My big garden makeover (Part 2)

This is the second installment of my garden makeover and I’ve got some exciting new to share.  I now have a delivery date for my extravagant greenhouse purchase which has blown most of my garden budget…. end of May , a couple of weeks earlier than expected.  I just could not resist this greenhouse it as it ticked all my greenhouse requirements.  Firstly, it’s half-timbered so it will hide all my greenhouse mess, bags of compost, pots etc and secondly it has space for me to sit so it kinda doubles up as a summer house and gives me protection from the ever blowing Buxton breeze. This is a snap-shot from the brochure, but you get the idea. If you want more details just leave me a comment.


Anyway enough of the greenhouse for now.  I’ll let you know how the assembly goes, it can’t be that hard can it??

So if you’ve read Part 1 of the garden makeover you might be asking how the garden has been coming along.  Well in this post I would like to share a few pictures of the two new planting boarders I’ve created on either side of theFrench doors leading from the living room into the garden.


We’ve dug up the paving, which is to be recycled to another part of the garden and re-used our existing plants.



The plants and the boarder rocks are all from the rockery part of the garden, which as you know is being totally re-vamped.  When planted altogether the plants look so much better than when they were dispersed across the rockery.  Our soil is clay, clay, clay and what soil there was had been under the paving for many a year so before planting we added a lot of soil conditioner and drainage especially next to the wall of the house.

Even though the boarders are not finished, as I need to add pebbles to the gaps in the paving we are already getting the pleasure of seeing the plants from inside the living room. Especially the bamboo which blows across the door in the breeze.


Next I will share with you the progress we are making with the rockery especially the creation of a new seating area with the recycled paving and artificial grass brought all the way from Amman by my daughter, which has been living in our garden shed. I’m currently on the hunt for a couple of outdoor sofas!

What do you think so far? Keep following as more to come. This is definitely work in progress.


My big garden makeover (Part 1)


This is going to be a series of short posts for you can track the progress of my garden makeover as it happens or thereabouts.  I hope you enjoy them.

I’ve decided that after 4 years in the flat it is time to take control and give the garden a major re-vamp now we kinda understand where the sun shines and the wind blows. Over these few years I’ve managed to collect a few plants but even those that have grown fail to get the garden working for us. The garden is currently divided fairly equally between a large rockery with lots of huge rocks but with only a shallow soil covering between, and a paved area.  This means, there is what seems like a vast area of grey paving right outside the French doors.

I have a plan in mind and a budget (not a big one) and most of the budget has already been blown ……… on a greenhouse!  Needless to say we will be recycling materials all the way including plants (of course) and paving.  I do plan to spend some money on some gravel/pebbles and more plants and if there is anything left a bit of garden furniture.

You can see a few pictures of what my garden looked like around this time last year  if you visit this previous blog post , although the weather had been very much kinder. In the summer the garden looks OK as I can add flowers and colour with annuals and pots but in the winter, which here in Buxton last at least 6 months the garden looks baron and grey.  My intention is to use more evergreen planting with contrasting foliage and colours to add the interest all year round, and to bring the plants closer to the living room.

This is a picture of the rockery part of the garden from last May May garden

And this is the view from our living room through the French doors.

garden makeover (2)

So you can get your bearings, below is an aerial view of the garden taken by our ever obliging neighbour on the 3rd floor

garden makerover

The monster rockery is to the left, and as you can see at this time of year it doesn’t look as good as when everything has started to bloom. The bottom edge of the photo is where the French doors from the living room are and on the right-hand-side we have already taken up a few paving slabs and stated to create a new planting boarder closer to the house.  The wooden frame at the end of the garden maps out the shape of the new greenhouse and roughly where it is going to sit (we have already changed our minds).

Always good to have a plan – mine is mostly in my head. I have a made a rough sketch but  I am no artist.  There has already been a lot of boulder moving, soil shifting and digging by Mr Husband and his faithful helper – that’s me. As we are doing all the work ourselves in the evenings and on weekends it’s going to take a bit of time. However we have a deadline of the 4th June when the greenhouse arrives.  I will reveal which greenhouse I’ve bought soon, I think you will like it.

Next time I’ll show you how the boarders are coming along.

What’s going on in the garden in May

Thought I would start a little garden diary, giving you a glimpse of what’s happening in my garden.  As I’ve mentioned before I live in the ground floor / basement flat of an old Victorian Villa in Buxton UK.  Even though the bedrooms are underground, the living room opens out into a small private garden, just for us … and the neighbours for a cheeky glass of wine when the sun shines.  I think of it as another room in the home. The whole house is surrounded by a communal garden area, which we all share and maintain; it’s quite special but there’s always a a lot to do.

Today I’ve just got some pics from my piece of garden.  It’s a paved area with a large sloping rockery.  In the 3 years we’ve been here we’ve tried to add a little more variety of plants and take out some of those that had taken over – LADIES MANTLE !!

At the moment the daffodils and tulips have faded but the flowering perennials are springing back into life, as are the grasses.  It continues to be a bit of trial and error so far, seeing what will grow in the colder and wet climate of Buxton, but I like a challenge. Take a look at some of the pictures I’ve taken in the last few days.

These are looking particularly colourful at the moment. Top left Primula japonica ‘Millers Crimson’, on the side Euphorbia Griffithii and bottom left a Geum. I’m pretty pleased with these as they were all planted last summer and have survived!

winter bedding

I planted up these planters in November and the cyclamen are still flowering.  I’m going to move them soon to the fern section in the garden. The little evergreen shrubs I will continue to grow in the protected environment of the planters until they are a little larger to cope with the Buxton soil and climate.

I love taking cuttings and splitting plants (plants for free) and these are ones I did last year, waiting to be grown on a bit more before planting out.  By the way Mr Husband made the planters and the steps last year and they have survived the winter too 😊. May garden

This is the bigger picture of our rocky slope, it’s filling out with green but needs more colour.  I’ve just planted my Sweet Peas under my stick tower – I have grown them over winter and there is one flower about to open. Usually I don’t have much luck with Sweet Peas, so fingers crossed.

garden seedlings

I’ve got a tiny cold frame to keep all things little in, you know the ones needing a bit of extra protection over winter.  This year it was little lavenders I’d grown from seed in the summer, which are now bushy and living outside.  In the frame at the moment are 3 varieties of Calendula and 3 varieties of kale, which we’re going to plant amongst the flower beds. You can also see my shadow – I’m such an amateur 🙄.

A finally, let me introduce you to the garden cat.  He’s not mine (is it a he?), but always runs into the garden when we open the door and then follow you until he gets a tickle. We call him Cat, my neighbour calls him Snuffles.

garden cat

I hope to blog about the garden on a regular basis so you can see how it develops.  Next time I’ll show you the pond area…….. it’s a bit of a mess 😊