As well as the building, of course we have to consider the grounds that the pub stands in. As gardens take a while to establish, we decided to get started on this at the same time we started on our living accommodation. There was no point sorting out the garden entirely because some of it would be wrecked when rubble, baths, sinks, etc were removed, but we thought we should start on something.

So we planned the finished article and started work on the areas further from the building. That’s counter-intuitive of course as normally you’d start near the property and work away from it. There were a few mature trees to be maintained, then we planted some lovely shrubs and had a patio area laid at the end of the “lawn”. The whole lot would be refurbished of course in due time, but to start we had the new patio, covered by a gazebo and it made such a difference to outlook that it quite cheered us up.

It meant that we could get away from things when it all became too much; take a glass of wine to the peaceful area and forget about building work for the time being. We actually did about half the garden – which is probably about three-quarters of an acre, so quite a size to re-establish. The rest was to be done once the pub was completed and would probably be one of the last areas to be taken care of.

As well as tarting up the overgrown garden and taming the wilderness, we uncovered an old wall. It wasn’t particularly attractive so we painted it a lovely shade of pale green to fit in with the surroundings and add a calmness to the outdoor space. We’ve now decided that this little oasis will be fenced off and used as our own private garden, separate from the pub garden that is open to all. I think this will give us some sanity in what is sometimes far too much exposure to the human race

The Grounds