Potters Bar man created Mediterranean in his garden to save on expensive holidays

Arty and Shirley Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn

Arty and Shirley Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn't afford to go away. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A Potters Bar man who has made shoes and handbags for the Royal Family has created the Mediterranean in his garden because it has become too expensive to go abroad.

Arty and Shirley Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn

Arty and Shirley Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn't afford to go away. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Arty Achilleos, 64, of Mutton Lane, recently added a 6x2m print that he hand painted to the back wall in his garden to complement the existing Mediterreanean theme.

He started work on the garden in March and finally finished it a couple of weeks ago - it features lemon, orange, fig and olive trees.

The father of two sons, who are 27 and 31, enjoys the garden with his wife Shirley for al fresco breakfast and lunch.

Arty told the Potters Bar Edition: “We got married two years ago in Cyprus, which was another reason why we made this transition but also it’s just too expensive to go abroad.

Arty Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn't afford to

Arty Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn't afford to go away. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant


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“The neighbours and family love it, they feel like they are in a restaurant over the Mediterranean.

“We had a family BBQ last weekend and regularly use our garden even in the rain because I put tarpaulin over it so that we could always use it.”

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The family has lived in the home for 10 years, but the transition, which started off as a gimmick, has encouraged them spend more time in the garden than they did before.

Arty added: “Previously the garden was a basic square, I have now cemented the whole thing so there is no grass.

Arty Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn't afford to

Arty Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn't afford to go away. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

“I made a print of a terrace overlooking the sea under a grape vine and put it on the back wall.”

The semi-retired bespoke shoemaker has previously made shoes and handbags for the Royal Family, including a handbag for Princess Anne and two royal weddings.

Arty has also made accessories for celebrities and for use in films including Big Ears, a remake of Dumbo and Mary Poppins Returns, which are set to be released at a later date.

Arty Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn't afford to

Arty Achilleos decorated his garden to look like a holiday destination because he couldn't afford to go away. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

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