Transforming our small garden

I spent all of last summer moaning about how much my garden depressed me, all of last winter planning what we would do to improve it, all of spring saying “we really must do something about that garden” and the other half (the manual labour half) 2 days of graft – and a lot of sunburn – to actually get it done. It was literally a neglected square of weeds and the odd blade of grass, dirt patches and a greying fence. I didn’t take proper ‘before’ photos, this is just one on my phone that I sent to a friend when she insisted that my garden couldn’t be as bad as hers, point proven I think and you can see why I hated it so much, nowhere decent for the children to play, although the trampoline is used, the kids just have to head up the path and traipse through the weeds!

Our garden is fairly small so we had to think carefully about how to make the most of the space we had. Originally we just wanted all grass, but didn’t know quite what we would do to stand the trampoline on. I had thought about a patio area at the top, but we intended on doing the garden ourselves and neither I or my husband were confident we could get it level enough for slabs. The garden has a slight gradient anyway so that would have required us to build up an area slightly for it to be level and that sounded like more hassle than it was worth! Ideally we wanted to be able to get a table and chairs outside for us to use but there just isn’t the space to do all the things we would like.

We decided that bark chippings may be the best option for the top half of the garden so that the trampoline can remain where it was and would be able to handle the wear and tear of the children. The lower half closer to the house we would lay some turf so that we could still have some grass. The fence is ancient and greying terribly, our neighbours had recently painted theirs as well which made ours look even worse, so painting the fence was a must. Besides anything else, of the three houses in our terrace, we are in the middle and have the worst garden!!

I’ll be honest, my duties were light as I have an aversion to real manual labour, so I left the hard work to the husband. I was responsible for staining the fence and assigned myself as site foreman and barked orders and unwanted suggestions and advice at my husband. The biggest job (for him) was clearing all of the weeds and turning the soil, removing sufficient to lay the weed resistant liner for the bark and to lay the turf on the lower half. 

I do wish I had taken more pictures to show the whole transformation at every stage but fence painting is hard graft and requires lots of time and attention to detail, the only reason there are pictures from this point onwards is because I had run out of fence paint and had to revert to my stand around barking orders role. 

We completed the garden at the beginning of June and have been able to enjoy it since, there may or may not still be some fence painting to finish which was well and truly my job but I have bought the fence paint and can get that done at any time! We managed to get everything done on a very small budget and we were pleasantly surprised at just how reasonable it was.


Bark chippings – 
Turf – £27 
Log roll edging – £10.50
Fence paint (3 tubs) – £13.50
Liner – £9

So for £108 we completely transformed our garden and though it is a basic job we are chuffed to bits with it. 

2 thoughts on “Transforming our small garden”

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