We have reached lockup stage now. All our doors are in, including the bifolds for the family room. Aren't they lovely?
In winter, the sunlight will stream in to warm the slab in the family room. In summer, the pergola will be covered with vines for shade. In fact, I already have a choko (chayote to some) growing on the windowsill towards next summer. My long-term plan is for a passionfruit vine to cover the pergola, but even if I plant one as soon as I can, there won't be enough of it to provide shade this year. The choko vine, however, will be luxuriant in months.
The choko vine and the passionfruit vine are staples in Sydney, though chokos -- traditionally grown over one's shed -- are much less common than they were. The newer dwellings don't have enough space for a choko vine, for one thing, and secondly, a lot of us grew up eating chokoes way too often! I saw some nasty big yellowish ones at the shops today for $3.99/kg, way too much, and at least twice as big as they should have been. Of course, the one I bought was even worse: I could see it was starting to sprout, which was why I wanted it! I don't understand why greengrocers persist in selling such old chokoes.
I saw the aggregate and the planter box mix being wheeled in this morning to fill the herb bed, but I can't really plant my choko until the pergola is painted. I might sneak in a few late bulbs, though. Or if I can find my strawberry plants... if they've survived... I might pop them in.