This is the end of the back garden that the online estate agent didn’t try to sell us… I can’t imagine why ?
When we first saw it, there was dark blue cladding covering the brown frame and the previous tenants, keen gardeners had tables and racks of potting plants on the left from the kitchen window to right across the decking and vegetables growing in the dark soil beyond.
This is the earliest picture I have of the lower end of the garden, it was taken in early January not long after the “Inconvenience” episode on Christmas evening in the littlest room where the water came in under the back door.
You can see that by then I had taken up most of the slippery floor tiles from the yard and pulled off a lot of the dark blue cladding which hid a multitude of sins. The windows and door on the back of the house had already been replaced when we had “The Door” at the front, and on the day of the next picture, the doorman had called early to take the new back door off, and was returning at about teatime to put it back on for me after I’d done a rescue job on the floor and wooden surround.
After a very productive day with a claw hammer and crowbar, the back door was replaced, and sealed in with at least three tubes of, my flexible friend, the bath sealant. I managed to find a video I sent to my girls and took a screenshot to get this picture of the rotten decking to show you the patio as it stood then.
As things do, one thing led to another, the tiles I took up left the wooden steps even more unsafe, then with the steps gone, the decking would support even less weight and had to go too.
The old path was uncovered and when I discovered a wall around an old, lower level, a plan started to form itself in the murky depths of my little grey cells. I cut away just part of the decking, supporting the remaining soggy planks with some loose bricks added to the top of the old wall, and I uncovered the old path heading in a straight line to the back steps.
At this stage, all Hubby could see was a bad garden getting worse, but I had started to see the “Garden Potential”
I enlisted Hubby’s help and between the two of us we managed to pull the great monstrosity of a lean-to down and pile it onto what was left of the decking.
Did you notice the tangled Web of pipes leading into the drainpipe ? One of them wasn’t joined to anything at either end but was held in place by a metal bracket, seemingly as old and possibly as strong as the wall itself. I managed to cut through the metal pipe with a hacksaw, a job and a half in itself, and as for the black tar-like stuff where the lean-too roof had joined the wall, try as I might to remove it, it stayed stuck.
An investigative rummage under the bath upstairs revealed that the second old metal pipe was just as redundant as the first and then an expedition onto the shed roof on top of my ladder with my jigsaw saw Hubby’s patience dissappear after the third broken blade.
After sleeping on the problem and seeing things from a fresh perspective the following morning, once Hubby had left for work I clambered back up the ladder and instead of the uncooperative pipe I attacked the metal bracket with my jigsaw. Once loose from the bracket, the pipe just came out of the wall… With just a little encouragement from myself.
Of course, this left a hole in the wall… And what do we do with holes in walls to stop them from letting water in… We fill them with bath sealant … I’ll push a little grey coloured cement in on top of the white bath sealant when I do the crazy paving.
I changed tactic with the black gunky stuff on the wall, instead of trying to scrape it off, I painted over it. The only way to make the old brickwork look new again was to render it and since that was not even on the agenda, I filled the biggest holes, scraped off the biggest lumps, scratched away any loose paint from before, and splashed a little paint onto anything which looked like it might require a second coat.
The patio still needs to be levelled and re-laid, the steps are being improved, the stone seats still need bench tops, and the finishing touch of terracotta floor paint is a plan rather than an idea now. The shed door is still one of those things where if you don’t laugh you will cry. So for the moment, it is as it was … A joke.
Along with the “Crazy patio“, the new shed guttering and a few more splashes of paint it’s coming along nicely.