With summer well and truly underway here in the UK, I’m looking forward to joining Harry in our little oasis for some quality “me time”. However, with two pre-pubescents, 10 of their most excitable friends, a footie goal and a full size trampoline in the garden next door, creating a private area is rapidly moving to the top of my list.
Time for Operation Secret Garden!
Although not at the top of our Christmas card list, OneandSeventy’s previous owners did have some nice ideas.
Even if they weren’t always well executed.
Their cute BBQ area for instance was a great use of space and came complete with a handy, purpose-built storage unit… GENIUS!
Made out of plywood… FAIL!
Screened with large bamboo halves… GENIUS!
Tied together with green garden string.
They even installed two perfectly aligned wall-mounted solar lights, one of which you can see in the next photo… GENIUS!
Shame they don’t work… FAIL!
Tucked away between the Utility Room and the decking on the sunny East side of the garden, this small 3m by 2.3m (tapering to 1.7m) area is perfect for a spot of al fresco dining.
More importantly, it’s only overlooked on one side, by the rear of the houses opposite. With a little clever planting, I reckon we could easily make this area entirely private.
Did someone mention a hot tub?
The storage unit was sadly way past its prime by the time we arrived, so the first step was to remove those rotting shelves.
We elected to keep the brickwork to provide interest and height…
Ha! Ha! Ha! Who am I kidding?
More like removing those pillars and their footings seemed like far too much hard work for very little gain and that’s the reason they stayed!
I was keen to have a “secret entrance” and my heart was set on something like this stunning creation by my friend Glyn (who, as well as being blessed with green fingers, keeps a veritable menagerie of pets, bakes cakes, builds intricate lego models AND runs the best exercise classes I’ve found since moving to Staffordshire!)
Is there no end to this man’s talents? He makes me tired just looking at him!
My first thought was a purpose built structure, but they’re expensive and being an odd size (like the rest of this house, it seems), I couldn’t find anything to properly bridge the gap.
That left one option.
Beloved was going to have to dust off his toolbox.
Dum dum duuuuuuuuummmmmm!
It was his idea to build an arbour.
No really. It was!
Despite some head scratching, much umming and erring and quite a bit of huffing and puffing, he created a basic structure.
Which we stained, before attaching some willow trellis.
And I couldn’t be happier!
Just look at that masterpiece!
It almost seems a shame to cover it with plants, but my Jasmines are already clambering happily away up Beloved’s handiwork.
Summer flowering climbing Jasmine. Shame there’s no scratch ‘n’ sniff!
A few more additions and that arbour will be covered in green gorgeousness just like Glyn’s in no time.
As you may have noticed, I’m currently using this area to grow vegetables. I currently have tomatoes, peppers, chillis and spring onions on the go, so I’ll have to wait until after the harvest before I can move onto the next phase.
Then I plan to move the grow house to another part of the garden and, using more plants, I’ll be looking to continue in my quest to create the secluded area that I crave.
Although there might not be room for a hot tub.
If you’d like to see how my secret garden develops and keep up to date with all the happenings here in The World Suzy Homemaker, I would love to welcome you as a subscriber. Click here to follow along.
A hui hou,