Monday, April 30, 2007

Before and After, Another Garden Project

A garden is never finished, there is always something or other to do. I recently started working on my garden shed and turned it into a small garden cottage, or so I've been told by my fellow garden bloggers. That shed had been an eye sore for far too long and I'm glad that is looking so much better now. There was however one part of this problem area around my shed, that I haven't shown you before and with good reason, because it looked really and truly horrible. Every time I walked past my shed, I averted my eyes from this painful eye sore. Here, see for yourself.

The before picture is not a pretty sight, you'll agree.

And this is what it looks like now, much improved, don't you think? I like the after picture much, much better.

It took me most of last weekend to make this area of my garden look more presentable. First I cleared away all the rubbish, then the under-gardener was asked to put up a few planks to block the view from all the wood that's stored at the side for the wood burner.
The pear tree that is close to the shed is forming mini pears at the moment as you can see here, and in the background on the left the new planks that hide a myriad of sins. Then I whipped out my trusty paintbrush and painted the whole thing in white and yellow, after I had finished painting the other side of the garden cottage white.
It took 3 layers of white paint to hide that horrible brown. But all the hard work was worth it and I am very pleased with the end result. And there was more to paint, there's no rest for the wicked, is there? ;-)

From the previous owners we'd inherited this rather old and decrepit wheelbarrow. It's made of iron and therefore very heavy, even when it's completely empty. Not very handy, you'd agree. So I thought of something else to put this wheelbarrow to good use.

First I asked the under-gardener to drill a few holes in the bottom of the barrow.
Then I gave the wheelbarrow a good clean and painted it a dark blue.
It looks like medium blue in some of the pictures but in reality it's a dark blue. After I had finished painting the wheelbarrow and the paint was completely dry, I put a few crocks in the bottom.
Then I filled the wheelbarrow with a good quality potting compost. The crocks are there to ensure good drainage and to prevent the earth from blocking the drainage holes.

On Saturday I had gone out to buy some plants to put into the wheelbarrow once it was finished.

On Sunday the wheelbarrow was planted up, the plants got a good soak and then I wheeled it over to the garden cottage, where it's taking pride of place.

There, all better now.

To think of gardens as you think of decor is to miss much of the satisfaction that the subject offers. No matter what the media tells you, gardens can't be treated like outdoor rooms.
Stefan Buczacki, The Guardian, 19 February 2000


Kylee said...

Very, very nice, Yolanda! I'm totally loving that wheelbarrow! Don't you love the sense of satisfaction that you get from doing little projects like that? :-)

Layanee said...

A wonderful addition to your garden and, you recycled!

Libbys Blog said...

Perfecto! See I'd easily win with your garden. Well maybe I should wait another year and get more organised, (pinching your ideas) then maybe if I'm happy enter next year!!! ;o)

Annie in Austin said...

What a great idea, Yolanda, and so much more intelligent and realistic than most of the stuff in magazines. Those articles tend to redo an area by banishing all the useful equipment, painting it all, then placing decorative but useless dodads on the new shelves, instead of using them to store what one needs.

You chose to screen the view of the necessary wood with planks and paint, while still accepting the importance of its existence.
And then recycled both the wheelbarrow and the broken terra cotta into something interesting.

Good for you, kiddo!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Susan said...

Looking good, Yolanda. I love the blue wheelbarrow, especially in front of your newly restored cottage. That bench looks like a lovely place to sit. What's the view from there?

— Susan from South of the River

Gotta Garden said...

Bravo, YE! (Can you come over and redo everything here??) You must have boundless energy! It looks terrific!

Robin said...

You've been very busy. I love the wheel barrow, it goes perfect with the new garden cottage look. When I complete a project like that I often wonder why I didn't do it sooner.

Pam/Digging said...

Yes, that does look quite nice, YE. I know exactly how much work it was to paint that shed because I do all the painting in our household, alas. Now that I think about it, I also do all the drilling, concrete setting, and sawing too. Hey, where's my under-gardener?

