The Garage Frontage

Today continued wet and warm, but not so windy, so Jackie was able to reorganise her plants fronting the garage.

This prompted me to produce a variation on the before and after theme. We were never going to use the garage for its original purpose. Soon after our arrival overnight on 31st March/1st April 2014 we began to clear and clean the area, full of rickety metal shelving, containing, among other things, pots of paint, oils, and other unpleasant materials leaking all over the floor on which some of it had coagulated.

I dumped all the shelving in the garden, as one wall at a time was made ready for our IKEA bookshelves.

Library in garage

The first were in place by 7th April.

Garage library

Michael had given us a carpet that we thought would fit the room, but on 17th April it still lay alongside boxes of books that I found far too daunting to lift.

Matthew in garage library

When Matthew visited on 26th, shifted all the cartons, and laid the carpet, it was a huge relief.

Library shelves

Most of the shelves were in situ four days later. Jackie did most of the assembling. We positioned a sheath of disused IKEA wardrobe sections between the back three and the garage doors.

Novels A box

I just had to sort out the books.

Library progress

This was the progress by 1st May,


Six days later, the job was done.

Plants from Walkford

Jackie’s sister Shelly, had fostered the potted garden Jackie had created around our Minstead flat. We reclaimed this on 7th June, and positioned the plants in front of the garage.

Portable garden in front of garagePots in front of garage

By 11th July that same year, it was established in its new home.

Garage frontage

As it is now the time to tidy up for the winter, Jackie bought some wooden trellis to replace the lower, wrought iron structure. She fixed this up today;

Wrought iron fencing

and recycled the iron to extend the piece by the side of the house at the front.

Jackie produced tender roast lamb, crunchy roast potatoes, and crisp carrots and green beans for this evening’s dinner. Dessert was perfect apple crumble with evap.


  1. I love your new library and way to hold on to great literature! I donated most to our library book sake when I moved out of my home my ex and I built in 2006. I love the small pile of treasured books and the small couple of baskets of children’s books, too.
    The beauty in the white corrugated door, black fence and potted flower garden is the whole presentation. Lovely as always, Derrick (and Jackie plus sister). ♡
    Do you have mint jelly for th he lamb? I would like to try your apple crumble with evap. milk, too. 🙂

  2. Do you not worry about dampness in the garage? Here garages are built with a single course of bricks whilst ‘full brick’ houses have two courses of bricks with a cavity in between. Brick veneered houses like mine, built 1997 have bricks on the outside, a cavity and boards on the inside.
    I have 26 IKEA bookshelves plus seven that holds other things 🙂 I had 75 boxes of books when I moved here after leaving most of them behind. (sad face) Needless to say I have precious little space for paintings on my walls.

    1. The garage/library is integral, and is the lower room under our bedroom and bathroom, I therefore think that it must have full thickness to the walls, I do hope so anyway! One day I would like to have a window fitted where the garage door is now and the room made into a ‘proper’ room.

      1. I would like to say I read every single one but I would be lying. 🙂 A lot are reference books on my many interests. Most of the books I gave away were fiction.

  3. I LOVE the library and had the same worry as Mary about dampness! Here humidity is just a part of life, we cycle through about 10 moisture absorber tubs every four weeks, but they do the trick. My books are spread throughout the train and guest room and our tiny house, even lining the staircase to the point we can barely get up it…:) I have more books than yarn…and that is saying something 🙂

    1. We have a de-humidifier running all the time, It actually does not fill very fast, so I am hopeful that we may have the moisture under control.

  4. That’s a wonderful use of space for all those books! I wish now I had kept all my books – I tend to pass them on once read either to friends or charity shops. I also like leaving books in places where they might be picked up and loved – on the train or at an airport. I live in hope that someone will email me to say they’d enjoyed the book…still waiting.
    The front of the garage door looks brilliant – Jackie has a real eye for design.

    1. Many thanks, Jenny. I had reached the stage where I was ready to let the books go, but Jackie wouldn’t hear of it. I’ve actually never had them all in one place before.

  5. Those stacked boxes of books remind me of a nightmare… A couple of years ago when I moved,I had at least that many boxes of books and all the works of art on paper from my calligraphy studio stored in a similar building when the roof, weighed with winter snow, gave way and all was rain indoors….books and paper don’t take kindly to moisture, especially to being drowned……

    1. Oh Cynthia. That is terrible. Not for just the loss of books, but future scholars might conclude you had the gift of tears. What an horrific thing to have happened.

  6. In a former life I constructed libraries in after school programs in the inner city. Turning utility closets and abandoned storage rooms into libraries. To me libraries are such sacred, special places – like churches and theaters where insights gather, healing happens and transformations take root. What a wondrous and marvelous library you have created!

  7. Huge amount of books. We love books! I have about 1500 books in French and my wife about 1000. When we moved from the countryside to a town, we sold some and I threw away some. Great post!

  8. A book garage. How lovely. Love libraries. I give most of my book to friends and family when I read them. I think books shall travel to new readers. But I also love libraries, so I think one can do both. Give books away or collect them in libraries 🙂

  9. You are not collecting books mate, by the look of it you are collecting libraries, but I understand the pleasures of books, they have a charm that technology cannot emulate, my preference in books are ones hidden below shelves, with musty mouldy smells and decaying pages, found in back street antique book shops, Ahh, there is the doorway to another world.

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