*GARDEN KLAXON ALERT* – yes, I’m still talking about our landscaping project. Sorry about that. Normal service will resume in the not too distant future. Well, unless I pack it all in and start a new job as a poor version of George Clarke.
Last week saw days 5 to 9 of our big project to transform our back garden from unused space to awesome family-friendly, outdoor living area. As I’m sure you’re gagging to get up to speed, check out my posts on Day 0 which talked about our plans, and Days 1 to 4 which detailed the first part of the work.
Our second week of landscaping work saw a huge change in the appearance of the garden as it went from resembling a bomb site to a nearly completed outdoor space. There’s still a couple more days of work to do – painting, plants, turf etc – but the finish line is in sight. Below is a day by day account of progress made on our landscaping project.
After running out of timber at the end of Day 4, Monday saw the completion of the frame for the lower decked area. This, for the first time, gave us a view of how awesomely big this area would be. The landscape gardeners also started work on the stairs by building the left-hand side frame which would eventually house the steps. Finally, work began on building the integrated shed as the front posts were cemented in.
Tuesday was a very, very exciting day as the top level of decking was fitted to the frame, which gave us the first glimpse of what the finished garden would look like.
The decking we chose was a hardwood called yellow balau – although more expensive than the normal, lighter decking you see at DIY stores, we felt it was worth it because of the superior look and feel. The decking can be oiled, in order to keep its darker brown appearance, painted with woodstain, or alternatively left to the elements, which will mean overtime it gains a silver gleam to it.
It really is incredible standing on this top decked level. Although still a relatively small area, it has probably added 50% more space compared to the concrete we had on the top previously. This means that the garden can have different zones – e.g. the lower decked area for eating, the top decked area for chilling with a mojito.
If Day 6 was exciting, I don’t really have the superlatives to explain Day 7 – I’ll stop just short of saying that it made me cream my jeans. The reason being that the bottom level was decked, the right-hand side of the stairs was built and the structure of the shed began to form.
For the first time, it felt like the landscaping project was nearing an end as we could physically stand on the space available to us. The lower decked area was awesome – we wanted a big area, but somehow this felt bigger than we had ever imagined. Yes, we’ve lost a big proportion of grass, but we barely used it anyway, so converting it to decking will allow us to make best use of the space available whilst still providing a bit of grass in front of the shed for a playhouse or other toddler stuff.
It also gave us our first glimpse of the size of the shed. Again, not the biggest space in the world, but ample enough to put in the lawn mower, tools and other bits and bobs, which was my main goal. Our house is a mid-terrace, so it was always important to have a storage area out back because I currently have to bring things like the lawn mower through the house as we don’t have side access.
With just one landscape gardener on site on Thursday, I wasn’t expecting that much to be achieved. However, he managed to crack on pretty well and complete the stairs. This involved building the steps from scratch and fitting them into the frame which had been built previously. I really liked the steps – particularly the floating like appearance that they have – and, for the first time, was able to descend to the garden via a more conventional route than jumping off the top decking!
The last day of the week saw some big changes. Firstly, the sedum roof was delivered and fitted to the top of the shed. This is a living carpet of specially selected plants which will grow on the shed roof to add colour to the garden with very little attention required. As there’s a lot of wood in the garden already, this will give the appearance of more green space and mean that we don’t have to look out on to an ugly shed roof.
Secondly, the inside of the shed was completed and the doors were built and attached to provide a decent sized outside storage space. Finally, a seating area was built around the current drain that we had on the left-hand side fence. This not only provides additional places to sit in the garden, but the end of it has a removable top to provide a bit more storage space.
So that’s the garden landscaping update as of Day 9. We absolutely love it so far and it’s well been worth the expense to get it done. So far, there’s nothing that I’d consider changing and can’t wait for it to be finished this week.
Next steps include painting the shed and other woodwork black, fixing wires around the fences for climbing plants, creating the wire balustrades for the steps and sedum roof, laying new turf, as well as installing electrics and lighting. Exciting times!
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