Creating a new front ‘garden’ but open for business as usual!

Hubby, in an excess of light bulb moments, enthusiasm and energy, had decided to dig up the front part of Blenheim Lodge to create two extra parking spaces. Having filled two skips with 16 tons of earth and debris, he found himself staring at two electric cables in the exposed ground. ‘Ah! What to do?’ Well, there was really only one thing we could do – ring the electricity board to ask for their professional opinion regarding the viability of Hubby’s project.

After a frustrating three days of calling the electricity board and getting no real help at all, the company finally despatched someone to come look at our two cables in pouring rain. This happened in December. The man got his scanner out and found that not only were the cables live but that we were fortunate Hubby had not managed to damage them and others when digging about. Result? Re-instatement of said landscaping that had originally been there or as close to it in order to protect the cables. Never mind that the electricity board had not buried them under the regulation minimum of 2’6″ of protection in the first place!

So guess what we are doing now? Over the past two weeks, I have been contacting landscapers to quote us for re-instating the ‘garden’. Quotes have started to come in with the lowest at around the £5000 mark. The job itself is not difficult, but the price is certainly not for the fainthearted especially when said fainthearted had not budgeted for the work in the first place.

Here is a photo of what the frontage of the house looked like before Hubby took a very sharp-edged spade to it! We have now lost all the greenery in the raised bed and the second flight of steps in the foreground of the photo. Guests have been entering the house from the first flight of steps that go down to the car park from our front porch. In truth, the four shallow steps that have been removed are superfluous to requirement.

Steps leading up to Blenheim Lodge Guest House

Welcome to Blenheim Lodge, our AA 4-star our bed and breakfast guest house.

So far, we have been encouraged by the different garden landscapers who have come to quote to think of a few different ideas: from replacing our greenery with a sculpture to moving 8 tons of rock to the site in order to create a rockery. We have also been cajoled by some landscapers to instate more modern hard landscaping. Unfortunately for them, I prefer old Victorian Lakeland stone walls that will blend with the original Lakeland stone which Hubby took away and more greenery and bright flowering plants to create a softer and more natural country feel.

I have been searching around on different websites and have found that my type of gardening taste runs expensive. Hubby did find a local drystone waller who could build a proper Lakeland drystone wall, except that I forgot to write down his phone number! He was going to create drystone steps and walling for us, which I think could look very effective and natural, especially with raised beds on either side of the pathway.

Well, if you have any ideas, do please let me know. I have told Hubby that we should really make a decision on who to go with within the coming week. What I can say for certain is that we will definitely not be engaging the two or three landscapers who have told us that they will charge between £100-£300 plus VAT simply to give us a quote. Their rationale behind that? Because they would have to make a scaled drawing of the site in order to quote for the work. To tell the truth, Hubby and I do not require any scaled drawings at this stage – all we need is someone with great ideas who can convince us that what he or she can build is will be something that we and our guests will like and find practical for everyday use.

Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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Telephone: 015394 43440

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