This photo popped up on my Facebook Memories on Saturday.
Yes, it's two years now since this property became ours, and the work began over the course of the following three months to fix up the house and the annexe, and to completely redesign the garden to something that suited us and our furry friends. While the work went on we lived at the flat in town and project managed the re-plastering, fitting kitchens, re-decorating and all that goes with homes that need starting from scratch.
Of course for me the garden was important and as soon as we could, while the builders were working away inside the house, we had a brilliant handyman who worked outside day in day out, taking down all the fences, lifting and relaying the flagstones and following the plan that I had drawn up.
This was how our garden looked on the day we bought the house.
With a long fence separating the annexe from the main house and cutting the garden into two unequal halves.
And this was how it looked a couple of weeks later.
With the dividing fence down and a large area of the flags lifted, with hardcore down ready to be edged with sleepers and for smaller and smaller stones to be poured on top.
We decided to not have grass in such a small space but instead went for stones on one side of the dividing sleeper and a square 'wood chippings bed' in the corner. Then the first plants went in. We put in a bottomless barrel and planted it with an apple tree and a few bulbs and small plants. We planted a few perennial shrubs and sunk the stainless steel sink taken from my original kitchen as a small garden pond. This is the one thing that really did not work out.
We didn't really think things through when we first moved in, we are so close to a large amount of water ... the canal ... and with the other bird drinkers that we have in the garden the water in the 'sink pond' just sat there covered in plants, or exposed and turning green. In fact the only things that went in it were my foot once and Suky, when she reversed away from something and found herself thigh deep in green water.
So this year in our first gardening weekend of the season, after checking for any wildlife ... sadly none ... Alan dug out the sink and I planted a Rhubarb plant in the space that it vacated. A much more useful addition to the garden and tasty too.
The birds can continue to drink from my little antique drinker that is under the bird table.
And also drink and splash in the clasped hands drinker that sits in the righthand corner of the pebbly area.
This weekend Alan pressure washed everything in the garden, I weeded and tidied and we generally got everything ready for the coming growing season. The long raised bed that we added late last year and the other one near the shed, will soon have all the wooden bits and bobs coverings taken off. I put them there to keep cats off and it has worked a treat, but looked so messy all through Winter, and has been driving me nuts!! I think that we will chop and burn all the wood in the chimenea over the coming Summer evenings, and then next Winter cover the beds with something else, I am already saving any nice cardboard boxes that arrive in preparation.
Oh and it's a good job it's nearly the end of the month, as I think that I have just bust my budget treating myself to something that will help me to grow more food from my tiny space this year.
A metal framed, plastic covered greenhouse to start my seedlings off in and then put my tomato plants into ... they didn't do that well completely outside last year. It's described on the B&Q website as a 'walk-in greenhouse'
... well maybe if I was eight inches tall. 😂😄
Anyway, as we creep towards the end of March it's time to add up my spending for this month, cry over my lack of cash and then cheer myself up by getting some seeds sown, so that eventually I will have some homegrown food to eat once again.
I think there will be a lot more folk growing fresh food this year, which can only be a good thing.ReplyDelete
Yes, the price of seeds and compost are at an all-time high as the companies cash in on this 'new' trend.. But even so there are lots of new growers that realise just how much you can save by growing your own food.Delete
G brought back one of those 'walk in' greenhouses a couple of weeks ago and it's sitting, ready assembled, in the garage until he can decide where to place it. I'm sure it will come in very handy.ReplyDelete
It's hard to believe it's been 2 years already, Sue, although we have been in the new bungalow 18 months now so it must be. Your garden looks lovely :) Today I have discovered our one and only snowdrop in the corner of the garden. Heaven knows what happened to all the others!
Well mine is going in my bedroom in front of the French doors for a couple of weeks, just while it is nice and clean to make the most of the ambient heat through the glass ... it will be cheaper than heating a propagator, and then will stand outside in the sunshine.Delete
Time is going by so quickly isn't it. Sadly our snowdrops all finished a couple of weeks ago and the large daffodils have come to nothing this year. Thank goodness for the primulas and primroses.
