Courtyard revival and a touch of the ladybird..

It's not the before shot - I'm about half way through here.
I'll even look away as you click on the image
to enlarge..  *gulp*.
In the middle of our house lies a courtyard.
It is a fantastic space although over winter it is rarely used. By the time spring comes around it looks very neglected, sad and tired - every year, without fail.

Today was time for the courtyard's spring clean. I started at 8:45am and worked solidly until late afternooon, stopping to have a quick lunch before doing the afternoon school pick up.

Keep an eye out for the touch of the ladybird, as my friend Kirsty likes to call the recent splashes of red happening at our place!
The little coldframe was brushed out and hosed. Oh! The redbacks that crawled out of here...yikes!!
At least it's all ready now for some spring seedlings.

Strawberries still had their dead foliage from last summer.

 This was removed and they were treated to a big drink of worm juice..

A tip scrounged cane plant stand finds a new home..

and the hanging pink flowering strawberry from my mum also finds it's way to the courtyard..

Yet another ladder from the tip..this time to accommodate strawberry pots..

..with the odd teapot or kettle...

The ladder is a bit of a work in progress..

Even the barbeque was cleaned. This was a big one for me. I think it's usually around November when I tackle this, but it's nice to get it done and out of the way.

We had our first bbq of the season for dinner!

The paving was swept and blowed with the leaf blower and then scrubbed and hosed. Wheelbarrows of weeds and and perished plant pots were removed and the windows got a lick and a promise...

..and during all of this, one of the new kerchiefs did a cracking job of keeping my hair at bay and un-dusty!

The table and chairs are still on the list of cleaning jobs and perhaps some chair covers if I get really inspired!

What Spring  (or Autumn for those north of the equator) jobs have you got on your 'To do' list?


  1. It's the season of autumn gales and rain here, so it's more thinking about putting the garden to bed over the next six weeks. And we have a house painter due next week, we might have left it too late if the weather doesn't dry up... We did squeeze a barbie in with my back lane neighbours though at the weekend, probably the last of the year. So it goes on the other side of the world x

  2. PS It's interesting to see that when I use the 'featured image' thing on Wordpress the picture pops up in your sidebar. Must be a clever blogger setting :)

  3. Wow! You got through a lot in one day! Jealous of the pink strawberry! I've only seen one other and I hinted madly to no avail. Isn't it great that the BBQ weather is making a comeback!

  4. Ah ladybird, loving all the splashes of red - you just need some black spots now! What an industrious day. I don't know why head scarves ever went out of fashion - they're so practical and hide a bad hair day so well. I have done the kitchen windows and bench but everything else seems to be getting worse - not better - oh and the garlic patch is weed free - always prefer to spring clean the garden!

  5. Your courtyard is looking good and so is the touch of red. I am amazed how your strawberries are still hanging on, mine turned up their toes a long time ago. Oh it does feel so good when another job is completed :)

    Well...This is what I have done this Spring...I have decided to do away with all plants that are inedible. I have tossed out the pot plants and replaced them with herbs. Because water is so expensive now I figure that I am NOT going to waste it, used only for growing food...The garden beds are coming along nicely and are gradually filling up with veggie plants.

  6. What a productive day! The results look lovely - must be very satisfying.

  7. With red being my favourite colour, the touch of the ladybird has my humble approval. Love that ladder.

  8. The touch of the ladybird - love it! :) Your posts always shout out with so much joy, Chris!

  9. Fabulous. I love those days where you can look back at what you have done and actually see a difference. It is so much better than doing dishes or washing clothes when you know you are going to be doing the same jobs again tomorrow. You must feel fabulous. Congrats on a productive day.

  10. WOW That's one busy productive day, spring has certainly put the spring in your step, well done!

  11. Keep up the great work, christine. i always find if I blog about a job like this, it really give me the incentive to keep going . Your 'all things painted red' theme is working really well it!!Looks like the strawberries joined in with their colourful flowers(goats LOVE eating stawberry leaves they have lots of vitamins and minerals that are good for them be careful )

  12. You've almost inspired me as I look out the study window ...

  13. it's so satisfying getting work like that done..i have been tackling some untidy's done the other is a work in progress..

