The thing about building a house, is that the actual structure is only half of it. We were so focused on creating a space to live in, in those early years, that the issue of a garden area really passed us by initially. We’ve started to make in-roads into landscaping this past few years, but the sheer scale of the work (two acres, a wood and a garage conversion to start with!) has meant that finances and time have limited us somewhat. I’ve said it before, this home will be a lifetime project, we always knew it would. And whilst I get irritated with outside looking a bit building site-ish, probably on a weekly basis, I know that we’ll get there eventually. Slow and steady, eh?
Anyway, I thought I’d record where we are so far, and share a few plans we have for the future too!
I don’t often show the front of our house from a wide angle, mostly because the main brunt of the unfinished work is there. We put down these functional, inexpensive grey stones as a measure when we were building, but in time want to replace them with the sand-coloured gravel that we have at the back. They will continue right down our driveway then (which is a pretty lengthy one!) and be finished with a cobbled entrance pad and brick gate posts.
I’m always super proud of the back, mostly because we raked it, lifted thousands of stones, and sowed it entirely ourselves. It took weeks of hard graft, but I’m so glad we did it early on. When we moved in we had piles of mud and debris everywhere (you can see it behind Annie in these photographs!) and to look at it now you’d never know!
To the right of our house is the little wood, which is getting bigger every year! We leave it wild mostly, but cut a path around it so I can walk Ernie in there and the kids can play. It’s one of my favourite parts of living here – watching the bunnies amongst the trees, and pheasant spotting in the Autumn. We’ve also used it for numerous parties too, my favourites here and here!
The most work this year has occurred at the back of the house. We’ve been having rabbit problems for years, with our plants being devastated pretty soon after we plant them. The main goal this year was to bunny proof early on, to protect any new planting and give it a chance through the Summer season. We to-ed and fro-ed about fence types, but in the end we just went for a really simple, functional design. It was cost effective, efficient, and we softened it with little Laurel hedging plants. We’ve still an archway and gate to erect, but I’ll show you that when it’s finished off too!
At the front I gave the steps and door a good clean and prettied them up with baskets and new plants in tonal colours. I used hydrangea, peonies and lavender, and our bay trees are actually artificial ones which we potted in ceramic planters. They have stood up really well to the weather and finish the area off too. I added a homemade fresh wreath to the door and I really love how it all looks now. I’m determined to keep everything alive! 🙂
And that is things outdoors so far! We are hoping to make in-roads into a little more fencing and gravelling this year, as well as starting work on a little cutting garden of sorts. My dream is to be able to grow my own flowers for arrangements. It could be my new skill, who knows! 😉
Watch this space!