Tuesday 16 September 2014


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Guess what! We signed a contract with the builder last week for renovation work on the back of our house. We are going to extend our tiny kitchen and dining room and add a big deck off the back where we now have a tiny one. Underneath will be a big extra space.

It was going to start yesterday, but luckily we have had a reprieve and get to keep the back of the house for another week! I'm dying for it all to start but also dying for the extra time to get organised. We're living on site during the work and will lose our kitchen for most of the time and though I'm not sure how that's going to go it sounds like a challenge!

We have been working on the plans and council approval for a couple of years now, doing it with a friend of ours who is an architect. He's been busy, we've been busy, and we've dragged it out a bit - putting off the disruption and expense. But now its finally happening!

Last week the plumber moved the sewer pipes to make way for the excavation. To save money and time we dug a lot of the holes ourselves, all five of us had a go. One minute we had lawn and garden and the next minute there were holes and pipes. My lovely planter boxes  were dismantled and three self sown trees which had put themselves in the wrong spot had to go. Luckily all the trees we've planted are okay, so the bones of the garden will still be there. But the beautiful side garden has been cut back hard in preparation for access so diggers and building materials can come along there.

I've been feeling a bit sentimental for our garden as it was. It's going to change a lot, levels will change and the low wall and stairs and pond we built will most probably go. Plants have been pulled out, pavers stacked and gravel dug up and put in bags in preparation. So here are some before shots, some garden pics I came across while looking through my photos for something else. I love this garden, and I will miss its present incarnation, but I'm looking forward to the next.

My gardens have always been works in progress, I think all good gardens are. They grow and change like children and we can't hang on, but just enjoy the ride. When one plant dies I look at it as a chance to plant something new and different, when a tree plants itself in the middle of a sunny bed we've changed to shade loving plants, and when a plant doesn't look right or doesn't thrive it is unceremoniously uprooted and moved or composted. I learnt to do that from my mother in law :-)

We will always have trees and paths and water. There will always be vegetable beds. I'm looking forward to rearranging things when the dust settles.  My only frustration is this beautiful spring weather, it seems criminal to be moving plants and not sowing seed at this time of year!!!

I hope to show some before, during and (especially) after photos. I always love to watch those sort of transformations and have long been a fan of Grand Designs. Ours won't be so grand and we're hoping to bypass some of the drama and delays of some of their shows but it will be a big change in the spaces we have.


  1. Your garden is beautiful and so exciting to be renovating!

  2. Exciting stuff! Looking forward to watching progress.....


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