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Before and After....

hywel

By hywel

47 comments


In the beginning …

My garage is small, and it is also at the bottom of the garden, so I never took the car in there, and it was a wasted space.

The drab concrete ‘driveway’ looked messy – I tended to use it as a dumping ground,
and even after I cleared it, it didn’t look very nice.

Eventually I decided (because I never took the car in there) to turn the garage into a workshop for one of my hobbies.
I had the door replaced with a wall and big window, and I had a new flat roof put on it …

(The old sheet is a temporary measure, to prevent nosey parkers from looking in. I’ll put something better there next year)

… and this year I used the old driveway to grow lots of seedlings and cuttings,
but it still looked a mess :o(

So I decided to make it look prettier,
and what better way than to construct a flower bed :o)

I ‘built’ a wall across the front of the driveway, by placing the bricks flat, one on top of the other.

I tried to make it as level as I could but I don’t think my spirit level is working properly ;o) lol

So I mixed some cement in a plastic tray, and put it between the rows, in order to make them level.

And the gap between the rows became wider as the wall progressed … as you can see in the next photo :D

But it doesn’t matter,
I’m going to plant some creepers in between the bricks and when they spread a bit, nobody will know :o)

I’ve also put some soil between the bricks, so that the creepers can have something to root into.
(a man walking down the road one day as I was ‘building’ the wall, suggested that to me !)

Eventually I completed the wall all the way around, so that it would hold some soil …

And I smashed the concrete driveway with a crowbar, in order to remove it, so that water could drain away.
It was very cracked anyway, so I could smash it easily :o)

And then I ordered some soil to fill it up with.
(It took 3 tons ! lol)

After raking it flat and planting a few shrubs and bulbs, this is how it looks now :-

I did it bit by bit – a few bricks today, and a few more later on.
Eventually, after many weeks, it got finished :o)

Here are my friends, the toad and the newt, without whom I would never have been able to finish the job ;o)

Bella guarded the road :o)

I won’t do any more to it this year. I’m just looking forward to seeing the bulbs come up in the spring,
and then I’ll plant a few more shrubs and perennials there next year :o)

More blog posts by hywel

Previous post: Slowly but Surely :o)

Next post: Summer and Autumn 2015



Comments

 

It would look nice once the creepers fill in. Nice transformation and apparently the toad and newt are happy with it too.

9 Nov, 2015

 

It looks great Hywel what a lovely idea and very creative love the flower bed cant wait my self to see the bulbs come up. You could go to a 2nd hand shop or charity shop and buy a long peace of net curtain a bit of curtain wire that stops people looking in have lots of gather in the net curtain though.
I had to giggle at Bella she looks as though she is the look out girl .

9 Nov, 2015

 

That looks great,Hywel,I'm very impressed with your design,and the vision you had ,to make this..I can see that this was another reason you have been so busy this summer,as well as caring for Beryl too..I love your planting,and your Guard cat,Bella :o) It's a credit to you,and I will look forward to seeing in springtime :o) xx

9 Nov, 2015

 

its certainly an improvement on the old drive - how did you find time to do it amongst all the other demands on your time? That's a very nice newt - do you see it often? I keep hoping one will come to live with us but in nine years have only seen one...
Here's a little task for over the winter - teach Bella the Green Cross Code...

9 Nov, 2015

 

You have completely transformed the look of the road Hywel and a very good job you've made of it as well, I remember when you put all your plants out there and the lady went past admiring all your fuschia's, Bella was keeping guard then as well if I remember it correctly, that is going to look a real treat next springtime and even more colourful when you add the spreading plants and perenials, will you put some hardy fuschias in there..
So pleased you managed to get it finished before the winter sets in, I like your company as well, bet they were checking to make sure you left some living spaces that met with their approval, lol....
Forgot to say I can see you also have a grand view to admire whilst out there don't you...

9 Nov, 2015

amy
Amy
 

What an improvement Hywel it will look lovely in the spring your neighbours will be walking by more often to look at your beautiful floral displays that is if your watch-cat Bella allows them to get near enough :o) I like your friends I'm sure they were a great help ! you didn't say what your new hobby is going to be in your new found garage space are you going do more of your pottery / art work ? ... xx

9 Nov, 2015

 

Wow you have been busy Hywel. I think it is a great use of space and it looks fab..looks lop ike Bella approves too..

9 Nov, 2015

 

Thank you all for your positive comments about my new flower bed :o)

Thank you Thruppsnnybit, I will look out for net curtains in the charity shops. One man admitted to me that he had a peep in through the window before I put the sheet there. I felt like telling him to mind his own business lol but I didn't

Sandra, I had to have something as a relief from looking after Beryl. So I built the wall a few bricks at a time. It took a few months lol and still isn't finished properly yet.

