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Project Garden

Project Garden: The Finished Garden!


Last Summer we called time on having a shabby garden. Bit by bit it had gotten away from us and turned into one of those gardens. Hands held up – I was embarrassed about the state of it (and you’ve seen inside my house, I don’t embarrass easily!). So embarrassed that I stopped asking people over to the house. You can relive the full horror here.

In the last year we have gradually reclaimed it as a space to be enjoyed not avoided and by the Summer Solstice it was looking good enough to have a barbecue with actual outsiders and everything. It may have taken us a year of work but in all reality we could have packed that into five or six weekends. Sounds simple but you know that’s not going to happen when you have children in the equation. Or lazy adults for that matter.

We all know slow and steady wins out in the end and we now have a garden to be proud of. I cannot tell you how dreamy it feels to be able to play on the grass again or how excited I feel every time I sit at the dining table – did I tell you we haven’t had an outside dining area since we moved here eight years ago?

Gone are the crumbling raised beds, the bald lawn and the numerous broken plastic toys and we’re left with a serene space. The balance beam you see was being discarded by the local school so we picked it up and brought it home. It needs a coat of paint and some marine varnish as does the bench so I still have a few jobs on my to do list!

To re-lay the lawn we roped in some family to help with rotavating the existing lawn and then allowed it to settle for a week. Mr Kat laid the turf in two sections mostly because it weighed too much to buy it all in one go! As you can see the first section of turf has taken well and is already growing long by the time the second section went down a week later. Now it has been in for a few months I can report that the grass has survived the summer well and didn’t need watering beyond the first week or so. We’ve thinned the plum tree a little to give it the best chance over the Winter in this tricky spot but so far it’s goring well across the whole garden. The rolls of turf cost around £3 each from B&Q (I did notice them on offer over the last Summer bank holiday for less) and in my opinion they have been great quality – no weeds, no dying back, all lush green grass.

I know you’re dying to see the final timelapse of the lawn being turfed (watch out for the worms and the birds in the middle). So here it is along with the reveal of the finished garden!

If you’re not seeing the video click here to view it on YouTube x


Project Garden Housewife Confidential-7

Project Garden Housewife Confidential

Project Garden Housewife Confidential-13

Isn’t it the best? I know it’s not cutting edge or likely to win any awards but when it comes to a family back yard this one is tops. So good in fact that I even invited my friends over for coffee. Thank you B&Q for helping us get our garden back and for stocking all of the best toys (because really; paint, power tools and DIY are about as good as it gets). And thank you to you guys for your advice, encouragement and for not disowning me when you saw how bad it really was. Let’s have coffee…

Project Garden Giant Pavlova Tea Party from Housewife Confidential-3

Project Garden Giant Pavlova Tea Party from Housewife Confidential-11

With thanks to B&Q for supporting Project Garden. For more information about this kind of post please read my disclosure for readers page. Kat xoxo

Read all of my Project Garden posts.

project garden

Project Garden: Building a Deck


Help my patio-1

This Spring we have been working on the big jobs needed to give us a garden we can use. The Winter storms blew down the fences and took our 70s wall with them. We replaced the fence posts as planned and the wall has been put to good use – see if you can spot where…

Last year you might remember that we were thinking about putting in a patio. We decided to take your advice and plan the patio well. We were in B&Q costing it and figuring out our timings when we looked across the aisle at the decking.

We just hadn’t considered it before but after a lot of research, planning and costing we decided a deck was definitely the right move for our garden. It’s more cost effective, quicker to build and less effort to take out should we need to.

B&Q, as ever, have a superb video on building a deck which I recommend you watch. We used the guidance from that video to plan our deck. We made the deck 2.4m x 3.6m, 2.4m being the length of on deck board. This gave us enough room for the expanding wooden table we bought which we love!

How to Build a Deck in One Weekend

The whole deck cost us around £200 including all of the fixtures and fittings. We bought our materials on a weekend when there was an offer on decking ahead of a bank holiday. That’s a great saving compared to a patio of the same size not to mention the difference in time to build.

There is every chance Mr Kat could have built it in a day if he had got started early and not had the children rushing around. As it was it took him a day and a half which is not bad going at all. He built it over a bank holiday weekend so by the Monday we were enjoying our first barbecue on the deck.

I can not tell you the difference having an outside dining space has made in the last couple of months. After seven and a half years in this house we really appreciate the value of creating this deck.

Housewife Confidential How to Build a Deck

Here’s a shot of the deck this morning, slightly different angle to the shot above to hide the fact that the remainder of the wall is a pile of rubble on the ground! All of our garden furniture is on the deck currently because – GRASS! Next post will be all about the return of the lawn I promise.

Here is the timelapse of deck building to show you just how simple it really is to make:

With thanks to B&Q for supporting Project Garden. For more information about this kind of post please read my disclosure for readers page. Kat xoxo

Read all of my Project Garden posts.

project garden

Project Garden: Flower Pots


With the onset of Spring, Project Garden is back in action and while Mr Kat is busy building something (more on that soon!) the children have been planting flowers.

B&Q have brought out a new system for growing bedding plants which eliminates polystyrene, cuts out peat and uses recycled plastics. Wowee guys, full marks for effort there. It’s called easyGrow and it makes use of Teabag Technology to deliver these improvements.

easyGrow in Store

We headed to our local store and picked up a few trays to brighten up our doorstep. The children took charge of planting and here is the video they made…

If you can’t see the embedded videos please click through to Housewife Confidential.

While I’m showing videos – how much do you love their new ad campaign? I’ve got the power!

With thanks to B&Q for supporting Project Garden. For more information about this kind of post please read my disclosure for readers page. Kat xoxo

Read all of my Project Garden posts.

project garden

Project Garden: Beach Hut Shed

Kat form Housewife Confidential gurning and painting a shed

Thank you to everyone who gave me advice about patios in the comments and on Twitter – you made me realise that it’s not a job to do on a whim when you have a spare couple of hours. We shall be planning the patio with more care and I will bring you a round-up of all of the great advice B&Q sent to me as well. I haven’t decided if we’ll do it this Autumn or wait for Spring now – advice on this welcome as always.

We have managed to complete on of our big projects which was to paint the shed. Oh the shed! Do you remember the first time I bemoaned its orangey-ness? I’ll help you out – that wee baby I’m holding is Betsy. Yep, nothing happens fast around here.


My big inspiration for the shed is from The beach huts which line the promenade in Lyme Regis. Their white and pastel combination is a classic and we wanted to turn our shed into something more care free.

I chose a white and blue combination and decided to go with a twist on traditional designs to give us a fresh feel.



To suppress the dreadful orange stain we used an oil-based primer and then an exterior satin wood paint as our top coat. There was a point when it looked like the stain was coming through but thankfully this disappeared as the primer dried. The satin paint went on like a dream and I’m really happy with the colour fidelity. Materials cost us about £50 including brushes and sand paper.

We split the job over two afternoons, first cleaning, sanding and priming the shed then once that was dry applying the top coat. We can only get to two of the shed walls which made it an even quicker job but a rough guide is it took about three hours for each part including all prep.

Want to see how it turned out? Take a look at the mini film below…

(Newsletter and RSS subscribers might need to visit Housewife Confidential or view on YouTube)

With thanks to B&Q for supporting Project Garden as part of their Unloved Rooms initiative. For more information about this kind of post please read my disclosure for readers page. Kat xoxo

Read all of my Project Garden posts.

project garden