Preparing for Hydroseeding

Hydroseeding

Landscaping is one of those tasks that many put in the too hard basket when the reality is a lot of your properties value sits outdoors.

Before we got our dog we had a perfectly manicured white stone path, she quickly turned it into her play pit and put stones everywhere. Combine that with the patchy blend of lawn/weeds and ankle rolling pits caused by the earthquakes, we decided it’s time we paid some attention to this area of our property.

Family front yard

We got planning and included a garden renovation in the mix when mapping out what we needed to do. We were under time constraints with winter just around the corner so needed to get moving. we started by stepping out the process so we knew what we needed and when

The process of replacing your lawn

⁃ Spray the existing lawn

⁃ Remove the path

⁃ Remove the existing lawn and top layer of topsoil

⁃ Build garden edges

⁃ Put a new layer of topsoil down

⁃ Compact

⁃ Hydroseed

We were completely blind to how extensive this work will be so I’m glad we did our research to get the process right but if I’m being honest we touched base with Canterbury Lawns nice and early and they gave us advice along the way.

It’s important you do the planning before you rip into it so you don’t have any surprises like the price of topsoil and how much you’ll need. We worked out our rate of topsoil being 50mm across the lawn so need 3 cubic meters, there are some great tools online to get you this measurement.

Turf Cutter Kennards Hire

Going to Kennards Hire for all our hire equipment was the best decision. Their team helped us find what we needed and I’ve never received such incredible customer service (honestly they shocked me it was that good). We got straight to work with a turf cutter that thing is a bloody good work out!!!

Once all the turf was gone we built our new raised garden beds to box up the gardens and create a border for the lawn. This was pretty straight forward just make sure you get timber that can be underground and not rot. Our tool shout out here was the RYOBI 18V ONE+ Brushless Planting and Digging Tool, it saved us a lot of work with the digging the holes for the pegs. We also realised at this point that our lawn was completely unbalanced to the level of the house so a good opportunity to straighten that up.

Woman Raking Soil

The laying and compacting of the topsoil was the easy part, I unloaded it into a wheelbarrow and Mooch with her meticulous eye evened it out. Once we were all done here it was time to call in Canterbury Lawns and get their crew in with hydroseed. This is like the icing on the cake – literally!!! They sprayed a mix of brown top, fescue, and ryegrass onto the topsoil and it’s all done in about 10 minutes! Their team also provided us with an aftercare sheet which is so helpful because all the info we found online varied from the weather we have here. Keep an eye on our Instagram for progress.

Hydroseeding small section

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The Best Lawn Mower for Nana

Ryobi ONE+ 18V 33cm

On a recent trip home I was talking to my Nana about our new Ryobi 36V 5.0Ah 46cm Brushless Lawn Mower and how it’s a game-changer for our lawn, It’s light enough to lift over the porch and makes mowing easier than I ever thought it could be.

My Grandfather isn’t around anymore so Nana needed a mower that wasn’t heavy and was a piece of cake to use, so I got talking to Ryobi about the best option for her and we landed on the Ryobi ONE+ 18V 33cm Lawn Mower from Bunnings. It’s 10.3KG making it easy work for Nana to lift across the stones to get to her garden, there’s no petrol, no stiff cords, and no bulk so it’s ideal for her small 10x3m section. If you’re sporting a small section, this mower is the one for you.

Ryobi ONE+ 18V 33cm specs

  • 13″ (33cm) deck width
  • 6-year replacement warranty with online registration
  • Cordless
  • Lightweight with instant start
  • Compact storage and lightweight design
  • Single ONE+ Battery operation
  • 30min runtime on a 5.0Ah battery
  • 35Ltr catcher capacity

Our review

Cordless mowers are fast becoming popular with smaller sized sections and you can see why. Ryobi made this mower more convenient by adding it to their ONE+ family meaning the battery can be used across 80 tools! No cords, no petrol, and being lightweight makes for a much easier cutting experience. Unlike the usual case of the specs saying the catcher is designed to hold more and in fact, they hold less, this mower actually uses all the space of the catcher which is great for Nana because she only has to empty it once with her smaller lawn. I’m really impressed, I wasn’t expecting much because of the size but in all honesty, Ryobi has nailed the purpose of this mower, it’s too small for our lawns but it’s ideal for a smaller apartment, retirement flat and courtyards.

