Many of you who follow me on Instagram will know that the last few weekends have been dedicated to a garden clean up. It wasn’t that it was specifically bad, I just wasn’t feeling it. I’ve found the more time I’ve spent at home since not returning to work; the more time I have to let stuff that wouldn’t ordinarily bother me, bother me. Once I notice something, or it gets under my skin, that’s it; there’s no hope for it. This is a habit that gets increasingly boring for my husband, of that I’m sure!

The latest “thing” was the garden. The neighbours finally got their fence fixed (after much negotiation and my husband agreeing to put it up for them!), which then led me to use this as the perfect excuse to “spruce up” the garden. It’s only a spruce, as with a kitchen extension being on the horizon of hope, the patio and existing flower beds will all be moving forward by about 4 metres when the building work is completed. In the meantime it was just a case (well in my mind anyway!) to get the garden looking fit for one more summer of enjoyment before things were re-shuffled.


We painted fences and re-planted flowerbeds. There are some plants I can keep alive (I’m looking at you roses and lavender), and some I just cannot. Added into this mix an insistent pug whose hobby is to dig at any flower bed that has recently been planted, I fear my efforts may not last long. This year however I had a cunning plan; my husband has created raised beds around the planting, using wooden sleepers, in our effort to prevent said pug causing too much damage.

We’ve also invested in a bin store, which we then painted (I say we, cue husband) in Farrow & Ball’s “Hardwick White” to match the back door and windows. I think this makes it blend in a little better too? Quite frankly I was tired of staring at wheelie bins, and the thought of sitting out there for another summer with them watching over me tucking into my BBQ food was enough to call for the investment in a bin store!


We’ve also added some festoon lighting over the table, which I think will be a welcome addition on those warmer evenings. I still have plans to create a new bench seat up against the sunniest wall in the garden. I have a vision of myself relaxing there on a mountain of cushions in the summer months! (I think we all know that Boris is most likely to utilise this space the most!)

So why have we bothered? Doing all of this when an extension is imminent and it will all be moved anyway? Well, it’s quite simple really. Last summer was a write off for us. We did next to no socialising, and other than working on the house to keep our minds occupied in the wake of Teddy dying; we didn’t enjoy it. Not one bit. So this year, we’ve made a promise to ourselves to do just that, one last summer before the building work starts again. So even if the improvements are temporary, they’ll be appreciated for every moment they are there. All of the bricks, sleepers and everything new we’ve bought will of course be saved and moved to create a new area when the time comes. The only thing not staying will be the patio slabs because, well, they are hideous!


So after two visits from the architect, now we wait. I honestly cannot wait to see those drawings and set those wheels in motion for our next big project on this house. I’ve got grand ideas for this kitchen (most of which both husband and architect have attempted to quash already); and I plan to pour my heart and soul into the project to make it just right. As I’ve said before, I’m pretty sure this isn’t our “forever home”, but that’s not to say I don’t want it to feel like we’ll be here forever…..

Elle x

If you’ve missed the improvements we’ve made to the house already, check out our before and after gallery over on Keepmoat Home’s Inspiration Gallery – Home inspiration