  14. Oh Christine your painted tip finds are AWESOME!! I can imagine strawberries cascading down that ladder!! We have a pink flowering strawberry hanging too. :)

  15. I LOVE the colour! Ruby red is my favourite colour, matched with teal green!

    I also cleaned our BBQ the other weekend, oh, it was so gross! But I do love me some bar-be-cue!! (Nice scarf!)

  16. Isn't it great the way spring always motivates us to clean up outside. It's like a new chance every year. All the bits and pieces look great, Christine. I love your head scarf, I have a dark blue one I've worn for years when I do heavy sweaty work.

  17. Absolutely GORGEOUS! Well done! I am so envious of your courtyard... I've ALWAYS wanted a home with a courtyard ever since I was a little girl... You'll enjoy many wonderful memories there this summer, I'm sure :)

  18. House painting sounds exciting, Joanna. I do enjoy picturing you out in the back lane for bbq's, such fun this would be! (no idea about the photo - blogger must take all the credit, frustrating that it is at times).

    I have only seen a couple of pink flowering strawberries too, Linda. I'm hoping this one will oblige by throwing out a few runners which can be pot on for extra plants.

    Gardening is ALWAYS so much more preferable than housework, Kirsty! Absolutely, without a doubt ;)

    Well done to you, Tania! Growing food plants is so satisfying, I'm sure your garden will be beautiful and functional at the same time. :)

    Body was tired but the soul was content, quinn.

    Thankyou Deb, I don't doubt red is your favourite colour! ;) It can become a little addictive though...

    I like the little saying too, Celia. Will be remembering it every time I look at red garden ornaments from now on!

    Thanks, BruiseMouse - you are very kind to say such things. It is very satisfying..even if the other stuff doesn't get done, at least THIS job did. :)

    Thanks, Busy mum of 3 - it's good to get stuck into those jobs that get looked at all winter and then start to irk you when spring hits!

    You're right, Kim, blogging is a great motivator. Goats and strawberries, eh? Yes, I'm not surprised they find them tasty..will be keeping a good eye on them!

    Almost! ahh - I nearly succeeded, Rose. Next time!! ;)

    Nice work, Jane - sheds look so much more inviting when cleared and tidied! Keep at it :)

    Lovely, Tammy, I do like the look of the pink flowering strawberry immensely - although I've heard that they aren't as prolific as their white flowering siblings..?

    Bbq's are great, aren't they dixie! I love the way there are hardly any dishes to do at the end of them, too!

    Absolutely, Rhonda - this courtyard was like a thorn in our side, visible from nearly every angle and so depressing from a cold, dark winter. It's great to have it rejuvinated and inviting again. Head scarfs are the best for this type of work!

    Thankyou Little Home, what a nice thing to say. I hope it gets a lot of use over summer too - it really is a great space when it's all neat and tidy. I wish I could pack a bit up and send it to you! :)

  19. I hadn't though of painting the ladders I have scrounged! Great idea!

    I am setting up an outdoor eating area, where there wasn't one. I too am looking forward to bbq's and eating and living outside more as the weather improves.

  20. Love your head scarf! Looks like you achieved plenty this day and I'm a bit envious, as it appears you didn't have too many interruptions, having got so much done! I won't share our tasks ahead...too many to list but definately need to clean our outdoor eating area too.

  21. Fabulous job on the courtyard! That ladder idea is brilliant - we picked up two wooden ones recently simply because they looked cute but I have been racking my brains to think of a use for them. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  22. This is only the second ladder out of several that have seen the paint, Hazel. For the garden, I usually like them with some kind of rustic patina. I love your outdoor kitchen, you are a one woman machine!!

    Yes, Amanda, extremely lucky to have a solid window of uninterrupted time (pretty rare!). I think a clean outdoor eating area is good to tackle first, as it can be a place to rest while in the middle of all of those other outside spring jobs!

    Thanks, NativeIllawarra! Ladders are a fantastic addition to the garden..I've used them for growing pumpkins up (the steps make great 'shelves'), like here for plant stands, tomato supports, climbing peas..there really is no limit! If we had an undercover outdoor area, I think I'd use them for crockery storage/display and perhaps bookcases! Happy laddering. :)


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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