When we first moved in the garden wasn’t in a great state but it was usable…that was until Dean and I thought we would do some knocking down of planters and digging up of things, I’m not really sure what we were thinking…
…I think we were just trying to put our stamp on the place but we didn’t really have a vision for what we wanted or the money to be spending out on it. It stayed as a semi usable (if not very boring garden) for a few years after that initial bout of ‘work’ and then last year we had to do some damage control because we had caused ourselves some issues – let me explain through some photos.
January 14th 2014
This photo was taken about 2 weeks after we moved in, it’s not great lighting (old iPhones didn’t do well shooting at dusk) but you can see the lower brick course of what used to be a big planter and some established shrubs on the left hand side of the path. The wooden bits at the back towards the raised patio were part of a fence we took down that had been used to seperate the workshop from the rest of the garden.
April 5th 2015
Not much had changed by the next year landscaping wise. We had just built raised vegetable beds for me at the back of the garden, cut down a lot of the shrub border and had taken the old planter down to the ground to use as our bonfire space. It was starting to look pretty scruffy.
May 16th 2015
Over the Easter weekend in 2015 we got a lot of work done. We replaced the broken fence panels on the left hand side, put a gate up to the right of the workshop, painted my raised veg planters and had a good tidy up! Still not the most interesting garden to look at but at least it was a bit neater.
As with much of the work we have done, in hindsight if we had maybe just taken better care of the lawn or even got some professionals in to take care of it like TruGreen Georgia (they can do everything from aerating a lawn to tree and shrub care and disease control!) we probably could have kept it looking better for longer rather than living with this mess for so long – you can see from the next phot that the lawn was starting to suffer and then it just went from bad to worse.
Dean and his friend bricked up the old door and side window in the workshop. My veg patches were bare, we had pulled up the block paving from that part just in front of the workshop where the broom is resting up against and everything else was looking pretty dead, apart from my acers that were looking stunning on the decking!
We had the UPVC windows put into the workshop which we had then decided was going to be a gym (so I’ll call it the gym from here on out) and for some stupid reason we thought it would be a good idea to lift up all the remaining block paving in the garden. Looking back neither of us can work out why we decided to do this, it makes no logical sense as we didn’t have any firm plans or the money to start doing anything properly with the garden. My veg beds were overgrown and the potato plants on the decking were in desperate need of being harvested.
We had started building work on the gym, one of my planters had rotted and been dismantled and the other two were used as a bit of a dumping ground for stuff we were ripping out of the gym. The rest of the garden was in a sorry state, the lawn was more weeds than grass and was very lumpy – it was a mess.
This is where it starts getting bad. So the garden was a mess but the gym work was progressing well, we had a problem though, when you walked through the garden along the sand where the block paving used to be to get to the gym to do work, your shoes would get covered in sand and you’d end up tracking all through the house! Our solution? (Other than a time machine to go back and not rip up the block paving?) Weed suppressant fabric!
We had tried out best with the lawn over the spring but the weeds were taking hold quicker than we could cut back and pull them out. Side hustle work was keeping me busy most of my spare time and Dean didn’t know where to start with tackling it (and hates gardening). We knew we had plans to start work on the garden properly once we were debt free, which at that time was about a year away, so we thought the best solution for the time being would be to cover the whole garden in weed suppressant fabric…when I say it now it sounds pretty silly but at the time it was the only thing we could think to do!
In January we removed all the weed suppressant fabric so that we could start measuring the garden to price up the work we wanted done. It looks an absolute mess BUT it did the trick and the ground was more even and it was essentially blank canvas for us to start making solid design plans.
So that’s why this is an ‘Extreme’ Garden Makeover that we are embarking on, when your Before photo looks as bad as that you know you’re in for a big transformation. I can’t wait to share all the updates with you!