Okay, here's what you need to know. I moved into my house a year ago yesterday, and bought it partly because it was in my price range (... big consideration ...) but also because of the garden. On the face of it that was crazy because the garden consisted of:
At the front - brick paving. Lots of bricks.
At the back - more brick paving. Plus an area of membrane covered by pebbles. Plus an area of membrane covered by gravel. The dreariest grey gravel you'd ever (not) wish to see.
The only plants were the odd weed peeking up between the bricks, and the dead fuchsia plants surrounded by weeds in two plastic tubs by the front door.
It pained me to see this little patch of land lacking even the most basic of greenery. Not a flower to be seen. Nothing for the bees to feed on, or the butterflies. Even the birds couldn't get to the worms lurking under those bricks. Presuming there were worms.
Seriously, it pained me. Who'd layer all that brick and pebbles and gravel over what could be a lovely green space?
(Actually I found that out a few months ago. I got chatting to a couple who'd owned my house about five years ago. The wife proudly told me how they'd put down the hard landscaping. Smiling as if she'd done the world a Good Deed. I kept a diplomatic silence about how hideous it looked. I didn't dare ask them if they'd put that faux diamond patterned leading on the windows. Equally hideous, and now largely removed. Who puts Ye Olde Tudor Stylee Leading on a 1950s semi ?)
I've barely tackled the back garden, but I've made a decent start on the front. It's going to take some doing though. Loads of the bricks are coming up.
This photo was taken last summer, after a heck of a lot of time and effort. Now that brighter days and warmer temperatures are here this spring I'm making further progress. Widening the existing beds and taking up more bricks to make new ones. The drainage isn't brilliant, neither is the soil quality. Under the bricks is a layer of sand, then a layer of limestone, put there to level off the surface. My fledgling garden's not only home to stacks of bricks, then bags of sand and more bags of stones.
My nails are dirt encrusted, despite gardening gloves, and I'm doing two yoga classes a week plus Pilates to help ensure my back remains in good nick. But it'll be worth it.
Are you planning some major gardening work this year? What's on your agenda?
Last year's pinks. Let's hope they flower again this year.
A photo from earlier this year. Taken on a frosty morning.
Moved from a garden-less city flat in the South West to a Yorkshire village in 2016. I now have a garden ... of sorts.