This project followed in part as a direct result of the workshop I built a few months previous. As well as having a quarter of the useable space gobbled up, the layout and design for a while had been in need of attention- things had sort of been added here and there, and a point was reached where it was time for a fresh start.


This was quite a large project overall, but broken down into smaller jobs. Basically the plan was to cut away into the shallow slope which encroached on our useable flat area and utilise a retaining wall to create a larger area of lawn, slab the areas which connected the back door, summerhouse, patio doors and side gate, and in so doing level out and consolidate the ground, which rose and fell in all the wrong places. The concrete stairs which led up the slope to a flat area of concrete slabs were to be repositioned to the left and replaced with gently curving steps leading up to a much larger area suitable for sitting and reading in the sun .



All of the above was done successfully, and in some cases the end result was better than could have been envisioned at the start, as I was inspired as I went to experiment and try new things- after all this was my own garden and I wanted to learn a few skills at the same time. Of course the downside to this is that things took a lot longer than they perhaps should have!


Take a look through the pictures below which attempt to show these 'mini projects' from start to finish.


























The Improvement Process...






The state of the slabs and garden beforehand- a dated mismatch!



Compacting hardcore as a firm base and starting the slabbing



making sure there is a slight slope and getting the spacing perfect



Areas behind and to the front of the summerhouse



The finished slabbing



Old concrete and new Sandstone slabs installed on the patio steps


Lower Retaining Wall



How the slope of the garden and lawn area used to be



Putting in a retaining wall of railway sleepers to provide more useable area at the bottom



The main wall ready for creosoting



Building Steps to the Upper Level



Compacted earth and gravel infill for the steps- a finish material will sit on top of this



The steps curve gracefully- very different from the straight concrete flight before!



Graded granite was used so the walls would not look like a mishmash of leftovers



The finished steps leading upward with bark chips




The Upper Sitting Area



Installing a smaller, second sleeper wall to give a larger area



Creosoting the sleeper wall and placing bark chips



The finished seating area- just enough shade and just enough sun!





Preparing and levelling the area for lawning



The newly laid lawn




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