Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Problem

When we returned from Australia, the next big thing was having some construction work done around the outside of the house.

Bill has long wanted to do something about the damp problem in the garage, which was a later add-on to the original house built in 1920. Also to address the mish-mash of hard standing around the house, which included cracked and

mossy antique concrete, a quaint (well, I thought so) but too narrow little rock path and some mouldy concrete paving slabs. There was also this weird break in the side wall, dating back to when the present breakfasting kitchen was a small kitchen and a scullery and before there was a garage at the back of the house. I suspect our garden was fully enclosed by the brick wall, just like our next door neighbour, Dorothy's is, except that the black wood part was the entrance into the scullery.

He met with the builder and organised for the workmen to come on a Monday after our return. Bill showed me the plan and I asked about the possibility of moving our front gate over. So we got the builder to come back out and he saw at once what I had in mind.

The house faces west-ish with the long side to the north-ish. The evening sun is by far the best hope for sitting in a warm outdoor place but it being in the front there is no privacy. Bill hates, hates, hates the leylandii shrubs and whacks one down whenever he thinks I won't notice; I think he'd find a way to inflict pain and suffering on them were such a thing possible. It's no joke that space, sunshine and light are in such short supply here in Britain that neighbours have legal wars over these fast-growing, potentially tall trees. I just see shrubs. Bill sees...something else.

He promises me there are other shrubs and plants that can grow 6 feet and higher to provide just as much privacy and so I'm resigned to losing what was once a solid green wall.

It always had the shortcoming in that the gate was right in front of the front door and with that break in the shrubbery, every passer-by was given full view of the front door, the bay window and the two postage-stamp-sized patches of lawn. If said gate was moved further along, the view would move to eventually (with new tall plants) include less of the front of the house and down the north side. So that was the plan.

I skittered around and snapped these 'before' pictures to help explain The Problem.

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