You can shop the mower here: https://www.bunnings.co.nz/ryobi-one-18v-33cm-lawn-mower-console_p03381252

Get the battery for the mower here: https://www.bunnings.co.nz/ryobi-one-18v-5-0ah-lithium-battery-pack_p00295032

5 Fast-growing screening plants

Griselinia

If you have a fence that’s not too easy on the eye or your property is exposed to the road and neighbours, you’re probably looking for the perfect privacy screen to do the trick. Hedges are a great option because they add colour to your yard and are a cost effecient privacy screen.

Choosing the right tree for the job can be the hard part so we’ve been down to Southern Woods Nursery to check out what they have and put together a list of our 5 favourite screening plants for your home.

PHOTINIA ‘RED ROBIN’

Bright-red growth tips on a compact, lush green shrub. Small white flowers in spring. New Zealand bred cultivar. Tolerant of a wide range of well-drained sites. Evergreen and hardy – the hands off gardeners choice!

A Photinia 'Red Robin' hedge after it has been nursed back to health.

PITTOSPORUM TENUIFOLIUM

A large shrub or small tree with attractive dense foliage and scented flowers. Hedges well for lower-tier farm shelter or suburban privacy screening. Excellent revegetation species. Tolerates wind, drought, frost and coastal conditions. Attractive to bees. Evergreen. Very frost hardy. If you’re after a good all rounder – this one is for you.

Pittosporum t. 'Silver Sheen' as sheered hedge. Mill Valley, CA

DODONAEA VISCOSA – Green Ake Ake

Attractive, fast-growing small tree with green foliage. Ornamental papery flower clusters in summer. Tolerates salt winds and dry conditions. Makes a great trimmed hedge or tall coastal shelter. Attractive papery bark. Prefers well-drained soils away from heavy frosts when young. Ake Akes are also evergreen and have interesting colours throughout the year with different shades of purple and green depending on your variant.

ake ake

GRISELINIA LITTORALIS ‘BROADWAY MINT’

One of the most popular hedging shrubs with large, glossy leathery green leaves. Has the benefit of sprouting away from bare wood. Becomes a small, round-headed tree if left untrimmed. Excellent shelter. Withstands drought and coastal conditions although performs best with regular irrigation. Trim in summer. Berries attract birds. Evergreen and hardy, if you’re after some brightness in the yard Griselinias are the perfect choice.

ESCALLONIA RUBRA VAR. MACRANTHA

Masses of rose-crimson, bell-shaped flowers through summer. Popular for hedging. Likes a well-drained site in full sun. Larger flowers and leaves than other Escallonia cultivars. Evergreen and hardy, the escallonia is the most ornamental of the screening plants with its glossy leaves and bell-shaped flowers.

Escallonia Macrantha

If you’re looking for a garden centre with variety and expertise we always recommend heading to Southern Woods Nursery and talking to them. All of our plants have been purchased from them and have been a success from day 1!

Get to know the Ryobi 190cc Self-Propelled 4 Stroke Lawn Mower

Ryobi Lawn Mower

Mowing your lawns can be quite the workout, it becomes a weekend chore that you don’t always want to do between emptying the catcher, pushing the mower row after row, you get more of a workout than a CrossFit champ.

Having the right mower means you can get the lawns mowed faster and easier. The Ryobi 190cc Self-Propelled 4 Stroke Lawn Mower will help you do just that.

With our latest garden project on the go, we were more than happy to team up with our friends at Ryobi to share our thoughts on this model with you guys.

What’s under the hood?

  • Powerful 190cc 4-stroke OHV Yamaha engine
  • Self-propelled drive
  • Mulching and side-discharge options
  • 460mm cutting path with adjustable cutting height, meaningless passes to get the job done
  • 4 swing back blades for increased cut and safety
  • Deck cleaning ability for a standard garden hose

I know some of you are already fizzing!

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This mower also comes with a 2 year replacement warranty, and she’s a real head turner!

Our review on the Ryobi 190cc Self-Propelled 4 Stroke Lawn Mower

Our section size is roughly 600 sqm so not a grand estate by any means. The mower we had before this one was around the same price but I noticed they cut very different. Where the old mower would scuff this one would glide nicely and adjust itself to suit – magic! The self-propelled engine is brilliant for getting the mower through areas that are usually really difficult and would be soooo good for large sections and steep sections, maybe a little bit of an overkill for our small yard.

The catcher is super easy to use as it just hooks on so has not potential to break like the old ones did, its also 55 litres so makes for less visits to the compost heap or green bin.

I’ve done a lot of research on mowers and I think Ryobi have nailed this! Especially with the Yamaha engine and all the easy to use features. Supplying the kit all in one is also so handy for different styles of mowing to achieve a bit of #lawnpawn.

You can find the 190cc self-propelled lawn mower, along with the rest of the RYOBI range, at your local Bunnings Warehouse.

