If you're interested in details on the pool, it's a concrete pool that has been fully tiled in the standard range of pool tiles (Antique Aqua). I'd have loved the glass mosaics, but they were going to cost 3 xs as much, so as it was already expensive we decided to go with the normal range. I really wanted green tiles, but unfortunately I seem to be in the minority, as you literally can't buy a standard green pool tile. Any shade of blue is fine, but green… no. So the colour I chose was a muted blue, and looks good with the bluestone paving surrounding the pool, and the rendered grey wall behind.
The wall is around 1.8m high at the highest level, and meets up with our boundary wall. In effect this encloses the pool on two sides. The back wall was designed to screen the utility area behind the pool, and the future garage (currently a very ugly, very large and nearly falling down brown tin shed and carport complex - this is my new project this year). The other two sides have a glass pool fence (it is law in Australia that all pools are fully enclosed). We looked at a couple of options, however the visibility was the deciding factor. With small children we decided it was safest to have unobstructed viewing from the Outdoor dining area.
The Outdoor dining area has really now come into its own. When the Swing chair was first put up it had a picturesque view over the remaining building site, skips and builders port-a-loo, so naturally the improved view has made this a prime spot to swing with a drink. It's particularly nice to spend time there in the evening when we're having a spectacular sunset. The back of our house faces West, and prior to building the extension we'd never see the sunsets or get the benefit of the light in the late afternoon.
The pool is in full shade after 1pm, as the sun moves behind the tree. This is the biggest benefit of the tree, as the kids love being in the pool for hours, but I worry about their sun exposure as they're all very fair skinned.
The garden has come along and is growing in well (as are the weeds!). We still have a lot of planting to do - we've probably put in 2/3rds of the planting, but we have more to go that will have to wait a few months until the really hot weather has waned somewhat and we have milder days.
view from the Bocce court
Some of the round topiary balls are starting to get their form, filler plants starting to fluff up a bit
I do have an unfortunate problem with Nut Grass. It's a lot like Onion weed in that it comes from tiny bulbs under the ground and has to be carefully lifted by shovel so that you get the bulb up and destroyed. Despite having spent hours doing this, it pops up again within a week - obviously a single tiny bulb left behind. I'm about to go to the last resort - Roundup, which will definitely kill it. But I do hate using non organic pesticides on the garden. Unfortunately though it is insidious and fast growing, and I've not been able to get on top of it in the past 3 months.
Cycad, Crepe Myrtle and Japanese Box topiary with Start Jasmine ground cover
I've included some photos taken in the evening to show the lighting that we put in. Lighting is hands down the cheapest way to improve anything - a bit of inventive and dramatic lighting will go far further than expensive furniture or finishes. Eventually the back wall of the pool will have Boston Ivy growing over it, which will look spectacular. At the moment it's a tiny plant so we have a long way to go!
And for a bit of contrast, here is the back garden in its before state
Before we started renovations when it was a neglected lawn tennis court
The old rotary clothes line and the big tree behind - this is where the pool is now.
This time last year - View from the Outdoor Dining, to a building site
Side view of the enormous brown shed and the tree. The trampoline is approximately where the pool is now
Rubbish and the outdoor dining area
one of our boundary fences with weeds and the trees struggling in the Summer - these are now garden beds that I've pictured above.
Apologies for the quality of the photos - unfortunately my generally terrible photography is worse for this post as my DSL camera charger has stopped working, so the battery is flat. I took these with my phone...
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