It’s the heart of winter, but a lot of things have happened in the garden the past few months. Although I really loved how the garden was developing, there were some issues to resolve. First of all our previous terrace was far from practical. We had to put a carpet to be able to sit at the outdoor table to avoid tripping over the gaps between the concrete slabs. Second issue in the garden were the grass paths. They would have worked perfectly fine in a flat garden, but as you know, ours is far from flat. In winter they turned in a real mud hazard and we sometimes ended up on the ground. Third problem was the lawn between the house and the pond. It has never really worked and was in a bad condition. On top of that the pond was actually 30 cm higher than the lawn, with a not so nice little wall to look at. Since we like a more natural kind of planting a bit more structure in between would also be an improvement.

And so I started on making plans for a big make-over and ended up with the plan you see here below.

Clearly I am not pro in drawing plans, but it was clear enough to explain the garden contractor to show what I wanted 🙂

When they started I tried to save as much plants as possible, but the clean slate they made was cleaner than I expected. But than started the build up. We chose to use local Belgian blue stone as the main material. So pavers, stairs and retaining wall are all made out of this material. Only for some secondary paths we went for gravel.

I will walk you down the different parts of the works and start with the area between the pool and the house. Here they removed the lawn, brought up the soil level to get at the same height of the pool border, added a blue stone path next to the pool and around the existing pool terrace.

As you can see, where the lawn has been we now added planting and rocks (I do love rocks) in between the new path and the house. From the pool terrace two paths slowly slope down to the stairs to get to the lower terrace/patio zone. As we moved the main terrace more towards the walnut tree and a bit into the slope they had to put a retaining wall. I knew I wanted this wall in the same material as the pavers, but the garden contractor came up with a great idea to use big rough blue stone slabs. Not the cheapest solution, but I am thrilled with the result.

After putting the heavy rock slabs they could put the stairs towards the new terrace zone. The dining terrace now moved a bit more further from the house in a more shady corner in summer. We noticed that it’s nicer to have a naturally shaded place to eat in summer instead of using parasols all the time. We have a smaller terrace closer to the house where we have the full sun, so at least we have a choice .

The ‘secondary’ gravel paths finish our small tour through the works. One path connects our parking directly to the garden, which is quite handy. The other path runs in front of the house and connects the existing path to the front door with the garden.

Now that the hardscaping is done, it is time to start planning the planting. We already put in some larger bushes and trees, but the main planting will be done in March. Can’t wait to turn it in a real garden again and cover every bit of bare soil in plants.

You might have noticed the corten steel container in the herb garden. This will be turned in a water feature/pond with a gentle simple spout and planting. So that is about it. Hope you enjoyed this little tour of what happened in the garden the past few months. Any remarks or questions are always welcome