 

Capturing Water With The Marley Twist®

Water diverter The Marley Twist®

Environmental concerns on our waterways and newly chlorinated town supply water in Christchurch have us thinking of ways to create our own sustainable hub that keep us healthy as well as provide efficiencies. Growing up on a Farm there were many common practices that have been tried and tested over the generations that urban growth has forgotten about.

When innovation combines with a process that isn’t all that new, it’s bound to not just improve but impress. I saw that Master Plumbers had released their product of the year at the NZ plumbing awards and it was the Twist®, I was already conjuring up ways to use this in our backyard. While yes, this is a sponsored post, I’ll tell you now that we were all set to buy one prior to the collaboration but our renovations got away on us.

Marley Twist

Get to know The Marley Twist®

A compact rainwater diverter that turns your downpipe into a free source of water. Quick connect any standard garden hose, “twist” to the on position and enjoy the benefits. Rather than letting rainwater flow away into the stormwater system, Twist can be used to divert rainwater to a storage tank for all the jobs around the house. We’ve been using ours for the below:

  • Fill Frankie’s water
  • Wash Frankie after her muddy runs at the park
  • Wash the lawn mower
  • Clean hands after gardening
  • Water for our goldfish

Marley Twist

The Marley Twist® is designed with aesthetic and function in mind. Designed to capture free rainwater and has been specifically designed and manufactured in New Zealand for New Zealand conditions. Water is our most precious natural resource, and a regular clean supply, whether in urban or rural areas, can no longer be taken for granted. Easily installed, you can put the Twist® onto existing downpipe/s to really maximise clean water capture. And when integrated as part of a Marley spouting and downpipe system they carry the same Marley 15 year guarantee.

Easy Install

We’ve put together a “how-to” video guide to installing The Marley Twist®, watch below:

Shop for your colour here: http://bit.ly/MarleyTwist

NB: This is a collaboration with Marley, all words are our own.

D.I.Y Planter Box

Planter box

There’s no denying that the thought of a lush garden is amazing, but they require a lot of work. For those of us who have small backyards, busy schedules or want to create a garden that is niche to a type of flower, planter boxes are a great solution.

I remember when I was younger making a stylish planter box with my step mum and then replicating it as a gift for my nanas birthday! When we got Frankie (our Boxer puppy) Georgias stepsister Nicole checked in on her for the first week, which we really appreciated so wanted to say thank you. As you will know if you follow our blog, I like to get creative with gifts, be it a repainted bike, upcycled chair or in this case – a planter box, gifts with thought are always the best received!

Nicole bakes amazing cakes (check out her Instagram) so the planter box will help her grow colourful flowers to put on the cakes she makes. Planter boxes are great for things like lilies, tulips, daisies or for mini vegetable gardens. I also got some new Ryobi Powertools from their One+ range that I wanted to take for a test run (very happy).

Handy tip – buying the wood, this can start costing some serious coin, I looked around for the best deal.  This day it was from Musgroves, I managed to pick everything up for $30 NZD. Musgroves sells recycled building materials and timber, so super cool for a look around too, I could easily get lost for hours looking at their range of character pieces.

Watch the step by step video below

A guide to washing your house

There’s something satisfying about a perfectly manicured home, you walk past a house around the corner on your morning stroll, and you wonder how they get it looking so damn perfect! Chances are, they spend endless hours maintaining it so their investment has kerb appeal.
If you want to give your home more kerb appeal, an important place to start is by washing it. Think how good a car looks when you wash it, a house is much the same. I’ve recently got a Ryobi pressure washer so thought where best to try it out than washing our house on a 30 degree summers day. Before I proceeded, I researched if the pressure washer was the right choice for our house (an early 1900’s villa check it out on our Instagram).
Not all surfaces can handle the powerful jet of a pressure washer; plaster and brick can be damaged when using one. Below I’ve outlined tips on how to get the job done right and your house shining for the warmer months.

P1210649

Installing an Espalier kit

Espalier is an ancient practice of controlling woody plant growth for the production of fruit, by pruning and tying branches to a wire support.  A French name which comes from Italian “spalliera” (to support or lean on). 

Espaliered fences are becoming popular in residential areas limited to spaces, community gardens, driveways and the like. We’ve been wanting to cover a fence that is the first thing you see when you enter our front yard, it’s a great way to take the focus off a boring space and let’s face it, they look pretty cool!

We were on the hunt for a smart system that we could use for so long, then we stumbled upon Lock Jaw who was also a local business to New Zealand. When you research espalier there are usually four types that are popular:

  • Horizontal
  • Candelabra
  • Verticle
  • Diamond

We decided to choose diamond as that would cover up most of the fence we wanted to hide when fully trained and looks super slick!

