Garden reveal!


As I promised in my previous post, I wanted to share with you my latest green-fingered antics! You see, not only is the inside of the house a complete renovation project, but it seemed the outside was too... with a number of hidden surprises!


#Surprise1 - Where it all could have gone horribly wrong

When we viewed the property, there was a pretty ginormous shed in the right-hand corner. We soon realised that it wouldn't be coming with us, but when the owner died suddenly, we weren't quite sure if it would get left behind. It turns out, it wasn't. Our neighbours helped to fill in the picture... It seemed the owner had sold the shed (presumably taking the money up front) but when he died, the new shed-owner hadn't been told and so decided one day to just go in the garden and help themselves. The shed, however, had mains-electricity running to it, but that didn't seem to be a problem for them - they cut through the armoured cable and left it... on the concrete slab... still live... and it rains a lot in England!

We discovered this 3 weeks after moving in, after both myself, my husband, and our pets, had happily started working on the garden. I think someone has been watching out for us! How no-one died, or was seriously harmed, I am thankful for every single day.

#Surprise2 - Ten-tons of frogs

It turns out, underneath the stinging nettles and tangle-weeds, there was a pond. A fairly small pond really, maybe just 60 litres. By the time we'd managed to reach it, frog-mating season had just begun though. So, being the softy I am, decided we couldn't leave the little froggies to find their own way on. we carefully emptied the pond and put them in a bucket to take to our local ponds where they could 'go forth and multiply!' There were 37. THIRTY SEVEN!! And a handful of frogspawn that went on its merry way too.


#Surprise3 - Greenhouse made of plastic?

Dumping ground?!!
After removing the pond, and re-instating a (much smaller and safer!) shed, we decided the greenhouse had to go. It wasn't right for our lifestyle (it's too much of a risk with little ones running around - friends, not mine!), or right for our new garden design so very carefully (and in the pouring rain) we took it apart piece, by piece, saving every clip, nut, bolt and screw, lovingly hoping we could pass it on to someone else who would cherish it! That's when we realised some of it was made from plastic. Plastic that had been super-glued in place and had cracked, warped in the sun, or turned green. I have to say, that is probably the only disheartening moment of the whole process, but someone still bid (99p) on eBay for it sans plastic panels!

#Surprise4 - It's Atlantis! (Ok, just a hidden patio)

Moving so many bricks at least meant no need to go to the gym!

After we had killed off all the weeds, pruned the existing trees and planted our very own Silver Birch (which we had at our wedding!), it was time to prepare the soil, mark out the design, and get rotovating! The only problem was, the previous owner, or owners, LOVED rock! They loved rock walls, rock slabs, rock displays, rock gardens: a lot of rock for such a tiny space. 

Mark marking out the shape of the new lawn, patio and path to the shed.

That string was designed to stop the birds... and cat from digging up all the grass seed.
So piece by piece, we dug it up, rolled it, moved it, relaid it and now have a wonderful selection of rocks to either use as hardcore, or freecycle as hardcore! During this process though we also found out the previous owner, or owners, loved concrete just as much - they'd even concreted in the BROKEN washing line!

#Surprise5 - Green grass at last!

I've put this as a surprise because I never thought this would work as well as it did! Once we'd finished rotovating the garden, it was raked over, stomped over (yes, the silly gardener's walk), raked again and then the new area for lawn was seeded with a mixture of two types of grass seed - oriental lawn seed and family lawn seed, both from B&Q.

The surprise here is that in no less than 3 weeks, we had almost a perfect lawn! 4 weeks on, it needed to be mowed, it was so thick and long and the cat and the dog were lost in it! I think this was luck of the weather more than anything, but the joy of watching those seeds turn into a fully-fledged lawn for playing on, sunbathing on, and generally chilling out on, makes everything worth it.

And on that note, I'll say BBFN as I'm going to enjoy a cuppa outside.

Laura x

What have you been up to this summer? Any green-fingered types you can give for stopping those pesky weeds coming back? Drop me a line in the comments below!

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