Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Guys, Our Garden


Once upon a time in 2013 our driveway looked like this.



Then we knocked down the garage, built an extension, and the driveway looked like this.

Yup, just a big pile of hardcore and ancient, broken concrete slabs, greeting the us every time we left the house.  For months and months.  We knew what we wanted to do, we had the budget, but it was just a matter of biding our time until we could get scheduled!


It took a lot of hard work (but not by us) and tons of material.


We had a really great landscaper (Peter Williamson) come and and now our driveway looks like this


He also built a new fence, since we knocked down the garage and the boundary wall.



The back garden is looking a lot better as well.  Maybe last summer or so it looked like this.


Then we had the mad digger come in and take out all the crazy self-planting sycamore trees.



No, seriously, things had to get really messy before they could get better.



We had the professionals put in a level pad for a shed (to replace the demolished garage) and a trampoline.


And then I got busy building vegetable boxes, reseeding (and reseeding and reseeding) the grass.


As of this morning, this is where we are.   Look how the grass is growing!  It needs to be cut...again!


Peter put in some posts and pavers for a bin store, 



and Niall built it.


We painted it green.

Magic!



The back of the house is still a work in progress.  But we've improved things!  In 2013 it looked like this.

And then it looked like this.  

We managed to squeeze in a table and chairs.

And then turned it into a building site.


And now we're here.



Maybe someday we'll paint it.  Or get it re-roughcaste.  But not right now.

There's a nice walkway (big enough to wheel the garbage bins) along the side of our house.  And notice all the pebbles?  That was something our architect specified to help with drainage.


Here's the paving on the side of the house going toward the street.


And here's how the walkway looks going back to the garden.  I built the gate out of left over wood from the timber cladding on the extension!

When we first bought the house, the back of the house was completely overgrown.



We had the vegetation cut back, clean-up the pavers, and were left with this.


Then we painted the fence and the coal shed door.


We dug out the massive tree trunk


And were left with a patio area crying out for some attention.


Peter came and did his magic

And the patio are is wider, smoother and ready for us to enjoy!



And the table.


There are still a few things that need to be done (like making the bomb shelter into a play fort and tarting up the front garden and retaining wall.)  But man we're close!

And, just because I had no idea how much work this garden update would be, or how much money it would end up costing, here's the run down:

Total are paved:  111 square meters
Approximate cost:  £7000 total, £62 per square meter
Cost of supplies:  £3,150
Spoil removal:  £600
32 man days, 256 hours

As a note, I completely underestimated how much time and effort would go into this project, but specifically just how hard it would be to plan and execute the calculation of slope and run and the design of pavers.  And I didn't do any of it!


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