garden woes

14 Nov

gardenmess-002

I really need to get out into my garden and give it a good sorting out. I have been neglecting a bit recently what with the summer dying early and the 6 cats from next door continuing to use it as a giant litter tray and it is starting to make me sad as it was one of the main reasons we decided to take this flat.

Not that it was in much of a good way when we moved in! It was a bit like a giant sloping jungle with a huge concrete square in the middle; not much good for sitting out in as we found out when our chairs kept sinking into the mud and drinks kept spilling off the table!

new garden

I couldn’t cope with it being so unusable so one day this April I decided enough was enough and that I was going to get out there. While clearing all of the rubbish out, I gathered it was going to be a bigger job than I had first expected!

My plan was to level out the entire garden and have a lawn over the front half and paving at the back. (My love made me change my mind and do it the other way round!)

By the way, moving slabs of concrete is not easy, but once it was clear that my plan was working it spurred me on to continue.

Once all of the rubbish and weeds were up and the concrete happy in its new home (level at the front of the garden) I was ready to start the paving.

After checking on-line for timber and paving slabs and finding out just how expensive this stuff is I took a walk to the local timber yarn and managed to get a 1-tonne bag of 10 mm gravel for £50! and they delivered it free of charge.

I bought some mulching from B&Q for about £10 and covered my level concrete with it.

garden4

garden5

Im not sure just how big I was expecting a one tonne bag of gravel to be but my god I was in shock when it arrived. It was huge. So I began transporting the gravel through the house bin bag by bin bag inside an old (well, it is old now it’s had gravel in it!) suitcase. 8 hours later I was done!

Once the gravel was down it began to look a lot more respectable so I moved onto preparing the ground for the grass seeds. I basically just dug up all of the remaining stones and pieces of gravel that were left, sieved it out a bit and covered it all with a layer of top soil.

For the grass seeds I used the cheapest availiable from the shop which came to about £5 for 4 boxes which was enough for the first attempt. So I grabbed the boxes not bothering to measure out squares, use the string and all that nonsense and started sprinkling the seeds onto the top soil. I gave it a good rake to make sure it was all nicely in the soil.

To my amazement within about a week and a half I had the beginnings of my lawn. Little grass shoots started appearing and before long there was a proper lawn! A couple of areas were not taking as well as the others and I did have to water it quite as bit every day but other than that I can state with confidence that growing a lawn is nowhere near as hard as some people make out it is!

garden3

So, a cheap but sturdy pub bench and BBQ finished off my garden and I did the whole thing for under £150! The party that night was well deserved!

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3 Responses to “garden woes”

  1. redfear 16 November 2008 at 8:52 am #

    Such a lovely transformation, at a great value! Very impressive.

  2. loumms 17 November 2008 at 3:08 pm #

    Thanks so much, I am really proud of myself! I just wish the cats would leave it alone as it kind of depresses me a bit!

  3. Aunty Marie (really) 2 February 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    I sympathise with your cat problem. We have three night prowlers here and I begin my day with a search for cat poop. They are cunning critters! You might like to read some other peoples woes at http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/forums/wildlife-gardening/187-how-keep-cats-out-garden.html
    You are not alone!!! The vaseline suggestion might work on your fence.

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