Our Garden: the digging commences

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Let the digging commence

Two major house projects have begun over the last two weeks; the internal rewiring (lots of dust!) and the external landscaping/drainage works (lots of mud!).

Our house sits at the bottom of a large rock outcrop. This is common in the area of town where we live and the rock itself isn’t an issue (unless you want to dig any of it out!).

The rock lends itself to a terraced garden at the back of the house, and at one time it must have been beautiful; with mature plants and flower beds and a series of fieldstone walls.

But, as the house and garden have been sadly neglected over recent (many?!) years, the terraces and beds have become overgrown, and in the case of the area directly adjacent to the back corner of the house, allowed to erode and slump towards the house.

As a result the ground level at the back of the house had risen against the side of the building and ferns and shrubs had taken over. To make matters worse there was no ground drainage, which meant that water ponded in the corner whenever there was heavy rain. This has caused external damage to the wooden sidings and internal damage to the floor in our laundry room.

So, before we have snow sitting, melting and draining into the house, it was time to do something about it!

This first photo is one I took during the summer, just before we moved in. This area of the garden was beautiful, if over grown, but you can see how much ‘green’ there is right up against the house.

Back Garden Before

Having spoken to a contractor and a landscaper, we agreed that we needed to dig out and level the area from the side of the house right around into the back corner, install a French drain and build a new retaining wall along the edge of the first terrace to ensure that the same erosion doesn’t happen again.

This involves rather a lot of excavation!

The main access route to this area of garden is up steps at the side of the house, between an ‘out building’ (we have no idea what it was used for!) and the garage. You can then walk around to the back of the house, along the side of the out building/shed/barn!.

To be dug - garage and outbuilding

This is the lowest level of the garden, and the plan is to drain around to this point.

Once past the out building, this is what you could see! All a bit of a mess really…

To be dug - in law and house

To be dug - corner at family room

To be dug - details

So, on Saturday, a digger arrived. Cue much excitement from the children and nervousness from the adults as we watched the landscapers attempt to get it up to the first terrace level… This involved driving it up a rather steep slope at the far side of the garage before taking it across the garden to the back of the house!

Digger arrives - route around garage

The digger

Then the digging commenced! We now have a very large muddy hole where once there was earth, grass, ferns and shrubs…

Digging commences

And this is how the garden looks today; a far sight from the first photo from three months ago!

Back Garden Today

A work in progress, and a messy one at that, but the end is in sight and in a few weeks we will have a level area of garden, drainage, a new wall and a reinstated first terrace! Watch this space :)

Oh, and as we are sadly lacking trees again, here is a shot of the same tree I included in last week’s post, taken on Monday in the sunshine! It’s a lot more orange now :)

The Tree

Joining in with Annie over at Manneskjur for the wonderful How does your garden grow?

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15 thoughts on “Our Garden: the digging commences”

  1. Good luck with the rest of the digging – it may look muddy now but it’ll be worth it when it’s all finished. Fantastic colours in those leaves :)

  2. What an amazing project, I see what you mean. We started off with no garden but weeds but even that seems mild compared with your exciting undertaking. I look forward to reading more :)

  3. Oh my such a lot of work, but it looks much better for it. I can relate to you on this one, after 8 weeks of building work here and mini-diggers and dumpers going back and forth (paired with the Great British weather!) and everythings a mud bath here. Hard not to let it get to you sometimes but knowing your home if going to be a drier place for it must help a lot. ‘It will all be worth it in the end’ is something I have been telling myself every day!
    And woah – that orange against that blue sky – I swear you have the best skies there!
    Sorry for the late commenting but we got back form holiday Friday and poor Kitty came down with a temperature and cold and I have been on cuddle duty ever since, so hardly online! x

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