We have been wanting to add a bit more character and planting to our garden for a while now, as well as find a way to enjoy the last sun of the day – our garden in South East facing, so although we are blessed with lots of sun in the day it does tend to disappear a little faster than we would like off the patio.
We decided last summer that the best way to address this would be to add a bench and planter along the back wall and earmarked this years Easter weekend to carry out the work. However agreeing the best scheme was problematic… I wanted the planter to bookend the bench and be rendered to match the walls around our patio. However Ed didn’t want to have to lay foundations and get a builder back to do the brickwork for the rendered walls. So we came up with a few ideas and after much discussion we agreed on the following scheme, which utilised some slate slabs left over from our patio, black timber to match the fence and some new railway sleepers to contrast with it all, rather than a rendered wall. (Excuse the very quick sketch, done on the train).
What the sketch doesn’t show very well is that the back wall of our garden runs at a different angle than the house. Rather than run the bench perpendicular to the back wall, we decided to run it perpendicular to the house. This may sound like an odd decision, but it means we will end up with a square patch of lawn and a relatively deep bench at one end – perfect for napping on in the sun.
Before ordering the materials we mapped it all out in the garden with some lengths of timber, kebab skewers and string – all very technical!
Once we were sure it would work we set out a rough programme of how long it might take to build. As we were keen to try and fit some time in over Easter to chill out, Ed decided it was best to lay the concrete slab for the bench a couple of weeks before. This also gave it plenty of time to dry.
We also went to pick up the sleepers the weekend before Easter, which we found via a seller on eBay who had tons of different types, which you can check out here. We ended up going for a lightly stained, soft wood, which we will line with plastic to stop them rotting and maybe stain them – we will see how they look and the make a decision.
To see how we got on over Easter, check back next week when I will post some pics of the end result, although there are a few sneak pics over on Instagram if you can’t wait till then.