I’ve written a couple of posts detailing how we transformed our garden. How concrete heavy it was when we moved in and how much better it looks now, and I really appreciate all your positive comments. It’s looking really lush now and I had mega fun with it at the end of summer, setting it up for some fun bohemian type photos that I hope to use in my new blog; more details of that over the winter.
For the moment thought, I’ll just recap on how we improved the garden and then show you some of the lovely fun photos I took at the end of August. These bits and pieces have all been put away now in preparation for a windy coastal winter, but there’s still masses to do outside, including planting all my miniature bulbs in pots ready for an early spring pop of colour.
The Back Garden Before
When we moved in, the top of the garden was absolutely awful. It looked and felt just like an urban wasteland, there was concrete everywhere any anything that could remotely call itself a flower bed was simply full of weeds.
To make matters worse, as you can see if you look at the back of the above photo, where you would expect a hedge or garden fence to be, dividing us from next door, literally hundreds of old roof tiles had been stacked up by the previous owner and used as a ‘fence.’
Ugly, uneven crazy paving had been laid quite randomly in this area too, along with a limited effort to deck over it. Fortunately, this was quite easy to remove as it only consisted of two planks of upstanding timber and two horizontal pieces. This was clearly a project that didn’t make it far off the ground.
The Back Garden After
Faced with such an awful picture, we quickly got to work. We lifted the decking and crazy paving. And actually, underneath the decking, there was a raised and curved section of concrete edging that didn’t look too bad, so we retained this, we brought in a ton or so of topsoil and then turfed this area. As you can see below, this softened the area and made it much more attractive.
We also removed the roof tile ‘fence’ and replaced it with a standard low one which gives us just the right amount of privacy without looking overpowering.
What really transformed this area was rendering and painting the back wall. This wall is non negotiable, as we live near the top of a coastal hill. The garden of our neighbours behind us is quite a bit higher than ours, so the wall is essential in ensuring that their back garden doesn’t fall into ours!
What I quickly figured though, was that although the wall served an essential, practical function, it needn’t look so utilitarian and grim.
I had the whole thing rendered and I chose an amazing terracotta shade of masonry paint to give it a real lift, to actually make a feature of it and to create a hot vibrant Mediterranean look and feel, and I know I’m biased, but I really feel that it’s worked as I love this part of the garden.
In order to achieve a vibrant Mediterranean style, I planted a number of evergreens along the lower wall. The effect of the bold bright green planting against the newly painted terracotta wall was awesome. It’s amazing how well everything has grown if you check on a previous post on the garden which was taken last year, you’ll see just how much bigger everything looks and how healthy it all looks.
Interestingly, this is a north facing garden, which you would expect to bit a bit sun starved, but as it’s raised up above the house, we have a lower garden too with steps, it keeps the sun all day, which is great for the plants and it’s a real suntrap too.
From Grim to Glowing
It was certainly a major effort, but we turned something that resembled a derelict wasteland……..
Into something quite lovely, just look how healthy the cordylines look along the wall and how the ivy tumbles right over the lower wall, softening it and giving the whole thing an inviting ‘come and sit a while’ feel.
Fun Bohemian Looks for Our Mediterranean Garden
Now I have this part of the garden just how I want it and before it’s time to move on again, I’m determined to enjoy it. We had a gloriously warm end to the summer and I couldn’t resist going into full outdoors party mode.
I summoned up all my bright cushions, glasses, shells and anything else I could find and for an all to short moment in time, this part of the garden was a riot of colour and activity and it was bliss. Who know’s where we will be next summer, but I’m determined that our next garden will be just as vibrant.