Just before lockdown happened, I’d talked to a local handyman about various jobs around the house and garden. He quoted for some work inside the house, plus some work in the garden: coating my garage door with a suitable weatherproof treatment, and a couple of other jobs. But then the lockdown happened, and stopped all plans; even after things started easing, I didn’t get any replies to my emails asking when he might be available again.
I mentioned this to my friend Annie, and she suggested that her son, Jared, took a look at it for me, as he was in between things. As Jared’s dad is the guy that used to do all my work for me, I had confidence he would do a good job.
So for the last couple of weeks, he has been here working through an expanding list of jobs. He made short work of the garage doors, and also repainted all the wood trim around the garage roof. Then his eye turned to my garden furniture, which had been largely ruined by a mixture of neglect on my part, and being daubed with fence paint by the previous gardeners I’d hired.
The transformation was incredible. The original plan was to sand them down and then paint them all cream. But after he had finished sanding the table top, Jared suggested a shabby chic effect, part painted, part teak oil.
This is what my garden furniture looked like new, back in 2012.
This is what it looked like last year, when my hired gardeners decided that “wood treatment” involved just painting over the surface with fence paint, in the rain.
Here is the table, after Jared was done with it. with two unrestored chairs for comparison.
And here is the fully restored table and chairs (there is another bench, but that is currently somewhere else in the garden). Plus matching vegetable troughs!
I love the new look, especially since I had relegated the furniture to plant stands, and was thinking of buying new furniture.
Annie too has been a great help. She was here for a few days to help me get back on top of the weeding, and revitalising the neglected front garden.
It has also been very nice to have people around the house (or, at least, the garden. We have been taking precautions, of course, but most of our interactions have been outdoors and from a distance.