I absolutely adore working in my garden. Over the last 12 months, my back yard has been transformed into what I call 'my jungle'. When my dogs passed away in May last year, firstly, I was sure that I would not have another dog for some time as I couldn't handle the grief I was feeling from losing them after 14 years with us. Secondly, I started a big project at the very back of my house, in an area of my yard that hadn't been touched since we built our home 15 years earlier. By doing this, it helped ease my sorrow at the loss of our companions, our German Shepherds, Jack and Kimba and also eventually gave me enormous satisfaction and a huge sense of accomplishment at what I had achieved, for now I had another part of my garden to enjoy. Looking back at these photos, I can see exactly how much work I did to get it to where it is today. Yes, it certainly was my back yard blitz!
Next to the crooked bush, I had a dog kennel that Jack and Kimba used to sleep in. It was heavy and solid, with a metal roof and wooden sides and base. Moving it was an effort but of course, it had to go, so I took it to pieces to dispose of it. You can see here metal fence posts with concrete lumps at their bases. This is how the fence was secured into the ground and these had to be dug up.
So this is what this area looked like without the kennel and the fence. Messy, over grown and with an ugly metal shed in the corner that I have never liked.Here is the shed. You can see that it has been sitting here for a long time. It has sunken into the ground and the door doesn't open properly. My husband built it years ago with a friend and I'm sorry to say, did a rotten job. It didn't survive well, for the walls were bent and the ground at its entrance was so uneven that it would flood after heavy rain. I have never liked this thing.
Now back to that horrible shed. My husband, in all his wisdom, thought that he would build the shed around a timber frame. Well, this did nothing but cause me more headache when I was trying to demolish it. It was also lined in parts with cement sheets which was also another big nuisance. So I started pulling it down, peeling off the metal sheets like a big tin can.
I am slowly making progress in my shed demolition. 2 of the walls and the door is off.
Now for the roof. You can see what a mess this was and what a total pain in the back side it was to deconstruct this retched shed.
The roof is off and I am starting to get happy. Now just 2 walls left to take down and to get rid of all of these waste materials.Now you see it, now you don't! Shed, fence and kennel are gone and I am left with a blank canvas. Even to see it like this felt good at the time. You can see the concrete block in the corner where the shed was. I left this there and simple buried it, rather than paying a lot of money for someone to come and remove it. You can see how the fence has moved down where the shed was and how uneven the ground is around this area.
The ground was quite low and I wanted to build it up. Around the side of the house, I had some crushed rock. The side of the house needs work too and eventually I will get to it. But for now, I had a lot of rock there so I could bring some of it around the back, wheel barrow load by wheel barrow load.
It is slowly starting to take shape. I dug up the ground next to the fence for a small veggie patch. I also moved in several more cubic metres of soil so that I had something decent for the garden beds and also for some new lawn.
Now we can see things happening here. My veggie patch is in, the ground is reasonably level, my new clothes line is in and I have bought a couple of pavers so that I had a path to walk on to hang my washing out.
At this point, I'm starting to get excited! It is now starting to look so much better.
I decided to extend my veggie garden a bit more. So now it would go right around the fence line.
I planted tomato, zucchini and eggplant in this little section and I'm afraid put way too many plants in here. The area became completely over grown. When I put them in, I had no idea how big these plants would get, so I blame this on lack of experience.........but now I know!
At the side of the house under the eaves, no rain hits here and it is not a good spot to grow things. So I wanted to put a path here along the house and to the washing line. The best way to do this as evenly as possible, was to lay down garden edging and 'box it up'.
Here you can see where I extended the veggie patch right along the fence line. It was also easier to level off the ground with the edging in.
In came the paving sand......and a bit too much of it! I have managed to store the excess paving sand in a spare rubbish bin so this will keep it dry and clean. We will use the sand in other parts of the garden, eventually, for more paving.
Here you can see how the paving looks. This is my husband's job and he does this really well. I am hopeless at trying to put pavers down but he does a great job at it.
David has put down most of the pavers. We need many more to finish it off and I hope to get this done soon. Here I have some underlay soil to put down, ready for my new turf.
Our new lawn is in and at this point, I am completely thrilled with the results. I have put more seedlings around my new veggie patch of water melon, rock melon, more tomatoes and corn.
Check it out! Feeling very pleased with myself at this stage. My hard work, over 5 months, through Winter and Spring, has paid off. My aim was to have it in full swing by Summer.
Here you can see that the lawn is establishing itself and my tomato and zucchini plants are going nuts!
And this is what it looks like today, on this very day! In total, this project has taken 5 months, on and off, as I worked through Winter and Spring. It is still not completely finished as we have to complete the paving on the path.......but at this point, who cares?!? I am thrilled to see this end result and I achieved my goal of having it fully functional by Summer. So far, I have had countless zucchinis, my tomatoes and corn won't be long and I get so excited watching my eggplant, rock melons and water melons grow. The lawn has really taken off, is lush and thick. My new clothes line is a must for my large family as I never stop doing laundry.
I have never been afraid of hard work.......but you know what? This wasn't work at all, for I was out in the sun and fresh air, feeling and smelling the Earth, creating something, nurturing something, watching it evolve, enjoying its beauty and loving it all at the same time. Yes, my dear readers, another classic example of sunnyday397's mantra........live a little and love a lot :) xxx