You may recall from this post from last year, that we have been planning to do some work on our garden. One of the things that sold our home to us is that our garden space is large enough for the 3 of us, and for entertaining. As a bonus, we have a large open communal space at the front of our house where my daughter can run around with her friends to her heart’s content. While the communal space at the front is well looked after, our garden has been somewhat neglected.
When we bought the house a couple of years ago, we knew that we would need to replace the fence as it already had some damage to it – we simply hadn’t realised how bad it was. Part of it was covered in ivy which concealed the extensive damage caused by woodworm. The rest was broken due to overgrown plants from my neighbours garden (I’ll let her off because she’s an elderly lady). A lot of patchwork repairs had been carried out over the years and it simply couldn’t hold up any further. The garden had some shrubs and 3 trees which were not an eyesore, but there didn’t seem to be any thought or design to their placement and were far too large for our modestly sized garden.
In general terms, our aesthetic is quite contemporary. We would like a low maintenance, all season garden that sparks interest throughout the year. That means our plants need to earn their keep by changing colour as seasons change or flower at different points of the year. We want to keep as much lawn space as possible as well as creating a larger seating area where we can eat and have barbecues. A vegetable patch and /or herb garden would be a bonus.
We will replace the fence on the left and the back of the garden. I would have loved to have the western red cedar fences as they are my kind of style but they are very expensive and I’m not about to spend that amount of money unless it’s my forever home (it’s money down the drain if you choose to sell depending on the ceiling price of property in your area). Also, if you know me, you will know that I like symmetry. The fence on the right-hand side is a traditional wood larchlap fence so, we’ve decided to maintain the same look on the left side but switch it up at the back. This will be slatted fence to introduce a sort of ‘feature’ to look at. If you follow me on instagram, you will know from my stories that I have already started painting our fence black to create a contrast to the greenery. It’s looking great so far, and can’t wait to paint it all.
We would like to create a larger seating area with a table where we can enjoy as a family on sunny days and entertain. We have a couple of options. We could create one where our current small patio exists by extending it into the garden (which is a lot of work and therefore more money – we would need to take down the retaining wall and dig out the soil…), or by the garage where we have already removed the large shrub. We also like the idea of having a pergola but wonder whether our small space would look over-built. If we do put up a pergola it will have to be small and very minimal.
Paving Slabs and Decking
I would love a seamless transition between the conservatory and the garden. I like the look and feel of composite decking, however, we have been previously been advised that we should expect rodents. Others say that they’ve never had a problem. My preference would be decking although we are still quite undecided and at this point it may come down to cost and the simple fact that we are not about that rat life. In any case, we plan on using grey sawn sandtone slabs to replace those on the side return of our house as well as to create a path between the patio and the garage.
Plants and trees
When we moved in, we had a couple of overgrown shrubs which we have now gotten rid of and 3 trees – one of which is completely dead. We will be uprooting the whole lot and starting afresh, keeping as much lawn space as possible. We are primarily looking at having a white garden and will plant a mix of plants (trees, flowers, grasses and possibly a vertical herb garden or edible flowers) that can work together and not spread much into the garden. Our list of plants isn’t complete at present but we have settled on the following: hydrangea macrophylla choco chic, amelanchier lamarkii, hakonechola macra, allium mont blanc, ilex crenata, star jasmine, astilbe and tuberose. I’m also thinking that raised beds would look fabulous in our new outdoor space.
Lastly, the bins will move from the back of the house (by the conservatory) to the front (most likely under the kitchen window) and concealed under a wooden bin storage unit.
So that’s our plan for now. We still have a lot of decisions that need to be made soon. I suspect that it’ll take sometime to get this done – partly because of decision making and also because our gardener is only here once a week.
Be sure to check my instastories for any updates. I will also do a final reveal in due course.
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