Having a lovely garden to relax in when the weather permits is one of the great joys in life. A nice, open space to unwind of an even with a cold glass of something and maybe eating al fresco. But for us, this is a reality that escapes us. Our back garden is appalling and something has to be done with it.
The first problem with our garden is the severe bank it’s on. The house is built on the site where a railway station once stood and the back garden is where the platform once would have been. This slop means that the garden is pretty dysfunctional in reality.
The second problem is that we rent the house. So, realistically we can’t make any changes to the garden. But, we have a great relationship with our landlord and know that we can do some work. But, then we’re investing in making a garden better for a house we don’t own. Will it be a wasted investment.
I’m all about low maintenance. My fingers are most certainly not green and we don’t really have much time to be maintaining a garden.
Some friends of our have the most wonderful garden I have ever seen. Yes, it’s far larger than ours and they’re retired so spend the majority of their time in their garden. But it’s wonderful. It’s so good that once a year they open it up to visitors to raise money with the National Garden Scheme. Whilst I like visiting gardens like that, it’s not for me.
Eliminating the lawn (we can’t call what we have a lawn – a patch of grass would be more appropriate) is the number one priority and would then remove the weekly spring and summer task of moving grass up and down a slope.
Building a deck
I’ve always liked the look decking gives a garden. Ideally, we’d building a deck that is level with the patio doors and stretches back to the steep gradient of the garden. This would open up a great space for outdoor dining and generally enjoying our back garden.
I’ve got so many DIY books and gardening books that I inherited from my Dad and father-in-law that I am not short of ideas for garden designs. And that’s before I even start Googling this stuff.
A patio would be another option, but I prefer the look of decking and the more contemporary look it gives. Plus, I do enjoy building things.
The raised beds
Simply building a deck is not going to be enough. Without some serious excavation, we’ll still be left with a banked area at the back. So, at the back of the deck, I’d like to build raised beds and plant some hardy shrubs that will hopefully be low maintenance.
I’ve already said, I’m no Alan Titchmarsh so I will have to look for some gardening services to come in and help with this aspect of the work and to keep it looking good.
I know, this contradicts my low maintenance mantra.
However, I think I could motivate myself and possibly Helen and the girls to grow our own potatoes, carrots and other vegetables. I’d maybe even consider one of those small greenhouses for some tomatoes or peppers.
We’ve successfully grown potatoes in the past as well as tomatoes and some amazing success with capsicums. But sticking at it has been the problem, but there are plenty of local gardeners that I could call on for advice.
Have you got any ideas for our garden? I’d love to see them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading
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