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Gardening Dreams: The Vision, The Plan and The Journey Through April

Gardening Dreams: The Vision, The Plan and The Journey Through April

April showers bring forth May flowers, and here in Southwest Wales, they're also bringing our garden project back to life! This labour of love began some time ago, and with each bit of sunshine, we're inching closer to the garden of our dreams. So, grab your trowel as we dig into the story of turning a wild yard into a gardener’s paradise – and a perfect showcase for our delightful products.

The Dream and The Plan

Imagine a property smothered in untamed greenery, waiting for a transformation. That was our starting point in the summer of 2019, with a sprawling garden begging to be tamed and shaped.

Our vision was clear: a functional yet beautiful garden featuring a newly positioned set of steps, a beautiful path leading to a serene potting shed situated in the shade of the large sycamore trees, a greenhouse in full sun, and raised plant beds bursting with vegetables to satisfy our "grow-your-own itch". Picture a blend of functional design and aesthetic pleasure, aimed to complement the rustic charm of our old property in Southwest Wales.

2019: So, Where Do We Start?

The garden was completely overgrown. There was an abundance of apple trees, cherry trees, different shrubs and bushes dotted around the garden, and a large portion of the garden was infested with bamboo. Two old metal sheds that had seen better days and an old park bench that were on its last legs. We had quite the task ahead of us.

I have never seen so many wasps as I did that summer. I think it was due to all the fruit trees, so they were the first thing that had to go. Grown so densely together and with the ground covered in other vegetation the trees were not able to spread their roots properly and came up with little to no effort. One by one the shrubs were dug up as well.

A lot of the plants were in very good condition so instead of sending them to the local tip, we were able to distribute the healthy plants to friends and family, turning a problem into an act of community sharing.

We made a great start to operation "clean slate".

2020: A Year of Unexpected Turns

Winter came and went and so we were starting back up in spring 2020 with great plans and progress in mind.

But we all remember what happened in 2020, COVID.

All of a sudden we were in full lockdown and not able to get in any extra hands to help us with the garden project.

With so many of us all stuck at home with plenty of spare time, and the weather being amazing, a lot of people around the UK turned their hand to gardening. This meant that our sister company, Easy Garden Irrigation, a purely online business was booming and we had little to no time for ourselves. We worked endlessly that year to fulfil the orders coming in for the UK’s watering needs! Unlike many around the UK, we didn't get a chance to work on our garden.

2021-2022: Self-Reliance

We were looking to get outside help, but with professional landscapers in short supply, we took matters into our own hands.

The bamboo saga continued, with roots as stubborn as old myths. As majestic as this "bundle of joy" was, it was spreading like wildfire and we had to put a stop to it. We tried digging it out, but after a couple of broken forks and spades, we had to try something different. We cut it down as far as we could and set fire to it! A bit dramatic perhaps but we were getting rather desperate. Believe it or not, this was not the silver bullet we were hoping for.

This bamboo had grown its roots into a very thick matting and the fire didn’t seem to bother it much. After the top part was gone there was still plenty of roots below the ground and new shoots starting to appear meters away from the main plant. Growing under paths and shed!

With determination, my steel rod, and two trusty diggers we managed to turn the ground upside down and got rid of the last remnants of the bamboo! I would certainly recommend having bamboo in sealed containers and not letting it roam wild in the ground!

Our dogs Rufus and Alwyn

Another big job was to remove the old “crazy paving” that surrounded the lawn area. With poorly poured concrete around the rock slabs it had already started to crumble and break apart where the roots of the surrounding trees were pushing against it. It was becoming more of a hazard and needed to go.

Rufus looking happy after helping Mummy dig

We had what looked like a lovely green hedge between us and the neighbours and together we decided to try and remove the Ivy growing around it to tidy it up and stop it choking the actual hedge. After a few hours to clean-up we soon realised that the hedge was in fact already dead. With only a few twigs left with some greenery we decided to remove it entirely and start over there as well. So much of the original hedge had been long gone and it came out of the ground effortlessly.

2023: The Wall Rises

It was now time for the retaining wall to receive its makeover. We’ve gone this far without help so we figured we’d give it a go ourselves, yet again.

Using a rented digger, we shaped the land and began laying the new foundation. Despite challenges with weather and material deliveries, we persevered, finding satisfaction in the slow but steady progress.

It was rather scary, but also fun to use a digger! It was a long and hard process to make sure everything is level and compact and to get the angles right. But after the first layer of bricks, we were off to a good start!

After a period of scorching hot weather came the rain. We eventually decided to invest in some tarpaulins to cover the wall as it rained so frequently, and usually overnight, which hindered our progress with the wall. Little by little we managed to get some of the wall built before the winter came.

2024: Looking Ahead

And here we are, now up to date. As we all know this spring has been a particularly wet and cold one! Not exactly brick laying weather but as soon as the sun came out for a couple of days, we managed to take some time off work and power through.

With only 10 blocks away from finishing now, we are certainly glad this part of the project is over.

So, What Now?

Last week we had our local turf company, Thomas Turf, come and survey the area. We definitely need someone more capable of truly levelling the garden and putting in a new lawn. They will also be preparing the base for the potting shed and greenhouse. Perfect!

There is one slight issue; there is no turf to be had at the moment. With the dreadful weather we’ve been experiencing over the last couple of months, they haven't been able to cut any turf. It's going to be a bit of a wait for them to visit, but this gives us time to finish up all the little jobs around the wall project, ready for their arrival.

We're also choosing paving blocks for the path leading up the garden as well as picking out a potting shed and greenhouse. No rush, we're taking our time to find the perfect combination to match our rustic home and surroundings.

Each step brings us closer to realizing our garden dream, which we will continue to share here and on our Instagram.

Now, let’s not forget, the item of the month!

With spring upon us, consider our Gardening Starter Kit—ideal for newcomers and seasoned gardeners alike. It includes a trowel, fork, secateurs, and gloves, all neatly stored in a handy metal pot. It’s the perfect kit to begin your gardening adventure. Click here to view product.



Next article Welcoming Spring: A Journey Through February's Garden Delights

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