You can watch our video for install instructions here!


The tools you need are:

  1. Power drill (we use Ryobi)
  2. Potriveter
  3. Tek screw drill bit
  4. Measuring tape and pencil
  5. Wire and snips

The install is surprisingly easy if you have a straightforward fence to drill in to. Lock Jaw makes the install super easy with guides on their website. We followed the pattern that they had on the box when threading the wire which took all of 1 minute!Espalier FenceThe only thing you really need to know is to keep the distance between each gap the same when making the diamond kit, that way your diamonds will turn out even!

We went down to Oderings to buy our climbers, Georgia and I were very happy with the selection of climbers they had and the young guy helping us out knew his stuff! We decided that we didn’t want to wait a year or so to start seeing real growth so chose the Potato Vine which in the Nightshade family and they were already really long to begin with.  When planting we gave them lots of compost in the hole and then gently wrapped them around the wires. When finished we soaked them with water to give them a strong start.

We are very excited to see the espalier kit next year after a good 6 months growth! It’s better than we imagined and has added so much to that first glimpse of our front yard. Now for the rest of the yard!

You can buy the Lock Jaw Kit here: 

Lock Jaw website 

King size set

Lock Jaw Diamond King Espalier

The Mooch Style Christmas Wish List

christmas gift ideas

Christmas is our favourite time of the year. We catch up with family and head to our families spot in Central Otago to spend the summer holidays in the sun. We also have a lot of friends and family around at our place so like to keep on top of the maintenance around our house and garden. If you’re like us, and you are overly house proud or know someone that is, you may want to give them something that makes their weekends a breeze and their day to day comfortable. Georgia and I have asked each other for 5 “wish list” items for Christmas – for the home!

Keep reading because we are giving you a chance to win one of these items for Christmas ; )

Georgia’s Wish List


For the Sunbathers:
Pour a Mojito and relax with this summer stunner!


– freedom furniture NZ

Lounge around and soak up the rays. Extra comfort added with a soft, full-length cushion, just perfect for relaxing!
Freedom Furniture Lounger


For the home bodies:
Coconut, Caramel and Tonka Bean, head to our Insta to win the full set!

– The Aromatherapy Company

Fill your home with these delicious scents this Christmas. What’s better is we are giving you a chance to win one! Head to our insta for details.
Candles


For the coffee snobs:
Delicious colours and freedom to get creative

– Breville Nespresso Creatista

Not just good for the morning coffee – espresso martinis anyone??? You’ll be in her good books for a few days!
Coffee machine


For the floral lovers:
So moody – and so local!


– Just South West

Botanic prints are suuuuper cool and so popular with home stylists. What’s best is she shoots them in NZ.
IMG_1834_copy_2048x2048


For the pamper princess:
Lush stonewashed Jamie Kay bed linen, it’s like heaven.

– Father Rabbit

Jamie Kay stonewashed linen is so luxurious and naturally antibacterial, antifungal and has great anti-allergenic properties and works as a thermo/cooling regulator – which you will love too!
Jamie Kay linen


Shayden’s Wish List


For the control freaks:

Monthly fixed price lawn maintenance packages.


–  Turf Technologies

If you watch our Insta stories, you will know I’m mad about our lawn. Turf Technologies work with you to create lush, healthy green lawns and envious gardens.
Turf Technologies, lawn care


For the clean freaks:

Water pressure better than the garden hose.

–  Ryobi Power tools

Have fences or a deck that needs restaining? This will keep your husband busy this summer (hint, hint Georgia).

Pressure washer


For the tech nerds:

Everything at your fingertips for when it’s your turn to choose the channel.


–  Apple TV

Apple TV 4K lets you watch movies and programs in 4K HDR quality and enjoy iTunes and apps like Netflix and youtube.
Apple TV christmas


For the green thumb:

Have an ugly fence that you want to hide or are limited to space? Espalier your plants!

– Lock Jaw espalier kit

Lock Jaw Espalier kits are becoming popular with gardeners and landscapers to create compact and attractive tree features. If you have a limited outdoor area in suburbia this is ideal. You can even grow fruit trees from it.
Espalier kit


For the Hipster:

If you love beer or cider and have ever dreamed of crafting your own fresh brews at home.

– WillamsWarn Brew Keg

Kiwi summers are pretty good! In as little as 4-7 days with 10-20 minutes of effort your man can have his own brew – damn this thing is awesome, every man needs one!
Brew Keg