A year ago we moved into our current home. I don’t think I could adequately explain to you how life changing this has been. We’ve lived in a string of awful properties and this is the first time we’ve lived somewhere that is neither a health hazard,a prison on my bad days or somewhere where we are at risk of violence. We are safe, secure and happy here. It may not be the prettiest place, it has it’s flaws, but we love it.
One of the most amazing things about it has been the garden, it’s changed our lives hugely. Whereas before I couldn’t take the kids out to the park unless I was having a particularly good day, now even on my bad days the children can get a chance to run around in the fresh air.
It’s also given my husband a chance to discover a love of gardening, and provided us with fresh, homegrown food.
I thought I’d show you the results of a year of very hard work.
When we moved in it looked like this.
It was overgrown with massive shrubs either side. Any beds that weren’t hidden by shrubs were covered in layer after layer of grey slate.
There was only one area (aside from the grass) where flowers were growing.
The bed at the back of the garden was a tangled mess of tulips, grape hyacinth and weeds.
It’s a year on now, and the garden is in the midst of a massive transformation. There’s still a lot to do, but I’m sure you’ll agree, the difference is astounding.
Now we have three raised beds filled with vegetables.
It’s been wonderful being able to just pop out to the garden for some fresh lettuce or spinach, and the carrots we got last year were just divine!
Those massive shrubs are all gone, after a lot of seriously hard work with a mattock, and just look at the space we’ve got now! The garden feels a lot less claustrophobic at the end now, and the kids have loads and loads of playing space.
The slate is gone from the main beds, they’ve been dug over (so much manure and home made compost has been added in), leaving room for lots of stunning plants.
The flower bed at the back has been stripped out and is now starting to boast a similarly impressive selections of plants.
Trellis has been added and passion flower, jasmine and clematis wind their way up it.
Where the back of the garden was once just concrete and broken paving tiles it now houses a shed. The shed has windows so seedlings begin their lives there.
Benjamin has also added a new flower bed in front of the shed, which he’s just started to plant into.
It’s early days but it’s already starting to look wonderful.
We did start off with a herb garden near the kitchen, but apparently I mostly like quite invasive herbs, and the chives and sage were so pretty we just let them flower. I do have some peppermint and chocolate mint (it really does smell of chocolate!) growing in pots though. There’s another trellis here too, this time honeysuckle grows up it.
We’ve also got some french lavender growing, because I adore the smell of it.
The work is still ongoing though.
There’s a raspberry patch just starting to grow in, there’s turf to lay, and this space here is going to be filled with beautiful shrubs and flowers.
Should point out as well the Benjamin has grown most of these plants from seed, and there’s still plenty more growing and more to be sown.
NB: I had to get Benjamin to name all the plants I’ve used in this because I’m useless at remembering their names.