For my own records and to keep you updated I will try over the course of the next couple of days to upload some photos of the progress we have made over the past couple of weeks. Things have really ramped up now and although I am out of action Alan, along with all the tradespeople we have employed have been working hard on the house and garden.
Alan and Dave first levelled the area that the paving stones had been lifted from at the back of the house and next to the annexe, poured a layer of small gravel to smooth things out, then laid a sheet of water permeable membrane and then two tons of Berkshire Stone was wheelbarrowed along next doors driveway and brought into our back garden.
The stone is on around three quarters of the sleeper edged area and the final quarter had a ton of top soil barrowed round and tipped into it, also on top of the membrane, along with six bags of multi-purpose compost. The blue plastic is just laid at the edge to protect the bottom of the fence from watering that will be done in that area.
Once the groundworks had all been done I came to the house with Alan, perched on a stool made of sleeper offcuts and supervised the planting of the garden area. With Alan following my instructions ... 'no, turn it clockwise, not here, there, no to the left' etc etc ... within in an hour we had the start of a new garden and at last some life in what had been a yard of concrete and paving.
For now there is just a small selection of plants to start us off, with the plants that are currently outside the flat about to be added to the bed once we have time. The tree in the corner is an Apple Tree to supplement the food I will be growing in a small raised bed that will be built once the shed is made and in place. To accommodate more growing room for the tree roots I came up with the idea of buying a half barrel and removing the centre section of the bottom, hopefully this will give the trees roots some extra space to grow downwards and outwards.
The square metal thing is the small kitchen sink that was taken out of the annexe. I thought it would make a perfect little pond to encourage wildlife and insects to the garden so I rescued it from the skip. I will let it naturally fill with rainwater and will place a couple of large rocks inside and around the edges for small creatures and insects to be able to climb on safely to access the water. It also gives you a sense of scale for the area as it is exactly one foot square (30cm x 30cm).
To break up the expanse of gravel we have a couple of the paving stones on top which will have large plants pots on, which will eventually be planted up. The second layer of sleeper on the left-hand side in this photo was cut to size and then added to the end nearest the house, so that it can be used as a bench if we have a few people round. You can see this in the next photo.
A photo taken from Alans office window ... which is now known as 'the purple room', there will be more about that in the next update 😃