This is the second post in my new This Little House series where I take you on a tour around our home. Last week I showed you our living room makeover and today it’s the turn of our front garden where we’ve had a new drive and fence put in and got our hands dirty doing up the garden! Last Sunday’s post went down really well so I’m hoping this new series is one you’re going to enjoy!
Our house was built somewhere around the turn of the century, our next door neighbour believes it was built in 1907, but there is a very similar house opposite with an 1894 plaque on the front so we think the house is about 110-120 years old. I really wanted an old house, especially one with red bricks and chimneys! The house extends out the back, which you can’t really see in these pictures as it’s a kind of ‘L’ shape, and one of the previous owners put a small ground floor extension on the corner to expand the kitchen.
With an old house comes a responsibility to keep it in good condition and after all the rain and storms we had down South earlier in the year we are having to do repair work to our three chimneys. We’d also like to get the front of the house repointed as some of the original mortar is wearing thin, but I love the charm of an older house and any work we do we want to make sure it’s honest to the age of the property.
As you can see from the before and after pictures, we had a builder come in and take up the old driveway. Previously we only had bushes in-between us and our neighbour so to expand the width of the driveway a couple of foot we had most of the bushes and a tree removed and a new close board fence built. We chose to have a gravel driveway bordered by red bricks to compliment the house and painted the existing fence between the front and back in Ronseal Willow paint – I just love this moss green colour! We can now fit two cars in the drive and don’t have to step into muddy puddles getting out of the car when it rains! We also had the kerb lowered which was a fairly easy process but Bournemouth Council sure do charge you an arm and a leg for a couple of hours work putting one in!
We replaced the old security light with this lantern style one from John Lewis. My Dad installed it for us and it looks really pretty lit up in the evening. I picked up the wooden heart from Home Sense and this hangs on the wooden gate – we have our Christmas wreath hanging there in winter!
The front garden was a project we wanted to undertake ourselves. Once the driveway was in we had to level out the garden to match. This involved many trips to the dump to deposit bucket after bucket of mud! I had a quick Google to see how it should be done and as the ground didn’t have to be weight bearing to support a car all we had to do to prepare it was to compact the dirt and add something that’s called an ‘aggregate’ (basically bashed up rock and gravel) – this is to make sure the ground stays level. This was then covered by a sheet to stop weeds growing through and then topped with gravel.
Everything we bought was from B & Q and cost us around £100 so I’d definitely recommend doing it yourself if you’re thinking of having a makeover. We added a wooden border to the flower bed, pruned and dug up some of the plants and planted some lavender, hydrangeas, rose bushes and a rhododendron. I’m really proud of our efforts and get so much pleasure pulling in to the driveway each day after work– simple things hey!
Here’s some pictures of the transformation – I hope it inspires you to do some renovations of your own, or just get a little green fingered! Hopefully the work has added some value to the property and made it more sellable when we decide to move on.
Make sure to check back next week when I take you back inside for another room transformation!