I’ve been so excited to share our garden renovation and makeover with you. Only now can we see what a great space we have had all this time. 12 years we have lived in our home, only this year did we decide to spend the time and money on our garden. You might ask why now? It was the pandemic. We had one holiday cancelled in May, several weekend breaks and day trips cancelled as well as deciding to delay our trip to California until 2021. So this was our lockdown family project.
Our Lockdown Garden Renovation Project
We found ourselves without an outdoors space and felt a huge amount of guilt as we didn’t have a garden for George to play out in. At a time when our movements were so restricted George needed this space. We all did. And with the prospect of not travelling far in 2020 we decided to invest in our outdoor space. So that we could really make the most of our time together as a family in our own safe space during these strange times.
Our garden turned into a really big priority. We started work on it at the beginning of lockdown in April, utilising our free evenings and weekends. To save money we did almost all of the groundwork ourselves. As we aren’t really very green fingered this makeover certainly tested us and helped us to develop new skills. It proved as a great distraction, filling our free time which really helped. We pretty much completed it by the end of May, bar a few decorative bits, trees and plant pots. We are incredibly happy and proud of what we have all achieved. A lockdown family project.
What we wanted from our garden
As we started to plan our outdoor space we were all approaching the project with our own little tick lists. It was fun pulling our ideas together. I will admit that Mr H led the way, he has a really wonderful creative eye for working a space. We needed the garden to be family friendly where George could play out all year long. We also wanted for it to be dog friendly. We were desperate to create a fun social space to finally return all the favours to our friends who have held BBQ’s over the years. And right at the top of the list for Mr H and I was a garden that would be easy to maintain.
We really wanted the garden to feel like another room of our house. As the kitchen doors open up onto the patio it felt like we had an opportunity to entertain and spend time here rather than indoors. We wanted it to feel like a space we were drawn to. We would usually walk out to the local field for a game of football or a picnic on warmer days, we wanted that to change. And lastly, I wanted to create a relaxing sun terrace holiday type vibe, with a little bit of style thrown in.
The garden before
The only way I can describe the garden before was ugly and dirty, tired looking. Neglected. It was crowded, overgrown, surrounded by trees and shrubs. There was very little light coming into the garden as the trees were so tall and full. The previously laid grass was pretty much dead. It transpired after chatting to our neighbour that the previous owners laid the patio themselves which explained why the stones were very uneven and loose. The fence panels were dull however they were recently replaced so we could work with them.
The initial ground work to get the garden ready and flat to lay the patio and artificial grass was most definitely the hardest and longest part of the whole project. We hired a local tree surgeon who removed all trees, shrubs and roots. He actually suggested we hire a digger, clearly he knew what was ahead. Mr H prepared the ground which took several weeks. Lots of digging, finding deeper tree roots, bricks and so two skips later the ground was ready. We hired a local lad to help us with laying the patio and grass as he was a landscape gardener. He had lost his job due to Covid-19. He used a machine to make the ground flat before the transformation. As amazing as it looks now even he admitted that the work involved tested him.
The garden after
Our Lockdown Garden Renovation Project
We have been living with this space for over a month now. We even celebrated George’s birthday in it. We are still overwhelmed by how much value our garden has added to our lives. Transforming this space has had such a positive impact on all of us. We are thrilled. It was a project that took some time, 10 weeks in total. George was so patient. We all worked on it together. And of course we still have some bits to finish, but it feels so good to be able to sit in this space.
When I look back at the photo’s I can’t quite believe how much space we have. And that it is the same garden. It compliments our house and is such a great space for our little family. Feeling very thankful for our garden makeover and so glad that we decided to work on this part of our home.
I have received so many messages about the furniture, ground work and other elements of the garden so I thought I would share them with you here. So, if you’re looking to invest in your outdoor space here are all the details…
Ground work – including the patio stones. We ordered all materials from Milton Garden Products, they are a local merchant here in Staffordshire. They were really helpful, guided us on many items and quantities. They do deliver across the UK.
Grass – after a lot of research and making the best decision for our family we chose artificial grass to enable George the flexibility of playing football all year round. It is less maintenance. You can pay for the team to install however we found the cost rose too much so we researched doing it ourselves and will the help of a landscape gardener we installed it in 1 day. We went for a high quality as we saved money in other areas – 50mm Kudos. The team were really helpful.
Furniture – All of the garden furniture including chair and cushions are from IKEA. We looked at several sets however this for us best resembled the look we wanted to achieve. We love to mix and match as well as creating texture with different colours.
Seating – Applaro, Sofa and Chair Cushions – Kuddarna & Froson (both 62mm), Grey chair – Bondholmen, Rattan stool – Alseda. We signed up for the IKEA Family Scheme and received a great discount.
Lights – these are the Outdoor Festoon Carnival Solar Lights. They are from Lights 4 Fun and were a great price. Really easy to install. We went for 2 boxes of 25 to create the canopy look in the photo. We will bring them indoors during the winter to protect them.
Mirror – I found this on Robert Dyas, I wanted a particular shape and thankfully found this one as the first mirror from B&M broke in the wind.
Outdoor rug – this was a great find. I would highly recommend looking on IKEA as so many others we looked at were lacking in quality. Such great value. This Garden Rug – Hundslund can be for the indoors or outdoors. I might actually bring it in over the winter to utilise it all year.
Fire pit – we picked this up a few days ago from Aldi, it was part of the special buys section.
Fence Paint – we used Cuprinol Garden Shades in Natural Stone. We originally wanted muted clay but sadly it remained sold out. I would highly recommend this brand, such great quality and only took two coats. We used 3 x 5l tins over 18 panels. I do intend on topping up next year. I also painted the wooden doors which I am really happy about as it makes such a difference.
And that’s Our Lockdown Garden Renovation Project
If you have any questions or see something that I haven’t linked please do drop it in the comments.