Posted by: christinelaennec | November 3, 2013

We need to have a garage conversation

Our family was amused by the typographical errors on a flyer that came through the door:

From a flyer that came through the door.

A flyer that came through the door.

The thing is, we have had quite a few “garage conversations” since we came to our new house.  And as regular readers will know, we’ve had a few “loft conversations” with Tilly as well.  The garage in our garden is of no use to keep a car in, as the lane is unpaved and usually chock-a-block with bins.  (Each house has four bins and will at some point have a fifth, for food waste.)  But more seriously, the roof is asbestos, with no ceiling on the inside.

Back garden and garage, October 2013.

Back garden and garage, October 2013.

We began by having “garage conversations” with various people about pulling it down.  We then became aware that the old walls and paving in the garden are crumbling dangerously, that there is a rather substantial drainage problem that leaves an impassable puddle at the gate after a medium-sized shower, and also that Mr. Fox is quite happily hopping over the low fence to the right of this photo.  We’re aware that if Mr. Fox can hop right in, we might have other even less welcome visitors doing the same thing.  We would like to have a secure garden so that interlopers stay out, and perhaps Tilly can go into the garden come the spring.

So in addition to having the garage pulled down by qualified professionals, we have decided to have the drainage sorted, the paving redone, the low fence replaced, and the garage itself replaced by a shed and some kind of summerhouse.    I am hugely looking forward to having a workable garden.  Our Glasgow garden is quite a bit smaller than our Aberdeen garden was, but it is all ours.  To tell you the truth, I haven’t dared yet to dream about what I want to plant in it.  But I will be keeping the camellia and the rose that you see here.

We invited one of the two sisters who sold the house to us around for a cup of tea.  She was really pleased with what we’d done with the house, to my relief.  She was particularly glad to see all the books, as their father had loved books.  Sadly, their mother, who has been in a home for the past few years, died peacefully week before last.  I know that their mother loved baking and loved flowers, and I believe that one of the rose bushes in front of the house was a gift for their parents’ 50th anniversary.  That will be a keeper too.



  1. It’s lovely to have that link with the previous owners, and exciting to be planning all the changes to make the garden the way you want it. I wonder if the people who printed the flyer have noticed their mistake yet.

  2. When we bought our cabin in Maine, I inherited a lot of plants and flowers from the previous owners. My favorites were pink shrub rose bushes that the former owner had planted as cuttings from *her* mother’s shrub roses. We’ve had the cabin for 11 years now, and the former owner has since passed away, but those old rose bushes live on.

  3. It’s too bad that the garage has to be “conversated.” (haha) It’s such a charming old building – too bad it can’t be salvaged. It’s so nice that the previous owners are still around to have a cup of tea with you, and that they appreciate what you are doing. Good job, Christine! (Or “well done” as they say in jolly old UK.)

  4. Lovely to inherit a camellia and rose bushes, and to own space to shape into your garden and a safe place for Tilly 🙂
    Gracie xx

  5. How wonderful of you to honor the legacy of the people who owned the house before you. Good luck on the construction work. I wish we would have had more conversations on our home, maybe the mortgage wouldn’t be so high. Ha!!

  6. How exciting! Dont forget a cat door into the new conversation piece.x

  7. How nice to have one of the owners over for tea!!! How special for both of you! I am excited about your garage conversion ideas and the whole back garden re-do. Something to look forward to when nicer weather comes along again.

  8. I did get a laugh out of your flier’s typo, but it does seem perfect for your situation! Your plans sound wonderful, and your thoughtful consideration of the former owner’s beloved plantings is very sweet. I do look forward to seeing the final result, (as I am sure you are!!) and am so happy that you will have a garden to putter around in once more. Family, books, good food, and a little garden – these are the sweet things in life. xoxo

  9. I’m sure your garden will be a little paradise once you get it all sorted, There always seems so much more to do than was first evident when you move to a new house isn’t there. My daughter thought the first flat she moved to was ‘in move in condition’ and would need no work done until she saw it empty – then she discovered the mantle over the fireplace was sloping at an angle and all the pictures etc had been at an angle to disguise the fact! lol. I think its lovely that you’ve kept in touch with the previous owners, I’m sure they will enjoy seeing the house as it becomes your home. x

  10. Lol! I would happily employ someone to relieve us of the tedium of the garage and loft conversations we seem to have on an almost daily basis!

  11. How wonderful that you are staying in touch with the previous owners. I love that.

  12. Thanks, everyone! I’m glad you understand why we value keeping the link with the former owners of our house. They are very nice people.

    Marksgran – oh yes, there are always some surprises but that is very funny!

    Helen – glad if I gave you a laugh!

    Jill – We’ll have a cat-flap conversation once we experiment with taking Tilly on supervised trips outside! She’s been a housecat for 8 years so we will take things slowly.

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