Landscaping / Autumn / Weekend projects

Love your garden: Episode two

By The Secret Gardener

For the second episode of Love Your Garden we transformed the garden of a family with a very powerful story.

The build was hard, especially because of the great British propensity to experience all four seasons in a single day.

The mud was everywhere as the sky turned from rain to sun to snow and back again, and we tried to get the job done in the cold and wet without too much crying!

We had gorgeous Grand Natural Sandstone paving from Bradstone this time which we managed to get down before the weather turned chaotic on us, so the cement had dried before the building, plants, and other garden features arrived.

Some of these slabs were huge, due to the random nature of their design, and Tam and I had to watch our backs as we lowered them by their corners into position before tamping them down.

The paving looked incredible as it linked the house to the summer house and then to the lower part of the garden, but it also created the entertainment area for the outdoor dining and barbecue spots. We used crushed aggregates to slightly slope the paving away from the building so that when it rained it would draw the water away and onto the lawn area.

Of course the real challenge is to do all of this while there’s a whole camera crew working around you, and you’re also trying to keep everything as clean as possible.

We put a whole load of plastic cordex down to protect the paving as you can see here, and the crew were wrapped up and trying to stay warm and dry as they filmed the makeover.

Once the heavy work was done we stripped back the plastic, and thankfully the paving was in great condition and fairly clean underneath.

We gave it a spray down, and once we had the furniture in and the BBQ set up it looked absolutely stunning. The warm sandstone colour interacted beautifully with the red, white and grey themes.

The garden in the end really brought the whole family together with something for everyone to enjoy. It had space to relax and entertain for the adults, a playhouse wagon and trampoline, little hidden areas to explore, and a wheelchair-friendly design that was so important.

The sunken trampoline was a particular favourite, even though it was still damp. The kids jumped up and down screaming that they were getting wet and they didn’t care!

It was a delight to build this garden for this very deserving family, and there was a real harmony in all of the work right the way through from hard landscaping to the planting.

Meet the author

The Secret Gardener

The Secret Gardener is an award-winning landscaper, specialising in bringing colour and ambience to any space.

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