the joys of living in a “council house”

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  • #144135 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    last oct i moved into what used to be a council bungalow now by an arms length housing association.

    basically the back garden if you can call it that consists of 8m x 12m of uneven grass and grass is being generous with a path down the centre from the back door to the back hedge. the left hand side is relatively flat. but the right hand side slopes away from the bungalow and from the path to next doors fence. the bottom right hand corner is approx 18 inches lower than the path.

    being a good boy i wrote and asked for permission to lift the grass on the right hand side level the top half of the right hand side and step the bottom half put down weedproof membrane and gravel. build some raised beds.

    boy what a palaver i unleashed, got a letter yesterday with a list of conditions and requirements the killer being that all work must be carried out by a qualified contractor etc etc.

    you would have thought that they would be grateful someone wants to improve it.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 61 total)
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  • #144139 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    Your one and only mistake was asking the council in the first place. Most would have just done the deed without notifying the council.

    You did what you thought was the right thing. I would have probably done the same TBH If I  had a council house.

    Joss
    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI
    Builder of Gaming PC's

    #144165 Reply
    Phaedra
    Participant

    My HA are usually pretty good.  When we moved here about 8 years ago the front gardens were a mess, the old chap who’d lived here previously had a huge amount of plants in large pots etc. most of which had either broken or the plants had just spread everywhere.

    As I’m not a garden person I asked if we could clear them out, put a small fence round and fill the 2 plots (both about 4m x 3m) with gravel.  Took a couple of weeks to get a reply but yes, no problem as long as it’s neat and tidy.  All I need to do now is spray anything green that appears with a mixture of rock salt and water  🙂

    There's room for all God's creatures, right next to the mash and gravy 🙂

    #144166 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    after 13 minutes of my life wasted in various telephone queues/press 1 now etc i managed to get to speak to a person. not the one that signed the letter as they were off on flexitime/hol/scive and wouldnt be back till tuesday. he was flummoxed and kept asking it is just garden landscaping your proposing isnt it.

    it seems the qualified/certified tradesman bit is for building/gas/electricarry work and someones just done a cut and paste job and sent it out.

    i can diy and all i have to do is send them a plan of what i want to do etc and it should be a formality.

    i got the impression from him that your first thought applys joss.

    #144172 Reply
    joss
    Moderator

    @mitch Well good luck, someone else at the council has a bit of common sense!

    Joss
    ***🌻🌻🌻 ***
    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI
    Builder of Gaming PC's

    #144419 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    well ive drawn up a scale plan and sent them screen shots of the materials to be used and explained the benefits of what i propose not just for me but for future tenants. as the “lawn” as it is could be termed dangerous for anyone with compromised mobility.

    anyway ive ordered a couple of raised beds/planters made from sleepers and a bunch of decking planks and 2 x 2 to construct others and if push comes to shove i will just make them of a size to be portable rather than a fixture.

    at least i will have a project or two to keep me amused while we await the response.

    i should have adopted the better to apologise later rather than ask permission and be disappointed.

    #144500 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    well its going to be a long project lol ive just finished one side of a 4 sided bed made from half round 2m poles and its taken 3 times as long as back in the day. very discouraging but i have to say there is something enjoyable about making something from scratch.

    #144501 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    lunch and pills 2 and try again.

    #144594 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    the raised beds from wickes have arrived and the delivery guy very kindly carried them around the back for me and the decking board from bq should arrive later. so its all systems go lol.

    now a question, all the wood has already been treated so is good to go, but this time for some reason i fancy painting them rather than just having the wood colour. i am thinking cuprinol seagrass.

    anyone have any thoughts opinions.

    #144596 Reply
    ajn

    Whatever you decide mitch, paint or not sounds great any chance that any breaks you have take a pic of your project. 🌻

    #144757 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    ok the jigsaw pieces have arrived just got to paint the white wood and then assemble. lol

    not to mention digup the grass etc.

