Summer is the perfect time for a garden makeover. So I want to share the beginnings of our patio project with you, show you some before and after pics and explain some of the obstacles that we had to overcome before Marc could even begin to lay the new patio tiles…
Why we needed a garden makeover
Fourteen years ago we moved into a 4 year old new build house. The garden had been landscaped on two levels (we live on a hill) but nothing had been planted apart from a Sycamore tree. Like most people when moving to a new home the garden was not a priority and was left until last. I picked up a few plants at boot fairs and garden plant sales, popped them in and continued planning the interior decor.
The corner of the lower level looked like this in spring 2015
Partly paved, fresh green ivy and a small youngish tree, strong enough to hang swings in. A pretty place to chill with a glass of wine at the end of a busy day…
What started as a small plan became a huge garden makeover project…
By spring of 2018 it looked like this, ie uninhabitable!
I love that our small garden is on two levels, it divides the garden into ‘Zones’, one for eating, one for chilling. However, after 14 years the lower level had started collapsing in on itself and the tree had outgrown its space.
We had to take immediate action and decided on a plan.
- We realised the tree would have to be removed.
- Fence panels needed upgrading and replacing.
- The whole supporting wall for this level needed replacing and made secure.
- The old concrete tiles had to go as the tree roots had displaced them
- The whole area needed clearing and retiling.
It was going to be a big job!
What started as a small plan became a huge garden makeover project that Marc began to tackle all by himself late in 2017…
The lower wall and steps:
First Marc shored up the wall that supported the upper lawn area…he used old industrial RSJ’s and slotted local reclaimed, railway sleepers into them. Clever huh? My son then painted them all black at my request. It’s a family project!
Over the next few weeks Marc dug out some deeper, wider steps using more sleepers. I requested a little mosaic finish to the upper step and he patiently obliged.
The puppy wasn’t sure what to make of all the mess but he enjoyed the digging! In the pic below the steps are still under construction.
Next the tree came down…
We were all very sorry to lose the tree, especially me as it used to hold my hammock…
I knew it had to go as it had outgrown its space. The roots were destroying the surrounding structure and the neighbours were hinting at how much of their sunshine it blocked.
Marc took it down branch by branch, then hired a special ‘stump grinder’ to get the roots out.
There were a few hazards to negotiate, especially if you like snuffling on the ground!
This time it was my turn to get the paint brush out!
Next he removed all the ivy and installed some better quality fence panels. This time it was my turn to get the paint brush out! As I write the cement is being made and the beautiful new tiles from Tile Mountain are being laid. I call that progress. Marc is a machine!
In part two I will give you a video tour, a better idea of the layout and more detailed photos of our garden makeover
So what do you think of it so far?
Keep in touch the best part is coming soon. In part two I will give you a video tour, a better idea of the layout and more detailed photos!
So stay in touch via email or follow me on instagram and watch my stories to keep up to date?