How to make a small area in your garden look nice, and exciting
Get as many quotes as you can.
Whenever you take on this sort of project, always make sure that you get plenty of quotes from different sources. Check the internet, and then go look and if you don’t like the look of it move on.
I’ve always loved gardening, but some years again I had to stop, beaten by a bad back and other ailments, so three years ago I began a new garden project.
I do have a large back garden, but I wondered what I could do with an area 25’ x 30’.
I thought it might be easier to garden in containers and so we decided a make a Mediterranean style courtyard, not so easy in the north of England with it’s cold winters and late springs.
There is no doubt that if you unclutter any area it will look bigger. I wanted the sense of space but I also wanted color and lots of planting. So I started with a completely empty area and then added pots and things, putting them as close to the walls as I could. Also the walls themselves have been used as planting areas allowing me to get different heights for my plants which creates a feeling that the area is much bigger than it is.
We dug into the slope of the garden to level it out, by hand, we could have used a digger, but the builder’s lads were confident they could do it. They didn’t realise there was a 100 tons to move. As we dug back, we realised that we were going to need quite a flight of steps to allow access to the rest of the garden.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
If you can not do the planning yourself, get help, BUT GET QUOTES from landscapers or planners; in the long run it could save you an awful lot of problems later.
You should also check with your local planning department that you are okay to go ahead, or they may come along and tell you to put things back as they were.
So you may need to put in a planning application and don't forget building regulations; they can make you take it all down too.
if you need to dig new foundations make sure you know where the underground services are.
Next decision was to knock down the old garage and replace it with a studio come anything out building. The biggest problem was where to put all the junk we had accumulated over the last twenty years. You know how it goes, ‘we need to keep this because…it may come in useful, it belongs to your Mum, and so on. The kid’s bikes, three old lawn mowers, toolboxes cluttered with oil filters and parts for cars that long since went to the scrap yard, old school books and broken anything. Most went to where it should have gone a decade before; the town dump.
The walls were made double so that we could fill the cavity with insulation, to give extra sound proofing as well as heat retention. A main road runs about thirty feet away down the side of the garden which is sometimes a bit noisy.
Love your garden
I had the builder add a shelf the full length of one wall to give us another level for planting, a step halfway down gave it a little more character I think. This level has really been worthwhile, we flagged it too and it has added such a lot of extra planting opportunities.
This year's planting has been a riot of color and real joy, fortunately we've had the weather to enjoy it too.
This year we have also grown a wide variety of vegetables including; tomatoes, potatoes, pease, peppers, strawberries, French beans in planters and pots. This year's special was about fifty peaches, a little small but beautifully sweet.
We wanted sandstone flagstones, but local ones were really out of my budget so I went and bought some from Lancashire imported from India. They are beautiful, full of colour and texture, a shame they look at their best when wet. Now that they have been down a couple of years they have weathered well and the colours are more prominent. The saving was more than £30 per square metre, the garden needed 57 sq metres so you can see it was a massive saving.
The walls all the way around were rendered with weatherproof plaster and painted Magnolia, a soft colour easier on the eye than pure white.
We had a gate made to measure by a local welder, who did a great job and treated the metal before dipping it to make sure it never rusts, well not in my lifetime anyway. An built in lock has added extra security to the back of the house and garden.
we also added wall lights and a spot light with a motion sensor, which has proved very useful.
The out building was double-glazed and the roof cavity filled with insulation before sealing it in with extra thick insulated tiles. It has been worth it, because it required very little heating even in the coldest of winter days and believe me it was certainly cold this year.
This has made the garden my office and my place of recreation too. Fully sound proofed I can play my music as loud as I want.
Being an artist I like sculptures, so two copper finished modern art pieces were added to the wall and various garden ornaments have been placed about the garden.
It was completed in about May 2010 just in time for us to start adding planters and ceramic pots, and also the barbecue [an essential piece of garden equipment.]
Our next project is to do something with the upper part of the garden which is about sixty feet long with a slight slope towards the house. Maybe you might have some ideas, if you do I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Read about my herbs
- My Windowsill Herbs, Recipes for parsley and Cheese Sauce, Mint Jelly, Raita.
Herbs that can easily be grown on a kitchen windowsill. Sauces and jellies you can make with your herbs.
Something to read in your garden
Here's another great garden project
- My Summer Project
Two old sheds that we had in our backyard were well on their way to crumbling and falling apart. I'd been into my neighbour's yard a few times to try to patch up the huge crack in the cement wall that she had to look at every day, but it soon opened