A New Front Garden
As mentioned in a previous post about garden makevovers, the diggers have been and gone. We have a new front garden!
I usually do fencing and garden landscaping myself. However, there was quite a bit to do on the front garden. There would be lots of waste material to get rid of which would be difficult, and I wasn’t that confident in hanging two large gates perfectly either. We therefore got a quote from ML Landscapes and decided to get it done professionally. Marc and his staff were all really nice. They told us their plans, turned up when planned, worked hard and did a really good, professional job to high standards. Perfect.
The fact that Marc manages the greens for the golf course also meant that he had a local place to take the waste from our garden as well. The golf course was in need of some sand to fill in certain areas. We needed to get rid of quite a bit and the golf course is just down the road. Handy for us, good for the golf course and easy for Marc as well.
I did a little bit of preparation before the workers arrived. I removed the trampoline from the garden.
That was soon sold on Facebook. The same was true for the drainage pipe that I had used as a retaining wall for the trampoline. I took it out of the hole and sold it. I’d already removed the rotten decking. I dug up a few plants that I wanted to keep. I did think about keeping more but in the end decided to go with a blank canvas instead as none of them were in great condition.
A New Patio
The first job for ML Landscapes was a new patio. As I predicted the hardest part of this job was removing the timber that had been bolted to the house for the deck. This was another reason I didn’t want to do this job myself as I couldn’t remove it. They managed to get it off after quite a bit of work, lots of saws and some intensive angle grinding. With that done it was time to scrape away a whole load of sand and some concrete blocks that the deck had been anchored into. This all went into the hole that the trampoline came out of. Moving such quantities of material is so much easier with a digger than doing it by hand.
It was then time to prepare the surface for the patio with some hardcore and lots of whacking with a whacker plate. Yet more heavy duty tools that I wouldn’t have had.
Next were two large builders bags of sand. Quite why there was so much I’m not sure as they didn’t use that much of it and the rest went into the hole – the last thing we needed here was more sand! The patio was soon cemented down and then they were back the next day to grout it. It was soon looking good.
We’d been impressed by the work from ML Landscapes so decided to tell them to get on with the next stages as soon as they could. This included levelling and turfing the rest of the front garden and constructing a fence and gates for us.
A New Fence
Marc and his team were back sooner than expected and set to work on the new fence. First they had to remove the old one – I don’t think it put up much of a fight as there really wasn’t much to it. Next they had to scrape away some sand and grass to make the surface a little more level and then it was in with the posts.
The posts for the gates were pretty substantial 8×8 timbers that they sunk really deep into the ground. Just what we need to withstand the winds that we get here. They were really careful the whole way through and were checking levels and measurements the whole time so that thing lined up perfectly. They also came in to ask us our preferences if there was ever an option or different ways to do things.
While some of them were working on the fence, someone else was driving the digger and scraping away trailer loads of sand and old grass. This was taken for use on the golf course and soon we had a much more level garden. Gone was the strange hump in the middle and the whole thing was now level with the drive. Slats were added to the fence too so it was starting to take shape as the sea mists rolled in.
Gone too were the other lumps and bumps and most of the straggly looking shrubs. We did get them to work around the Cordyline by the gate post and also to dig up a cotoneaster and move it to the front of the garden. The gates were fitted and looked good. Another section of fence was built on the other side of the gates too.
They were back the next day with rolls of fresh green turf. Laying the turf really transformed the garden. The cotoneaster looked good in the corner of the garden too. Unfortunately they ran out just as they were about to finish so said they’d be back next week once they had more turf. You could tell they were annoyed by this as there wasn’t much left to finish things.
However, they managed to get hold of some leftover turf from another job so were actually back first thing the next day (Good Friday). This meant that it was all finished for the Easter weekend for us. We had also decided that the little bit of fence on the far side of the gates was a little too high so they lowered that for us while they were here.
A New Garden
All that was left to do was for us to keep it watered. Marc left a sprinkler attachment for us to borrow for a while. We did also go around and lift most pieces of turf when they weren’t looking so that we could install a cable for a robot mower. It was so much easier to do it before the grass had rooted. I also put our house sign up on the fence. The sun then came out and we were able to sit on the patio and enjoy our new garden.
It did feel a little strange getting people in to do such things but it was well worth it. Not only was it easier but it took a tenth of the time it would have taken me to do it on my own. I’m sure the quality is better than I could have managaed as well. ‘Many hands and the correct tools and experience make light work’. It was certainly light work for me as all I had to do was supply coffee and biscuits! ML Landscapes were really good and I’m sure we’ll have them back soon to do some more fencing elsewhere in the garden. We’ll have to pay the bill for this lot first though!