Oops, we bought a pizza oven...

Grand Designs has struck again, and just a month after I told you about a revision to our garden plans - these ones -  I'm telling you about another change.  Well not a change as such, fine tuning perhaps, an addition and one I think will really give this corner of our garden a purpose and finish this section of the garden, once and for all.

Don't worry, it still involves gabion baskets, just a slight reconfiguration to accommodate the pizza oven, and ensure that MOH is cooking pizzas on his knees.  I'm good to him like that.

As you can see from the photo below we currently use this area as a bit of a dumping ground for our building supplies - and have done for the past few years - but that's about to change. It's a relatively shady spot too and the boundary walls are two of our rear neighbours, so quite an unusual space. The stone circle went in at the same time as the new patio in 2013 (I can't believe it's that long ago!) but as we didn't know how to finish it off, so with plenty of other things going on, it just got left.

THIS IS THE PART OF OUR GARDEN ABOUT TO GET A REVAMP AND A NEW PURPOSE

THIS IS THE PART OF OUR GARDEN ABOUT TO GET A REVAMP AND A NEW PURPOSE

The plan to add gabion basket wall-cum-seat here really worked for us and that's still the overall plan, it's just having a few tweaks. As for the pizza oven you'll know we don't rush into these kind of decisions and we first started looking at them at the Ideal Home Show last year - I'vve just found the photos!

We're treating it as an early birthday present to ourselves and we finally took the plunge, after much research at Grand Designs on the Mayday Bank Holiday and even then there was further deliberations and discussions as to how - and where - this might work. But first, this is the pizza oven we're looking forward to taking delivery of hopefully by the end of May.  

An Etna Ovens traditional pizza oven

It's made by Etna Ovens based in Bedford who "are a UK manufacturer of traditional Italian style pizza ovens."  They're a small company who are clearly passionate about pizzas and we're really pleased to have discovered them. And of course, if you've already done the research then buying big items as a show is a great way to do it.  Now there's just the small matter of building something to put it on! 

Even at the show before we decided there were hastily redrawn versions of the plan to work out how to fit it in. Even though it's at the end of the garden, and so quite a way from the kitchen, I was adamant I didn't want it on the patio. I like our much larger patio free of relatively fixed items and MOH and I disagree about the placement of the table, but that's a whole other story.

But with some adjustment to the bench area, we thought it would work. As we planned we realised it'd be more useful to have the pizza oven block at a sensible height, and to have a block either side of it for cooking paraphernalia, or more likely the cook's beer.

So here's the updated plan, which I'm hoping will be the last revision.

A HASTILY DRAWN REVISION TO THE GABION WALL LAYOUT

A HASTILY DRAWN REVISION TO THE GABION WALL LAYOUT

Having convinced ourselves it would work, we were sold and the deal was done. I think this has the potential to be one of our best show buys ever!  And if I play it right - and with the weather on my side - summer cooking could quite easily be handed over to MOH.  I mean gas barbecue, traditional fire pizza oven, what could go wrong...

Back home we were out in the garden eyeballing the space and measuring up. And phew. Standing in front of the space it was obvious where it should go, and where we'll store our logs too. Next up it was working how many gabion baskets we needed to order, I was so glad I hadn't ordered them before we went, as we thought it more likely that we'd leave with a firepit rather than a pizza oven. The firepit purchase is currently on hold.  

To work out how many baskets I used cut out squares of graph paper - no expense spared here! - and I think it'll work out just fine.

USING CUT OUT SQUARES FOR A MORE CONSIDERED PLAN

USING CUT OUT SQUARES FOR A MORE CONSIDERED PLAN

So I'm reconfirming what I need, or actually all the accessories that I need to fit the baskets together which is the tricky part, not having done this before. It's always more cost efficient to buy everything at the same time, as well as being easier, so once I've worked my way through the advice on the interweb, the order will be placed.  

And then we can start to scour the skips in the area and scour ebay for materials to fill them with, which of course we now need a bit more of. I've started a Pinterest board so if you're intrigued, pop over there for some gabion inspiration.

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