UK. May to September 2018. Toddington.

Having met with the letting agents once our tenants had left we agreed that a lot of work needed to be done inside and out. Inside, as well as a thorough clean and painting throughout we needed some new carpets and flooring and new work surfaces and tiles in the kitchen. Outside we agreed that the 'jungle' needed to be cleared and mostly layed to lawn.

We left all the inside work to be done by the professionals and spent most of our time sorting out Kevin's large workshop and, with the help of Steve Maskall (a friend who has recently started a garden service business) re-doing the garden. Amongst our time there we had several committments which we wanted to keep so tended to spend a few days at Toddington and then go away for a few days, either back to my sister's, up to The Lake District or to Norfolk plus a trip down to The New Forest Folk Festival.

As far as the garden is concerned I think the following before and after photos say it all!! All that still needs to be done is to complete the lawn. We put down a small area of turf so the new tenants will have some lawn. Steve is then going to seed the rest of it at the end of September.

The view from the back corner of the garden. Once Steve had removed all the huge overgrown shrubs and cleared it the garden looked much bigger. We layed a small area of turf in late August. The rest of the soil area will have grass seed sown later in the year.

Greenhouse and gravel area. This was one of the longest jobs as I had to remove the weeds and some plants, move the gravel so that I could put new underlay down and then put back most of the old and some new gravel.

All the ivy was removed from the back fence and the deck, fence and trellis painted. The 'pond' was filled in, rockery removed and gravel replaced the bed in the centre of the flags.

We couln't have managed without Steve who did all the heavy work, chopping down all the overgrown shrubs, shredding them and then, the hardest job, removing the roots.

Kevin and Steve had to remove a fence panel in order to remove a large elderflower shrub that was growing between the workshop and the fence, the fence rails also needed replacing. Removing it was easy enough but they were only just able to squeeze beteen the fence and workshop in order to get it back in place.

Fence panel removed and elderflower cut down.

Just as well they're not overweight!

As the weather was so good we often took the opportunity to have a BBQ in the back garden.

A lovely Sunday afternoon with Steve, Fiona and John.

This is the small BBQ we keep in our van.



Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

2. Woodend, Lake District.

3. Norfolk.

4. New Forest Folk Festival.


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Steve cutting back overhanging branches with his long handled saw.