small English garden and shed project

A small English garden and shed project

The finished product,

Carry on to see how we got here.
The garden from above (middle) once we started clearing all the old rubbish and over grown weeds.
A lot of concrete has already been removed by this point, as well as the old green house.
The old shed

The old brick build (originally a pig sty) shed to be demolished.
Again lots gone already, including the piles of broken concrete, the old compost pile and lots of overgrown weeds.
Nothing a little hard work with the garden fork and a skip cant handle though.
Note the little brown metal door in the far wall – after spending weeks trying to work out what this could possibly be, our neighbour (who's 90, and has lived in one of the two houses since 1943) eventually told us his father had put it in, to let the chickens out into the fields that were behind, to collect the corn dropped after harvest!
Rebuild the 200 year old wall

It was a hard choice to make, but we decided to dismantle the old wall brick by brink, and rebuild as the far end had become dangerously loose, and was taken down by hand, brick by brick.
To better support the wall we put in a solid footer around a foot deep and built the first courses out of block to add strength to the single skin red brick wall.
Building up

including piers in the original places to add more strength (and keep the style of the wall)
All mortar work has been done with snow-crete white cement, to give a more yellow finish than grey cement would.
A plumb line is essential for this type of brick work to keep courses true and straight, apart from that all you need is a trowel and patience. The new brick work was tied into the existing wall as best possible.
Wall almost complete

Old meets new (rebuilt) on the pier covered in moss. We purposely didn't clean the wall as to keep the old feel.
Just re adding the capping stones. The bricks though were amazingly heavy compared to modern 'frogged' red bricks.
The dirty white washed brick work will soon be hidden by the new shed.
Area clear

The space for the new shed is finally clear!
The ground is now being cleared for wooden shuttering to go in, and a concrete base to be poured.
Base going down

Wall complete and the area cleared, the shuttered can now be seen in position and pouring of the concreate for the shed base has been finished.All the concrete was mixed by hand in a mixer, as there is no way possible to get a delivery in.
The concrete here is laid thick (around 1ft) due to the poor quality of the ground and to cover existing concrete pads that we didn't want to remove.
Placed into the wet concrete was metal strips to fix the shed frame to – saving time and a lot of effort drilling into the newly laid pad.
Frame work

Building of the frame has begun, its section (wall) we pre made out of 2×4, and nailed together we paslode gun.
Cutting was made simple with the use of a compound mitre saw which makes light work of the wood, but also has highly accurate measurement of angles. A good quality tape measure is essential however, as measurement needs to be done carefully and accurately, otherwise your are going to start wasting lots of time and materials.
Ties were put in to hold the frame true and straight while it was assembled, as the rigidity of the building will depend on the boarding around it.
More shed

Here you can see where we were adding the CLS for rigidity. All the boards were pre treated and painted in barn black paint, but can not be seen on the final product due to the height of surrounding boundaries.
Cladding and roofing

Once the basic frame was assembled we added the shiplap to the front, and starting the roof.
Again where it cant be seen we used a cheaper method of felting, where as the front we are adding the battening for slate tiles to be nailed to.A breathable membrane was added under the battening to seal the building.
The tiles we selected in the end are actually made from recycles plastics and fibres, meaning that they are a lot lighter and easier to work with than slate.
Front painted

With the front painted and working late, but with a roof so we can keep stuff dry now.
Lights

The shed is finally finished, with the doors (minus the glass) and electricity installed for the new garden lights, but lots of landscaping to do!
The lights are modern replicas of Victorian style industrial bulk heads, to keep an aged feel, but with ultra low energy 3w LED bulbs (so I don't mind if the get forgotten and left on all night!)
Patio

4 tons of black Indian sandstone to lay.
With the difference in height between the ground and the shed, and due to the soft soil, we have laid all the slabs on a thick base of concrete, with a very gentle slope towards the garden for the rain to run off.
Shed finished

Shed finished, landscaping begins
Start of the end

Shed and top patio done, landscape and bottom patio to go!
building the retaining walls

Due to the slope of the old garden, we build retainers and steps up to the now flat garden.
We tried hard to find bricks to match the old wall but the price of reclaimed Victorian bricks meant that we had to use modern ones instead.
The use of white cement rather that grey also gave a much better finished look.
More retaining

Holding the soil back, you can start to appreciate the difference in height between the ends of the garden originally.
At this point we still were unsure about the final design, and decided to try and incorporate flower beds as well,
Curvy walls

The new curved wall to separate us from our neighbour. This proved to be harder than originally planned, with each brick having to be cut by hand with an angle grinder to be able to curve the wall.
We also built around the end of the existing wall to add strength.
Walls done

In the end, to slope the curved wall we had to go free hand, but decided we liked the wonky look as it added character!
Next is to start laying the new patio at the house end of the garden.
Walls done

Just needs a little turf to finish the wall off, I also added a new manhole cover that would accept paving over it, but still be removable to replace the rusting metal cover.
Patio down

Wet and cold, but the patio is down, just needs pointing up. we have also added the flower beds now to each side of the steps into the garden. These were simply 2 courses of bricks on a thin base, as they are purely ornamental.
Landscaping

Let the landscaping begin.
All rubbish now needs to be removed, borrowed tools, wheel barrows and scaffolding needs to be returned to their rightful owners and the ground needs to be flattened out and levelled.
Cleared and Level

The garden finally after 8 months is clear and level! Tons of old brick, trees, buildings, stones and who knows what else, we have a flat level garden.
Most of the soil has been sifted to remove stones, and break up the large clumps of dirt, but this proved to be back breaking and very time consuming work to do, especially when we are going to be laying turf, so the soil can have small stones without affecting the finished article.
Turf Down

The very first image of the freshly laid turf
Finished

Source : PeteCO1445 from Reddit