Operation Garden Renovation #3 The Bonfire!

Operation Garden Renovation is now well under way and with the help of hubby’s brothers we made some fantastic progress last weekend, though I have to say I never realised before that my hubby’s family was a family of pyromaniacs!!

They started off the day by comparing their ‘man’ tools and then set about demolishing the shed.

shed demolition

It may have been an idea to take the stuff out of the shed first, but I don’t think anyone wanted to go in there – you know what sheds are like for spiders and bugs and we had an inkling there was mice in there…. and we were right! Once the shed was down the boys found a lot of evidence of mice. When we moved in we had put some bird food in there and the mice had scoffed the lot. They had also scoffed through cushions, boxes and all sorts and there was a LOT of poo etc. No actual mice to be found though!

evidence of mice

After the removal of the shed there was a lot of discussion over what to do with the mountains of rubbish we were creating. Hubby and I cut down a lot of bushes and foliage last week and there was all the wood of the arbor to be removed too. Hubby had mentioned to me the idea of a fire, but to be honest I was very nervous of that idea and wasn’t sure it was very sensible to have a bonfire in the garden.

But, hubby and his brothers decided it was a good idea, and persuaded me that it would be a very small, contained fire, and it would go nowhere near the fences, and they assured me that they would not burn down any of our neighbours houses or gardens. So, I was overruled! They called in Granddad as apparently he loves fire and would have been most miffed to miss out on the action!

bonfire start

I have to say I was quite impressed with the fire starting skills, and it started off small, but soon we had quite a fire going!

Then came the arbor’s turn to be pulled down, and though it looked like it was fairly rotten, it actually turned out to be a lot stronger than we thought!


This was Monkey’s first experience of fire, and of course we kept him at a very safe distance, and there was always one of us watching over him to make sure he went nowhere near the flames. He loves his uncles very much so had lots of cuddles from them. He also had a real treat as we never have cans of drink, but thought it was a good idea for all the outdoor work, and well, Monkey was obsessed with them and had one in his hands almost at all times! It’s sugar free lilt so thankfully no crazy sugar rush later!


We started to burn some of the cardboard from the shed, but it was sending off the huge sheets of ash and I didn’t want it to end up in all the neighbour’s gardens so we stuck to wood and foliage after that, though we definitely had enough of that to be going on with. The ‘small’ fire I was promised turned into a raging inferno! Well not quite, as it was controlled and a safe distance from fences etc. but it definitely end up being a lot larger than we originally planned. ( I will point out Monkey had gone for his nap by this point!)


It was a very successful day and we managed to clear a lot of the rubbish without needing a trip to the dump or the hiring of a skip, though I am sure we will need to do both of those over the coming weeks! The garden looks so much bigger now too. We knew that the shed and arbor were making the garden feel smaller than it is, but we didn’t realise quite how much bigger it would feel once they are gone!


Now it looks like a wasteland or rubbish dump, but you can at least really get a feel for the width of the garden for the first time!

We went out again in the evening to burn some of the ends of logs or bits that had not fully burned, and I love this picture Daddy took of Monkey watching the flames while sitting in the trike 🙂


I’m linking this post with the lovely Annie at Mammasaurus Blog for How Does Your Garden Grow – though I am aware this post isn’t really about anything growing! Hope that is ok!

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

52 thoughts on “Operation Garden Renovation #3 The Bonfire!

  1. It looks huge now Caroline! Your husband’s family looks like fun and its no surprise to hear about the pyromanic streak – my husband absolutely LOVES starting fires and has been known to set fire to weeds (*sigh*). Loving that pic of Monkey too, really tells a little story! X

    • Doesn’t it? We thought it would look a bit bigger but are definitely surprised by how huge it is!! Ha ha ha love that about your hubby, glad my hubs isn’t the only pyromaniac around! Xx

  2. Shed demolition is next on my list, and it doesn’t look too hard judging by this! I hadn’t considered a fire, though, I think we’ll get to the tip a not as fun! Great photos and lovely for Monkey to be involved in all of the excitement x

