One of the major perks about buying our own house was the fact we would have our own garden. We were lucky that the flat we rented for 4 years had a small outdoor area, but this was in full view of all the neighbours and was also north facing so was in shade from early afternoon each day.
When we made our house wish list, a south facing garden was fairly high up. Luckily, our house had exactly that and the garden was such a good size compared to other properties we had viewed, especially the new builds in the area.
The garden featured a large summerhouse, with attached shed that the sellers left at no extra cost to us. At the time we didn’t really realise just how much these summer houses are to buy (they really do cost a small fortune) so being left this for free really was a streak of luck.
The main task last summer was to remove pretty much all of the over grown trees and shrubs that blocked light from the conservatory, and give the summerhouse a make over. We agreed everything else could wait until summer 2016…. and this year we really have been busy!
One day and one large tin of paint and the transformation was complete! We also ordered new perspex windows as the existing ones were a awful shade of brown. The addition of some colourful festoon lights completed the new look. I am already excited at getting the inside painted and styled…. but that can wait until next summer. We have electricity wired up so we have lots of ideas of how we can really make this a practical relaxation space / bar!
When we got the keys, there was a large section of the garden set aside to grown fruit and veg. Whilst this provided us with a summer of homegrown strawberries, it looked ugly and I had been dying to turn this into something prettier.
We decided to build a raised bed area so we can have a go at growing some veg and flowers from bulbs. We also built a small patio to house the BBQ in the summer. When the BBQ is in the shed, we put plants on here to make is pretty. It took 20 bags of slate to fill this area! We then added some bricks for definition, stained all the fences and added a garden mirror to finish it all off. We kept the existing pear tree, which is now looking ready to supply us with fruit for summer!
All the borders were so over grown, so an afternoon of chopping, being extra careful to save the plum tree, and adding some bricks instantly added more style.
There were SO many trees blocking out the light from our conservatory, so two days after we moved in, with the help of my mum, we hacked as much as we could out and the difference it made was amazing.
We then left it like this until early this year. On a week off in February my husband braved the cold weather and hacked out all the remaining roots and leveled the ground out.
After a quick paint of the fences, we got to work adding new turf. 2 rolls only cost £7 from our local garden centre and it made a huge difference. We then got 3 Buxus plants and 5 bags of stone from Morrison’s. £30 and an hour’s work and it was done. Adding copper solar lights from Sainsbury’s was the finishing touch.
After a few more additions in the form of a chiminea, festoon lighting and some bedding plants, our garden really is ready to enjoy this summer. It may have cost a little bit to do, but it was so worth it.
In order to fill the gaps in the borders, we planted lots of bulbs. This should provide some colour for this summer until we can fill the garden with new shrubs next year. Who knew plants were so expensive!