Design – City space or country cottage? Garden Makeover Part 1

Following on from Rose Cottage, where we’re busy snagging like crazy for the grand Garden Party reveal in July, another little listed cottage in Ladybarn just around the corner in Fallowfield was crying out for a garden makeover. The area of Fallowfield is a funny one, full of students and amazing old houses brutalised into HMO’s, but also dotted with still owner-occupied hidden gems, loved for their character, affordable prices and great location ten minutes from the city centre and the wonderful West Didsbury.

This 2.4m by 4.5m garden is both city and country cottage space and light is needed into the small yard, however privacy and security are issues. There were a couple of rickety chairs to perch on – no sipping Pimms in comfort here at the moment, and although the gentle fragrance of the rosemary bush and jasmine fill the air, little else tempts the owner outside to enjoy her only outside space. Even the cat Oscar, renamed Tosca as he seriously never stops shouting, tends to play in next door’s garden, how rude! What’s needed is somewhere to entertain friends, sit and relax, cook, read, plus it must look great too. All in 10.8 sqm!

Moregeous is on the case….

Cottage garden view from the back door pre-works

Post Mr Moregeous dug up the trees and I 'Karchered'

So above you can see that the rosemary bush and bricked bed has gone, as has the small tree from the first picture – no plants were hurt in the filming of this garden, all were replanted elsewhere 😉 Mr M might dispute the fact that the tree was small as he was the one who dug it up and had to move it, damn he’s good. Below is the opposite end of the yard which was just as packed. All the loose fencework was removed and dodgy brick and timber plinths removed until it was time for my favourite job – jet washing with the karcher. It’s filthy, wet work which is oddly therapeutic and satisfying, I love it. All the walls were done, along with the windows, gutters, floor – if it didn’t move, it was jetted, as was Mr M a couple of times, just for a laugh.

Opposite end of cottage garden space pre-works

Rose tree pruned, beds removed / reduced, fencing partly taken down, all cleaned up....

So as I write the guys are beavering away with my list of ‘To Do’s’ – widening the gate space, currently only 700mm wide where standard gates are 900mm wide, taking down the very wobbly brick pillars on the wall as they almost collapse when Tosca jumps on them, forming new pillars and brickwork bases for the new fencing which the owner has chosen, cabling for an outside light, piping for an outside tap and last but not least laying some gorgeous stone to cover that awful concrete floor!

Oscar/ Tosca exploring the skip pile

Decisions, decisions on the flooring, the ones below were a bit too random in colour variation for such a small space:

The ones below were more uniform in colour, I liked the mixed size pattern but they are made from concrete and are a wee bit plasticky looking. Cheap at £80 for 5msq though:

Finally plumped for the ones below being hoisted into the front garden:

Here you can see them in the crate, Indian Black Limestone at around £20 per m:

The client had fallen in love with this Woodbury panelling from B&Q:

So all that was left was to pick a light……..jeez!!

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