passive solar house

As summer rolls around again, my house heats up and I wish I lived somewhere else. Fortuitously, I have plans to do just that!

too hot for cats

The Back Paddock behind my house will be no more. I’m building a small (3×1) passive solar, energy efficient house. If you’re new here, the Back Paddock is the empty lot adjoining my house.

the Back Paddock

It’s always been earmarked for a house, but this year the problems with my current house and available finance meant dreams are becoming reality. I engaged Custom Green to design and build the house. We’ve been wrangling concepts since May and they just blogged about it, so it’s time I did too. You can read about the design at their blog.

The Council Planning Dept is currently deliberating on my plans and will hopefully have a (favourable) result in the new year. This summer won’t be the last in my cottage hotbox, but I’m excited for future cooler summers and cosy winters.

conostylis #inthegarden

I’m also excited about the new garden. I’m designing and planting everything from scratch after building finishes. Ideas have been swirling since May and so far I have pencil sketches (that change regularly). In the new year I’ll post some of my ideas.

singing honeyeater in the garden

I’ll continue my current gardening practices of endemic plants to attract local wildlife and build ecosystems. I’ll put in wicking beds for growing vegetables, with composting and earthworms galore. The house design incorporates evergreen shrubs and deciduous vines for summer cooling and winter warming. The north facing pergola with grape and passionfruit vines will add summer deliciousness.

Patersonia occidentalis

Despite my niece wanting to see photos of the new house, obviously there are none. The photos you see are from my gardening adventures in the Back Paddock, which will continue in the new garden after building is finished.

gold and silver #inthegarden

This view (below) of the east fence of the Back Paddock is from October. The silver leaved Conostylis candicans have finished flowering and I’m transplanting them one by one. This local sedge grows in Perth’s sand dunes and thrives in sandy gardens with no summer watering.

spring colour #inthegarden

The shrub in the far corner is Kunzea baxteri and will be protected during construction, to be the first plant in my new garden. I have at least a year to change my garden ideas multitudes of times. I’m already in love with my non-architectural statemently home.

“Our client came to us with a strong sense and good knowledge about sustainable living, having actively studied this subject for some time. The home was never meant to be an architectural statement but a comfortable home and together we think we have come up with a modest home that will serve her well. The process so far has been most enjoyable and due to our client’s knowledge and decisiveness we believe we are ready to start on site in the first quarter of the New Year.”

In other news: This week I pruned the palm trees (the bane of my existance) and managed to fell the electricity line running to my house. The Electricity Co. had to come and fix it. Another reminder of the problems with my current house (and my sadly lacking tree surgery skills).

the electricity line is not meant to touch the roof!

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