Sue Steragram, I don't see the newt often. I only saw her twice. She was minute. Apparently she is a female smooth newt, so I have been told :o)

Sue Lincslass, I have already planted some hardy fuchsias there, and I hope to plant more next year. It's an excuse for me to buy them lol.
Before the soil was tipped in, I checked that there were no animals in there to be squashed. I even took out all the woodlice !
Yes the view is nice, but sometimes I get so used to it that I don't even look lol ...

Amy the old garage is to be used for my pottery equipment. I didn't get to use it this year because it's in a mess and Beryl took up most of my time.

9 Nov, 2015

 

I have a Lady Thumb if you'd like it next year?

9 Nov, 2015

 

Great job Hywel what a transformation and more to look forward to in the spring, Bella looks really impressed! how nice to have a toad and newt, lots of spaces for them to hide too, look forward to seeing your new plot progress through the seasons :o)

9 Nov, 2015

 

Well I am impressed. Smashing a concrete with a crowbar had to be a hard work. It will be a pride of the neighbourhood next spring when the bulbs come out. But it is already looking great. Best looking yard on the road. Well done. :-) XX

10 Nov, 2015

amy
Amy
 

Hywel I'm pleased to hear you are setting your garage up as a studio I know how much you missed your art I'm looking forward to seeing some of your work :o)) x

10 Nov, 2015

 

Hywel that is truly amazing! I can hardly believe you've turned what can only be described as an ugly eyesore into such a workable piece of garden and usefull workshed. Your hard work is a credit to you especially as you've had Beryl to take care of too. I'm now looking forward to seeing how it all develops in the spring. Take a bow, you've every reason to feel justly proud.

10 Nov, 2015

 

What a lot of work Hywel....particularly with your recent predicament (Beryl's health).You put a lot of us to shame.
I love the idea of the soil between the bricks/blocks. It will soon be a living wall. I love it. And, makes a feature of an area which could otherwise easily become an eyesore.
Congratulations on a great job!

10 Nov, 2015

 

Goodness me Hywel haven't you been busy? a big project too!! such a difference its going to make too, most people never use their garages these days, I know we don't!! well we haven't got one for a start, we pulled it down, it is now our tropical garden.....
Looking forward to seeing it change through the seasons, and well done you, could you send me some of your energy !!

10 Nov, 2015

 

Now that is what I call home improvement. You have clearly been a busy bee. It will continue to improve as it ages and the plants settle. OH has an old curtain against the window of his shed where he has his lathe to stop the nosey parkers having a peek so I understand where you are coming from with the sheet.
Bella looks wonderful, clearly one happy puss. You have a lovely setting for your home.

11 Nov, 2015

 

That looks great, Hywel - what a lot if work, but so worth it. It is a lovely addition to the road. Bella looks as beautiful as ever! Hope you and Beryl are keeping well.

11 Nov, 2015

 

Thank you all for your comments :)

I am all right Melchisedec, thank you, and Beryl is improving after a rather difficult time (which is why I haven't been on here for a while)

11 Nov, 2015

 

Well done Hywel - looking forward to seeing pics of your plants and bulbs in your new wall - are your cacti still going strong? love to Beryl and of course Bella - Jane

11 Nov, 2015

 

Thank you Jane, and the same to you :)
The cacti will be going into their winter residence soon ...

11 Nov, 2015

 

My goodness Hywel, what a difference that has made ! It will look lovely when the bulbs are flowering in the Spring, will there be Daffs and Crocus? They always herald Spring for me. Bella looks lovely, as ever. Good to hear that Beryl is improving too. Take care :o)

11 Nov, 2015

 

Hywel you have worked hard and the result is looking good. It will look so different as well once the plants get established. Bella looks very contented.

11 Nov, 2015

 

Thank you both :)

Yes Shirley, there will be miniature narcissi and crocuses and Fritillarias. I'm also going to plant Snowdrops when I can buy clumps in the green at a local market next Feb.
I think I also planted Grape Hyacinths and Chinadoxas ... or did I put those in a pot ? ... I can't remember lol but I did plant them somewhere ! :)

Thank you Linda, Bella enjoys her life :)

11 Nov, 2015

 

So impressed Hywel. I enjoyed the blog because you showed the progress you were making step by step. Do let us see it in the spring.

12 Nov, 2015

 

Thank you :)

12 Nov, 2015

 

Hello, Hywel, How are you ? Hope you are well and fine , Long time No hear ;-)))

Job well done , Another beautiful project , Very Nice and Very lovely photos :-) xxx

13 Nov, 2015

 

Thank you Tim ...

