I wish my backyard looked like this!
Last year we decided that as we can’t travel overseas, we may as well bring the overseas to us. As such, our plan was to landscape the back yard and make it into a space where we enjoy being outside.
In the past, our back yard was a jungle. All along the two back fences we had wild ivy growing on them that had destroyed the fences underneath and with the weight of the ivy, the both fences were pulled down. We managed to work with the neighbours to have the fences replaced and now, it’s strange to look out the back window and just see timber paling fence as opposed to think dense ivy.
Thankfully, the ivy is now gone although I’m still out there at various times to pull out or poison stems as they come through the fence.
I used the opportunity of the two new fences to do a massive clean up of the weeds and palms in the area. Previously, the ivy created some dense shade for giant palms to grow but the garden needed a lot of watering and tending. I found it hard work and there was a part of me that wanted to re-do it all, start afresh and actually put in something that I like – not what the previous owner of the house liked.
So we brought in a landscape designer to help us with it all.
For as long as I’ve been married, I’ve been harassing my husband for a pergola. That’s it. That’s all I wanted out there.
I brought in some people to come in and quote for putting a pergola up but as I had to contend with a husband who wanted the entire back garden to become a golf putting green (!) so he could practice putting, I didn’t know how it would all be designed.
Besides, I wanted some space to be able to have an outdoor table and BBQ permanently set up. As I’m the one who is always outside, I won in the end (yay!) so last year, I finally bit the bullet and starting planning what I REALLY wanted – not just trying to please everyone.
I’m a big fan of container gardening so I knew I wanted to have my yard filled with pots instead of plants planted into the ground. As such we have three trees which we are keeping and they’ll be bordered by pavers or pots.
I have also taken some stems of the aspidistras and repotted them so they can continue to be with us in the new space. They’re not “Mediterranean” but they were mentioned a lot in George Orwell’s writing. As I’m a huge Orwell fan, the aspidistras are staying. What did I say about this garden being about me?🤣
My style is very much rustic – call it maybe, cottage gardening. When I mentioned to our landscape designer what I wanted, he must have been surprised because it went something like this….
“No metallics, black, grey sleek concrete”
“No modern features”
“No statues, copper fire pits, modern art.”
“No white, polished stuff”
“No cushions, curtains, tassels on anything”
“No futuristic looking pergolas”
He must have thought me mad.
Instead I told him to think, “rustic, earthy, terra cotta, wood, round, plants to be water hardy, coloured in greys, yellow and purple and geraniums – red only.”
He’s building out my pergola to be an open arbour where I can put a bougainvillea, or preferably grow a grapevine around it.
I’m going to bring a bit of Crete, Greece to our home. I’m going to have an outdoor space where I can just be…me. A place where I enjoy being out there to “potter” about in my own little world.
So he’s given us the designs and we’ve paid our deposit for the work to commence in March (fingers crossed all goes to plan). They’ll rip up the entire yard and repave the whole area removing all the green space, levelling out and repaving the entire yard. The lawn will stay as is (they’ll fix that) as will the massive paperbark tree and the two magnolias along the side of the house. In the corner, he’ll build a large open arbour frame where we can have our outdoor table and barbeque set up. Who knows, I may even get a wood fired oven out there.
Over time, I will have large pots where I can plant some lemon trees and olive trees, and lots of round pots with red geraniums, maybe some lavender (although that’s more French, but nevertheless)…
You can see my inspiration from my Pinterest board and see where my mind is at.
Anyway, let’s see how it goes but it’s something I’m looking forward to getting into and already researching (and buying some round pots) to get ready. I want the pots to look old by the time the yard is ready so that I can move them about and put them in place.
Let’s see what transpires….