Sunday, 17 March 2013

Garden on a shoe string.

I am lucky enough to live in a city and have a garden.  It's a modest garden surrounded on all sides by buildings but a garden none the less.  It doesn't see much sun, as it faces NE but in the summer the back gets loads.  Over the last few years I have tried to make an oasis back there, but every winter it is a depressing place to look at.  So with that in mind I am on a bit of a mission.  The mission is to make a pretty, low maintenance and child friendly garden on, well, bugger all.  We don't have the money to put in new plants and sexy terrace furniture, so I am going to try to do it for as little money as I can.  I am also going to try to blog my progress as I go.  Failures and wins alike.  

Not pretty huh?
As you can see there is much to be done.  Last year we replaced the fence with our next door neighbours and that was about the extent of what was done.  There was loads of clean up from the extension with bits and bobs left over. But, big plans were afoot.  Dreams of what the garden was could be have haunted me since we bought the place.  I was going to implement big changes, grow veggies in pallets, compost, make an urban oasis (ha, who am I kidding).  I spent many a happy hour on Pinterest and other such blogs getting inspiration, dreaming up ways of to make wellies into planters and so on.  Sadly I under estimated the time vacuum that is our daughter, the fact that I know squat about gardening and a paralysing fear of getting it wrong.  So basically sweet F.A. was done.   I spent summer in denial, which as it turns out, is not just a river in Egypt.

Yes, that is a toilet that I mosaiced.  (Is that a word? well it is now)  
The garden became a bit of a dumping ground for stuff we don't know what to do with.  Old pipe, bed heads, broken step ladders, random miscellaneous lengths of wood,  you get the idea.  All kept with great plans in mind.  (I am awesome at planning, fairly good at starting, but bloody rubbish at finishing.)  So my mission this year is to use stuff I have and make it pretty. To only buy when it is absolutely necessary and scrounge what I can.

The rotten fence and the enormous car box roof thing.
When I say rotten I mean it.  The damn fence is falling apart.  As you can see random attempts have been made to make it less of an eye sore but it is what it is, a damn ugly fence.

The back terrace (and I use the word terrace loosely) is made up of cement slabs with gravel in them.  Who ever thought these things were a good idea to put in a garden?  But it's what we have and we can't afford to replace them so I have to make it work.  In the summer though, this ugly little patio is a fantastic little sun trap, but only for 3-4 months.  For the rest of the year we get no sun at all.  I love it though, but I need to make it less, well, ugly , hazardous, choose a word that fits.  I want a pleasant place to sit with a few plants, a place to set my G&T and watch my daughter play.

I also want to build a frame that spans the width of the garden so that we can put a swing in for Cleo and a hammock type affair for me.  Not sure how this will work but I have a few ideas.

The new room.  My haven, my sewing room.  Built by my lovely hubby.
Now that the crappy old shed has been replace with a sexy new sewing room, we have bugger all storage.  Seriously our bedroom and Monkeys are currently storing our wood supply and power tools.  So some kind of storage option has to be made.  Hmmmm.  

Lastly what you can't see is the mountains of shit in the gravel. Not metaphorical shit.  Actual shit.  The local cats (going by the size of some of the deposits I am sure they are tigers) seem to use our garden as a giant litter box.  I have tried every trick known to man to prevent them but the buggers keep coming back.  I would love to get rid of all the gravel and put in a brick court yard type affair, but again, that costs loads of money that we don't have so I am open to suggestions.  I go out every day and pick up the crap so the dog doesn't eat it (yes, he is that nasty) and the thought of my daughter playing out there and finding one I missed makes me go cold.  So, suggestions anyone?

So there it is, warts and all.  I want a cheerful, low maintenance, safe and pleasant place to spend my summer filled with pot plants and fun little knick knacks.  I am under no illusion about my gardening skills and I will take what help and advice I can get.  Cuttings, cast off's, and freebies are all welcome, but I guess I need to make a plan of action first.  Or I could just wing it.  Yup, wing it seems like the best way to go. 

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