Live the ‘Good Life’ in Dún Laoghaire without the grind for €675,000

Four-bedroom house on Rochestown Ave has had major refurb

 

Remember Tom and Barbara and The Good Life they cultivated in the hit 1970’s television series? It all seemed like a whole lot of work for very little reward. Now a house on Rochestown Avenue is offering many of the perks of that good life, with most of the heavy lifting already done.

When Helen Meaney decided to return from London in 2005, after 13 years in London, she was looking for a “doer upper” with somewhere to expand her gardening skills.

“I had always been keen on GIY (grow it yourself) and figured that if I could do it to some extent in London, why not do even more in Dublin,” Meaney says.

When she found 174 Rochestown Avenue, the four-bedroom house, dating from 1962, had never been upgraded. The renovation saw all doors and windows replaced, and the the kitchen and dining room knocked into one space, with the addition of more space to the side. The refurb coincided with the neighbour’s extension, and the two properties became terraced. The gain for Meaney was two extra rooms upstairs, while downstairs got a toilet and much bigger kitchen.

But in the south-facing garden, Meaney really came into her own. Initially, she installed a small pond, then enlisted the help of a friend and hired a rotavator to dig out the entire rear lawn over a weekend.

“We made some wooden borders, and created a layout of beds which seemed interesting. Then we laid stones for the paths and planting commenced.” Later a greenhouse was added to mark a significant birthday, and now the garden’s produce is bountiful, providing year-round salad and herbs.

“Tomatoes grow really well, and it’s abundant with fruit. I have the most productive plum tree I’ve ever seen; three gorgeous apple trees; a pear tree, tons of raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, rhubarb and also peas, fava/broad beans, and garlic. Oh, and there’s also lilac, hydrangea, roses, fuschia, calla lilies and passionflower. . . It’s not bad for a back garden in Dublin.” And, Meaney adds, all this was achieved with compost from the wormery and without the help of chemicals.

“I get great pleasure in the garden – I’m pleased that it’s doing its bit to help with carbon sequestering and to fight climate change. And most importantly it’s wonderfully positioned to get lots of sun; the deck is great for just relaxing and it’s a fab entertaining spot.”

Meaney is moving on to be closer to family down the country and to find a bigger garden to work with. 174 Rochestown Avenue has 133 sq m, and is for sale with Kearney Auctioneers for €675,000.

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