Garden Makeover

Those of you who are gardener’s know that you must have patience when planing a garden.. You also have to have vision.. For you have to wait not one, but maybe many years for your ideas to grow as your plants take years to fill out your garden. 

Coming back from the Chatsworth Flower Show at the beginning of June, we were both inspired to tidy up our back garden. Over the years it has undergone several changes, but I had also mainly planted up annuals in our back boarders. Bulbs and wallflower for spring.. And often got neglected when we were both working full time. 

I wanted more of a  herbaceous border  so that it will take less maintenance. Even though I do not class myself as passed it just yet 🙄 Kneeling and bending up and down take their toll, So again like the flower beds you have to plan ahead. 👵

First things first.. Here is the old photo showing you the decking.. I planted bamboo and some privet in  front of the green house as I eventually wanted to screen the green house from the rest of the garden.. We had planted two conifers too, which we wanted to grow as an archway.  This takes time and patience..

So an old photo of what the garden once upon a time long ago, it looked like this. Picture was taken in 2010 Below I wish I could find one in the 80’s when we moved in. It was very overgrown. No lawn as such, and I replanted the whole lawn then by sewing seed and walking up and down on it to flatten it out.. 

Now we both got carried away with our project that I forgot to take the before photos, As my husband dismantled the decking one day while I was resting. But I found some old photo’s out so you can see what we did.. 

Here you can clearly see the decking, but it eventually got worn, slippy and not safe to walk upon. so it was used to put pots on for years, rather than sit on. You can clearly see we used decking too on the right side to hold the deeper raised bed of earth we had planted.

This Photo above was taken in 2013  you can now see how the arch is forming, and the Buddleia to  back of the decking is growing, and the bamboo are starting to screen the greenhouse, the privet is seen between the arch on the left.. 

Taken April 2017, you see the decking is now out, wallflower are out at the bottom  left where the decking was,and I have re-seeded with grass to make a curve where the square decking was. The Grass which is longer and not showing the hail stones as much. ( as this photo taken in a five-minute hail storm we had)

This has been in stages as the decking came out in the autumn of last year I then planted wall flowers in the space and grass seeded down part where the decking had been as I wanted to extend the lawn in a curve shape to the archway.

The above photo was taken in May, I had cut out the border in a more wavy pattern and stared to plant up the corner where the decking had been, we moved the bird bath and I put my fairy house at the bottom of my garden, where all good fairies now  live 🙂 Sorry this picture is not so sharp and clear. 

The next steps I wanted a more defined border, one where the lawn strimmer would not take the heads off my flowers 😉 lol  So this is the next stage. 

Then we concentrated on the right side of the garden

Now you see the effect from the first photo to the this one I wanted.. It only took  Seven Years to grow to this stage lol.. But it separates the garden from the greenhouse and our outside cold frames. and three dustbins we have for recycling. One for paper, tin and plastic, one for household waste, and the other for garden waste.. Which is not all that much as much of it gets composted in the allotments. 

Here you can see we used larger slats of wood on the right for the raised bed, and continued the theme with the smaller ones to encase the water features.

Now  a few more years of waiting as these plants grow and fill out the boarders

Now for a closer look  click each to get a larger view. 

And of course, we had to have some fairy lights.. Hope you enjoyed.. as much as we did tidying it all up 


Happy Gardening


Next time more blooms from Chatsworth.

46 thoughts on “Garden Makeover

  1. We have been through similar garden journeys – even to solar lights converting ours to a veritable fairground at night. I have blogging to thank for having before and after photos. 🙂 A lovely series of your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – so ambitious Sue and I love the finished project. As a gardener I know how we continue to change things in our yard and garden over the years. I hope you do not have sore knees and backs. I am proud of the work you and your husband did – GREAT!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely job Sue (and hubby). I sometimes long for our little slightly less than quarter acre block in the city simply because it would be SO much easier to work with. I had the entire garden spick and span and exactly how I wanted it. It’s a tangled jungle now that the kids are living there and not a single gardener in their midst (although one of my daughters has a few food plants in pots so there might be hope yet…) I can’t get my head around the space here and the possums etc. are constantly looking for something to predate. They have eaten all of my sweet potato leaves, my oca leaves and have chewed the growing tips off my figs!!! I think I might actually lose a couple of the fig trees to possum damage and am now having to contemplate putting some kind of structure up to prevent them from accessing the fruit trees outside…sigh…it is lovely to see your glorious small, well tended garden. I am going to keep it in my mind as a secret garden type refuge whenever I peek out the back door and see my inglorious mess! Lovely job guys 🙂


