The purest of human pleasures

"Gardening is the purest of human pleasures." - Francis Bacon (and that's coming from rather a complicated man!)
It is fair to say that I am born and bred gardener, not of any particular talent, skill or knowledge but I do love to potter in my garden. It makes me very happy and, after all, I do believe that is all you really need to create a lovely garden! Along with a lot of enthusiasm and a love for all the plants and wildlife you can nurture. Here are some of my favourite pictures of our garden in my old flat. It took a while to get it looking like this, but by the time we left it was gorgeous (if I do say so myself).

So I feel as if I've got a hard act to follow, especially because our new garden currently looks like this!

This is both exciting and daunting! The complete bareness of it means that we can plan from scratch, but it also means that everything will be new and therefore lacking the depth of a mature garden. Throw into the mix the fact that the garden faces north east and you have a bit of a tricky space.

I've devised a plan for it that consists of four distinct areas; a patio, a lawn and flower bed area, the summerhouse and the back of the garden where there will be a bike shed and a potting area.

Area 1: The Patio

This is going to have (fake) flag stone paving with a step down from the French doors leading from the kitchen. The patio is the area which will be most shady but it will also be enclosed by lovely brick walls on both sides, whereas the rest of the garden will be fenced. I would like to try and grow some climbing roses and other climbers up the back of the house and then put lots of shade loving ferns in pots around the side of the patio. I'm undecided as to whether to paint the walls white to lighten the space up?

I'm going to put the cold frame for growing all my seedlings in the corner and cross my fingers that it gets enough sunlight for seedlings to grow!

There will also be room for our lovely 1950's garden and chairs, although again, there won't be as much sun to bask in as in our last garden. We can always move it to the lawn.

Area 2: Lawn and flower beds

We were both really keen to make this area as interesting as possible with the limited space available. The lawn will be at a slightly higher level with a step up and the area contained by a low brick wall. The lawn itself is going to have curved beds with flower beds full of shrubs, trees and perennials which will hopefully provide colour and structure all year round. As well as climbers to cover the ugly wooden fences. I also really want a little pond as in our last flat as they attract so much wildlife (although my Mum keeps reminding me a child can drown in an inch of water - apparently fox gloves and various other lovelies are out too, due to them being poisonous!)

There is going to be a little brick path leading from the patio to the summerhouse at the end of the garden made out of reclaimed red bricks in a chevron pattern. I have been dying to get the chevron look in somewhere in the house and so far have been thwarted!

I also want a little bench at the top end of the garden so I can sit in the sunshine and eat my breakfast. My dream scenario would be a beech hedge behind it, separating the lawn from the bike shed area.

Area 3: The summerhouse

I would like my summerhouse to look like the one on the left, but I have a horrid feeling it is going to look a lot more like the one on the right, it being a pre built flat pack design, rather than a whimsical hotch-potch of reclaimed pieces. Ah well, I am sure it will still be gorgeous and along with a desk and my drawing and painting things, I was thinking a little tool bench for Nick to tinker at, a comfy arm chair to read in and possibly a camp bed to snooze in or a spare bed when guests come to stay. I must remember it is only 2.5 metre square!

 This how I would like it to look on the inside.
.. and this is a picture of a shed from one of my all time favourite blogs, Junkaholique.

Area 4: Potting table and bike shed

We had to have somewhere to store our bikes as both of us mainly get around town on two wheels. Plus, I wanted somewhere to hide the lawn mower etc and not in my lovely summerhouse! The area is going to be at the end of the garden, adjacent to the summerhouse and be gravelled. The bike shed is a wooden structure and we will grow a climber over it. There will also be a table for me to do my potting at and somewhere to store all the garden tools. Perfect. There is a lovely old brick wall at the end of the garden so I want that to be visible too.

My old potting table.

So there you are, my grand garden plan. A bit of a pipe dream as funds are running rather low at the end of such a big project. If we can just get the bare bones down, then we can buy all the plants and bits and bobs in due course. I am also aware that my time will be limited once I have a brand new babe to look after and gardening might drop down my list of priorities. Ah well, I'm playing a long game and dreaming of growing old in this garden.