Restoration Project: House and Garden

On Saturday the 10th of November,
we moved into a large house that would have
been instantly described (where I grew up)
as a “British Colonial House”.

Built in 1920, it is very much in keeping
with British ‘Residences’ seen in photographs
and documentaries on places like Kenya
and India, in the 1930’s.

When first walking through it with the realtor,
I was overwhelmed with the constant notion
that I was in an historical house that was
open to the public or, part of some museum-type
“Heritage House”.

It certainly did not seem like a house in which
we might possibly be able to actually live.

Although my principle interest lay in the
Japanese Garden, I confess to being
equally fascinated with the dark wood
and glass door-knobs; the ornate windows
and ‘old’ style layout, which transported me
back to my childhood.

We brought to the new house,  ninety four
5-gallon pots of select ferns, hostas, and other perennials
which I look forward to planting in the new garden.

The first week, however, will be given over to
cleaning every floor, wall, and window-sill;
having the heavy carpet in the stairs and hallways
chemically cleaned; and filling nail-holes, dents,
and imperfections in the walls prior to sanding
and re-painting.

Whilst hoping that there may be one or two folk
who might be interested in a series of bi-weekly pictorials
summarising the work in the garden …

… I thought to present a few photographs of the house

(as it was on the day we received the keys,
and again, as the cleaning and painting is completed
in each room)

in the unlikely event that there might be anyone
visiting this Internet site who would share my
fascination with the history of old houses such as this.

Land around the house itself had been
– some years ago – sold
and a development of “Over 55” townhouses built
in a square around it, to form a community
of like-minded, peace-loving folk.

The private garden, subsequently, is completely enclosed
by a six-foot high chain link fence which is
successfully hidden from view amidst the cedar hedging,
Acer trees, and various shrubs of the garden itself.

Complete security in a community of folk who – like us –
desire a quiet and peaceful life.

Whilst (for me) the garden will be the principle project
– trees and shrubs ‘browning up’ from lack of adequate water;
soil that appears lifeless and barren; and beautiful plants
that require a great deal of pruning and ‘medical’ care,

it is anticipation that will have to wait
until the house has had a thorough ‘going over’.

For any visitor who might share my interest
in historical houses, a few photographs
have been presented above.

Our current home sees us located on the Pacific Coast
of Canada, which, in winter, means Rain –
– and a great deal of it.

While no real gardening can begin until March,
the fish will need a pond; and I do hope
to move a few plants from their pots,
into garden soil over the next month or so.

Having absolutely no interest in entertaining
those who regularly arrive here, take one look,
and leave again without the civility of an “hello”,
thoughts and photographs over the next few months
will simply be placed for the one or two folk
who would like to ‘join me’ in the garden project.

For interested and congenial visitors,
I shall do my best to provide photographs
along the way.

P Livingstone

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