The first breaths of spring are in the air and it is time to venture into the garden and start our mission to make it better.
Our back garden is a mess.
When we moved into our house a couple of years ago there was a LOT that needed doing throughout (that’s why we got it so cheap!). We have done a lot – we have a new kitchen, bathroom, put in a shower-room downstairs and have decorated almost every room (one left, more on that to come later this year :)). We’ve also started on the outside stuff but the inside was our main focus. The time has come though to take control and make our garden somewhere we actually want to be rather than just a mess that gives us the shivers!
Like I say though, we have done some things since we moved in. When we moved in, the front garden looked like this:
Now it looks like this (excuse the hippo bag and the bin :)) It’s not perfect but a darn sight better.
The back garden was different too as there was some huge and ugly, badly maintained conifers all the way round, sucking the life and light out of the garden. There was also masses of Ivy, everywhere! (not the best pictures, this was mid-way through having the trees taken down).
We’ve had the conifers down and were sort of waiting for the soil to rejuvenate a bit to do much more. This time has allowed us to think about what we want from the garden and basically we have decided that the thing to do is just to get rid of everything. EVERYTHING.
The rotting shed that is full of cardboard and spiders (shudder).
The awful arbour thingy that cuts the patio in half.
(In the background of this photo you may see a bit of yellow hose pipe – the previous owners ran electric cable through the hosepipe to give electricity to the shed! Bonkers!!!)
The patio itself that is uneven, weed filled and has no drainage meaning that a lake forms by the back doors whenever it rains (that can’t be good for the foundations).
The lawn that is basically just moss and weeds and the flower beds that are huge and now just full of weeds, tree stumps and Ivy.
Oh and all the other random rubbish that the previous owners have just dumped in the garden.
Doesn’t it just look delightful? Exactly what you want in a garden (eye rolls)!
Late summer last year we tried to get quotes from contractors to do the hard work for us, but most of them never got back to us, and one who did gave us a ridiculous quote and didn’t seem that keen. We realised nobody actually wants to do this for us so we are going to have to do it ourselves (with the help of our brothers – hubby and I have 4 between us, yay!) so this is the start of Operation Garden Renovation, I will let you know how we get on!! 🙂
I’m so looking forward to reading about this. I’ve blogged about Project Garden, though it’s all been quiet through Winter. About to get back to it, so we can check in with each other’s progress! X
Yay, we definitely can – although your Project Garden is way ahead of ours – maybe I’ll steal some inspiration from you 😉 xx
Ooh, I shall look forward to viewing the transformation! I am a sucker for any kind of transformation programme (everything from Garden Force to the BBC’s former “Would Like to Meet” where hopeless singletons were taught to make themselves dateable). Well done for having brothers too! Myself and hubster have a sister each. No use in the garden whatsoever! Fortunately the garden is the hubster’s passion and he’s really done a good job on the back since we moved in 6 years ago.
Ha ha love it! Thanks, it may be a slow transformation! Though we’ve decided to have a bbq for my bday at the end of april so hopefully it won;t just be a pile of mud by then! Brothers definitely do help but it’s good that your hubster loves his garden! I loves gardens… just not so much gardening 🙂 xx
Wishing you lots of luck with your project #hdygg
Thanks, I think we are going to need it! xx
Yes, it is hard work ahead but if you do it in stages it will develop over time. That’s what I enjoy about gardens and nature-they encourage you to slow down and go with the flow! I was looking at your photo’s thinking how exciting, so much potential. Look forward to reading your posts about the changes 🙂
you are right – my problem is just that I am so impatient! Want things to happen fast! 🙂 So will be a test for me, but I am lookin forward to turning it into something much nicer! 🙂 xx
Good luck and I am sure all your hard work will soon give you a garden to be proud of. And as Iona has just said – so much potential and so much to look forward to.
Thanks, there is a lot of potential and I hope we can do it justice and turn it into a lovely place to be 🙂 xx
I look forward to seeing how you get on. I love the idea of having a back garden that I could make my own, we just have a yard out the back and it’s become a dumping ground! I’m sure your wee boy will love giving you a hand planting new things and digging!
thank you, I am hoping we can make it in to a nice place to be! I can totally understand how a yard would easily turn into a dumping ground! Ha ha I hope he does, be lovely to get him involved 🙂 xx
It looks like loads of work I know but I think you’ll be surprised that you can do it and it will give you such a good feeling once you make even a tiny bit of progress.
Do you know what it is growing up the arbour? It may look alright with a bit of a trim and then they’ll be some new growth. I’m also amazed at how much better even the most awful old wood or wall can look with a lick of paint. A rambling rose would look brilliant and be lovely to look at whilst sitting on the patio.
