Tag: landscaping

How to completely change your garden

Or How renovating your garden requires blood, sweat and multiple trips to the tip.

When my OH & I bought our house over 3 years ago, it looked very different. We spent the first month pretty much painting everything we could. Trust me, it needed it. Our house is 160 years old. Throughout its history, some of the owners have lovingly looked after it. Some clearly hated it and practised their awful DIY skills on it! So we throughout the process, we’ve discovered some lovely bits and some hideous bits. But we left the garden alone. When we moved in, it looked like this.

BeforeIt was pretty neglected. Bit by bit, we started to tidy up. The more we tidied, the more junk we discovered. It was a long, arduous and uninspiring task. I can’t even think how many trips to the tip we’ve done. Whether it was the shed, the debris behind the shed, the dead bushes and shrubs… It goes on. But finally, all of that is behind us. This year, we’ve had a new fence and shed built. We’ve completely gutted the garden, with the exception of a very lonely magnolia tree. And we’ve only got about one more tip run to do with a few more bucket fulls of rubble (seriously, no idea where it keeps coming from!) We’re not finished, but we’re really close. Over the last few weekends we’ve been working really hard on the house. Here are a few things we’ve done:

wallWe found these bricks under the earth at the back of the garden. Amazingly, most of them are in great shape, so we built a small wall around the shed. The shed is on a raised plinth so we needed something around it. I’m pretty chuffed with this find. Not quite sure what the numbers represent, but they are now on proud display in the garden. (Huge thanks to my OH’s step-dad for building it!) We have an ongoing battle with weeds in the earth around the shed so wanted something to stop this. So we put down some heavy duty weed barrier and put these lovely pebbles over it. They look lush in the rain and we’re going to add some ferns in pots around the side too.

On Sunday morning, I was very anxious about the weather. I wanted to paint the original fence in the garden to spruce it up a bit. It really needs repairing or replacing but we’re running out of time and money. The weather report said cloudy all day so off out into the garden we went. It started the day looking like this:

Before_back Before_frontIt did rain while we were painting, but just as we were finishing up and it was the briefest of showers. I had to run out for more paint, as we used the whole 5L tin before we finished and these taller panels will need a second coat. Fingers crossed for no rain on Saturday! Not only did we paint the fence, but we also dug in a border on this side of the lawn. There was one there before, but when we took out all the dying shrubs, the grass took over. Three days later and my body is still in agony from the work we did! But it’s so worth it, don’t you think?

After_front

Quite the improvement! We’re going to build some raised beds out of all scaffolding boards from a local supplier. They’re going to go either side of the patio. We are also going to powerwash the patio and plant up loads of bulbs that my Mum bought me and then we’ll be done until Spring. We’ve spent most of this years budget and we’re pretty exhausted, as we’ve also been working on a few bits inside the house too. Have to say, I’m very much looking forward to planting next year and not moving any more earth! Talk about a labour of love! We’ve worked so hard on our garden and I just can’t wait for it to be finished.

A Crafty Garden – An update

We’ve been working really hard on getting our garden sorted. For weeks, it felt like all we did was work on the garden, which was fine as it also meant I could work on my tan* (See ‘tan’, think just less vampire-pale!) Anyway, we’ve not been able to do much over the last few weekends, with weddings & other commitments. Plus I think we were a little burnt out on gardening. We’ll be back out there next weekend though, as we’re really close to getting everything done, bar the planting, which will come later.

The main area we’ve been focusing on was the back of the garden. It’s overshadowed by a tree & it’s not an area we use particularly. We’ve decided to let it go wild & plant wild flower seeds. We’ve picked up some packs of seeds from Burford Garden Centre, that are suitable for a shady area like this, but will still attract bees & butterflies. At the moment, it’s only attracting Poppy & some cats!

Back of the gardenThere is a gap between the wall and the shed, which Poppy uses to bark at the cats that sit on the shed. When we plant the seeds, we’re going to try & block this area off from her. We’re hoping it’ll become a little area for nature. One that doesn’t require much weeding!

Soon to be wildWe moved the compost bin from the back & found, surprisingly, compost! So I’m hoping that we can carry on using it, but would love to ‘pretty up’ the bin a bit. If you know how I can do that, let me know! I also want to paint the fence, as it’s really tatty in place & we haven’t got the budget to replace it right now. We’re not sure what type of outdoor paint to use though, as it’s already been painted once. Again, any ideas, let me know as we need to do that before we plant.

Numbered bricksIn the space at the back of the garden, we found these adorable bricks. (We also found some very annoying reinforced concrete, which required a few tips to the trip to remove, but that’s another story!) We’re going to reuse a lot of the bricks we dug up throughout the garden, but what I’d like to know is why do these bricks have numbers in them? We’ve got quite a few. Why were they buried under ground? Who made them? So many questions arrise when your garden is over 150 years old!

Hanging BasketOne thing that has gone well are my plants! They’ve really bloomed. The hanging basket I planted up is my favourite. Everything was bought from Millets Farm & the plants were random & on offer so I’m not sure what they are, except that they’re pretty & the bees love them!

Planted potsThis is my favourite pot though. These have grown like wild fire & spread everywhere. They need a bit of tidy up at the moment, but nothing too taxing, which is why I like pots!

The end is in sight for the garden. We’ve got a deadline of the end of July to get all the major work completed, which is quite doable. Then we’ll focus on working out what to plant.