2019: The Year of the Garden (at least, it will be for us at Cassiefairy HQ!)

We’re only three weeks into the new year and already there have been massive changes afoot at Cassiefairy HQ. We’ve been DIYing in earnest and I’m exhausted just thinking about it! You see, we’ve decided that 2019 will the be the ‘year of the garden’ and we’re tackling a landscaping project for the first time. Here’s what we’ve got planned and how we’re getting on…

three upturned buckets in garden

MAKING A START

It’s been a tough three weeks of working on the garden – and I’ve only been outside part of the time! While I’ve been tucked up in my office, writing and blogging, my husband has been outside in all weathers labouring and figuring out measurements and levels. I just turn up in the afternoons to help out with whatever needs doing. I soon realised that my clothing isn’t suitable for such work – just look at these frosty photos! Sure, I’ve got a fantastic thermal base layer, but my jacket and footwear are less than protective when I’m working outdoors. I need water resistant trousers for a start, as I ended up soaked through on the first day – and my toes were like ice inside my wellies. I’ve researched personal protection equipment on the engelbert strauss website to find out what clothing essentials I need to work safely and comfortably – and will be stocking up on gloves and work boots at the very least!

Photo of feet in welly boots on frosty grass

WORKSHOP

With both my husband and myself working on creative projects, we’ve realised that our home just isn’t suitable for the work we do. There are the regular photoshoots for magazines and brands, the DIY upcycling projects for my blog, and then there’s my husband’s artwork and his printing business to accommodate too. We’ve been in desperate need of a workshop for a couple of years and now we’re getting started on it. But before we started laying a base for our shed, we needed to figure out how the rest of the garden would look…

Pile of wood planks in garden, covered in frost.

PATIO

The garden is on a massive slope so, in order for the workshop to be constructed, we had to dig out a lot of soil. And then we needed to figure out where that pile of soil would go. We therefore had to build a planter that would act as a retaining wall for a patio area. This area can be built up so that it’s level with the house and we can also fill the planters with the soil we dig out.

Long, deep planter built from pressure-treated wood

MY CARAVAN

Seeing as we already had my home office caravan in the garden, we needed to figure out where it would live once the workshop was built. To start with it was parked precisely where we planned to build the shed. You can see the work we did to dig out a flat area for it in my most recent caravan blog post. It’s now snugly positioned beside the lawn and I can’t wait to start planting up a cottage garden around it.

Pale blue vintage caravan

PROGRESS SO FAR

The planters are made and filled, the lawn terrace has a retaining wall to hold back the soil, and the workshop shed is under construction. We’ve even bought our first plant for the patio, but it’s too frosty to dig it into the planter at the moment. Decisions on finishes, colours and designs have been made (which is probably what took the most time!) and we’re cracking on with the garden project. The aim is to have it completed in time for the summer so that we can enjoy sitting outside and can start growing our own veg in some raised beds in the yet-to-be-built veggie patch. Wish us luck!

Photo of upside down wheelbarrow, covered in frost

Let me know your top gardening tips in the comments below as I’m new to all this landscaping and planting business! Any advice on laying a patio or building a shed would be gratefully received too 😊



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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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