Friday, 12 July 2013

Our garden project - The big dig


Because the weather's been so gorgeous we've spent a lot of time outdoors & we decided it would be a good time to start the long process of landscaping our garden. We lived in a flat for a short while a few years ago & we really missed having somewhere to burn burgers & sip pimms so I've been super excited about having an outdoor space to personalise & prune.

When we first came to view the house the whole area was a building site so it was quite difficult to gauge quite how much space we were going to have as a garden but we had some plans of the plot so even before moving in I was daydreaming about climbing roses & strawberry plants.

Mum & I (mostly mum) came up with a plan a few weeks ago that I'm going to have a crack at following (let me know if you'd like to see it & I'll do a post about the design process.) We didn't go into detail about which plants I wanted where - that comes later - it's more a structural design that will help me know how much space different elements of the garden will take up.

The first project, the one that we started this week, is the 'man room' (AKA a shed) for George to keep his bikes, riding kit & the mud that comes with them away from the house. Initially we had considered trying to fit it into a small area at the side of the 'driveway' but after sketching up a few plans we realised that it would be a huge waste of space & the place that we eventually decided on was the bottom of the garden behind the house.


This is the only part of the garden that is on a slope & although that does mean things won't be as straight forward as if it were flat it also means that a lot less of the shed (which isn't the best looking thing in the word) will be visible from the house, so I think it will be worth all the hard work.


The first thing we did was section off the area that we needed to lower with stakes & string, when that was done we began to remove the turf. Because I'm planning on having a few flower beds scattered here & there we decided to keep the turf & cover it with a ground sheet to make top soil (this can take around a year so if you are planning something similar make sure it's not pride of place in your garden.) When that was done George & Andy started digging.


Although the drop isn't substantial we still need to build retaining walls on all four sides so rather than just digging the entire area straight away what we (& by we I mean the men) did this week was dig a level trench where the walls will be built. After a few hours, lunch, flapjacks & a couple of mugs of tea the trench was finished & we've now got an area at the end of our garden that looks like a mini archeological dig. For the time being the soil from the trench has been dumped in an unmethodical pile -we'll worry about moving it all later.

It seems quite backwards having seen the garden go from a muddy building site to a polished lawn & back to the former but it's also quite exciting because you can really see things taking shape. The next project will be making the retaining walls & that will start when the building supplies arrive - I will keep you posted of corse & I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for more of this amazing weather. I hope you've all enjoyed it too.