Shortly after our marriage we sold Mike's house in Aylesbury and a month later we part exchanged Linda's house in Rickmansworth for a newly built house in Leavesden, near Watford.
Our new home is a five bedroom detached house with three floors. More bedrooms than strictly necessary for the two of us but we were planning ahead! In common with all new builds the garden was initially nothing but mud. However as part of the sale agreement we managed to negotiate for the whole garden to be turfed, a necessary step to prevent the dog leaving muddy paw prints throughout the house!
Our first job (well Mike and Syd's job) was to replace the chain link fence on one side of the back garden with a proper board fence to both improve the appearance of the garden and prevent the dog from making an uninvited visit to the neighbours. We also dug out a border along the back fence, planted some shrubs and installed a Japanese Deer Scarer water feature. With the addition of a small tree and a garden shed we now had a garden that resembled a garden!
That done we turned our attention to the house. There was no real need to decorate since the house was new but Linda got out her paintbrush to restyle the guest bathroom in a deep shade of blue. A new loo seat, a few transfers, new towels and a porthole mirror later and we had a marine paradise on our hands. Yes, there's definitely something fishy going on in that room.
Our next project was rather more ambitious but in this case we decided not to tackle it ourselves, in fact we never gave the idea a moments thought! We arranged to have a conservatory added and the garden transformed by the addition of a patio, raised flower bed and, the piece-de-resistance, a formal koi pond.
After a considerable delay while we waited for planning approval and for the builders to get their act together, work began in January 2004. Many muddy and messy weeks later the job was complete and while Mike played with his pond filters, Linda got her paintbrushes out again to decorate the new conservatory. With the addition of blinds and furniture to the conservatory, plants to the flower bed and fish to the pond the project was finished in time for the summer and we were able to sit back and enjoy our new surroundings.