    • Yep if yours is anything like ours you just need some enthusiasm I think! 🙂 Thank you, he is enjoying it though we definitely had to keep a close eye on him!! xx

  3. Men love a good bonfire don’t they and they are fab for clearing the rubbish. We are in the middle of a garden renovation too and at the mo a visitor would think we are trashing it rather than tidying it, lol. It will be worth it in the end xxx

    • I completely relate to that, ours looks awful at the moment! I keep telling myself it will be worth it in the end, but right now it looks like we still have a very long way to go! Good luck with yours!! xx

  4. That fire is impressive and it looks like you have lots of space now! When I was a kid we had a really old shed in the garden and me and my sister helped my Dad to kick it down, it was good fun 🙂 He could have used tools but I think kicking it to pieces was more fun (and manly).

    • haha I think kicking it down would be more fun too! Not sure how necessary the tools were with this one either!! xx

  5. I love that grandpa had to be called so he didn’t miss out on the fire!!

    Your garden is a lovely size and such a blank canvas, looking forward to seeing it all come together!

  6. I used to love garden fires when I was younger but I worry about not enough space in ours-way too many over hanging branches that could catch,light! Your garden is really a blank canvas now, very exciting 🙂

    • Yeah I was a bit terrified but they managed to keep it will contained thankfully! Thank you I know, need to figure out what to do with it now! xx

  7. oh I love that the men wanted to make a fire! the idea on one in the garden does panic me slightly, but your garden appears to have escaped relatively unscathed! we have mountains of cutting from last weekend, so perhaps we should have a bonfire too! x

    • It may be worth thinking about, the idea definitely scared me a bit but it was definitely a good idea, as long as you don’t mind having a big black char pit in the middle of your garden afterwards! xx

  8. Oh there’s something REALLY satisfying about ripping down a shed and then burning it! Hard work but FUN!

    Good progress being made 🙂 Thanks for joining in again and sharing the BURRRRRN x

    • Absolutely, watching it burn was very rewarding! It got incredibly hot out there though! Thank you for hosting xx

  9. So you’ve destroyed a perfectly lovely mouse mansion and stunk out your neighbours’ washing – good going!! I love the fact that as soon as fire is mentioned the generations of men gather.

    We’ve got to pull our shed down soon (although a swift kick should do it) but thankfully our yard is so small we won’t be building fires as we would burn down our house and probably the neighbours’ too! Looking forward to seeing what you do next! A sheep ornament perhaps 😉 xx

    • Ha ha I know, I don’t think there was any mice living in there to be too upset though 🙂 The weird thing about the neighbours was that we checked to make sure everyone had windows shut etc, but one of our neighbours opened them when the bonfire was at it’s hugest. SHe must have been able to see and smell it from her house so it seemed like an odd thing to do! Ah well! Haha yes, I think we only just have enough space for the fire and I was scared enough of burning down houses so may be best to avoid it! Ooh a sheep ornament, definitely 😉 xx

  10. Pingback: Word of the Week – Gardens | Becoming a Stay at Home Mum

  11. Fires in the back garden to get rid of rubbish were a regular thing when I was growing up. Everyone did it!
    We always had to wait till night time though because we lived on a council estate and the rules were no fires before 7pm I think it was.
    We (the kids) thought it was more exciting having it night time anyway!
    I look forward to seeing your progress 🙂

  12. The chaps must have been in their element with the tools, demolishing and fire starting! What a productive day you all had. Such a difference too, your garden looks so much bigger. Thanks for sharing with #whatsthestory

  13. Yet another issue is that video games can be serious as the name indicated with the main focus on mastering rather than enjoyment. Although, there is an entertainment element to keep the kids engaged, each and every game will likely be designed to work towards a specific set of skills or area, such as mathmatical or scientific discipline. Thanks for your article.

Thanks for taking the time to write something. I love comments and read every one xx

Your email address will not be published.