With the burst of warm weather, we all start meandering outside for longer and longer, don’t we? But initially it’s a bit depressing – just how exactly does the garden get so untidy while we’re all snugged up by the fire for a few months? And it’s always NOW that we start thinking that this is the year we’re really going to get to grips with the garden – not just cut the grass, but create some proper storage, sort out that messy area, and maybe even make ourselves a fire pit finally.
So we thought that as we were about to embark on our annual Get the Garden Sorted pilgrimage, you might like to follow along with us.
We’ve been heading outside and have started getting to grips with the bigger jobs.
And if I say so myself, some of the results have been flipping spectacular.
First on our list was tackling The Hedge.
Well – I say ‘hedge‘, but you’ll grasp more what I mean if I point you at ‘Over The Hedge’ the movie. Yes, we have our very own Steve.
When we purchased the house 24 years ago, the properties that adjoin the foot of our garden had sold the bottom halves of their gardens to a developer. The owners of our house had instantly planted some leylandii across the foot of our garden to screen out the two new houses about to be built, and they were already about 5′ tall when we moved in, with good hedge-like ambitions.
Contrary to popular opinion, we don’t hate them at all. Over the years, they have formed a fabulous barrier – they are filled with birds nesting every Spring, they provide a brilliant windbreak from the biggest winds, and definitely cloister us from the noisier part of the neighbourhood.
Only they just keep right on growing…
Once they got over head height, we started to pay someone to come and trim them once a year.
Only of course as they grew, the price grew too.
Last year it cost us £350 to give them a short back and sides… and it’s an expense we just can’t keep up. But nor can we allow Steve to just keep on growing, either.
So, we decided this was the year we Took Matters Into Our Own Hands.
A lovely neighbour volunteered the fact that they had a small scaffold tower that might be of use (too right it would – neither of us fancied scaling the 20′ sides of Steve with a step ladder…), and combining the in-air stability with a properly nifty Long Reach Hedge Trimmer we decided to give it a try.
And it only worked! With a bit of manoeuvring of the tower, combined with some judicious climbing on the shed roof and the neighbours compost bin, Steve was looking sharp for another year.
But then the little bit of magic happened.
Because we’d cleared all the space between the shed and Steve to cut him, we realised how much space there was. And Mr littleStuff had a properly amazingly GENIUS idea.
He took his saw, and trimmed Steve a little (lot) more.
And look what he did…
Where once Steve had been a rather tired and bristly green down to the ground, he was cut away – and we were utterly astonished at what was revealed. We just kept looking at the space!
We soon got to work, clearing the messier areas of the garden into our new-found storage bays. We even managed to swallow up our entire wood pile…
Between the trunk of each Leylandii tree that makes up the hedge, we’ve now got a bay for buckets, one for large flower pots and sweet pea / bean canes, and a double bay for the logs.
And it’s ALL tucked away behind the shed, using up wasted space that we never even knew existed.
So now we’ve got amazing storage space, a trim hedge, we saved ourselves £250 after we’d bought the hedge trimmer (which will last for years, and more than pay for itself) – and a HUGE sense of accomplishment!