Gardening. How I turned my small garden into a little oasis

I thought I’d do a different kind of post today. I’m sharing the garden with you. I’ve always loved a bit of gardening and when we first moved here from our 120ft garden in London to a tiny postage stamp of a mere 40ft I wondered if I would like it.

It’s nearly the first anniversary year that we moved into our house. Our little two up two down, and looking back it’s been hard! With lockdown stalling works needing to be done, (my workroom was the only room finished!) living in the house while everything was going on. The garden was first on the list to be tackled because of storage issues. I had a double garage and three sheds in my previous garden and when I moved to Essex I had two tiny little sheds.

We whittled down a lot of stuff but I still ended up with lots of gardening stuff in the house when we first moved, so a large extension to the original shed was in order to provide storage. So at this point we thought we might just as well get it over and done with and do the lot.

The first floor of the house is nearly finished now and I’m hoping to get some interior posts out about my journey. I’m wondering how you all feel about that considering I mainly post fashion and beauty? Please let me know your thoughts.


I was worried about having such a small garden. Two big dogs for starters! How do you make something small look nice enough to want to sit in or have friends around? I wanted it to be easy to look after, have somewhere to sit and have BBq’s with friends. Somewhere to relax.

The Kaftan I bought on sale from H&M I wear Kaftans around the house a lot during summer. So comfortable.

The before

Yep. Pretty busy in that garden! This was right at the beginning, having the new fence done. You can see how small the shed is. We decided to brick right across the back to provide extra storage. Full to the brim of building materials and furniture to be got rid of it was hard to paint a picture in my head!

There’s a story about the fencing. The dogs that reside with my neighbours kept barking. Mine kept wondering where all the barking was coming from. Beau decided to take a look herself and put her head through the fence for a look. You can imagine how embarrassed I was!

Luckily I have the best of neighbours and they thought it was hilarious. But none the less a fence ( a strong one) all around the garden had to be erected asap!

Gardening is now a joy


Concrete steps leading down the garden prooved challengeing and poor ground/ soil with roots from next doors tree, we decided to deck the whole garden. I wanted low maintenance and that’s what I got! I hoover it with the Henry hoover!

We added a couple of steps and a pergola which will have a roof added at the last stage of the renovation. Gardening books helped. I found some good ones at The Works.

Another step down leading to the shed, we added some trellis to provide a nicer backdrop and this left space for pots and the BBq to be kept. I love gardening and I plan on having something flowering all seasons using different pots.

Just planting pots is far easier than the huge beds that I had to contend with in the large garden we had. I used to spend hours maintaining it and less time relaxing in that garden. Now it’s the other way around.


An L shaped comfy sofa was purchased during lock-down. You may remember in the first garden post it was originally at the top half of the garden. We intend on adding bi-fold doors where the living room window is eventually so the sofa had to be moved.

Adding the finishing touches


Big pots are what’s needed in a garden with no grass I think. Buying the maturest shrubs and plants affordable makes a huge difference. Conifers are a reasonable price and won’t grow too large in a pot but they will help create a backdrop for other plant pots of different varieties.

I purchased a fair sized red Acer and I’m going to buy a green one too. The green ones grow so much faster and they provide a good backdrop, height and interest.

Large terracotta pots in different shapes, sizes and patterns create interest. The one with the rings pictured above was mums. Bought in Spain when I was four years old! The remaining pots that I have are the royal blue colour Pictured in the fourth photo.

I have the small statue. Peggy as the children used to call her, a big Budda’s head and some wall hangings. The wall hangings haven’t been added yet. I’m waiting for the roof to go on the pergola first.

Planting ahead

Our friend bought us a grapevine. I’m looking forwards to watching it grow up the pergola.

I’ve planted it in a tall terracotta urn. I’ve also added a trailing miniature geranium too. I hope this isn’t going to deter the growth of the grapevine?

I’ve been doing this a lot this year, adding more than one plant into a pot for interest. Like the busy Lizzies embedded in the tall planters with olive trees. I’ve tried to cram a lot in everywhere!