  4. It’s great watching the evolution of the gardens, and wow, it’s so soothing and smiles back at you, giving the same love back to you… One amazing thing about living in the NeoTropics is how fast things grow.. They soar to Jack-in-the-Beanstalk size in a year, and in three years are crowding and fighting for dominance! Sometimes I think that the slow rewards are sweeter…


  5. It’s so nice to see the progression of all of the work you and hubby did. It looks so inviting, like you have a secret garden at the back of the trail leading the archway. It’s obvious that the plants are loving all of your attention, and care. Just beautiful.


  6. Oh wow Sue….its.beautiful…i remembered when we moved in to our house the conctractor charged me so much for the to put up…but i realized i must try it my i did even though i thought i didnt.have a green thumb…but years later looking at my garden now…they are beautiful.and.mostly i am proud i grew them myself..

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    • Yes, when I spotted them growing I thought they may well not survive in the crevice of the wall.. And deliberately left them alone to see if they would make anything.. Just shows us how when left to her own devices, nature creates a beauty in the most unexpected places…. 🙂 Thank you Mark.. 🙂

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  7. Your garden…is breathtaking. I don’t think you give yourself enough credit for the beauty you have created. It’s an oasis! I have been wanting to really work on our gardens – both the vegetable and the flower gardens. I have this idea in my head of creating a labyrinth by trimming the grass shorter…and creating rock designs and…your designs are just so inspiring and beautiful. Hmm…this makes me realize that I’ve just never taken the time necessary to create this beauty…between working full time and wanting to work on the blog and spend time with family and walking the dog…lol…I just need to squeeze time in because this is so important…Hehe. I have always loved the idea of beautiful gardens…but the inspiration here just makes my heart burst with garden-creative JOY! Just look at those gorgeous photos! Those radiate love and fairy lights and sparkly things! wowowowowo! Oh, Sue, you are so talented at this and such a beautiful soul and thank you for the gentle push to create something I’ve always wanted to do….

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    • For many years our back garden was a lawn and flowerbeds which I would plant up in the Summer.. Working full time also, while I would make time to garden, our time mainly was in the allotments, so to get it how I wanted it, has taken time.. And I am sure before we get much older it will change again.. I will have to try in the future to dig out old photos and scan them into the PC to show how it was when we moved in. So many things we changed… It fitted 10 of us on the lawn comfortably at the weekend when I held a party for family.. And I ordered the Sun and it shone all day on Sunday as I had asked for.. LOL.. SO I was well pleased.. lol.. ❤ Thank you so much Cyndi.. So loved your comment.. I am sure you will fit your own garden make over in somehow.. 🙂 Where there is a will, there is always a way xx ❤


  8. It is quite a transformation, Sue. Well done all round and it now looks like a very cozy patch where the flowers are now – right up against the fence and waving to everyone as they walk past 😀 Seven years to grow that archway is a long time, but now it is all bushy and green and it makes your place so inviting. Does the water feature get a work out? I suppose when it’s turned on, some birdies will pop by for a drink and maybe they will stay around and be friends 🙂 Hopefully one day you will catch the fairies coming out and playing…. ❤

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  9. I have hundreds of things to say and ask! Thanks so much for the garden tour. I think I enjoy a private garden like yours more than a public display one because not only is it beautiful but it has so much heart and soul to it. At least yours does. I never thought of using evergreen for an archway btw….brilliant! And I’m happy you have hollyhock:) Yours really does show me how important it is to be patient! Thank you for sharing Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So happy you enjoyed Linda.. and yes patience is a virtue as they say .. If I go quiet I will be without my laptop for a while after today, as it goes for a service.. It should have gone in last week but there was confusion over the booking date.. Just so you know.. And yes, those hollyhocks have come brilliant.. xxx Much love see you soon.. xx


  10. Awesome, awesome garden, friend Sue … I love coming here … smiles … My garden is coming along as well … Potatoes are blooming, beets are doing well, onions are coming back after recent the deer/ moose attack, peas still hanging on … so are my flowers: Day lilies, Monkshood, Bleeding heart, Mary gold, Lupines, Brown eyed susan, Pansies and Nasturtiums … Love you, sister … Always, cat.

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