Joe and I are incredibly lucky in the fact that we have so many trades in the family.
We’ve got builders, joiners, and plumbers. And without their help and advice I don’t think the house would still be standing if I’m being 100% honest.
The latest addition to our to-do list has been to tackle the garden, and lo and behold, it just so happens that Joe’s lovely brother-in-law, Andy, is trained in landscape gardening, and offered us his expertise on how we should tackle our mess of a back lawn. Talk about knowing all of the right people!
When we bought the house, following months of neglect the garden was hugely overgrown, not just with grass, but with weeds, moss, mushrooms, clovers, holly, and a whole load of other jungle-like attributions which I’m sure I’ll never know the names of. Most of it has been ripped up and destroyed over time, but some of it still lingers – offering a not-so-gentle reminder when you receive a pinch on your bum from sitting on the lawn.
Following family barbeques, a few bin-fires to get rid of old fire wood, and the mammoth mode of destruction that was our kitchen extension, the garden has taken a real battering. It has been littered with leftover bricks, dusty bushes, half-dead lawns and just a heap of sad looking soil. I know how much Joe has been itching to get his hands on the outdoors and make us a beautiful outdoor space, but the indoors have so far taken priority, so it’s never quite made it to the to-do list.
But now is the time.
Andy kindly drew up some ideas as to what we could fit in the garden, depending on what sunlight we get, and what we want to use the space for. Here are some of the sketches, It’s not to scale of course, but hopefully you can get an idea of what we’re aiming for!
Here’s a summary:
We plan to have decking emerge from our kitchen French doors – possibly with a table on so we can sit and have breakfast here in the summer.
To the left will be an area for general garden niceties including bark, the existing bushes we actually want to keep, and then some new beautiful flowers of some kind.
The back of the garden plays host to Joe’s shed and also the brand new housing unit for our ferrets! It’s absolutely massive and not yet complete, but I’ll do a post on this later, as Joe built it himself from scratch!
To the right, we want another seating area as it gets the most sun in the evenings, so will probably be where we BBQ in the future. I’d also love a chimneya to sit in this part.
And then with a bit of luck, we’ll still have a really decent sized lawn. Very luckily, even after extending our house, we’ve still got a large lawn to work with. Not everyone loves too much grass in a garden but I do. It’s boring but I like it.
To kickstart the project, Joe and Andy spent a beautifully sunny day this month working on the left of the garden. They spray painted areas in the lawn which were to be dug up so we could truly visualise the new space and then they cracked on. They dug up the lawn to create the shape of our border, removed weeds, lay down sheeting to hopefully prevent the future growth of any crap (i.e more weeds!), relocated some of the bushes that we actually wanted to keep, and then lay bark around the rest. Already it looks better!
This plan will take time and I’m sure even at the end of this Summer it will still look a little unfinished, but over the years to come when the plants start to really bloom, and as the lawn area will fill up with slides and paddling pools and all the rest that kids accumulate, it will start to feel more like home.