It’s a jungle of pots! Some new and some I’ve had for years. I found adding the height, like I said made a huge difference. The Acer has taken a beating from the sun this year and I will move that to a shadier spot for next year.

A collection of Agapanthas provided lush greenery and beautiful flowers until last week.

These are the types of pots that will store behind the trellis making way for winter flowering plants and bulbs later. I’ve never planted a lot of bulbs, so any advise is appreciated!

The large round tubs have been my favourite to plant. There’s a little bit of everything in there! Geraniums, minature geraniums bizzie Lizzies, along with some foliage. Euonymous.

I love roses. I’m allergic to them though! I have to have long sleeves and gloves on to go anywhere near this beauty.

This peach one has finished flowering now but it has been so beautiful all summer. Both rose bushes are from David Austin. The pink is called Skeptered Isle and the peach one is Crown Princess Margareta. You can purchase David Austin roses from Amazon. I’ve got my eye on The Silver Wedding bush variety because I love white flowers

So that’s my little garden. I’ve waffled on haven’t I? I really thought I’d miss having a big garden, but I feel I have more time to relax. It’s all so easy to look after. I hope you’e enjoyed the post and I hope you pop back to read the interior posts that are to come.

Keep you and yours safe and well xx

Please be aware that there are affiliate links included in this post at no cost to you if they are clicked on

Thank you for stopping by!

Come back for more. Click on the subscribe form below




Subscribe for the latest updates!


  1. Sue
    September 12, 2020 / 12:53 pm

    Lovely, lovely garden. Would just say that it’s hard to see the photos, etc properly in this and other posts with the large banner taking up so much room. Probably just me but thought I’d mention it.

    • laurie
      September 14, 2020 / 7:04 am

      Hi Sue. Thank you for drawing attention to that. I’ve just altered the resolution and hopefully, now it’s ok. It had shifted somehow, most probably me faffing about! Thanks for stopping by xx

  2. September 8, 2020 / 6:07 pm

    Laurie, I so needed this today. We moved from California to a wonderful older neighborhood in Chicago to be near our son who is being married in two weeks. The house footprint is smaller, the garden is huge, but I’d say in fairly good shape. I loved every photo you shared and will refer back to them. I need to pace myself during all the changes that need to occur. MAKE IT FUN, my husband says. Sometimes it’s not fun, but seeing you enjoying your garden now–well I have plans to do the same.

  3. September 7, 2020 / 10:33 pm

    Aw Laurie! It looks amazing! You really were busy in lockdown! It would’ve taken me and Stressed Husband a few years to get round to finishing that – he loves to stall and drive me mad by starting projects and never finishing them. Well done! Love all the pots xx

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:13 am

      Ah. But it’s not finished, is it? The roof has to go on the pergola yet! I’ve lived in so many houses with rooms that never got finished, Lisa. But I promise you, and myself that this one will be different! I’m determined! xx

  4. September 7, 2020 / 5:26 pm

    You did a great job in making your small space beautiful, a lovely place for relaxing and meditation.
    Thank you for sharing on omhgww, please do stop by and share other posts!
    Have a lovely week!

    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks, Karen! I’m so happy with it xx

  5. September 6, 2020 / 10:25 pm

    Laurie, you know how much I love your style, but I have to say that this might be my favorite post ever of yours. Your passion for flowers and your garden is so evident that I couldn’t help but get completely drawn into it! I love what you have done with the space to make it work for you. What a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors. I am hoping to begin some back yard oasis renovations myself in the spring. Thanks for sharing this and inking up with me.


    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:47 pm

      Aw, thanks so much Shelbee. I’m pretty passionate about my new home. Small but perfect for us. LOts more interior to come xx

  6. September 1, 2020 / 8:40 pm

    Lovely garden you’ve worked hard and it looks splendid. Love the white Agapanthus, I only have blue. Jacqui
    The kaftan looks super cute too.

