Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The tale of the cats and the shadehouse - part two

When you take a break from blogging for whatever reason it’s hard to get back into the swing of things, you think of things to blog about but feel a need to play catch up first, and so it keeps being put off.

So having left you all with part one of the cats and the shadehouse, I know you have been on tenterhooks waiting for the rest of the story.
Haven’t you.....say yes or I just won’t be able to go on....

We were offered an old shadehouse framework which was once in my sis-in-laws back garden but had been dismantled years ago and was taking up needed space.

frame arrives

It arrived with no instructions, brother in law gave us a vague notion of how it went together but it soon developed into a giant meccano set as we measured and imagined where the bits belonged.

meccano set

But where do the cats come into it I hear you ask?

A friend showed me the purpose built cattery that her daughter had installed in their backyard to give her Siamese some outdoor time.

It had a sort of raised mesh tunnel linking the sleeping quarters to the enclosed outdoor yard. It is after the style for sale here - these don’t come cheap you’ll notice, this girl paid about $2000 for hers.

Well, our little brats already had their garden apartment but I thought of linking it to the shadehouse with a raised run to give them some extra space…..not that they are particularly energetic, they spend most of the day in a prostrate position, it was just my guilt feelings for locking them up, guilt fed by looking at this site and thinking how hard done by our kids were in comparison.

First we had to find the right spot, not easy, we don’t have a lot of space, so we decided it should go here, my favourite spot for a chair, book and coffee.

the site for the shadehouse

One of my concerns was that I didn’t want to lose the big birds nest fern

birds nest fern

There was also an old melaleuca which had a lovely twisted trunk that I had been ducking under for years and would probably need a trim.

melaleuca before

When we measured, we found the melaleuca was in for the chop – this is not a sight I want to see in my garden very often – Tom the toolman with chainsaw in hand.

melaleuca gets the chop

space cleared for the shadehouse

We eventually had a relatively clear space, I tied up the birds nest and removed everything else that I could, then came the fun and games.

My husband has a *thing* about asking people for help, he’d rather struggle on his own with me holding up my end. Massive great sheets of weldmesh are not light and they sure don’t manoeuvre easily, we were able to carry the walls around into position but the roof had to be lifted on by going up and over the pool fence…..it was a stinky hot day, there was even a little local scrub fire, so the smell of smoke was in the air as well.
But..we did it...without too many injuries, minimum swearing and we are still talking to each other...

shadehouse frame

By this stage I was thinking bad thoughts about the cats.

Merlin inspected the space then went back to bed.

Merlin inspects the new shadehouse

Two little frogs inspected the space and decided they liked it.


It was then I decided it was for me and the frogs

I divided up the staghorns, replanted the bromeliads and the tree fern was happy to have its corset removed.

shadehousereplanted the bromeliadstree fern

We went to Bunnings and bought nice little table for two.

new table

and early morning sunlight with coffee is just wonderful

early morning sunlight

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TGentry said...

I am so envious of your garden! I love these pictures. That kind of cozy, thick growth is what I want. I have one pecan tree in a the back and an ugly shrub by the steps in the front. I bought these thujas close it in a little bit, but I don't think my garden will look as good as yours for a while.

Erica said...

Hi Tom, the thujas look like they will be good, I haven't seen many conifers in gardens around us.
That maple tree to the right of our shadehouse was planted as a 10" high sapling about 34 years ago, so when you get to my age you should have a shady garden (big grin)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi, just found your blog (love the photos!!!) and this tale of the cats and the shadehouse just made me laugh. I have cats too and a garden and am still thinking of how to make my garden safe for the cats.

They love to be outside, especially when the weather is nice. My previous garden was totally enclosed and escape proof but this garden is just too big for that.

But your shadehouse looks very nice though!