One of the biggest attractions for me when I bought this house was the fact that it had no garden. Blocked paved at the front, continued all through the car port area at the side then a large sand-stoned slab area at the back. I already had problems with both wrists and really didn’t want to be gardening – a few pots full of pretty flowers, I thought I could handle that.
I succumbed quite early to building a raised bed in one corner, well it wasn’t too much to deal with and it meant I could fill it with bulbs and shrubs.
And they all survived – not bad for me as I have never been really good with plants.
The problems with drainage started this year really after the ‘proper’ roof was fitted to the carport area and any rain ran down this new roof, onto the garage roof then poured down the back of the garage into an ineffectual soakaway.
It looked okay from the inside until I discovered a pool of water coming up through the garage floor – that was when I really started to look at how the whole area had been created….
All the other gardens are raised or tiered at the back – so that they are level with the road beyond the property, but the previous owner of my bungalow had dug out all the soil down to the clay bed to make the area flat enough to lay slabs. this meant that the road at the back of my garden and the garage at the side are a good two feet higher than my garden. It also meant that any water getting into the back garden could not drain away – the clay was too dense. The previous owner had also put concrete collars around the drains so rainwater couldn’t get out that way either.
After much thought I decided to take the slabs up at the side of the garage, dig down two spade depths into the clay, and fill the whole area with hardcore and gravel – this would help to soak some of the water away and as Hippie likes to use a gravelled area as her toilet (liquid only, readers) – it would make it easy to keep clean.
And Hippie approved too!
Once this was done there seemed little point in keeping the rest of it slabbed so decided to go all out for drainage and have a small area next to the raised bed dug out and filled with topsoil for the rest of my potted shrubs and trees, then another 48 slabs were to come up and turf the area at the end of the garden.
I ordered all the materials and my daughter and her boyfriend completed the gravelled area and made headway into getting the garden area dug out. My son had arranged to come up and help but we knew it was too much to tackle in one weekend so my girl did me proud working on the project whenever she could.
And of course, like all greyhound’s Hippie just had to join in.
Then last weekend my son came up as arranged – and the three of them got on with it – they started on the Friday night in the pouring rain and the dark..
It was really late when they finished and they were so wet
But – they shifted two tons of soil and took up countless slabs ready to lay the turf the next morning.
It was hot showers, large glasses of wine and a takeaway that night – ready to start again the next morning.
And they did, they shifted sand from underneath where the slabs had been and dressed the area with soil – I pottered round them all painting the wall round the edge of the garden and sweeping all the residue soil away. the sun shone thank goodness and bless them – they worked all day.
I couldn’t believe how it was suddenly coming together, that turf went down easier than laying a carpet.
My daughters boyfriend knew how depressed I had been about all this and kept giving me hugs and thumbs up’s (see above) he knew it would be nice when it was done!
I went off and got dinner sorted – the very least I could do in the circumstances – but I kept a watchful eye on them…
And suddenly – it was finished..
Cleared of rubble and looking amazing – time to celebrate!!
And lets not forget the night view as anyone who knows me will also know my love of fairy lights so having painted the side of the garage, the lights went up!
What a weekend!! It was big thanks all round to my wonderful kids – my son stayed until Sunday afternoon and sorted out some of the electrical nightmares that this house has – he says he’s coming back to do a wiring job but then again he has seen the wiring in the loft – I’m not allowed up there!!!
And now – I am diligently watering the turf daily, and keeping Hippie off it – though she keeps looking longingly at it… trouble is she could rip it all up in 5 seconds flat – so its no go area for quite some time.