We have never had a space to sit and have a meal outside, though we frequently take a picnic blanket up to the orchard or veg patch to lounge around on a sunny day.
In September of last year, when I was 7 months pregnant and on crutches, John attacked the muddy mess and, over one weekend, he barrowed in around 3 tonnes of hardcore and pea gravel.
This gave us stable footing in the patio area for the first time since building work started 4 years ago. The slabs are there just as a temporary measure, where the grey hardcore is the ground is solid and dry... which is amazing, considering what we had before.
|This was just before the builders put in drainage.|
There is a pump in the middle of the photo which was on constantly to stop the kitchen flooding.
Our drainage issues are now completely fixed - the UK had one of the wettest winters on record 2013/14 and we had no problems, which is amazingly fab and proves that so far we are doing it right.
Our home is terraced and the garden slopes upward from the back of the house - along with the hill, the drainage and the access problems we also have an enormous wall to contend with. It used to be the wall of our old kitchen, it's free standing and pretty solid, it also serves as a pretty good windbreak and makes the patio area a nice wee sun-trap. We're leaving it up, maybe painting it? maybe training a plant or 2 up it?
We also have a lovely couple of pieces of dry stone wall (dry stane dyke) which we plan on tidying up and extending.
So as you can see we've got (literally) tonnes to do and I'm under strict instructions from my physiotherapist not to do any gardening let alone any landscaping, the work on the patio may be a long time in finishing yet.
On the to do list for the patio area:
- Cart in another few tonnes of hardcore and similar amount of sand
- Choose and lay some proper paving
- Build our gabion retaining walls
- Landscape the hill and plant it up with herbs
- Build in a set of stairs and a ramp for wheelbarrows
I've got loads of inspiration for all my plans over on my pinterest boards and I'll post up my sketches of our plans soon.