Home Improvement: Garden Renovation


26 June: The garden is no longer recognisable. The ground is level, the turf is laid, another truckload of topsoil was added, which makes a total of 36 tons so far, Peder stained the back fence a lovely shade of forest green, and now it practically disappears into the lime trees behind the house. Things are progressing. The blue tarps are down to keep rain off the soil, making it easier for the guys to lay the turf. If the soil is wet, it goes claggy, and it’s difficult to lay the rolls of turf properly.

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The man who delivered the turf in a huge lorry managed (according to the neighbour) to shear off half a tree whilst parking. The neighbour had a fit. We assured him that no one was injured in the process and that the twigs that fell off the tree would grow back without notice. Blimey. That tree needed trimming anyway because you had to duck under it to walk on the pavement.

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The stairs on the brick wall are in the process of being built, and should look gorgeous once the sandstone slabs are laid on the risers. Four steps to the top level. The electricals for the outdoor lighting are laid and positioned also. The lighting is done in four stages so that not all of the lights need to be on at the same time. They’ll run off a remote.

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Now we prod and poke grass, and water and fuss over it for 2 weeks until it settles in. No walking on it either unless a board is placed on the ground. Molly isn’t allowed anywhere near the new turf for fear that she’ll squat on it. That odd pile of rock mid-photo is going to be a water feature, solar-powered and recycling. No power or plumbing is needed.

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The old patio stones, which aren’t stone but rather cement fashioned to look like stone, are up and tossed in the skip. New drainage from the mid-level to the new drainage system is being dug and installed. A few days of rain set things back a bit, and then Andy threw out his back, so we’re stalled right now. Not much gets done without Andy on the job to poke his boys and make them work. They’re good boys, and I don’t complain.

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We’re hoping that the sandstone slabs for the walkway will be laid this week. The patio should take another week, I reckon. That’s a guess but I’d be willing to put a few bob on it. They’re running about a week behind schedule, but so far Andy is keeping exactly on budget. The stalled schedule can’t be helped; the weather’s been truly miserable.


And except for the basil, where the neighbour’s cat continues to pooh, the herbs are doing nicely in their pots. I’m using the chives from the garden because the potted ones are not growing well.

So, that’s where we are as of today. More when the patio slab are laid and the walkway is finished, which we’ll hope is by next week.

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Janet Rörschåch says:

    WOW! Misky–it’s as if you are changing your whole life. What an undertaking.

    1. Misky says:

      That’s what happens when you retire. Lots of time to do things they way you’ve always wanted!

  2. Gerry Wilson says:

    So you’ll be new inside *and* out. How exciting! It’s interesting to see your process unfold. Back in 2005, we rebuilt our deck and repaired the flagstone patio that the “tree men” damaged while taking out a huge oak (severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina and left lopsided, leaning over our bedroom wing of the house!), also a major undertaking in addition to rebuilding the part of the house that Katrina destroyed, but we like the deck and garden space much better now. Try to stay patient these last few days (or weeks); you’re going to have such a lovely space when you’re done.

    1. Misky says:

      Oh, I’m very patient, particularly now that the ‘boys’ are outside and not under my feet anymore. No more breathing dust. 😀 In October we’ll update the bathrooms. That should be fun!

  3. themondaybaker says:

    It looks to be coming on really well. We had ours done a few years ago and I couldn’t wait to be able to get onto the exciting bit of choosing plants and flowers. At least with the weather being as it is the turf should settle in quite quickly. I look forward to seeing it when it’s all done.

    1. Misky says:

      We need a bit of proper rainfall, actually. We’re having to put the sprinkler on the turf. At least we don’t have a hosepipe ban!

  4. WOW – you are really doing a big garden renovation. Looking fabulous alread.
    Love the 4 tag lights – remote, cool! Wonderful about your “green” water feature too.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    1. Misky says:

      And now to start sourcing plants. Not sure what we’ll select.

  5. holy moly thats a MASSIVE change!! It is coming along so nicely Misky 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      Yes, holy moly, indeed! LOL! Rain has stopped ‘play’ so maybe more progress on Monday. 😀

  6. Your yard is really transforming!! How pretty it will be for you to enjoy this summer! Your neighbor is likely just jealous of your new backyard.. that’s always the reason it seems! xx

    1. Misky says:

      I’m hoping it will be finished by mid-July as we are having a little party then. It would nice if we could use the patio!

  7. Karen says:

    So much progress has been made. It is going to be beautiful when it is finished…can’t wait to see it.

    1. Misky says:

      We’re hoping that they’ll resume working on Monday. We’ve lost an entire week’s worth of progress because of Andy’s back. Poor man really threw it out good and proper.

  8. Adan Bert says:

    Misky your project seems to be a big one. I am happy for your renovation work as gardens are important part of our home, I think it should be managed well. Good luck for your work.

  9. Bobby says:

    Great post Misky! This looks like a bunch of work! I can see from the truckload of turf, that this was a big project. I hope your neighbors weren’t too unhappy. I remember when we remodeled our deck last year, the neighbors were fine with it until some of our saw dust landed on their lawn. It was all good though, we invited them over to our bbq after it was finished.

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Bobby,
      The guys are returning next week to finish up the pointing on stonework, lay railroad ties around the fruit trees, put down a plastic mesh near the trees in the grass to add more parking space for guests … and then we’ll bid them goodbye until we start on the bathrooms. 😉 A BBQ is a great idea. Might just do that.

  10. Garth Steele says:

    What a huge project! I am sure it will look absolutely stunning when it’s all said and done. I was thinking about expanding my garden as well, but I really don’t have the time. Great post!

    1. Misky says:

      Thank you, Garth. It’s a huge project, actually, but we have great guys working for us, so it’s a pleasure.

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