Earlier this year, with spring around the corner to tempt us outside in to the fresh air, we decided it was time to tackle our dreary wasteland of a garden. We bought our house three years ago off plan and when we first took ownership, the garden was non-existent, just stones and mud. We were actually living in Switzerland at the time, so for ease and practicality, we merely had turf laid and a few shrubs planted, and when we finally returned to the UK at the beginning of 2014, we were so busy focusing on the interior, the garden was pushed right to the bottom of our very long to do list. But, in April, we decided that we couldn't stand to look out on to such a sorry state anymore, so rolled our sleeves up and got planting and painting, imagining ourselves, gin and tonics in hands (lemonade for the boys), lying back and enjoying the summer in a flower-filled garden.
While the 'lying back and enjoying the summer' wish hasn't really been fulfilled, the recent rain followed by fleeting sunny spells has had the most wonderful impact on our little border of flowers and the quality of our once sparse grass. It's gone from being rubble and mud in April, to newly planted and neat in May, to an abundance for colour in July. You can see the difference for yourself in the photo collage below, but here's more about the initial state of the garden and the things we did to tidy it up and get it to how it looks now if you want to get a better idea of the transformation.
It's made a massive difference to us. Not just because spending time in the garden is now an absolute pleasure rather than an exercise in turning a blind eye to an unloved, muddy space. We also look out on to it from our kitchen/dining room and often find ourselves smiling at each in a kind of 'didn't we do well' way.
And the boys absolutely love helping to water the plants, padding around the garden in bare feet waving their watering cans everywhere. It's helped that everything has grown so fast. They've been able to revel in their magic watering powers with plants almost growing taller on a daily basis right in front of their eyes.
We are now left with just one small space to spruce up before we can declare the garden 'done'. There was a small, uneven patch of mud behind the garage that we didn't know what to do with so had the area decked to try and even out the land and make it useable.
We initially planned for it to be an area for the boys' toys and sandpit but they've shown zero interest in it preferring to play football on the grass on whizz round the patio on their scooters. So Paul and I are reclaiming it for a bit of an adult space. But what to do? My eldest little dude has suggested that as it looks a bit like a stage, we should have a disco on it. Alas, I fear my disco days are over and I'm thinking a more relaxed vibe would be far more suitable.
For inspiration, I've turned to a site that I've been following on Facebook for quite some time (it's hugely popular amongst my German and Swiss friends), Homify. It's a fantastic resource for all kinds of building, interiors, exteriors and gardening projects and I've gleaned so many tips from it. I simply clicked on 'ROOMS' on the homepage, selected 'Garden', and then was presented with all manner of completed projects and advice from professionals from all around the globe. I adore the seating, lighting and the colours of the patio below but also like the idea of an outdoor dining area.
Decisions, decisions! What do you think? What would you do? I'd love some more ideas.
This post was written in collaboration with Homify.