Saturday, 17 October 2015

Back Garden Transformation Part 1

This is a picture of my back garden when I first moved into my
 Little Home in 2013. The gardens were all quite overgrown
 and The Sorbus and Silver Birch trees were magnificent!
 I have since pruned all the trees along the side fence line and
 put up a 6 foot high cream fence because all that was there
 was chicken wire and star pickets and of cause very over
grown bottle brush trees. It was lovely and green but quite a
 bit of a mess. My Studio now sits at the right of this pic
 about where that terracotta pot is....
This is where my story starts for this post, the Sorbus Tree
 to the left of the picture died last year out of the blue and is
 a mystery to the tree arborist and myself as to why?
I guess it's time was up!
 The back of my house was very open and bare after the
 tree was removed so I have since had a patio/pergola
 built all across the back of the house....
That brings us to this point, the tree was removed and wood
 chipped and is now in the side garden helping in weed
 prevention. The roots were ground up but left was a mound
 of dirt at the edge of the pavers that was added to when
the patio was built.....
The whole section of yard was a tad higher than the pavers
 and needed to be levelled before I could start my project....
I got to spend lots of time on it in the recent school
holidays. The bobcat guy sure knew his stuff and set to work
 removing the mound and levelling the yard for me....
It was a shame to scape off the nice green grass.....
Like all projects there is usually a hidden disaster lurking, the
sewerage inspection hole was covered in dirt and the guy
broke the top off it with his blade. The good news is I now
know where it is because at one stage we thought it may have
 been under my studio. The council could not find it when
they were approving the DA for my patio so I am relieved
 that it is not buried under The studio....
A quick fix  and a new pipe soon got that sorted. We will cut
 it down to the correct height after the gardens are completed...
A blank canvas ready for me to create....
Very dusty and dry looking here but not for long I hope....
First job was a trip to the steel centre up the road for a post
for my birdhouse. My neighbours Max and Ruby were having
 a ramp installed at their place at the same time and the guy
 doing it kindly loaned me his post hole digger. it sure made
 my job of digging a 60cm post hole a lot easier for sure....
My first experience with Quick Set Concrete,
 that stuff is the best!
It dried in no time at all and was really easy to work with....
The best news is the post is level and solid as a rock....
And Yay! my birdhouse standing tall on it's new post....
 It will get a lick of paint eventually....
It was then repeat times 2 for some gate posts to swing one
of my vintage gates from, a bit of marking out with 
bricks because there will eventually be a path under the gate....
Dig, concrete and repeat until both posts were in....
Now the fun part! or so I thought until it took me over 2 hours
 to drill six holes in the metal posts for the bolts for the gate
 hinges. I mean to say really really really! I even went and
 purchased a brand new drill bit that would not penetrate
 the posts. I conceded defeat and called my cousin Murray
 to finish off the last two because by then I wanted to lay
 down in the dirt and cry. He told me the bit was blunt from
 me trying to get it through and because I had drilled and
drilled so much the metal had heated up and became
undrillable!!!! What the!!!!
Finally he finished off the last two holes and I bolted
the hinge components to the post...
I had contemplated using a couple of old sleepers for posts
 but was worried they would be hard to drill through....
Ha Ha silly me should have went with those!
It was all worth it at the end of the afternoon when I stood
back and saw my gate hanging proudly on it's new post.
 It was a great sense of achievement...
I am using a piece of chain for the latch because I am not in
any hurry to drill any more holes for a latch at this point in
 time plus I like the rustic look of the chain.....
I am sure you are wondering where this vision is heading,
well bear with me and I will show you....
This is to the right hand side of my back patio, I made this
 path to my Studio out of old rocks last year but it is a bit of
 a trip hazard and so I have decided to include this area
into my current transformation project...
This means I had to dig out my roses and a Daphne shrub...
The path proved to be a bit harder to break up than I had
 planned. I did make it to last after all so off to the hire
 place up the road to hire a jack hammer I went....
And didn't I have lots of fun with it, surprisingly it was very
easy to operate and made short work of the job....
Whilst Jacky Mister and I were dumping the rubble at the
dump I scored this little treasure at the recovery shop for $5!
 I like finding old relics and this one came home with me....
Another blank canvas ready to go...
This is how it now looks with the Kwik Kerb garden edging in,
 I will be brick paving in there to make a nice level path and
will extend it farther down the yard to the clothes line one day.
I am also adding 2 metre wide garden beds along the edge of the
back pavers with a gap for another brick path under the gate....
We got this far on the first day and I quickly planted 2 of the
 roses back on one side of the path, I didn't want to leave them
out of the ground for too long because we were having some
 very unseasonal hot weather....
On the second day the guy had his daughter helping him so he
 got the rest finished off a lot quicker than when he was on his
 own. He said I was testing him with the corners because he
usually just does long straight or curved lines. I told him that
 I was confident that he was up for the challenge but I must
 admit I was a bit worried as to how he was going at
 times, it all turned out not too bad in the end....
The plan was to follow the curved edge of
the pavers and I think it looks great.....
This is how it looks now, I will be planting
 hedging plants on either side of the gate to grow into a living
 fence. The straight section will be a brick path and
 I am planting a tree and shrubs in the round bed....
I think it looks like a giant flower, a friend
 commented that it looks like an angel....
It all looks a bit patchy here because some parts
 were dry and some were just laid....
Next job was to remove the turf from inside the round bed...

The Kwik Kerb guy had cut it all with his turf cutter and I
 am really grateful because it saved me a lot of work and I
 got to put it back down to cover the bare ground as well....
Eventually it will fill back in....
I planted the other 2 roses on the other side of my gate, they
look a bit distressed so I will fertilise and prune them so
hopefully they will produce some nice new
shoots soon....fingers crossed they make it!
They were looking so nice before I dug them out....
At this stage this is where I am up to, I have a tree being
delivered from the Nursery and a friend has dropped me in
 some bags of horse manure to dig into the gardens before
I start planting them....
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my project and will
show you some more progress after some planting today...

Until next time, If you can't be stitching
I hope you are having fun like me....



barb's creations said...

WOW you've been super busy! Love all that you've been doing with your back garden just one question....what is that concrete curver called as I'd love to try this in my front garden as borders if possible :) Barb.
P.S: keep it up it's very motivating!

wish2stitch said...

Kate your garden is going to look amazing! So satisfying to DIY.well done.

Christine M said...

You are doing such an amazing job with your garden, Kate.

Unknown said...

Wow you achieve so much and have a go at doing anything, I'm exhausted just reading about it. It looks good and will be gorgeous when you finish, though it will probably be like our house and yard never ending!!!

Janice said...

Well done you! Your yard is going to look fabulous once you have finished your "Project". You must have a great sense of achievement looking back on what you have done so far.

Annette said...

You are amazing Kate...a real go getter! I'd love half your energy level. Look forward to seeing more of your lovely yard, and your roses will look gorgeous. Take care xx

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

You are one amazing gal Miss Kate,,, looking fabulous 💖💖

Michelle said...

Unbelieveable Kate!!! You are a machine! Love the whole plan, I can see how beautiful it is going to be in my head! Can't wait to see it finished! good luck.

Susan said...

Love reading about your DIY...slowly getting there - I can picture that hedge complementing the gate...looking very lovely

Cheryll said...

Your Home Sweet Home yard and garden looks amazing Kate. You should be very proud of yourself... it truly is a credit to you.
I wish you many many years of watching your garden grow. xox

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