    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:49 pm

      Thanks, Jacqui. It doesn’t feel like hard work at all compared to the last garden. Getting it done was a bit stressful though! I got the builders to change the places of the steps twice! xx

  7. September 1, 2020 / 2:07 pm

    What a transformation! Your garden is so serene and lovely!

    Jill –

    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:49 pm

      Thanks Jill xx

  8. September 1, 2020 / 9:27 am

    Wow! That was a lot of work, but so worth it! Looks amazing!

    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:50 pm

      Hi Priya. Thank you. And thanks for stopping by. I hope you return xx

  9. August 31, 2020 / 4:04 pm

    What a magnificent transformation! Warm and cozy with such beautiful traces of greenery.

    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:51 pm

      Hi Barbara. I’m really pleased with how it turned out xx

  10. August 31, 2020 / 9:59 am

    It’s surprising what can be achieved from a small garden space my husband has put in a water feature, pizza oven, decking and loads of herbs, shrubs and flowers #anythinggoes@_karendennis

    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:52 pm

      A pizza oven sounds good Karen. Sounds lovely. Have you done a garden post? I’m popping over for a nose xx

  11. August 31, 2020 / 4:48 am

    What a gorgeous garden, perfect for relaxing or entertaining. And wow your pots are full of the most fabulous plants. Love this post Laurie xx

    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks Hilda. I’m passionate about my plants! xx

  12. August 30, 2020 / 9:14 am

    You’ve done a marvellous job with the garden, it’s stunning and looks like somewhere I’d be able to easily sit and relax. Seeing as you managed to squeeze in a few fashion items, I’m sure you could do the same with an interior blog post series also. Thanks for linking with #pocolo and hope to see you back again soon

    • laurie
      September 7, 2020 / 9:53 pm

      I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do Stephanie xx

  13. Barbara Turner
    August 29, 2020 / 11:25 am

    What a good job achieved in such a short space of time Laurie, I can see you didn’t waste any lockdown time !!!, Dennis and I have been 4 years working on our strange shape garden….along with all the inhouse jobs…. we have a giant stralitsia which is about 12 feet tall, it produced one flower as big as a dinner plate. and the heat in Portugal does not help. Well done that girl. Barbara xxx

    • laurie
      August 30, 2020 / 8:32 am

      Hi Barbara. It’s so lovely to see you here! Send me a photo of that giant Stralitsia asap! I love them. Yes, hard work to create this little patch but now its all done and very low maintenance. Just the rest of the house now! xx

  14. August 28, 2020 / 6:29 pm

    What an amazing transformation, Laurie! Your garden looks absolutely delightful. Lots of interest, low maintenance and space to lounge and barbecue, what more could one want? A fabulous collection of pots, too, and I’m sure that hardy geranium won’t do any harm to your grapevine! xxx P.S. I’d love to see the transformation of your house too 🙂

    • laurie
      August 30, 2020 / 8:34 am

      Thanks so much Ann. Watch this space. There’s a whole new page coming up! xx

  15. August 28, 2020 / 5:33 pm

    oh laurie! i am in love with it all! i am a huge gardener! i wish i could share my photos with you! we moved from 1/10 of an acre to 2 acres! and it’s everything i wanted….i wanted to garden my heart out…i am sure we will do the same one day, as our 2 acres is almost a full-time job…but it keeps me relatively slim, so that’s how i rationalize it!
    great job! your taste is amazing!
    xo eva

    • laurie
      August 30, 2020 / 8:34 am

      Thanks so much Eva. Do you have an Instagram account? I want to be nosey! xx

      • laurie
        September 8, 2020 / 7:44 am

        Sent to you to Eva! xx

  16. August 28, 2020 / 5:19 pm

    Your garden is beautiful! I love how you chose to do the decking throughout and planted in pots! I am always impressed with people who can keep plants growing: my mother in law is the one who waters everything here.

