Need help with planning a large sloping garden

(8 Posts)
Risette Sun 14-Apr-13 12:31:49

I'm new to gardening, but very keen to start planning how to design and maintain a large garden which, when we bought the property, had been neglected for the last thirty years. Added to the fact it's a mess, the garden slopes away from the house at about a 15% angle.

I'm looking for advice or maybe recommendations for books that could get me started. It feels like a huge task and I don't know where to start.

HeathRobinson Sun 14-Apr-13 12:37:49

Slopes down? Which way does it face?

Risette Sun 14-Apr-13 15:12:03

It's South West facing. There are steps down into the garden which then slopes down from the house.

I was thinking of step terracing it.

Smiles26 Sun 14-Apr-13 20:29:42

I would first start by clearing it completely, then work out how many and where you want your step terracing. if its a large garden then you will probably need a mini digger (if access is available). I did one recently where the client had decking brought up to the level of the back door so they could walk out from the kitchen to the outside tables. Once you get going it will start to fit together just try and plan as much as you can before you begin. Its not going to be an easy task especially if its just you but when you finish you it will have been worth while. smile

LadyMud Mon 15-Apr-13 18:07:36

Lucky you! We have a similar slope, so made a feature out of the different levels. The four areas are separated by three pairs of raised beds with steps in the middle.

As Smiles26 suggests, it's definitely worth get professional help to do the groundwork. And her comments about "no steps by the back door" make a lot of sense (especially for older people and children).

I can PM you with a link to some photos, Risette, if you're interested?

Risette Mon 15-Apr-13 22:36:17

Thank you for your replies.

Luckily we have a terrace surrounding the house and the steps are from the terrace not directly outside the doors.

Clearing it is great advice. We've got to have a septic tank installed so it'll be a good opportunity to get the mini digger to do help us out. The soil is very rocky so I may be able to use some stones for terracing.

Have you got very distinct levels Ladymud ? I am interested in how things may look as at the moment the garden is just a wilderness.

LadyMud Tue 16-Apr-13 09:05:44

Just a gentle slope, Risette, although dividing the garden into "terraces" would work equally well with a steeper slope, or even a level garden.

Another really good website is Floral & Hardy - I love their designs!

daisydee43 Wed 17-Apr-13 21:22:46

Alpine plants are great on slopes or you could do ground cover plants like vinca and pachysandra

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