I’m finally making a start on my garden. This will be the second summer we’ve lived in our house and last year was completely taken up with renovating the interior. But now my attention has turned to the garden and the landscaping I’d like to do out there. But what about my little vintage caravan, I hear you ask? It’s very much at the centre of my garden design and here’s why…
Hubby and I have drawn up the plans and we know – pretty much – how we’d like the garden to be landscaped. I’ve been hoping to get it the garden finished – or at least in some kind of non-wasteland condition – in time to enjoy a glass of something sparkling on my new patio this summer, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can find the time to do the work!
Previously, my caravan had just been wheeled into the garden and had been left where it was ‘delivered’ by my friends last year. It’s a bulky trailer to shift around, so we haven’t really been able to move it. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to pull it further up the garden and use it as the focal point of the space.
You see, previously I’d used my caravan as a kind of office/garden room and I missed having that space to be creative outdoors. We also loved eating at the little table and would often take our guests outside for meals. So I wanted to recreate this in our new garden and turn the caravan into a more permanent garden structure.
The thing is, I’m pretty sure that my caravan won’t be travelling on the road again. It was a bit of a hairy time getting it to our new home, so I don’t really want to risk taking it out again. It’s a perfectly dry space (in fact, it’s currently storing toys for when our nieces and nephews come to visit!) but the wheels aren’t great and I’m not sure it would be able to do many miles on the road.
So, instead, I want to use it as a summer house and the garden will be it’s final parking place. I’ve therefore decided to set the caravan into the ground a little so that it’s less imposing (always thinking of my neighbours!) and to make the doorway flush with the lawn. The lawn that will be there in the future, that is – at the moment it’s just a slope of wasteland.
To create a ‘hole’ for the caravan to rest in meant that we would have to move a lot of soil and dig into the slope of the garden. I was planning to hire machinery, like a mini digger or similar, to do this task, as well as help to terrace the sloped garden. But one morning my husband just started digging and soon I’d joined in and we had dug a trench that was about two foot deep at the deepest end and a tiny slope at the other.
Luckily the soil wasn’t too compacted or full of stones, so it was very easy to dig. Plus, I enjoy the workout that I get from working in the garden so just imagine the health benefits of digging a giant, caravan-sized hole! Within a couple of hours, the whole space was ‘excavated’ and we had a perfect rectangle in which to park the caravan. We covered the space with weed-proof membrane before we rolled it in and reinforced the sides to keep it safe.
Now the only trouble was moving the caravan. There was no way that we could push it up the sloped garden (believe me, we’ve tried!) so we enlisted the help of my brother and he brought his 4×4 to tow the caravan up the garden and into the hole. It was a pleasing moment when the caravan smoothly rolled into place. The hole we’d prepared was the perfect fit!
So, even though I still don’t have a flat lawn in front of the caravan, at least it’s in it’s parking place and we can start working on the rest of the garden around it. Mum’s given me a crab apple tree so that’ll be the first thing to be planted into my ‘cottage garden’ around the caravan.
I’ll be sharing more photos of our garden progress soon so watch this space!