Phase Two – A New Era

August was a month off of digging and time to enjoy the garden.  The Pergola was up and the swing seats on and painted and the flower beds that we had put in were in full bloom.  August was time to kick back and just relax a bit.  Also time for me to mend.  All that digging came at a price – I’m not as young as I used to be and there was a lot of aches and pains going on.

August was a lovely month.

But then September came around and it was time for Phase Two of the transformation.

I wanted a greenhouse, but cost was a issue, so I had settled on a shed.   Just one that would hopefully last a couple of years it would be a place where I could store some tools and do some potting.

Simon also needed an office space.

This all meant more digging.

First off, removing the turf where the office was going to go.  We had chosen one that would sit happily on a grid system rather than have to lay solid foundations (I’m not sure we were capable of successfully laying concrete foundations).

magdelen green garden 22 sept 16

It may not look like much, it’s a 3.5 x 3m area.  That was a lot of turf.  Trust me.

With the digging there done I could start on the other end of the garden and my shed and raised beds.

At the moment in time when I started this back area of the garden I had a picture in my head of having my little shed with the raised beds filled with cutting flowers the following year.

magdelen green garden 23 sept 16

It was easy enough to put the shed foundation down, and the raised beds just slotted together.  Couldn’t be easier.  It took no time at all to put these all together.

The reason for the polythene covers on the beds at a time of year when they weren’t really necessary…our cat!  He was now micro-chipped and settled in and was now an outdoor cat.  This meant we had now finally removed the litter trays from within the house – something I was hugely grateful for.

What I hadn’t realised is that he was treating the raised beds like massive littler trays.  He must have been delighted to think we were installing these in the garden for him.

Until I realised what was happening and covered them in polythene to stop this from happening.

It is a constant battle to make sure there’s enough plants in all the beds to stop him from digging holes and fertilising it for me.

Whilst I was busy doing all of this, Simon was down at the other end laying his grid and filling it with the gravel.

magdelen green garden 24 sept 16

Now, I’m not usually one to brag about my achievements, but I have to say – what we did over a couple of weekends in September I think was actually quite impressive.  It’s also a lesson that if people like us can pull this off, then anyone with the will to do it can.

I was surprised with how easy all these two buildings were to do.

The shed was literally a floor, four walls, a door, a roof support beam and two roof panels, plus the felting.  it went up in no time.

magdelen green garden 25 sept 16

All it needed was a couple of coats of wood paint and it was finished.

As for the office.  Again this all slotted together and the two of us put it up in a day.  After that all Simon had to do was insulate the roof, add the boards, the felt and then the tiling strips which was another day.  I thought this would be a nightmare to do, I was amazed how easy it all was, and it looked good.

magdelen green garden 26 sept 16

With the office built, the plan was to make it look like it was part of the garden and not just something plonked in.  The next stage of Phase Two was the get the first part of the garden dug and built around the office.  My plan was make it look like it was set in to the garden.  I had no idea if it would work.  All I had were the drawings and sketched ideas.  With the nice weather coming to an end however, there was only time to paint it to protect it from the winter.

We had achieved so much over the past eight months – the decking had been cleaned and painted too, I forgot to mention that previously.  We had removed a vast amount of turf, created several flower beds, put in a pond, built two out-buildings and a pergola (plus built the swings seats ourselves too).  It already looked liked a different garden.

With the nights drawing in, the rain becoming more persistent, the days getting colder we decided to focus on the inside until spring came round again and Phase Three could start.

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