Just kidding--being handy with tools is actually very liberating. I don't have to ask and wait for something to get done. I just do it myself. But perhaps your talented under-gardener is a perfectly willing partner in your gardening pursuits.

Entangled said...

Echo, echo.....I too was wondering where I can get such a talented and helpful under-gardener! Your shed makeover is so clever and beautiful!

Julia said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I am so happy that I am not the only one to paint my garden shed. Mine was painted in "perfectly good" brown paint. What is the point if it is ugly? I love that colour of yellow you chose. Yellow is my favorite colour and that yellow is beautiful. It looks like a grainy-mustard colour. I love it.

I only wish I could HEAR what your garden sounds like! Is there much birdsong, I wonder? There must be. It is a beautiful spot.

shirl said...

Good job Yolanda – problem sorted. How fresh the whole area looks now. The wheelbarrow makeover just finishes it off nicely.

I agree the garden is never done. I will be using my old wheelbarrow tomorrow – to barrow the two tonnes of gravel delivered today! I am refreshing garden paths - another really satisfying job.

Carol said...

I am envious of your wonderful garden shed. We aren't allowed to have them where I live...I may just have to move so I can have one.

Very well done! Come fix my garden, okay?

LostRoses said...

Yolanda, you've outdone yourself as usual. It looks fabulous! We all have that accummulation of garden junk though, don't we? You've sorted yours out very well.

I had to laugh at my neighbor who was so proud at trimming her hedges down. What she didn't realize was the new "view" included all her junk that the hedge had previously hidden!

karin a said...

I haven't had a possiblity to visit you blog for a while since my PC "crashed down".

Your borders in the previous post look beautiful! And your "new" garden shed looks really nice. We've just finished our first project of the year, new trellis! I like finishing projects but what I really like with gardening is that there is no end and always something new to do. :)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss. Thanks for all your comments!

Kylee: I was very pleased with a job well done.

Layanee: recycling is good!!!

Libby: LOL And did you notice? There's another addition to your *do as Yolanda does* list. Poor you, there is really no rest for the wicked, is there? grin

Annie: I'm a rather down to earth person. Pretty is good, but it has to be functional first. We need to store the wood for the woodburner somewhere, so this was what I came up with. And I love recycling, it's cheap and good for the environment.
Like you, I find those magazine make-overs so annoying, not at all practical and realistic.

Susan: the wheelbarrow is rather cottage-y, isn't it? I'll shoot a few pics and put them on Bliss so that you can see the view from the bench. :-)

GG: sorry, don't have the time. :-)There is still lots of painting to do here as I have to paint my conservatory. And that's a big job because I have to paint both the inside and the outside. There will be pics of that soon on Bliss. The weather is still good so I'm doing lots of painting outside.

Robin: thanks, it does like nice, doesn't it? I know why I didn't do it sooner: no time. We've been busy these past 6 years renovating our house. Now we finally have more time to do garden projects that were long overdue.

marl1 said...

Over 'bezig bijtje' gesproken :-)
Heb je mooi gefixt- vind het ook een leuk modelletje....
En under-gardener--> die hou ik erin!

OT Tot voor een paar jaar wilde ik ook geen oranje (+brandweerrood) in de tuin, maar toen zag ik die hot-borders...De kleur heb ik alleen in het regenboogstukje-niet overal dus..
En ja, ik heb bakken foto's en wil actueel blijven.Vandaar het dagelijkse posten.

Tyra said...

I love "before and after". Very well done Yolanda!

Thalia said...

Fantastic work, Yolanda. I loved the wheelbarrow! Your work is very creative and absolutely inspirational!

Bert said...

What a bit of paint does, is quite astonishing!! Well done , Yolanda.
It look likes a new shed now. And the flowering wheelebarrow, is great idea! Love to see how it will devellop! Ciao!

Nicole said...

That is just amazing the amount of work yo got in a weekend, and beautiful results, too!

Molly said...

