Friday, 3 August 2012

Garden Transformation

On Monday we made a plan to just clear this area of our garden. It had become overgrown and was really depressing to look at knowing that I could not physically work hard enough myself to put it right and get it clear.

So I called in the cavalry (AKA : my children) and we set about clearing away all the weeds and detritus. We could then decide what to do next.

It was really bad !! 

There was so much to do, the ground was solid and the weeds were really hard to budge. Their roots were deep and so difficult to get out. The spiders were huge and there were lots of slugs and snails.

Years ago we had a vegetable patch but as time has gone on and my back problem has worsened, the area became more and more neglected. Fortunately I covered most of the ground with an old carpet and so suppressed the weeds to a large extent here.

This is a very rare picture of me with my large bottom facing the camera (sorry). Jim fixed up the fence the best he could. Katie helped to clear the rubbish with me as she is more bendy in the middle.

Jim and Sam really worked their socks off and lifted the slabs and cleared the weeds. I was surprised at just how strong they are now and although it took some effort, they worked hard and matched or exceeded the work done by any grown man. What also surprised me was that they actually enjoyed themselves, despite getting dirty and working up a sweat.

All afternoon we cleared and re-cleared the area, going over and over until it was done. Jim thoroughly enjoyed this. He was given full reign to decide what went where, who did what and what the plan would be. I think he liked this bit of responsibility and took it on well. Sam was so eager to help and there were few arguments.

Jim has been doing construction at school lately, he has enjoyed the tiling and has done an awesome job. 
He got a distinction in his exam for his coursework. He has learnt how to make cement and use grout and adhesive. I think this project has given him the chance to show that he can use his new found skills in the garden too. The boys have also been able to use their strength to do things that us mere mortals cannot do.

We removed all of these slabs and stacked then up to be used again once the area was clear.

Jim marked out where he wanted things to go, we will plant shrubs at the back along the fence. Steve, our tree, will go in this box once it is fixed and filled with soil. The bench will be at the back but placed on slabs so it wont sink into the soil.

Jim spent over two days getting to this point and was not going to give up. On the first day we worked until it was too dark to see properly any more. The next day Katie and I went into town and bought dome grass seed. When we got home Jim had got to this point and had already planted Steve. He seeded the ground and within half an hour it rained and watered it for us.

Over the little park near us someone had dumped some wood from their garden. It had been there for a couple of months and I had seen it hidden below the bushes.I thought it would look nice in our garden. Jim and I went over there yesterday and brought the wood back. We put it behind the small wall that Jim had built. We will plant our shrubs behind the wall and use the wood in this area.

I particularly like this bit of wood. I think we will be able to go and get some shrubs this week. We need something that grows in partial shade and is hardy, we would like something that flowers too. 

We have spent only £5.08 on grass seed so far, the rest of the things we have used we already had laying around the garden. The wood we found for free over the park. The box Steve is planted in we already had. (The box does not have a bottom and so his roots will go straight down into the soil below). Steve was a small twiggy thing growing in our front garden by accident, Charlotte planted him in a bucket three years ago and he has been replanted twice since.

Jim has also re positioned my rotary airer and will finish off the garden this week. He has layed some slabs in front of the shed for me too. He is only 15 years old but he has worked as hard as any man this week, I am so proud of all of them. They have worked so hard and have been amazingly helpful for their dear old Mum...


  1. My goodness, what a lot of thought and hard work has gone into your plot! It's lovely to think that you've all chipped in and helped, and once completed can all enjoy it together, and doesn't it feel good not to have spent a fortune on it?
    Well done :o)
    Rose H

  2. Hi Rose, We are all quite pleased with our efforts. Jim has worked wonders and it has lifted the worry from my shoulders of what to do with this part of the garden. I knew I could not do it alone and I am so glad they all helped out. We have a budget for buying the shrubs but wanted to do the ground work by ourselves as we have no money to pay anyone to do it for us. It will be lovely to sit on the bench with the grass under our toes :)

    Rachael x