You;re absolutely right, and as with anything it always looks worse and harder than it is! Hopefully we’ll have fun. There’s a honeysuckle and a rose on the arbour, but the problem is that the arbour and the shed where they basically cuts the garden in half and makes it feel a lot smaller. The arbour in that position doesn’t really have much of a use and so is empty most of the time, which is a waste really. We have definitely got plans for a bit of paint on the walls though, so stay tuned! 🙂 xx
do you know i think most of us have gardens like this! I have been doing my garden with my gardening team of 3 kids (all under 7) for 7 years now, often digging with baby strapped to back and it still looks like this! lol the joy of gardening! cant wait to see it develop! Following along! great to visit via hdygg xx
Ha ha well I’m glad it’s not just us then! But there is no way that after all that hard work yours would look as bad as ours! Trust me, it just isn’t possible 🙂 Thanks I will definitely be updating everyone! xx
It looks like you have quiet alot of space in your front and back gardens, looking forward to seeing what you do with the space in the next few months 🙂 When we moved into our new house we had to get rid of lots of stones, old woody lavender, diseased crabapple tree and our soil was more rubble than soil! Once the nasty bit is out the way think of all the amazing things you can plant 🙂
We do, we are quite lucky, it’s funny though we thought the back garden wasn’t that big, and it feels smaller than it is because of the oversized beds (where the conifers were) and the shed and arbour etc, so hopefully we’ll be able to open it out and make the most of the space. Oh I know, I can’t wait to get rid of all the junk and then have fun making it look really pretty! 🙂 xx
sounds like you got your work cut out for you but it will be so worth it! wishing you luck
Thank you, think we may need it! xx
Our garden (and house) sound very similar to yours – we moved in 13 years ago and have done everything – including the garden. Our front garden was described as “laid to lawn” by the estate agent but was actually a pile of gravel. When you get to the planting stage I’d really recommend buying the tiny plants for a couple of pounds each and letting them grow over time – it’s saved us a fortune. Good luck with it all
Ooh thanks for the tip! Advice is definitely welcome and appreciated, especially with saving money! It does sound like our house and garden were in very similar conditions when we moved in! xx
It looks like you’ve got a great project on your hands! #HDYGG
Thanks, it’s a bit daunting but exciting at the same time 🙂 xx
Love making plans! We also have a lot to do in our garden – we have been here for 8 yrs and its still not how we want it! This year I’m blaming the chooks! Looking forward to seeing your changes 🙂
We are a house of planners, I have a feeling we won’t have it quite how we want it in 8 years either, but hopefully it will be better than it is now! Thanks I will definitely keep you posted! 🙂 xx
Exciting times! I love starting a new project and although there’s hard work ahead it must be really nice knowing that you’ll get to do it exactly how you want it. Have you many plans?
Thanks ever so much for joining in and sharing 🙂
It is nice to think of all the possibilities, we do have some plans, I’l write more about those in a later post, but it will be done in stages I think, basic to start with and then gradually make it more interesting over the next few years 🙂 I’m loving sharing it with hdygg, lots of better gardeners giving tips which we really need, so thank you for hosting! 🙂 xx
Great to see your ‘before’ pictures and really looking forward to seeing the ‘after’ pictures! x Annie @SuffolkPebbles
Thanks! Yep we will see how long it takes us to get the ‘after’ shots! 🙂 xx
The good thing is you almost have a blank canvas (once you’ve removed everything you don’t like) and you can design it, how you want it. Very exciting…
Exactly, it is very exciting, lots to do, but will be so worth it! xx
Such a wonderful blank slate to work with! Once everything has removed the possibilities will be amazing!
I know, we need to decide exactly what we want to do with it now! xx
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Oh good luck! It’s looking good already 🙂 I wonder why some people love conifers? We are in the middle of selling our house and buying a new house. If all goes well, we will also have a garden to re-do. Yes, it also has conifers! Thankfully, the work isn’t major, but I’m still looking forward to it:) #WhatsTheStory.
Thank you! We still have a long way to go I think 🙂 Yeah i have no idea what it is about conifers, they are everywhere but they just suck light and life from the garden! Ooh good luck with the buying and selling… and with the garden when you get to it! 🙂 xx
Oh my goodness you have done so much already – inside and out! How wonderful to be able to do exactly what you want to it, bet you can’t wait! Lovely post, thank you so much for sharing with #whatsthestory
Thank you, it is definitely a work in progress but we have enjoyed doing all the work and it will be lovely when it looks how we want it to! xx
It’s going to so gratifying when you have transformed the garden!
It will be so great when it is finally done! xx
It’s great knowing that you can just start from scratch and get it exactly how you want it! We got rid of an uneven patio by decking over it (you can level the deck in the footings)… Also meant we got rid of the step out of the back door – good for the kids! I look forward to seeing the transformation 🙂 #WhatstheStory
Oh interesting and definitely a good idea. I think if we’d wanted to have a deck in the same place as the patio it may have been the way to go, as it is, looks like we are ripping it all up! 🙂 Thanks, I think there will be a lot of posts about this over the next coupla months! xx
Looks like a great project to me and a good space to work with. I’ll look forward to the updates on this one and hopefully some little helpers at work in the outdoors too
Thank you, it is fun nd oh yes Monkey has been enjoying ‘helping’ in the garden! xx