We have needed to re-work our garden for quite a while. When we first moved to our house back in 2013, we had some grass laid but it was never really looked after properly – especially when we realised that we would need to focus on trying for a baby. Everything else – including our outside space – fell by the wayside.
Fast forward 8 years and, with Rex aged 4 and very active, we knew that we would not survive the summer holidays if we did not have an area for him to play in. So, we booked in our garden transformation with Fern Garden and Tree Services.
The ‘Before’ Photos
Making a start on the transformation
Originally we believed that the garden transformation would take around 4 to 5 days. Wrong! In the end it took nearly 3 weeks. This is because the bottom part of the garden needed digging down further than anticipated. If it hadn’t of been, then we would have been overlooking the neighbours fences just by standing in our backyard!
The work started with digging up the grass. We were also pleased to see the removal of the conifers and, when they were gone, we hadn’t realised just how much space they had taken up! Then they hit a brick wall. Or, should I say a dry stone wall! The adjacent neighbour had already warned us that this may be the case and, with the fact that it had been there for quite some time. He wasn’t joking – there was a huge tree growing out of it and it caused more unexpected work and delays!
Once the wall had been cut into and back and the debris had been removed, we had a lovely new wood panel fence erected. It looked amazing! So different and so much more space.
For a long time it represented a wasteland. Then, things started to come together. Firstly we agreed on something that wasn’t initially in the plan. Raised borders were erected and surrounded by wooden sleepers.
The main reason for this is the having to dig down deeper for the lower level so the sides needed something to stop them caving in. But, I am so glad that we did as these are now one of my favourite things!
A new patio
Then, the chaps at Stag and Apple were sub-contracted to come and lay our patio. We chose the stones after seeing them as laid in Scott and Alice’s home (the owners of the gardening company). They were a natural mix of grey and look really smart.
We only had the patio laid to the edge of the house on the top level. This is because we have other plans for the side area including (hopefully) an outbuilding for Ross to incorporate an office space and garden bar!
The edges were filled with gravel to compliment both the patio and the wooden sleepers. This is to help prevent any weed growth and also for drainage purposes.
Finally, the grass was laid. And, whilst it took hold over the next 4 weeks, we kept it watered and made sure none of the family walked on it (especially Rex!).
A Beautiful space
Since then, we have been hard at work making the bare bones into a beautiful space. We have had our brilliant Wickey Smart Travel Tower Playhouse erected as well as Rex’s mud kitchen, re-filled and replaced our hot tub in it’s new and much safer location (it used to sit on some very rickety decking!), put our bird feeder in it’s new space, given my pheasant and the plant – both of which I received for my 50th – a home and placed our wooden table on the top patio.
The lower patio is now mainly a play area for the children. Grace is happy sitting on the swing whilst Rex plays. The top space is more for the adults.
Choosing our plants
As for me, I have enjoyed every moment choosing the plants for the raised borders from Groves Nursery. These are all perennials – many of them hardy – and include; lavender, rosemary, sage, fuschia, 2 different types of clematis and delphiniums. We have even paid homage to Rex’s books with a plant called the Alabama Slammer for Bob Holly, a dwarf budleia for Hornswoggle and a white clematis for Al Snow. We were also sent a beautiful Hydrangea from The Little Botanical and some compost and grass feed from Carbon Gold.
The grass feed was much needed as some of the grass appeared to be failing and going brown. We have been using the product and it seems to be bringing the greenness back again!
Finally, Rex has been growing a sunflower from a small seed which nursery gave him back at the beginning of summer. Even though we were a bit late to the party, the sunflower pushed on through. It is now taller than Rex and has just started to flower.
Now, every single morning, I look outside – just to double-check that the garden is still there and still can’t quite believe that this wonderful space is ours!
I am so looking forward to seeing how our garden grows and evolves, for the plants to grow bigger and for more bees and butterflies to visit and to share a lot more of that on my blog. Watch this space!
I would love to hear what you think of our new garden in the comments below.