Garden Blog - Blog Post

My Mind’s in the Gutter


After a great burst of activity in the garden in the first half of the year, I’ve taken a bit of a self-imposed break from it since mid-summer. My mind went to the gutter – the gutters on the house, that is. When we bought the house we knew they were bad, I mean, really bad. So bad they may as well have not been there. For some inexplicable and bizarre reason, I put the complete overhaul of the exposed wooden eaves and gutters in the, “I think I can do it myself, it shouldn’t take long.” category, especially after we got back quotes for how much it would cost us to get someone else in to do it for us instead.

Bad Guttering

Fast forward a few months and I am still only about two-thirds the way through the work, with the rest being left until next year (or perhaps the year after). The finished parts look stunning though, with the exposed wooden eaves painted a smooth, rich chocolate brown (scrubbed, cleaned and three coats thank you) and the new guttering a sleek, deep black. There’s only so much one can effuse over guttering and by now, I’m a self-made expert and good with ladders.

The garden has had to take a back seat to make progress on this and other essential house repairs, but I haven’t ignored it completely. I’ve been watching the impromptu squash invading a corner of the garden, the roses get settled into their new places under the trees and the sunflowers grow and fill out the front border. Meanwhile, we’ve had the nomadic patio pot plants flower with astrantia, fuchsia, clematis, hydrangea, hosta and roses. I’ve been watching it all as I go about with the pots of paint, tools and ladders.

New Paint Job

Though I wish I could have done more in the garden, I’m quite pleased with the amount of progress that’s happened already, especially when I think back to how it all looked and the state it was in when I first started. I’m bringing both the house and garden up to scratch in tandem. I’ve never been a DIY person but I’m now glad I have the opportunity as there’s countless jobs ranging from major overhauls, through to little tweaks that need to be done and it’s no different in the garden either.

I’m expecting more gutter parts to arrive soon and then I can restore the lower levels at the front. That will then allow me to plan the outdoor christmas lights (yep, that’s the ultimate agenda). I’ll then be able to get my mind out of the gutter and back to working on the garden for what’s left of the season.

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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Alain 08/10/2014 - 5:53 pm

This type of job is not interesting but has to be tackled. I have some gutters that need repair after the ice last winter. I am afraid it will have to wait till spring. Fortunately it is not very high.
You have done quite a bit with the garden even if, I am sure you focus on what is left to be done. Good luck with the gutters!

Sunil 09/10/2014 - 8:40 am

Hello Alain, I’ve found that it is very labour intensive if you want to do it right (and do it once only). Since we have exposed wooden eaves, they need particular attention that I would have to pay a contractor for the best part of a year to work on for similar results (I like to think).

gardeninacity 08/10/2014 - 11:10 pm

Good work. I confess that I usually hire someone to fix the gutters when they need it. Which isn’t very frugal of me, but I get nervous on ladders. Also I can’t bear to be distracted from the garden.

Sunil 09/10/2014 - 8:41 am

Hi Jason, I used to be nervous on ladders too but after going up and down them so often to work on the eaves and gutters I don’t think twice. I can afford to be distracted from the garden for the time being since I am “observing” it over the course of a season or two.

casa mariposa 25/10/2014 - 1:02 am

If anyone at my house attempted that, a hospital stay and several broken limbs would have been involved. Sad but true. Congrats on doing the work without breaking your neck. 🙂


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