Granted, it was never meant to be seen (covered as it was with cascading daisies and foliage), but now the concrete blocks are exposed it’s clear it needs replacing.  Even with the daisies removed it has far too many hidey holes for reptiles to lurk and, being right next to the house, that’s the last thing we want.  We’re currently exploring our options for replacing it with something less reptile-friendly and more eye-friendly.  Will let you know how we go….

BEFORE: (It was so pretty…I miss this)

The original retaining wall covered in seaside daisy


DURING pics. 1& 2: (It ain’t pretty)

Same side view of (ugly) retaining wall – seaside daisy mostly removed


Front view of retaining wall – seaside daisy removed.  Can’t wait to replace this with something more attractive and that actually retains dirt!


Project Four – Window seat and shelving goes in

This project has been on my wish list ever since always – a window seat to just sit and look out at the world with a book in hand on a wet day (and we get plenty of those here).  Yep, it’s a total luxury and not anything I ever expected to actually be able to do.  But I had a chat to a local carpenter about what he thought and, using local renewable timber and low VOC paint, he came up with something pretty cool.  Here are some pics of the window seat, still incomplete but on its way:

(*Forgive the rubbish photos – my digital SLR camera has a broken lens so I’ve had to use a long angled lens to get these pics (somewhat tricky while standing in a small room).


*Well, this is really a ‘during’ shot than a ‘before’ shot.  Originally the walls in this room were pink.  This is after my dad and I applied several coats of white paint to cover, but before the window seat was built.

Before window seat went in




Window seat in.  Upholstery and cornice still to come.


Still lots of work to go with the connection to the ceiling to be completed with a cornice and upholstery and scatter cushions to be made.  Here’s some of the fabrics we’re considering…

Fabric swatches for window seat bench cushion and scatter cushions.  Hmm…



Annnnd, that’s about it for the moment.  Hope all of your own Spring projects are humming along smoothly.

I’ll leave you with a pic of Chocolate Chicken.  She’s our constant companion at the moment, hanging about like a puppy.

Spring Chicken 😉


Have a great week,


One thought on “Before and After Pics: Hacking, Chopping and Renovating

  1. The window seat and storage area looks great! You guys have been very busy, as usual.
    That retaining wall really is quite astonishing isn’t it? I can’t believe someone would install such a, erm, dysfunctional wall. How was that ever supposed to retain the dirt? Any why put a holey wall in snake country? I am sorry you have to deal with it as it doesn’t look fun. Isn’t it great how we get to inherit so many ‘interesting’ property features? The mind really boggles sometimes. At least after you get a new wall done you can plant more daisies above it, or whatever else you want. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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