Ever since I saw this photo, I knew exactly what the garden at the rear of the house needed to look like. And, luckily, our builder was totally on board and could see the vision we had. Now, four months on, I couldn’t be happier with the way it has turned out. For six years, we’ve tinkered around the edges of the space at the back of the house, not really knowing what to do with it, because we weren’t entirely sure what we wanted to do with the little stone house we’d bought from a neighbour, to increase our footprint and to ensure that no-one else could buy so close to our property. It’s been through various stages of “renovation” but nothing we did ourselves, ever seemed right, as our attempts were pretty amateurish because we aren’t builders.
However, I think even our pretty unprofessional attempts did improve the area, from what it was like when we first moved in. The photos above show what sat behind our house – and it was in this state for a good three of four years, as we focused on other renovation priorities. But gradually we did start to tackle this tumbledown mess, and clear it, whilst still working out what we were going to do with it eventually. Would we renovate it? Would we demolish it? We kept coming back to these questions, as we tinkered around the edges, but we know that either option could be a potential money pit. So, the house walls were cleared of the years of accumulated vines – we couldn’t touch the roof, as this was too unstable and would need a specialist who knew what they were doing, and the area around was dug out and cleared, too. White stones were laid and conifer trees, in pots, were finally put in place, to create a “wall” for privacy and also to demarcate our boundaries.
But, even when cleared, this still seemed very makeshift and I think our minds were made up over Christmas 2022, when, in high winds, some of the roof tiles and stones were dislodged and fell into the house. It was becoming a potential danger and so we set about planning the demolition and creation of a private, walled garden. Demolition work started in February 2023, and we thought that by the start of spring, we’d have a beautiful walled garden. Wrong! It was in fact August, by the time it was all completed. partly due to a prolonged rainy spell in the spring and also due to me asking for lots of changes. I do probably need to stay off Instagram and Pinterest.
However, thanks to our two lovely builders, we do now have the garden of our dreams. We also took the decision to have the living room window (middle one in the photo above) replaced with French doors and with a small balcony leading out and steps down into the garden. During the initial stages of the build, a neighbour also insisted that everything stop and we have our boundaries double checked, causing a pretty costly delay. But hey, that’s all behind us now and we’ve been able to totally kick back and enjoy our Mediterranean inspired garden. The absolute garden of our dreams.