Well, my dears, the little scrappy patch of wilderness at the back of my garden is finally no more.  The truth is, it’s actually been mostly done for a couple of weeks but I promise I haven’t just been holding out.

It’s just that I live in Manchester, England.  And while England is known the world over for being rainy, Manchester is known throughout England as ‘The Rainy City’.  So that’s saying something. But, hey the music scene is brilliant so ya win some, ya lose some.

As it goes, I’ve not had a sunny enough day to take pictures so that I could share the work we’ve done, never mind be able to use the space.  However, yesterday was a gorgeously sunny day!  Hurrah!  About bloody time as well.

You may recall from the last time you saw the back of my garden, there was a massive improvement to the space over the course of a single weekend.  A lot of digging, moving, weeding, planting, raking, re-planting, potting, blood, sweat, tears, etc etc was necessary as it was looking really quite horrible and sad.

Just as a reminder, this was the state of it when I took the original pictures on Thursday, 15th March.  If you haven’t seen it before, brace yourself.  It’s not pretty.

A heck of a busy weekend meant that by Sunday, 19th March, it looked like this:

A bit better, but not quite there yet.  I teased you a week later that we’d done more to the garden, including painting the shed…

And laying a wee patio…

But it wasn’t quite ready for the full reveal just yet.  I needed to add a few finishing touches before that was going to happen.  You’ll be happy to know the finishing touches are pretty much done (I say ‘pretty much’ because I don’t think a space is ever truly ‘done’!) so I do hope you like it. 

Right, getting on with it now!  Just a reminder of our before…

And – ta da! What it looks like now…

Ahhhhhhh that’s better, no?

Inspired by this pin, I added my own version of a herb garden on the front of the shed.  Just three little aluminium pots that I spray painted orange and hung with hooks.  I love the bit of contrast they provide with the bluey-green of the shed.

This planter had been purchased over 2 years ago – before we even moved into the house.  And it was languishing, never having been used and collecting dust, in our cellar.  I’d just never had a spot for it until now.  It was actually cream but as this space was going to be all about adding some colour, it too got the spray paint treatment.

This little orange bistro set was one I purchased from eBay for a mere £20.  Bargain!  I’ve seen similar sets new for around £100 so it pays to check what’s on the market second-hand before you buy!  I think it fits the space nicely.  (In my dream outdoor space, I’d have a big crazy candelabra/chandelier hanging from a tree over this table but alas, I don’t have a tree big enough nearby…)

Oh and didn’t W do well on laying the patio?  I think he’s done rather well considering this was never in our original plans!  Funny how plans just escalate, isn’t it?  *looks around innocently* Not that I’m complaining… ;)

I added some solar lights in bright colours so we can sit out there in an evening as well.

These little ones were only £2 each from Homebase but they matched the colour scheme so well, I couldn’t really resist.

Snazzy hardware completes the shed as well…  I simply spray painted the silver hinges that came with the fence gold and purchased a lovely pull handle for £8. 

I also added another 2 bags of stones to the front – that’s 4 bags of the stuff in total!  Crazy that such a small space would need so much – oh well, it does look better than the horrible concrete walkway that had been there previously.

And finally, a few pretty potted flowers give the space a little bit more colour and life.

As I had said in my previous post, we had to leave a patch of dirt to the right of the little patio for the cats.  If we didn’t, they’d be digging up the rest of our garden as well as our neighbours.  But I don’t think it looks too out of place and we’re going to plant a some rose bushes near the wall.  I’m hoping in a few years’ time the back wall is all full of climbing roses – so very English!

Oh and I changed the ‘curtain’ that was hanging in the window of the shed.  It’s actually just a £7 shower curtain stapled inside to look as though it’s ruffled.  When I finally order some outdoor fabrics, I will probably change it but until then, the colours worked so I figured why not!

Anyway, I hope you liked my little back garden blitz and hope it’s encouraged you that it doesn’t take loads and loads of money to transform however neglected a space you may have!  Some bargains, a few potted plants, maybe a creative planter or two, a lot of hard work and a bit of know-how (we learnt how to lay a patio from the internet!) is all you really need.

Any garden makeovers in your plans?


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