What a coincidence. The handle broke on our old wheelbarrow and my undergardener pronounced it unrepairable. I told him I wanted some holes drilled in the bottom, then, so I could use it as a planter. I think now I will give it a coat of paint before planting it up because yours looks wonderful with the dark blue.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

Pam: I do all the painting too around here! And I can use a drill , but the steel was too thick so I needed someone strong for that job. ;-)

Entangled: unfortunately we can't buy nice and sturdy under-gardeners at the garden center. Such a pity, don't you think?

Julia: yellow is one of my favorite colours, it's so cheerful, don't you think? What colour did you paint your shed?

Yes, there is birdsong at Bliss, quite a lot actually. These last few weeks the birds have been waking me up with their dawn chorus around 5, which is nice. I listen to them sing for half an hour or so and then fall asleep again.

Shirl: I hope your refreshed garden paths look good again!

Carol: I don't think your garden needs fixing. From what I've seen so far, it all looks good!

Lostroses: a view at your neighbours junk is not of the good. ;-) She had better let those hedges grow tall again or remove all the junk. :-)

Karin: a pc crash is never fun. I hope you didn't lose anything. New trellis sounds wonderful!

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

I'm just starting a garden shed project. Our shed was in such bad shape we are having it torn down and replaced with a new one. The new building won't be a shed exactly...but a screened porch where we can try to enjoy eating in the garden without being plagued by mosquitoes. I hope it ends up looking as nice as yours.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens

Gerti said...

heb weer genoten van je blog verhalen en foto's; je boft natuurlijk vreselijk met je Bliss team ;-)

Ki said...

Wow amazing transformation. Undergardener - love that word. ;) Have to remember it. How do you manage to keep all the cats from fighting?

stadtgarten said...

Your shed has become absolutely lovely!
Groetjes, Monika

KC MO Garden Guy said...

WOW!!!!! You did a wonderful job. I can just imagine what your house looks like if you spent 7 years renovating it. Great Job!!!! Keep the pic's coming.

Carol said...

So well done Yolanda and really worth the effort! I also love what you've done with the old wheelbarrow!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hello all, welcome to Bliss!

MSS: I wish you lots of success with your garden shed project. Hopefully it will be revealed in all its glory on your blog.

Gerti: fijn dat je zo genoten hebt en ja, dat team he, beter is er niet!!!

Ki: under-gardener is a good word, a very good word. ;-) All my cats get along with each other. When a new cat (mostly a kitten) join the group, it is selected for its sweet and friendly temperament. It has to get on with everyone. We love peace, not war at Bliss. :-)

Monika: Danke!

Garden Guy: thanks for the compliment and don't worry there's plenty more pics to drool over at Bliss. :-)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hallo Carola,

I had just send my comment when yours came in.

I'm very happy how the wheelbarrow turned out. The plants too, because they are growing away like mad in there. :-)

Still no rain? Here we are promised a good chance of rain (80 to 90 %) next monday or tuesday.


rusty in miami said...

Very nice, you most feel very satisfied. The before and after is like night and day. I been looking for an old wheel wheelbarrow to do the same in my garden.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hello and welcome to Bliss,

Marleen: it takes one to know one. ;-)

Tyra: I'm very happy with the after too. ;-)

Thalia: I hope to give other gardeners some idea of what is possible with a bit of paint and some old garden equipment.

Bert: it does look new now, doesn't it? When I look out of the window I see a very pretty garden cottage instead of an old boring brown shed.

Nicole: it took me the best part of saturdayafternoon and most of sunday but the pleasure I get from it will last a lot longer. ;-)

Molly: I am curious to see how your old wheelbarrow will look once it is finished. I'll check out your blog!

Rusti: yes it was very satisfying to see the end result and it's not so bad to get all these compliments from my fellow bloggers either. ;-)
Hope you find that old wheelbarrow!

Gorden & Planten said...

Gratulation zum super umgesetzten Garten-Projekt! das Lesen solcher Vorher-Nachher-Stories macht immer Freude.