As I mentioned in the June wrap up blog (which you can read here), we started to work on the back garden. The garden is the last major thing that needed to be completed in our nearly 2 year old house. Nearly 2 years already? Where has that time gone! The garden is going to be fairly simple, but one of the major features is now taking shape. The garden shed is slowly coming together, and I want to share the experience with you thus far!
So the garden shed, which is called Het Tuinhuis in Dutch (the literal translation being The Garden House) has been a huge want in the garden for my partner and me. It would give us an area to store outside equipment and allow us to acquire things for bbqs. The shed would also be where we set up a deep fryer, since they smell really bad and we would rather not have that odor in the house. To me, a garden shed is a small little building where you store things. However, a tuinhuis is so much more (or at least, the one we will be having).
Our tuinhuis is going to have a stereotypical shed, but also an outside area to sit in. This is a very normal thing here in the Netherlands. The outside part of the tuinhuis will have a slanted roof going off the back so that rain can run off freely, as well as a nice decked area to put chairs and tables. This part of the tuinhuis excites me the most. I have wanted to have an area to sit outside in the garden for a long time. Last year, we did have a gazebo set up which worked well, but was not going to be permanent. I can assure you that I will be turning this outside section into my little outdoor reading sanctuary!
Getting the garden set up
First and foremost, before we even could start building the tuinhuis, we would have to sort out the garden. Originally, the garden was filled with two flowerbeds weeds and swampy areas due to no drainage. Through the middle there was a small slabbed path and near the house was just slabbed. We first had to get rid of all the weeds. Once they were all gone and sorted into bags, my partner and my father-in-law had to dig out most of the dirt/mud/clay that was left behind.
The next thing that needed to be sorted was the drainage pipe, which to me looked like a massive intestine! My father-in-law marked out where the pipe would go with wooden sticks. The drainage pipe is going to ensure that no puddles and swamps start to form in the new garden. Over the top of the pipe and on the dug out sections of the garden, we poured sand. On top of the sand we will be placing lovely slabbed tiles. Having tiles will make it easier to have more seating areas and less maintenance. However, we kept a small section of the garden for flowers or whatever else I want to grow there.
The tuinhuis is going to be situated at the back of the garden. My father-in-law organized the base lining where it will be sat with a metal framework. One small section for the “shed” part, and a larger section for the terraced area. Inside the small area, he also tiled it up. This allowed us to start building up the small shed section.
But before we could build, we had to paint! Every connecting piece of wood that would form the tuinhuis needed to be painted with a waterproof base color. Our color scheme will be a lovely cream color on the inside, and around the back a beautiful dark green color. This will help to camouflage it from the main street that our garden faces.
I loved painting! It was super fun and messy. It was also fun to work alongside my partner and father-in-law. Painting the sections took us quite a while, but when it was done it was really satisfying. When these were dried, we would be able to start building!
Building the shed part
It was really fun to watch my partner and father-in-law jigsaw the shed parts together. I couldn’t really help here since they were heavy pieces and 2 people is enough, 3 would make things awkward! They built it up really quickly. One minute it was only a few boards high, the next moment it was nearly finished! They worked super fast!
Now onto more painting! I thought that painting just the connection sections was fun, but this was so much more enjoyable. With a paint roller in hand, I got to work with covering the shed in a lovely white/cream color. Originally, I did think that the outside of the shed would be green everywhere, but the green would only be for the back. The front of the shed would be white/cream.
Even though the shed is pretty small, it took us a long time to make sure every piece was covered with the paint. Every nook and cranny had to be filled in with paintbrushes. I could not reach the top parts of the shed due to being too small (and I did not trust myself to use the step ladders). I was assigned to paint the front of the shed, my partner the side and my father-in-law the back. Once I had finished my side, I went around to help my partner fill in the small creases.
Once it was all done, it was time to admire our hard work. It was worth it!
Get a roof on it!
The most recent thing we have done with the shed was put finishing touches to it. This included putting the roof on and adding a door. I was sadly not able to help with this because I am incredibly small and I would rather not sit on top of a shed! So I let the men do the work for that. What I could help with though was moving the planks that were under the green canopy around with my partner to get the roof planks. We took no time getting that done.
My partner and father-in-law worked quickly to get the roof sorted onto the shed. The temporary green canopy worked well to protect the inside of the shed, and the men made easy work of finishing it off. Once the roof was on top, my father-in-law fixed together the door frame and door. This was literally a case of “blink and you’d miss it”. He did it so quickly, it was unbelievable!
Finally, the door and the door frame needed a splash of color. We decided to go with a nice grey color for the door. The color contrast would work wonderfully against the white/cream color of the tuinhuis. The door frame would be painted the same white/cream color as the shed.
And voila! A finished outside shed with the outsides painted! Huzzah!
Still to be done
Of course there is still work to be done on the tuinhuis. The main thing being the build up and paint the terraced area. There are still several things that need to be finished though besides the tuinhuis, but I am not sure which order they will be in. I have a feeling that the next step to perfecting our garden is removing the rest of the old tiles, adding more sand and putting down new tiles.
I am so excited to see the little garden that had no love coming together. When the weather is nice, I tend to prefer being outside taking in the sun and enjoying a good book and a drink. If I told myself that would be my life 10 years ago, I would be laughing!
I will keep you all up to date with how things are progressing with our garden.
Have you recently done up your garden? Do you have a garden shed? Or do you have a section where people can sit? Let me know!