Remember I said that we’ve put our house DIYing efforts on hold during August (apart from decorating our guest room, of course) so that we could enjoy the summer? Well, it turns out that the extra time we had gained by not filling, sanding or painting allowed us to do a little work on the garden. Here’s a quick round up of the tasks we’ve managed to do in the garden this year…
Clearing the plot
The purchase of our home took months to go through, and by the time we were able to move in, the whole garden was overgrown with weeds and knee-length grass. The once-lovely veggie patch was now a tangle of 6ft tall leeks and woody parsnips stems. We bought a £24 strimmer that was reduced in the Homebase sale to cut through the grass and weeds. Amazingly enough, this cheapy tool is still running strong after cutting the whole garden numerous times over the summer.
I feel like we’ve made a good start with clearing the plot but we still need to invest in some more gardening tools, such as a lawn mower – fingers crossed for an end-of-season sale bargain! Plus, I’ve been browsing online specialist stores, such as Engelbert Strauss, to find suitable gardening clothes. I want to find some waterproof clothing to enable us to continue working outdoors as we head into the autumn and winter. And I’ve been searching for that all-important pair of wellies for myself, of course!
Fencing it in
For a great many months we didn’t have a fence. The garden was so overgrown that the massive plants acted as a between the house and the road, so we didn’t feel the need to add a fence straight away. But after saving up to buy some timber and sourcing materials from a local supplier, we decided to tackle the job and put up a fence with a gate.
Moving my caravan
The garden sits on a slope, so we couldn’t get the caravan in straight away. We first needed to dig out the garden to even out the slope. After a day of digging away at the very dry soil, we’d levelled out the garden enough to be able to push the caravan in – with a massive helping hand from our besties who towed the caravan over to our new home for us. That was a hair-raising journey, I can tell you!
Somewhere to sit
The final, most enjoyable, addition is our new garden bench. Even though we don’t yet have a patio (it’s next on the list, we’ve cleared a space for it!) or a proper lawn, we still wanted to be able to sit outside enjoy the last of the summer sunshine. So when I was offered the opportunity to review a solid teak seat from GardenBenches.com, I jumped at the chance. I chose a sturdy Winchester oval-back seat because reminded me of a traditional park bench. Yes, a perfectly manicured park is exactly the look I want to go for in my garden, although I think we’re a few years away from achieving that effect! The bench arrived in five pieces: the seat, a front beam, backrest and two arms. Slotting them together is possibly the easiest flat-pack construction I’ve ever done in my life. Within minutes of the parcel arriving, I’d thrown a blanket over my new wooden bench, plumped up my cushions and poured myself a refreshing drink. I certainly made the most of the last of the summer sunshine this weekend and now I can’t wait to get that patio laid to allow me to use my outdoor space as much as possible while it’s still good weather. By the way, my friend Valerie (who makes beautiful vintage tiaras at TrifleRabbit.co.uk) gave me this flowery Latitude cup. She noticed that this one was missing from my collection (I had 10 cups out of the 12 years that Latitude Festival has been running) and she offered to give me hers. I had the biggest smile on my face when it arrived in the post and I’ve been using it as my ‘main’ cup ever since!Even though the things that we did get done this summer are probably all that we will do in the garden this year, I feel like we’ve achieved a lot. I’m glad we finished the few tasks we did, because it’s made a difference to how we use the garden already, and lets us see the space we have to play with. I don’t know about you but I just don’t feel inclined to start digging when there’s a rain cloud overhead, so I’ll stick to planning the garden from now on and start up again in the Spring. Inevitably, this means I’ll turn my attention back to indoors – so you can expect plenty more photos of my DIYs and home instead!