Hi Junna, I am not too bad thank you. I haven't been on here for a while - some problems with Beryl's health, but she's getting better now :) x

13 Nov, 2015

 

Congrats on all your hard work Hywel. You must be feeling very satisfied with the result. It's always nice to have a project on the go that you can work at whenever one has a moment. Very therapeutic from other stresses I think. I hope there aren't too many cars whizzing down your lane as I fear for Bella. Perhaps she only goes out there when you do? Hope Beryl continues to make good progress. Like you I have periods when I don't get on line. Then there's loads of catching up to do. Best wishes to all. Josee.

14 Nov, 2015

 

Thanks for your comment. Beryl continues to improve. I hope you are well too.
Bella wanders up and down the road looking for mice in the hedgerow. Most of the cars are local and know her. She gives them a look of disgust as they drive past, and they often have to stop to let her stroll to the side. I've seen some drivers smile and shake their heads in despair lol. People taking their dogs for a walk also stop to have a chat with Bella :)

15 Nov, 2015

 

What an amazing job you've done. That is one very big raised border! It really will pretty up the front especially when the plants get going & the bulbs will be so welcome come the spring.
What a cheeky chap to look in your window!

15 Nov, 2015

 

What a Lot of hard work you've done Hywel! And it looks great, even better next spring when the bulbs are all in flower.....and something to look forward too!

15 Nov, 2015

 

Bless that pussycat - she knows who's in charge of the lane all right!

15 Nov, 2015

 

Thank you all for your comments :)

Actually Bella is aware of the traffic. She listens for it all the time, and seems to know when a car is about to come around the corner ... but doesn't hurry to get out of the way.
It's a good job the road doesn't lead anywhere, and so is used mostly by local people.

16 Nov, 2015

 

Looks just lovely, well done, glad nobody raised questions about interfering with a road boundary as can be a touchy subject with some.

19 Dec, 2015

 

Thank you for reading my blog. I'm glad you like the new flower bed :)
I made sure the wall was on my side of the boundary, so nobody can complain about it.

19 Dec, 2015

 

I still wishes the best of health to both of you and Bella

Happy Holiday :-))) X

19 Dec, 2015

 

Thank you :) x

19 Dec, 2015

 

Found it!!! You have built a lovely area here Hywel, what a difference it's made. This is the kind of garden I would be stopping to admire as I walked (slowly) past. You have worked hard at building it too and I don't know how you managed it as well as tending to Beryl while she has had the recent problems. Sorting out the house would have been enough for anyone never mind building from scratch a new garden. You should be really pleased with what you have accomplished. I hope you will soon have the time to spend on your pottery making. Everything seemed to hit the fan when you set up the work room and you didn't get a chance to use it. Fingers crossed you will get in there soon and lose yourself for a couple of hours doing what you enjoy.

18 Feb, 2016

 

Thank you Sheila. Many people stop to talk to me when I am down there. Last year I gave some of them a few cuttings, and some insisted on paying for them lol
It took the whole summer to build it. Beryl wasn't well so we couldn't go anywhere, and I had plenty of time to do it slowly :)
I do hope to do some pottery this summer, and also some art, and also some family history, as well as the garden lol I think I am asking for too much :D

18 Feb, 2016

 

Let's hope it's going to be a much better year for you both and you get chance to do all these things.

19 Feb, 2016

 

I have just revisited this and enjoyed looking at it again. I hope you will keep us updated on progress!

19 Feb, 2016

 

Thank you Sheila :)

Melchisedec I will show some photos of it later in the spring :)

21 Feb, 2016

 

I look forward to seeing them, Hywel!

23 Feb, 2016

 

I don't know when it will be. I've lost the rechargeable batteries for my camera lol. I think I'll have to buy some new ones ...

23 Feb, 2016

 

Oh that sounds so much like my place Hywel, look in your latest safe place, I'm a dab hand at putting things away, lol....Hope you and Beryl are keeping well, alls well here and the sun is shining so I'm a happy gardener raring to go....

24 Feb, 2016

 

Well, I am glad there's someone else like me Sue lol :D
I will probably find them after I buy new ones ! That's what usually happens ...
We've had two sunny days here, and not too cold either, so we've been out making the most of it. I hope to be able to do something in the garden soon if it doesn't get any colder.
Beryl is all right thank you (apart from the usual mobility problems) and I am 'coping' lol ...
I'm glad to know all is well with you these days Sue. I hope you'll be able to do some more gardening soon too. Isn't it just the best thing in the world :)

24 Feb, 2016

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