     

    #144881 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    ok yesterday i put the first coat of paint on the half roll planters 4 sides and the parts of the other planter that were on the floor in the photos. the other one ive not unpacked yet. that took me the best part of 5 hours in 15 20 minute bursts followed by a sitdown lol.

    boy am i broken or what, back in the day that would have taken an hour and a half tops. and today i feel as though ive been at the bottom of a rugby ruck in the 70’s all night.

    so theres not a lot being done today, i reckon this is going to take some time lol.

    #144891 Reply
    ajn

    Yeah take it easy Mitch, I guess we all been there, taking ages for things that were easy back a few years back..

    👍🌻

    #145819 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    loveley weather here today waited for the sun to get round the back and set to painting the rest of the white wood so all the planter parts are now well and truly protected. dare say there will be a bit of touching up to do when construction begins.

    hopefully if we get similar weather tommorrow i can strip some grass and prep the gate corner for a planter and get the area levelled. that should be doable in an afternoon even at my reduced pace.

    #146063 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    hooray, got the letter today to say i can go ahead, lol speed is not their thing obv.

    anyway grass stripping is underway allbeit very slowly.

    i hesitate to call it grass actually as its allsorts of horrible stuff and its a pig to get up.

    it aint going to be quick thats for sure.

    i will try and sort some more pics later in the week.

    #146634 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    ok 6 days later the first bed is up.

    the planters at the front the spring bulbs are on their way out but the roses are bushing niceley.

    #146637 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    5 days to get the “grass” up and to level the area, lol there was a time when that was a days work.

    #146648 Reply
    Lou

    Yessss Mitch! Them planters look great and will be lovely when all the flowers have come out. I think you have done a fantastic job so far & cant wait to see the end result 👍

    #146652 Reply
    ajn

    Yes Mitch I agree with Lou it going to be worth it in the end, nice place to sit back and enjoy the work put in, however don’t go rushing causing yourself an injury, like you mention years ago no problem, to date just needs a mild progressive pace..👍

    Thanks for your update too..

    🌻

    #146654 Reply
    ajn

    Oh yeah congrats on the go ahead letter 👍

    🌻

    #146669 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    so far its only 25% of the grass removed so its going to take a while, the first bed needed to go up as i managed to get 4 bare root roses from david austins at a reduced price before they stop doing bare roots till september.

    so they will live in that bed for a couple of months until i get the others built.

    now its a case of watching the weather forcast to schedule works and hope the body can match the plans lol.

    i reckon 6 months.

     

    #146713 Reply
    Lou

    What roses have you gone for? I got my strawberries as bare roots last year (never heard of them before).

    Going by the body sounds exactly like what I have to do. Take your time with it, especially when it warms up. I’m glad you were given the green light for it 🙂
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    #146717 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    the lady gardener

    port sunlight

    lady of shallott

    dame judi dench

    all peach colours, english shrub roses eventually they will go in a square bed underplanted with groundcover plants like hardy geraniums, aquilligia. the bed they are currently in will be for salad veg.

    its £8 cheaper per rose to get them as bare root but they only do bare root  from sept to may.

    i like english shrub and old roses and in my veiw david austins are the best i have never had a failure with them. the next bed will have marroon colours and another white.

    #146756 Reply
    Lou

    That’s quite a diff in price, def worth it. You got a nice variety there Mitch your gardens going to smell lovely and the bees will be happy.

    I grew a planter of salad leaves last year and had the usual peas, tomatoes & herbs growing aswell.

    #146770 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    the aim eventually will be to have a wall of roses along the fence and blocks in the planters with underplanting of groundcover perenials. hardy geraniums, aqilligia, campanulla, dianthus, phlox,helianthemum and delasperma.

    not quite cottage garden but should be plenty for bees etc.

    the bed the roses are temporarilly in will be salad stuff as its by the back door and i object to paying a fortune for salads from supermarkets etc as they are far too much for one and half ends up as compost.

    #146806 Reply
    karen j

    We did  our allotment shed in seagrass,  it was the only one available in a depleted b and q mid first lock down. It’s beautiful,  I thought it was a little pale but the mint green colour has deepened just a little and it looks incredible still. Go carefully,  little and not very often! It’s going to look beautiful.

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