Having completed our extensive side return renovations, we realised that we’d been bitten by the home improvement bug HARD. However, with our previous renovations came a fast decreasing bank account, so we took a small breather (and had a baby) while we saved our pennies in order to do our garden.
You may remember our garden when we first moved in… and if you don’t, it was 75% pond. We had a few feet of patio by the house – enough for a small table and chairs, then POND and behind POND was unusable garden – a huge pile of earth and rubble and mess.
A pond is beautiful, but it’s a terrifying thing to have around with a toddler… especially a pond that takes up most of the garden. So, while we were doing our side return extension, we decided to take full advantage of the builders and all their tools and got them to fill in the pond. So for the past year we’ve been living with a massive muddy mess in the garden… but all the while, plotting and planning how we would make it the most beautiful space at the back of our very special house.
We always knew that we wanted to have an outdoor space that was an extension of our home… another room, another space to live. We wanted to create a garden that was liveable in, even when the sun wasn’t blazing… and our list was long…
Somewhere to sip a coffee, read a book, do some work, have a snooze… somewhere for Izzy to play, some lawn for toddling on, space for a paddling pool…. We wanted a tree! We wanted a shed! We wanted to dine outside with friends and family. Somewhere for grandparents to sit while little ones played. Somewhere for curling up and hiding away… a place for Izzy to explore. A place for me to laze about in and hopefully potter about and learn a bit about gardening…
We set about Pinterest, trying to find small London gardens that achieved all of this and we really struggled to find examples where there was patio or decking AND lawn in a small space… but we knew we wanted a lawn as nothing beats that feeling of fresh grass beneath your toes in the Summer… and we wanted a soft landing for our growing human.
We found a few pics that we used for inspiration to build a mood board for our amazing and local garden designer, Alexa, which had elements we loved and often elements we didn’t… so with the board came a host of notes – “we love these colours, but ignore that bench” etc. (Poor Alexa!) She took it all in her stride and off she went to beaver away on creating some designs for us…all hand drawn and ever so pretty…
We had our first meeting in the Autumn last year and the landscapers – again, local chaps called Green Man Landscaping – began work in November. We were scuppered by the weather for a few weeks but they worked tirelessly in the rain to get the garden ready for the first round of planting.
An electrician popped in to put in some outside lighting (he drilled through our water pipe the weekend before Christmas. We had no hot water. It’s not a fun story. But, it’s a bit funny) and all the lighting he implemented was to complement various elements of the garden – again, it had all been thought through and everyone was working to Alexa’s plan.
The plumber popped in to move our water tap from the side of the house to the side of the decking… (and he popped in again the weekend before Christmas to fix our pipe and give us hot water. We gave him chocolate and wine).
Then Alexa came back a few weeks ago to do the rest of the planting… and we could really see how the garden was going to take shape.
We were always worried that the garden would end up looking too neat and manicured for us… and although it had been in a complete state before, we didn’t want to lose the lush feel of all the greenery we’d become so used to.
We could see how everything was going to grow and become more and more lush over time… and we are thrilled with the results.
The next step was to find the perfect accessories and furniture to bring the garden to life, and with a Homebase a 10 minute drive from my front door, I was down there like a shot!
See the next instalment to see my garden now, with some of my favourite pieces from the Homebase collections. I absolutely love my garden. And that we’ve managed to complete it just in time for Summer makes me very happy indeed!
Roll on afternoons in the paddling pool!
(Izzy can join too, if she fancies it)
This post is sponsored by Homebase and
all thought and opinions are my own.