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:15 am

      Thanks so much, Mireille. My house is very small and I intended to use the garden as another room of the house. I love gardening xx

  17. August 28, 2020 / 3:27 pm

    What a great job you’ve done with the garden. It looks a lovely oasis for relaxation. My garden is quite small too but it’s amazing how much you can fit in, and something for every season. I’d love to see posts about your interior too.

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:16 am

      Thanks Gail. It’s an exciting/stressful time getting it done but I’m looking forward to sharing it all with you xx

  18. Jeanette Kimber
    August 28, 2020 / 1:54 pm

    I’m definitely up for garden chat. I love your new garden. You’ve done so much in a short time . We spent a lot of time on our garden this year and it has similar vibes to yours. Gardens suddenly became more important to us all this year didn’t they? The therapeutic qualities should not be underestimated, even for those with a balcony and some pretty pots. Outside space is very precious. There is much still planned but we will have to wait until next
    year for necessary finances. I‘ll post some pics at some point. Enjoy your beautiful garden both of you and hopefully there is still some more summer weather to come. Xx

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:17 am

      Hi Jeanette. Thank you so much. I’m just deciding on how to create a winter garden now. Watch this space xx

  19. August 28, 2020 / 1:22 pm

    You have done a wonderful job in the garden. I always love to see a good transformation as I studied garden design. Have a lovely weekend.

    Gemma x

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:21 am

      Well, I see that as a good compliment Gemma! xx

  20. August 28, 2020 / 1:13 pm

    Your new garden looks fabulous Laurie and most definitely be lovely to see more home/gardnen posts. Keep them coming! x

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:22 am

      Thanks Stephanie. They will be coming! xx

  21. August 28, 2020 / 10:18 am

    Laurie, what a lovely post you have the most amazing green fingers! I’ve loved hearing about your garden journey and so good to see the before photos! However did you cope?
    As you know I adore Peggy!!!

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:23 am

      I coped because I had to Ashley! When there’s nothing you can do about situations like this you just take a deep breath! I’m still deep breathing in the building site I call home! xx

  22. August 28, 2020 / 9:43 am

    So pleased you shared it with us Laurie, you really have a creative vision to see what you could do with that plot! And of course very green fingers!
    love it
    Pamela x

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:25 am

      Thanks so much, Pamela. I never think of myself as green-fingered! I’ve never created a winter garden so that’s going to be interesting xx

  23. August 28, 2020 / 7:28 am

    Where the h… did you live in London? A doubly garage, a huge garden? But your new garden looks so relaxing. Don’t you just love to sit and read on the lounge set. I love it, we have it under a dirt of pergola. That is so ideal. Enjoy!

    • laurie
      August 28, 2020 / 8:43 am

      Near Twickenham Nancy. I will send you a photo! Believe it or not I don’t miss it at all! xx

  24. August 27, 2020 / 9:04 pm

    Your new garden space is beautiful! I could easily picture myself enjoying a cup of coffee (or a margarita) in this lovely space. Wonderful!

    As for you discussing things besides fashion, I love it! It’s nice to get to know the person behind the wardrobe.


      • laurie
        September 8, 2020 / 7:48 am

        Hi Mary. Thank you. I’ve taken note xx

    • laurie
      September 8, 2020 / 7:47 am

      Thank you, Michelle. I see what you mean about the person behind the wardrobe. This is why I started filming. I find it hard to express here on the blog what I’m all about. Note taken! and thank you so much xx

      • Kate
        November 14, 2020 / 12:32 am

        Hi, I haven’t read any other comments and just scrolled to the bottom. Please don’t publish this. I just want to say how disappointed I am trying to find a fashion blog and getting a small courtyard garden and a woman who wears white round neck t shirts of all things. I searched fashion blog. Think you should change your keywords. Maybe I searched incorrectly but your photos came up and they looked like fashion at first.

      • laurie
        November 16, 2020 / 6:24 pm

        Hi Kate
        I’m sorry if you feel cheated after visiting. I publish three categories. Fashion, beauty and lifestyle. I’m sorry this is not to your standards. According to my other readers, they rather like it. There are plenty of other blogs out there I’m sure that can deliver what you want to read.