We've got to a good stage with the garden now that I thought it was time to do a bit of a before and after post. We definitely want to get a lot more plants and a barbecue at some point, but it's at the stage where we can happily sit out with a drink, and we aren't embarrassed to let friends see it, so that seemed like a good time to sit back and pat myself on the back for how far we've gotten.
We've owned the house pretty much exactly two years now, and the garden was never a top priority, so it's been pretty much a true DIY as and when we have had a few spare days to work on it. This is what it was like when we moved in:
There was a lot of junk from the old owners, and some badly rotting decking and a fence that was in pretty bad shape. We pretty much left it for the first year, as we were so focused on getting the house livable, that it was summer 2014 before we actually did anything. Then we were spurred on by the damp in the back wall, as the decking had been laid badly and was retaining a lot of moisture, which wasn't helping, my dad brought over his axe and crowbar (I never asked why he owns such things...) and over a couple of days we took the decking down, and got all of the old plant pots and rubble over to the dump.
Unfortunately under the decking was a solid layer of concrete, and so my dreams of getting digging and building some beds and maybe grass were dashed, without a lot of extra work. And so I did what we always do and... left the garden for another year! Or nearly. Again at this point we wanted to get the spare room done before Christmas, and winter came, so we pretty much ignored the garden for nearly a year until fate intervened and the fence blew down on both sides. This pretty much forced us into action, and so thanks to James' family, and mine for carting six loads of rubble to the tip, we had a new fence:
This pretty much brings us up to two weeks ago when James and I painted the fence black and I ordered some plant pots from Amazon. Again massive thanks to my parents for driving us to homebase and helping us get all the plants.
I am so so happy with how it looks. The black fence and the terracotta planters look just as good as I'd hoped together, and I can't wait to get a load more plants and create a total urban jungle out here. As of today the plants are all still alive, so fingers crossed they remain so. I know that I am super slow with these things, so it will be a while before we do anything more out there, but it's got to the point where we can actually enjoy the garden, instead of looking out at a pile of rubble, so that is good enough for me right now!