I do like our garden. We're lucky to live in London and have a decent amount of outdoor space to enjoy. Soon after moving in, we levelled the garden, clearing everything out completely, even cutting down a huge tree that was rotten. We then installed a new fence and went about landscaping the garden from scratch. This is how it happened...
images © Ebury Home & Garden
The back of the house was a bit of a sight. The beautiful yellow London stocks completely covered in pebble dash. And all but one of the original wooden sash windows had been replaced with louvered windows, which were very drafty and insecure. You might notice the large steel pole in the middle of the garden. This was to hold the other end of the washing line from the house. Little did we know that it was held in place underground having been set in a barrel of concrete!
So, stage one complete. A 5 and 6ft high fence around the garden with doggy-proof wire installed all the way around the bottom to prevent our little Houdini digging his way out! The large dark bit in the middle is where we had a bonfire.
As our garden pretty much faces north, we chose to have a seating area at the end of the garden, which gets the most sun. Rather than go for traditional decking, we decided upon new oak half sleeper planks, which would turn a silvery grey colour over time.
Here it is all finished. I put slate between the steps, however later replaced it with thyme, which would grow and spill over the wooden steps.
The same view about a year later...
Once the seating area was complete, it was time tackle the lawn. It wasn't a good lawn, as the large tree and privet hedge that we'd had removed had sapped all the moisture out of it and it was just full of weeds and very uneven. So we decided to take it all up and put down a new one.
In the mean time, we also dug the foundations for the new curved wall at the front end of the garden.
Our template for the new lawn, using an old hose pipe...
The finished wall, built with new London stocks and the huge pile of old turf.
The garden was ready for the top soil and new turf. We also replaced the upstairs windows for new wooden double glazed sash windows. The bottom ones stayed until we completed work on the kitchen/diner.
And off comes the pebble dash! We only had the top half taken off as we have great plans for the bottom half. Have you noticed my levels in place for the top soil? It's got to be right. Right?
New turf laid, and shaped. Even some plants are in. Can you spot Houdini (aka Charlie)? Sadly no longer around. We miss him a lot.
And here you have it. The finished garden, including the kitchen/diner alterations, which included large oak sliding doors to the garden, hence why we didn't put in new windows. We also installed a decking area just outside and finished it off with an all-weather wicker sofa and Cotswold buff chippings. Hard work but we're really thrilled with the results.
Now, if we had a lot more space, I would definitely dedicate some of the garden to wild flowers and more box hedging. I'm going to share some inspiration about that another day! In the mean time, below are some pics of the garden, which I took between rain showers today. The grass needs cutting and some of the shrubs need a trim now, but you can see how much it's established.