Monday, 17 March 2014

Weekend update and DIY

The weather in the UK during the last weekend was amazing! Yes, the temperature was in high teens and the sun was bright and beautiful! After the crappy and wet last months, that was such a nice break! And we managed to make the most of it. We spent both days Saturday and Sunday in the back garden. As expected, the previous tenants of our house didn't really pay attention to the garden which was overgrown and ugly. They hadn't paid much attention to the inside of the house, it would be really surprising if they maintained a proper outside!

That's the 'before' picture. JJ had done some work on it already

We decided to start by taking out lots of things that made the garden look small and untidy. We've cleared out some old overgrown bushes, trunks and roots that were just occupying space and cleared out the shed at the back from an ivy (I think). We’re planning a small vegetables area where I plan on growing some food and planting some rose bushes, jasmine and cherry trees.

For the first bit of the work at hand, we got some help. A guy called Abraham arrived Saturday morning to clear out some stuff and get rid of massive chopped roots and trunks. The whole experience was a bit weird because he unexpectedly arrived with his two sons, one aged around 10 and the other around 4! The old one provided some help to him father, but the young one was just walking around looking at things. Two words came first to my mind: ‘child labour’! But then I dismissed them and tried to get along with it! In a sense it’s a nice way to spend time with your father. The old one would want to prove himself to his dad and the young one would like to go along not feeling left out. In any case, Abraham was really nice to his sons.

The family at work

The 'after' picture

We believe however that the young one was eating some chocolate candy from a bowl I had left on the table and was then punished by spending the rest of the day in their van. We found that later when JJ discovered the empty bowl and lots of chocolate papers hidden around the garden. Bless him… And I was curious at some point about where he had disappeared after a while. In any case, Abraham’s help was good and put us on the right track.

Do you remember me saying a couple of posts ago how bad I am bad in labour work? Well, that’s still true, but I've proved to be quite good in gardening. On Sunday, JJ started working on the vegetable corner on the right of the garden, the pile of junk at the end and painting the fence, while I started clearing out the ivy from the shed! As you can see I managed to successfully get most of it out. And not only that, I managed to do it without cutting any fingers off or falling from the ladder! I’m quite pleased with myself!

How it looks now, still a work in progress

I can’t wait to see how the garden will end up, even if I know it will take some years before it actually looks properly grown.  


  1. The 'after' picture shows your hard work - much improved! It's going to be a beautiful spot for you two to relax after work when summer arrives. I need to get out and do yard work myself; unfortunately I don't have a JJ to help. Maybe I can borrow yours? ;)

    1. I'll check with his schedule and let you know. A trip to the west coast might be a good idea actually... :-)

  2. Very nice! If you want some more work (or Abraham needs more) c'mon over! It's only 3700 miles or so!

    I'm sure you'll really enjoy the fruits of your labor when it finally warms up enough.

    Peace <3

    1. Thank you. Yes, even during the lousy British summer, I hope we'll get a couple of nice weekends to bbq. :-)