Before we bought the house it had been left abandoned for several years and the garden had taken on a mind of its own. It really was a jungle; we had to use a machete to find the front door.

Before we even began with the jobs inside we had to tackle the outside, so we swept the outdoor flags and cut back as much of the green as we could in the time we had there.

Outside we had a number of lemon, orange, walnut and fig trees. They were so overgrown that they were battling over the remaining ‘canopy’ space.

One of the first things that Dad did was purchase a garden saw and hack off the stray branches while saving the good fruit. When we arrived when many of the fruit was in season, so rather than organising lunch that day we just picked our lunch and ate it there and then. Living the dream! Here are some before and after photos of our attack on the garden.

The Jungle

We call this area of the garden ‘the jungle’. Hopefully you can see why.


The overgrown area we call the jungle
overgrown garden in 2013


The jungle in 2015 once we cut back the vegetation and added some plants

The Driveway

This was quite a big job! We pulled up what we could and then sprayed weed killer for good measure.


The overgrown driveway in 2013


The driveway once it was cleaned of vegetation

The Tool Shed

We’ve not yet developed this area of the garden yet. It’s currently where we store our garden tools. We cut back the jasmine plant that you can see here and tidied it up.

We’d like this area to be more of an outside lounge and will develop that in the future.

The overgrown garden and tool house

The Patio

We painted the wall white, pressure washed the tiles, added some outside lights and some plants. Much better! We’d like to build a concrete planter in front of the wall eventually.


The patio before we painted the wall


The patio once decorated and with some flowers

The Well

This is our driveway and outdoor living space with a large dining table. We’re very lucky to have our very own well with a working pump. We also added a fish pond.


The driveway and outside living space  before we painted it


The new fish pond
The new table
The well after Laura painted it

The Pool House

This is our pool room that we did up last year.


The pool house before we cut back the greenery


The Pool Room

The Entrance Gate

This photo is of our back gate, would you believe it. It is only just wide enough to fit a car through but with the plants being so overgrown the idea of bringing the car in was left for another day. To the left under the little canopy is where the wood for the fires would be stored.

These gates were poorly fitted and we found in the summer heat they expanded so much that we couldn’t open them. So 2019 we decided to have have new electric gates fitted and to widen the gate so larger vehicles can fit through.


The entrance gate before we cut back all the vegetation


The driveway once cleared

Day 1 Complete

This was ‘Day 1’ and we had no furniture and the inside wasn’t habitable anyway (with there being no taps or light fittings), so after an afternoon of cutting things back we had to make tracks back to our hotel. 

The house looking out onto the Serra da Estrela mountain range


About Laura

About Laura

Laura Bailey is the owner of My Home in Portugal and has been blogging since 2013.

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About Laura

About Laura

Laura Bailey is the owner of My Home in Portugal and has been blogging since 2013.

View All Posts
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One Response

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, I came across this by accident. We will be looking for a project ourselves next year and have just started looking at suitable properties :-)

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