Garden transformation continues

Hello All,

Hope the weather is not bringing you down. What a horrible rainy day!

To cheer you up, I thought I’ll share with you some pictures of our garden.

secretgardenhome raised beds, recycling, brick, garden

As you know it’s still very much a work in progress, but it seems we are getting there slowly.

We are big fans of recycling and saving money therefore most of the materials we’ve been using are reclaimed.

We needed lots of bricks to build two raised beds as well as a patio at the back of the garden.

Initially, we used a social network called Streetlife to ask people for unwanted bricks and wood. We followed that with a note through neighbours’ doors.

We got an amazing response, which we are very grateful for! Definitely worth a try if you are looking for reclaimed building materials.

S and his dad have done an excellent job, don’t you think? We’ve started planting, so hopefully, with time, our garden will look like a typical English cottage garden.

Raised bed, flowers, grape, herbs, reclaimed brick, secretgardenhome

Raised beds, secretgardenhome, garden transformation, cottage garden, recycled brick

The patio at the back is half-finished. We are planning to built a storage unit/barbecue area there.
Recycled brick patio, secretgardenhome

Apart from creating a new green fence, we also sorted out a pathway leading to the garden. Very happy with the results!

ecretgardenhome garden entrance, pebbles, green fence

Let me know what you think. Any advice about plants and creating a cottage garden is always welcome.

As some of you might know, I’ve been nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015. It would be great if you could support me, so I can at least make a shortlist. Please vote for secretgardenhome. Thanks a million!

Have a good week!



Inspiring places: Kensington Gardens

Hi All,

Hope you are feeling super relaxed after 3 day weekend.

On Saturday we went to a smashing barbecue party combined with watching Eurovision (what a laugh), and on Sunday we walked for miles from my friends’ house in Fulham to Holborn.

My first observation was how colourful London is and how different each part is from one another.

I was always more of an East London devotee, but West London has got its charms too. It’s wealthier, that’s for sure, but it’s also very stylish and colourful. Look at these beautiful houses below.

Colourful London, West London, Urban tourist

I used to work in Kensington for over 4 years, so I’m pretty familiar with Kensington Gardens, but I must say, I love coming back. It’s great for wandering around, cycling or a picnic.

Whilst walking through it, we spotted a beautiful cottage garden.

Cottage garden, flowers, Kensington

Great inspiration since we are planning ours at the moment. If only we could recreate this look.

cottage garden inspiration, kensington park

I’m going to try, for sure. Foxgloves and Lupins are my favourite flowers. Also, the purple Irises caught my eye.

Do you like West London? What about Kensington Gardens?

Check secretgardenhome Instagram for more pictures from our mini tour across London. #urbantourist


Bank Holiday gardening

Hi People,

We’ve been very lucky with the weather this Bank Holiday weekend, so we couldn’t miss the chance to start sorting our garden out.

The fence is fully installed, so we thought planning the rest of the garden could commence.

secretgardenhome garden, secret garden

We want to keep the secret garden feel of it as much as we can, but the evil ivy had to go. It was taking over the space and suffocating our lovely trees, so it was no-brainer.

Our apple tree is looking much healthier now, especially that it’s got a new company, David Austin rose, which we decided to relocate from our courtyard and replant in the garden.

David Austin Rose, Apple tree, blooming apple tree, gardening, secretgardenhome

Over the weekend, we discovered absolutely fantastic garden centre, 10 mins drive from us. It’s called Abercorn, and it stocks every plant and tree you might need for your garden. We bought half of the shop (almost) as they had lots of good deals and the prices were affordable.

I was drawn to different shades of red and pink as I want our garden to be colourful.

I fell in love with Japanese maple! It immediately enhanced our border. The one below is called Acer Japanese Jewels ‘Ariadne’ in salmon pink. I adore its colour and the contrast with the green plants around it. It was a birthday present too. Thank you!

Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, Ariadne, salmon pink, gardening, secretgardenhome

The other plant I chose for this area was Pieris, Flaming Silver. I spotted a similar one couple of weeks ago in Hylands Park, and since then I was on the lookout for it.

Pieris, Flaming Silver, gardening, secretgardenhome
The entrance to our garden was always slightly problematic area as its shaded most of the day and the soil is not the best quality. We had to think of low-growing ground cover plants under the tree. We’ve replanted our heathers and decided to add two different types of garden fern. I’m hoping for low maintenance.
Garden fern, plants for shady garden, secretgardenhome
On the other side of the entrance, next to the old coal bunker, we decided to start creating a mini rockery garden using the current layout. The olive tree is getting bigger with every year. We added another Japanese maple (Acer palmatum Bloodgood) hoping it settles here. Height and spread in 10 years 3×3 metres, let’s hope so!
Japanese maple, Acer palmatum Bloodgood, gardening, secretgardenhome, rockery garden

Also, we planted some perennials: Lewisia Elise (the one with pink flowers) and Sedum Silver (attractive to bees).

I’ll keep you posted about the progress.

How was your weekend? Let me know if you’ve got any gardening tips. I’d love to know.


Spring garden project

Dear All,

Apologies for a lack of contact for the past few weeks. I’ve been feeling a bit low, and went into hiding. But the sun is out now, and my optimism is slowly coming back.

Gardening is one of the most therapeutic hobbies known to humankind. I don’t know about you, but every time I spend time sorting things in my garden, I feel joy of being outside and my vitality increases. Viva la nature!

You know I’m a big fan of upcycling, so wanted to share with you my idea for new-old flower planters. Our old cupboard was falling into pieces, but I convinced S that we should keep the drawers, as their condition wasn’t bad. I’m so happy we did. I used them as planters in our courtyard.

secretgardenhome upcycling garden project

Also, I used one of the drawers to grow lettuce. The sign was a gift from my friend Krzysia who lives in Seattle.

grow your own and upcycle

We love cooking, especially S, so we know how handy is to grow your own fresh herbs. Hmm, tasty!
Grow your own fresh herbs

Let’s just hope the temperature is not going to go down below zero.

How is your garden/green space looking? Are you into growing your own? What do you think of upcycling? I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Have a lovely weekend.


A bit of colour before winter

Our courtyard was looking a bit pale, and as I’m not ready for winter gloom yet, I decided to add some Violas and Trailing Pansies to bring some colour back (only £3.99 each).

The following were planted:

  • Pansy Trailing Lavender
  • Viola Delft Blue (my favourite)
  • Viola Penny Orchid
  • Pansy Trailing Purple Wing

My lavender was looking lonely therefore I decided to plant a Skimmia japonica Olympic Flame. I can’t wait for the bright red berries next year.