Garden Renovation

Hate your garden? Or maybe it just doesn’t work for you and your little ones? Rather than rip it all out and start again. This is costly and much more time consuming. Why not renovate what you have. In a few weeks, you can titivate a few areas and change the whole look of your garden. It’s amazing what some new turf can do.Sometimes all you need is to stand back and take a good look at what you have and change a few components. In August we started to renovate our own garden. I love my garden now and I can’t believe it is the same space I hated for so long!


Now I aint no professional. I like to potter about in my raised beds and grow a few veggies but that’s really it. I’m  not really into flowers. I have to be able to eat my plants. Although I do recognise that they make a garden look pretty, I cant be bothered to replant them every year. I always look for Annuals and bulbs, plants that are suitable for a lazy gardener. Those that come up every year without you having to do a thing.
So how we renovated our garden..
Firstly we cleared away all the god forsaken gravel. It was everywhere! It wasn’t suitable for a one year old. I couldn’t let Rosalie out in the garden, she would eat the stones. It also did absolutely nothing to stop the weeds growing through. It looked untidy and shabby. After 3 years of weeding hell, there is nothing more satisfying than watching your husband scrape away all the gravel and weeds.

Next, we made our patio a little smaller and repurposed some of the slabs to build a path around the house. We nearly got half way round. This meant we didn’t need to buy as many new slabs thus keeping the cost down. It also meant that the old and new slabs blended more seamlessly.

We painted the shed. We have lived in this house for nearly 4 years and it has been two years since we painted the shed. It was looking a little worse for wear. This time I decided to use Chalk Paint. I am a massive chalk paint fan. I would use it to paint everything in my house if I could. Ok, I do use it to paint everything in my house. It’s just so easy to work with. I wasn’t sure if I could paint a summer house in it, I did a little research online and found out that it had been down before. Nick was very dubious, but I picked up my paint brush and went for it. We did one coat. Yes only ONE coat! God I love this stuff. It looks perfect. I love the grey colour, the chalky finish is just gorgeous. I will forever only use chalk paint, it’s powers no no bounds.

We have a very large tree in our garden. It has a Tree Preservation Order on it so unfortunately we are stuck with it. We planned to turf the majority of the garden so Ralph and Rosalie had somewhere to play but we knew turf wouldn’t grow very well under the tree. To solve this problem we decided to create a little play area for Rosalie under the tree and to cover it with rubber bark. We used lots of old carpet that the previous owners had left in the loft as a weed barrier to save money. We chose to fence off this area with a little picket fence so that Ralph couldn’t get in and do any no.2s in the bark.

I created a little border between the flower bed and the grass area out of recycled bricks. Another way I used what we had and saved a bit of money. I still have another border to make in the rose bed but it’s too cold at the moment. I’ll finish it next year.

Lastly we turfed. Its amazing the difference green grass makes. It certainly lifts ones mood in the morning. I bought a few random flowering plants. Ones that looked pretty and that had annual on the label. I dug some holes and planted them where I thought looked nice, no garden plan here. I’ll work on this more next year.


I can’t describe how happy I am with the garden. It has completely changed our way of life. We can get outside, Rosalie can play on her climbing frame and we are all much happier. You can watch the before, during and after of our garden renovation over on my youtube channel here.
Are you thinking about renovating your garden? What things would you like to change in your garden? I know we always put off gardening jobs, particulary when its cold, but I urge you to do it. It’ll change your life for the better and if you do it wisely and reuse what you can it can cost less than you think!

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  • Reply
    Sophie Mumology
    22nd October 2015 at 7:40 AM

    What an amazing transformation. I love it!!! Xxx

    • Reply
      Sarah Cantwell
      22nd October 2015 at 8:20 AM

      Aw thanks hunny! It was worth all the hard work xxx

  • Reply
    23rd October 2015 at 10:43 PM

    Wow! You did such a great job. It must have been a lot of hard work. I love it! Our garden is not suitable for a toddler so we spend no time in it but it has so much potential. We're getting our loft done soon and then next on the list is our garden. I want one just like this x

  • Reply
    Janine Dolan
    20th January 2016 at 2:58 PM

    I am in love with the Garden shed you have. Is there a bed in it?

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