Bungalow construction - Landscaping

Topsoil heap Ground clearing

Even though we had moved into the bungalow, the hard work wasn't over. The land to the rear of the plot was just as the ground work had left it - sloping upwards away from the bungalow, and largely of clay, although there was a massive pile of topsoil waiting to be used. The first job was to skim off all the weeds which, in the year since we had started, had totally taken over. This resulted in many trips to the local tip.

Ground clearing Ground clearing

Once we had skimmed the surface of the weeds we dug the ground over and began to spread soil to get it approximately level. Steve eventually managed to get our old rotovator going and that made the process a bit easier.

Raised vegetable beds Raised vegetable beds

We planned the top half of the plot to be vegetable and fruit garden and constructed these 4 raised beds. Despite best intentions to leave them fallow for the year and deal with any weeds which came through, we ended up growing potatoes, beans, corgettes and chrysanthemums.

Base for shed Shed being erected Base for shed

Betsy was keen to get the garden productive again as soon as possible, so a new potting shed was high on the list of priorities. Because of the tricky site access we bought a mixer and mixed up concrete for the base ourselves.

Greenhouse being erected

Next highest priority after the potting shed was a new greenhouse. Steve put in concrete footings and laid a block base using "leftovers" from the bungalow blockwork.

Retaining wall Retaining wall Retaining wall

Steve built a retaining wall at the rear of the bungalow using the remaining facing bricks together with an inner skin of concrete blocks for strength. We were so short of facing bricks that we used engineering bricks wherever they wouldn't show.

Spreading the topsoil Spreading the topsoil Spreading the topsoil

The heap of topsoil was gradually spread over the garden, levelling up to the top of the retaining wall. Steve did a bit each day, gradually nibbling away at the pile. Then one day when his back was turned it toppled over, denying him the pleasure of knocking the final column down himself!

Steps to the brook Ditch stonework Bridge stonework

Steve then turned his hand to some stone wall work, building steps down to the stream, creating sidewalls and a headwall for the ditch, and making the bridge over the stream a bit more attractive.