Dollar Diet: Labour Weekend

'helping' Mum and Dad

‘Helping’ Mum and Dad

This past weekend we celebrated Labour Day here in New Zealand.  This day of rest commemorates the hard-won victory of those who battled for an eight-hour working day.

Unfortunately Labour Day coincides with pretty much the best time of the year to plant veg for the summer, so many Kiwis will be found doing all manner of gardening work and DIY over the long weekend.

My family was no exception.

In true Dollar Diet style we spent most of it at home beavering away at our oft-neglected garden, tackling projects we hadn’t gotten around to yet.  I enjoy pottering around in my garden a great deal, but it is something I’ve only been able to do in fits and starts due to having to watch Chip like a hawk while he goes through the I-simply-MUST-put-EVERYTHING-in-my-mouth phase that all children do.  At 14 months, he has matured to the point where he can occupy himself without getting into too much trouble for up to 20 minutes at a time, which means that some gardening is actually possible.

I put in two small sandwich gardens in our front yard (I have plans for several more), and re-used bricks that I discovered lurking under the garden along the side of our house.  Like most houses, our front yard is such an underutilised space (excusing our current pile of mulch in residence).  As much of our yard gets full sun, I figured I should put it to good use.  I have a particular shape in mind which will be evident when the other gardens get constructed, so excuse the odd shape of these two for now.

The first layer

The first layer

All ready for veg

All ready for veg

These gardens have been planted with lettuce, carrots, cucumber and watermelon.  Our neighbour swapped us some seedlings for some of our mulch, and we were both very happy with the trade.

The entrance to our front door has always been rather…strange.  There is a concrete path that goes along to the side of the house to a door that no one ever uses, while the main door/porch area was grassed over.  This meant that people would feel a little confused as to whether this was the main entrance.  My parents kindly gave us some surplus pavers from their new house, and D got to work putting them down next to our porch.

Sausage helping D get the ground flat and ready for the pavers

Sausage helping D get the ground flat and ready for the pavers

Not quite the finished product

Not quite the finished product

This project is not quite finished as D plans to put gravel around the pavers once they have settled down into position.  I think they’re looking good, and my parents saved us a bunch of money as those pavers are not cheap to buy!  Cheers, Mum and Dad.

While we were mucking around the front yard, I figured it would be a good time to give our cars a wash (especially as one of them is for sale).  I had two willing helpers.

Get 'em while they're young

Get ’em while they’re young

Chip discovered the joys of drinking straight from the hose…

That tot deserves a drink after all that hard work

That tot deserves a drink after all that hard work

D and I have drawn up a rather lengthy list of all the things we need to do around the house and garden.  Maintenance takes oh, five times longer to do with children in tow, but at least we crossed a few things off that list this weekend.  We managed to squeak in a bit of rest, and enjoyed a picnic under our cherry trees.

Love this place

Love this place

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