The big build is now complete and I was left with a muddy pit at the front and back. Look out for the back garden diaries starting in the Autumn.

Twelve months ago the front garden looked like this

Then it spent 5 months doubling as a builders yard – ton bags of sand, pallets of bricks etc etc. There wasn’t much grass left after that onslaught, which didn’t bother me as it seemed like a waste of good growing space.

I have a parterre type garden in my head, with brick paths rather than box hedging. The aspect is west, making it ideal for my sun-loving lovelies – dahlias, salvias, cosmos and roses.

I started digging at the other end by the front wall and made reasonable progress until the sun came out in mid April and baked the soil hard. Did I mention the area is known for gravel excavation? I think the soil is the gravel pit they missed, it is very, very stony. At the front where the grass meets the paving stones, it felt as if I was trying to dig through reinforced concrete. One hissy fit and five evenings of watering the ground and covering it enabled work to continue and progress.

I didn’t take photos of the work in between although my neighbour joked I should create a time-lapse sequence from the images on the door camera – I’ve no idea how, so you’ll be spared that.

Any how, this weekend I finished the digging and spread three quarters of the ton bag of top soil/compost mix.

Judging by the number of paw prints in the new top soil, the local cats approve – let’s hope they don’t mistake it for their potty!!

The next stage is to run a double line of bricks to make a 30cm planting space for a lavender hedge, running along the path. 40 young plants are waiting in the back garden, so no pressure!