Before we get started, I’d just like to clarify that this post isn’t about new gardening ideas but rather, ideas for our new garden. You see, just a few weeks ago we moved into a new house primarily so we could gain a garden for our little girl to play in and us all to enjoy. I’ve also been working on a few gardening copywriting projects this year, so I’m feeling rather inspired and eager to get stuck into remodelling our small patch of land. Steve is also quite particular about what he’d like to include, so this garden plan is a mish-mash of both our ideas and hopefully will accommodate the needs and wants of the whole family.
This is how our garden looks right now. See if you can spot Alex lounging in the background and Ruby soaking up a little sun.
Zoning the garden
As you can see, we’ve got a relatively blank space to work with. There are a few obvious things on our to-do to-do list like trimming the hedge, painting the fence and treating or potentially re-laying the moss heavy lawn. After that, we plan to zone the garden into three areas for growing fruit and veg, space for Alex to play and a very important small area for cooking, eating and entertaining. The first zone starts at the patio as we work backwards towards the fence.
The entertainment area
We love a barbecue, my parents have always thrown the best barbecues and I’ve had the pleasure of helping to cater for some of them in the past with pizzas cooked on my pizza stone and summer cocktails. I’m hoping we will be able to hold our own soon. We’ve already got a patio table and chairs that my parents gifted us, which makes a perfect spot for a sunny breakfast. Ideally, I’d like to upgrade our barbecue and invest in something like one of the small garden gazebos from this garden camping range. It would be good to have somewhere guests can dive under cover if a little drizzle comes our way or where Steve could maybe set up a pop up bar. He’s a firm believer in barbecuing whatever the weather brings and wanted an awning for the yard in our previous home so that he could barbecue in the rain!
Also on the list is some pretty lighting. There are some solar lights on the back fence, however, I’d love some colourful festoon lights or fairy lights to brighten the space. I’ve already been looking around for lights but if you have any recommendations of where to buy some, give me a holler!
The play area
It’s hard to know what to do with Alex’s play area as inevitably, what she’s into now will not necessarily be the same in a couple of years. She loves swings and we don’t have a park with them very nearby, so we’re hoping to install a small swing and slide but leave plenty of space for running around or playing with other outdoor toys like paddling pools and balls. Her Grandad has mentioned he might build her a small wooden bench and table too where she could have her lunch or do some colouring in outdoors, which I think is a lovely idea.
The growing zone
Steve and I both love cooking, so we’re very excited to have a little more space to grow our own produce. We already have a fairly good collection of potted herbs and a bay tree, which we use for flavouring food and drinks (mmm, a spring of fresh rosemary in gin is lovely). We’re hoping to put a little greenhouse in the back right corner of the garden so we can grow some fruit and veg. Where borders have previously been dug along the path, we’ve started lining them with our herb pots. We’ll re-dig the borders when we get the chance.
I’m feeling really lucky to finally be in our new home, it’s nothing flash but it has space enough for the four of us and has a great layout for us too. Alex is showing a real love for gardening already and has her own tool set at my parents, she’s obsessed with bird spotting. Magpies in particular (maybe she’ll be more into football than me). While we don’t plan to have a dedicated ‘wildlife’ zone in the garden, we would like to encourage wildlife into the garden. I’ve found this guide from Ulster Wildlife helpful with planning. So far, Alex and my Dad have added a bird box on the back fence and a feeder on the side fence. I’m hoping that by next year we’ll have a border of flowers to attract butterflies and bees and perhaps a little log pile somewhere at the back too.
Up until now, I’ve never been a huge garden fan but more of a garden party enthusiast. Whether it’s age or the excitement of having our own little plot of earth I’m feeling really inspired and keen to get stuck in. If you’re a keen gardener and have factored similar priorities into planning your outdoor space, I’d love to see what you’ve done – leave your links in the comments.