Your outdoor space looks so much nicer and brighter than the original set-up. I like your cute walk-in greenhouse treat. I'd love a big fancy one like I see in the gorgeous National Trust gardens we visit but I like holidays and dresses too much! xxxReplyDelete
The original set-up was pretty strange, but seemingly the occupier of the annexe fell out with her daughter in law and hence the large fence went up down the middle.Delete
Looking good for growing some fresh food this year. You might need to tie the greenhouse down, some friends had one just like that and it took off!ReplyDelete
Yes, I thought of that and it does say on the instructions that it's 'not suitable for bad weather'. I might actually attach it to the annexe wall ... then we can all fly off together. ;-)Delete
Hello! Thank you for sharing your beautiful project! It looks wonderful. And how great it will be for you to have fresh items!ReplyDelete
It's good having the photos of all our years of different houses, land and gardens to check how things change and note what worked and what didn't, it's one of the perks of blogging for so long.Delete
It has been a nice jog down memory lane today. You've much improved the place. I hope the little greenhouse works as planned.ReplyDelete
As long as it gets my seedlings off to a good start and then works for the tomato plants later on, it should be fine.Delete
I have noticed more and more people growing their own produce since the pandemic lock down. Your little green house is pretty cute.ReplyDelete
It's good on the pictures, I will have to wait to see how good it is in person. it should be arriving any day now. :-)Delete
I had a little greenhouse like that and, as Sue said, it was rather unstable and needed tying down. The cover goes after a while but is easily replaces. How lovely to think about what it will produce over the next years. xxReplyDelete
I can only hope it works out. It's going to be hard going from a 25ft polytunnel to my new 'walk-in greenhouse' ... haha. :-)Delete
Already two years? Yes, it is officially true - time DOES goes faster as we get older 🤣ReplyDelete
I have often wondered about that original fence being so close to the annex you could barely open the doors and what you said to Vix explains it - bit of a fire hazard though, you wouldn't have been able to get very far in an emergency.
The dogs must love pottering between the two living sections. "Mum, he's starving me!", "Dad, she never give me any treats!!"
It's getting scary how quick the years are going by!!Delete
Yes, you could just about open the doors and you had to close them again to get past to walk to the end where my shed is now. I think she would have had to climb over the fence into next doors garden to get away without using the front door.
Oh the dogs love having two homes to move between, and even more so in the warmer weather when the doors are always open.
I think it takes time to develop our gardens. We have changed ours many times. It is looking good though. DB made me framed net covers to keep cats off. Works a treat. If nowhere to store them, they could be hinged and clipped onto the fence during summer?ReplyDelete
Net covers are a good idea, but it wouldn't work for me as Ginger would get tangled when he jumps down off the fence, hence the wood and solid things that I use so that he can land safely.Delete
Cats don't use the beds as a toilet if you have a cat, and cats don't toilet in their own gardens so I don't have that problem to contend with. Even back in Wales Ginger used to go up into the woodland when he needed to 'go'.
What an interesting set up with the swings at the end. I think the garden looks so much lovelier than all the fencing and the closed in area. I like all the little opportunities for the birds to get a drink :)ReplyDelete
On some photos from the estate agent before we bought this house, it shows that they had a hot tub under the pergola, but it was swings when we went to view. It wasn't very 'garden-like' considering they had a dog and children.Delete
We do have to keep checking the birds drinkers, as in summer the dogs have a habit of drinking the water ... even though they do have their own bowl outside too! I'm sure the birds do the same and pinch the dogs water.
Gardens evolve, just like we do. Mine is going through a major overhaul this year as well. That original picture...oh my goodness. Your annex must have been so very dark with the wall so close to it.ReplyDelete
It's exciting overhauling a garden isn't it, and very reinvigorating both for yourself and the space.Delete
When we viewed the house and the annexe it was surprisingly light in the annexe even with the fence in place. We had all the work done before we moved in as Alan's house needed completely re-plastering and both needed new kitchens and redecorating, so by the time I started living here it was fresh and very light, as all but one wall are just painted white.