London Small Garden Renovation Project

Well, the garden is almost approaching the state I imagined when I plotted out my ideas in the spring – you may have seen my beginning of summer post here. I bought the bare minimum of furniture last summer from Ebay – the amazing double lounger, a large parasol, an 8ft folding table (easier to store over the winter than a large wooden one, and easily disguised with a pretty tablecloth), and then there’s the lovely John Lewis Croft Bench that my mother gave me as a housewarming present – and now I have to work out what else I need.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

I took these photos in the middle of May, just over a month ago and goodness what a transformation from my beginning of April post. I hired a local gardener/handy man who did the brute force work: he dug out the dead box hedge, weeded all the borders and beds, dug over the vegetable patch, weeded and cleared all the flagstones and patios, pruned all the hedges, and helped arrest the gradual encroachment of the Virginia creeper.

Meanwhile I went to Camden Garden Centre, and to my local Camden Morrison’s and spent around £150 on plants. I bought a few key shrubs and plants – a peony, euphorbia, a beautiful Choisyia (Mexican Orange Blossom), as well as umpteen boxes of bedding plants for my hanging baskets and  window boxes. (Nicotiana, violas, pansies, ivies, lavenders, mint and the palest of pink fuchsias.) I also robbed a large alchemilla mollis from my father’s garden border.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

Above – lovely empty main bed waiting for plants

London Small Garden Renovation Project

The amount of garden waste has been quite astonishing: this is the box hedge chopped into pieces, stuffed into IKEA bags, and on its way to the Regis Road Recycling Centre in Kentish Town in the boot of a Zipcar.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

The ash tree is now in full bloom, and providing some much needed shade. I’ve also got the large 3metre umbrella from last year up again. I spent ages looking for parasol weights – first I bought the ones that needed to be filled with ballast, and I just couldn’t face dealing with builders’ sand, and water wasn’t heavy enough, so I bought these brilliant ones. (Was surprised to discover that weights cost the same as the parasol – around £50 each.)

London Small Garden Renovation Project

Below is the back wall and patio with the bare patch where the box hedge was removed to the left – the plan is for this to be weeded and I want to find an outdoor sofa set to place here for lounging and working. It’s a great spot for both as it’s pretty much always in shade, so it also means that any garden furniture I put here won’t be bleached by the sun. (I’ve got my eye on this set.)

London Small Garden Renovation Project

We’ve now dug over the vegetable patch and I’ve found a new home for the Japanese Maple (Acer)  via the NextDoor app, as I don’t have another bed for it, and it’s not very happy being stuck in this corner which it has outgrown.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

The small cream canvas umbrella was from Argos last summer – a bargain at around £30, but I bought the wrong size stand and it blew over one day and a strut broke, so I need to replace this and buy a heavier stand. Still extremely pleased with the double lounger. (The cushions were from Homesense, and the delightful leopard  fleece rug was also from Ebay)

London Small Garden Renovation Project

I found the compost in the most amazing special offer in Camden Sainsbury’s of all places. The dogs are loving having access to the sunshine, and roast themselves outside at every opportunity.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

I bought this pretty hanging basked on Columbia Road a few years ago. That’s rosemary in the bottom, and I plan to put fuschias in the top basket.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

I am extremely pleased with my herb window box – I can just lean out of the kitchen window and snip what I need. I’ve planted thyme, oregano, sage, chives, Greek, and Italian basil. The silver zinc planter is one of five I’ve bought from Primrose for all my window sills.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

Here are the plants I’ve collected waiting to go in the beds, borders, and baskets. Camden Morrison’s has been a particular joy and the source of most of my bedding plants.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

I was sent this mint box by John Lewis last summer and, whilst it died down over the winter, I was astonished to see it thrive from spring onwards and it’s now providing me with plenty of leaves for fresh mint tea.

London Small Garden Renovation Project

 

London Small Garden Renovation Project

Wilco has the most amazingly cheap large terracotta pots (although I’ve yet to see how they last the winter).

London Small Garden Renovation Project

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7 comments

Reply

Amazing transformation, so inviting.! And so much hard work.

Reply

Thank you! Yes, I have the ruined manicure and aching back to prove it toO! LLGxx

Reply

I know absolutely zilch about gardening, but I adore hanging out in private outdoor gardens – or even just looking out at them no matter what the weather. I thought yours was marvelous, even in its original condition, but I’ve been fascinated by your gradual transformation. What an amazing nest you are carving out for yourself, good job!

Reply

Thank you Rebecca! I’ve just had some great furniture delivered, so I am looking forward to stage three! LLGxx

Reply

So much work has been done. You’re doing great. It will be a nice green place to relax.

Reply

What a nice cozy place to relax and unwind from the daily grind of routines. You did great work! Thanks for sharing this.

Reply

Looking good! Love your window box! x

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