Garden Makeover

It’s unbelieveable the difference made to our gardensteppingstones in less than a week. Pete took up gardening when he retired from teaching and when I suggested that he might like to come over and do our garden it was a pleasant surprise when he agreed and the results far exceeded my expectations.

His wife, Penny, speaks French and was looking forward to a chance to meet and converse with French people again so I arranged for her to meet various friends while Pete got to grips with the weeds and planted a new hedge in front of the vegetable garden.








The plants (mainly hypericum) arrived a week before our guests so I kept them in a bucket of water. They looked a bit sorry for themselves but we’re hoping they will take.


The path is now completely weedfree and Pete has edged the border beautifully. It’s now  up to CC and me to keep it that way.pathtohouse

We had already tried to weed it and replant the aubretia more evenly but Pete did it properly!


Then there was the very overgrown patch near the shed. I’ve never known what to do with it as the thyme died off and then the forget-me-nots went a bit wild and mixed in with the weeds. alongfenceIt became a dumping ground for the wndow boxes when they were finished and looked very untidy.

Pete cleaned it all and planted some buddleia and syringa, so now it is transformed:



and you may also notice the absence of weeds between the tiles.



raspberriesThen there was this unkempt patch which was full of ancient raspberry canes. I had salvaged the best and transplanted them along the fence but couldn’t dig up the remaining roots which were even spreading along the top of the bank.

Pete worked his magic and in no time it was clean and tidy.


He has also removed the ivy that was choking the sage and discovered some thyme that had been struggling underneath another plant.

Now we have to think what to put in the newly found space.


bedThis flowerbed was pretty untidy and overgrown with weeds. You could also say that the edge wasn’t very well defined.

In less than no time Pete had weeded it and dug a neat edge ready for us to plant some annuals in the Spring.


He trimmed the forsythia and other bushes, mended the lawn mower and cut the grass and all of this was done and dusted in three days.

That meant that we had the rest of the week to show them round our little corner of France.

The Ardennes region is noted for hills and trees and these were resplendent in their Autumn colours. We ventured into Belgium and visited the Abbey of Maredsous, famous for its beer and cheese and also delicious wholemeal bread.

Dinant was almost as crowded as it is during the Summer but we admired the scenery along the Meuse and popped in to see friends near Givet (and to use their loo!).

We rounded off the week with a meal at the local restaurant last night and then, sadly, waved goodbye to our guests this morning.

We all hope they will come back again soon  – for a proper holiday as CC and I are now inspired to keep the garden up to standard.

9 Responses to “Garden Makeover”

  1. canisfamiliaris Says:


    I think I’ll have to invite Pete over for a week with me and he can do the same for my garden!!!


    Well you could ask him over for a day!

  2. Richard Says:

    What a difference he has made! I fear he would have been washed away if he tried gardening here this week. It’s monsoon season already 🙂

    And I thought we lived in the rainy region. . . .

  3. Little old me Says:

    It’s looking good, just think what it will look like next year.

    Yes, there’s a lot to live up to and we’re a bit lacking in expertise.

  4. Pat Says:

    Isn’t it great to have a gardener? Karen has enhanced my life and I just hope I can keep her; she tends to move around a lot so I make sure she had plenty of chocolate biscuits and shortbread which she likes:)

    How right you are. I just wish Pete lived near enough to come regularly as not one of the local chaps has been as efficient.

  5. BearNaked Says:

    How wonderful for you that your guest did all that work in the garden.
    Do you think he would like to visit me in the spring? LOL
    We managed to get the front garden all cleaned up this fall but ran out of time (and energy) in the back garden.
    Next spring we are going to be VERY busy back there.
    Thanks for your kind words in your comment on my blog.
    I really do appreciate everyone who visits my blog.

    Bear((( )))

    Hope you find someone as good as Pete to help you sort out your garden.
    Your blog is a pleasure to visit. I love the Bear pictures.

  6. tillylil Says:

    Well done Pete.
    I expect I will hear all about the visit when I see him at the xmas OWLS.
    You’ll have to do a little gardening now and again to keep on top of it.

    Yes, we must definitely keep it tidy now. Pete made it look easy but I find it pretty hard going.
    Hope you have a great time at the OWLS meal. Please give my love to everyone.

  7. Gigi Says:

    I don’t have a garden – I wish I did but I probably wouldn’t know how to look after it. I have one pot plant and one window box and both are a sorry sight…:-) I hope you get the time to appreciate yours – you have such a hectic life, you deserve to relax in the garden from time to time!

    I’m glad you enjoyed my story…but getting published is just a daydream…I’m having great fun writing it, that’s the main thing!

    Well, in that case I hope you will publish the rest on the website. You can’t keep us in suspense!

  8. zuleme Says:

    It looks great, and how are the cats doing with their new fence?

    The answer to that is in the latest post.

  9. Susie Vereker Says:

    Good for Pete. What a wonderful guest. Weeding is a constant battle until plants become established so I hope he can come and stay regularly! You certainly deserve some help.

    I’d love them to come over several times a yesr but I fear that wouldn’t be possible.

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