After 3.5 years of living nomadically and a year of house-sitting/staying with the in-laws in 2013, we finally have a place to nest and call home. It’s my very great pleasure to introduce “Piper’s Moon”.
Check out that wisteria. There’s a grapevine entangled in the verandah railing a bit further down too.
In winter when all the deciduous trees have lost their leaves, this view opens up and we can see all the way over to the next mountain ridge and watch the fog drift through the valley.
This is the view of the back of the house. The kitchen is in that centre pokey-out-bit right behind the ginormous tree fern, with a breakfast nook overlooking the garden. It was very important to me to have at least part of the house on the same level as the garden. My least favourite thing about Hills homes is that the great majority of them are on stilts, so the houses generally float above the garden and the most common view is the canopy of the trees. This can be quite beautiful of course but I don’t like the feeling of separation between house and garden. I want to be able to sit inside and watch the rain patter on the garden. I want to be able to walk straight out into the garden not along a verandah and down the stairs. I want to be able to create the view out our window.
And this view is from underneath our copper beech (it’s HUGE!) of the opposite side of the house to the photo above, which is the back of the house, but this isn’t the front of the house. I’m not sure what to call it.
We have two open fireplaces. TWO! One of them is in the room I think I’ll be claiming as my studio! There are actually two rooms with studio potential. It’s easy to narrow down good studio candidates as you want a southerly aspect (if you’re in the southern hemisphere). This is because direct sunlight wreaks havoc with painting. Piper’s moon only has two suitable rooms with a southerly aspect. The one with the fireplace is upstairs – you can see its chimney on the left in the photo above. The other room is downstairs – it’s the bottom picture window in the photo above. I’ll probably just give them both a whirl and see which one suits.
Obviously, I’m hopelessly in love with her name. I’ll admit, it made me want her a little bit more.
There’s too much to say on this topic. Should I tell you about the little girl who yearned for this day? Who looked forward to this most of all about adulthood? Should I tell you about the many twists and turns our plans took over the years sat in our motorhome, dreaming about where we’d end up. About the architectural plans we drew up and the virtual models on the computer? Or perhaps what the last year was like and my despair in December when I realised the market wouldn’t pick back up again until spring 2014; only to have Piper’s Moon listed 4 days before Christmas! Even once we’d decided she was the one it was a rough ride as our building inspection turned up a major structural defect and the first quote we received to fix the problem was absolutely astronomical.
There is too much I could write on this subject. I feel an overwhelming need to wax lyrical about the Dandenong Ranges; the little piece of heaven which we now own a little piece of but I’m keenly aware I’ve already done this.
For the sake of thoroughness, the Dandenong Ranges (or The Hills, as the locals call them) consist of steep, densely forested hills dissected by deeply cut streams and lush gullies full of fern trees. The Hills are an oasis of temperate rainforest, dominated by the giant Mountain Ash, many over 100m tall. Due to the elevation, fog is common in winter months and it has been known to snow. We miss the clear delineations between seasons of Europe but at least we have a chance of snow up in The Hills and our property is full of mature deciduous trees! Two things uncommon to most of Australia.
I can’t express how excited I am about gardening. And buying original art and hanging them from our picture rails. And having a real studio!