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B&Q Unloved Gardens feedback thread. Non-testers: add your unloved garden comments - £150 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(587 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Jul-13 12:20:13

This thread is for the 20 Mumsnetters who have been chosen by B&Q to revamp their unloved garden.

Those selected have been sent a B&Q giftcard to buy the things they need to give their unloved garden a makeover. They're working to complete the makeover by the 28th, and will be keeping us up-to-date on how their revamps are going on this thread as well as posting photos.

Please do follow their stories and add your own comments if you want to show some support!

Below are the questions we'd like testers to answer but please feel free to add your own comments too. Please give us a bit of info about the garden you're revamping and what you plan to do with it in your response.

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?
- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?
- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?
- How did you find your shopping experience at B&Q? Were the staff helpful? Did you find anything in store you maybe didn't expect to beforehand?
- Did you use any of the help and advice that B&Q offer? This includes their videos on YouTube, leaflets and classes in store etc. If so, how useful was that help and advice?
- If B&Q could do anything more to help you next time you visit, what would it be?
- Have you had any feedback on what you've done with the garden from family/friends? Has the transformation had a big impact on you and/or your family?

If you're not an official tester but would like to be in with a chance of winning a £150 B&Q giftcard, please post on this thread to tell us about your own garden revamp successes (or failures!) - we'd love to hear from all MNers who have a garden makeover story to share!

Thanks very much
MNHQ

lissieloo Wed 10-Jul-13 13:30:50

We have just been and spent our giftcard, it came to £301.50 and is being delivered on monday. I can't wait to get started. Will do a more indepth post when I get home.

Roma2013 Wed 10-Jul-13 13:51:40

Roma checking in...

1. Why unloved (garden, not me) and what's stopped us renovating do far?

It's an ugly concrete jungle. Used to function as a car port for previous owners and has a hardcore base and an old garage door. We did hire a Kanga drill once to try and make a dent in it (fantasies of lush lawn). Looking back, I can now see the funny side... Suffice to say, 10 years later...it's still there.. The other legacy was the garage door which we tried to disguise, along with the breeze blocks, by painting them white. They're now peeling (have stomached this for the past couple of years by relabelling them 'distressed). Money's been the main inhibitor to date.

2. Inspiration?
Homes and Gardens Magazines and a whole load of books collected along the way which fuelled my fantasy of a verdant English courtyard. Friends have offered advice too.

3. So far, I've researched B&Q online and chosen three types of pavers I'd like. Can't do anything until Monday when I shall go and view them at our local store. Bit concerned that the colour online may be different in RL, so I'd like to check this. Next week, aim to paint back gate too.

How do I upload a pic? (am using an iphone)

Cremolafoam Wed 10-Jul-13 14:20:28

Hi all marking my place. It is very hot today so mostly just looking at garden and planning. I am going out later with the first thing I have bought which is some resolva weed and grass killer. I am going for a scorched earth policy and killing everything in our small patch before starting !
I would mostly like to invest long term in plants so will be going for lots of hardy lavenders and hard herbs.
Will add some before pics later
Gift card just arrived this morning- thankyou!!

Marking my place so I can find thread later. Will come back and answer questions once the DC are in bed.

BeehavingBaby Wed 10-Jul-13 18:31:35

Hello. Not spent a penny yet! The actual make-over will probably happen 27/28th July (a bit last minute) as I will need my mum to help (I am useless at this sort of thing) so it will be hacking and crushing the jungle into submission initially. Plus splashing lots of chemicals about any time my (organic grocer) husband's back is turned blush.

What are the video-ers video-ing? I did totes adorbs intro videos of the girls all wrapped up in towels just after they got out of the paddling pool, discussing their hopes and dreams for bluebells to grow under the hedge (more specific than I expected) but when I played them back they were wriggling so much they kept flashing so back to square one with that.

I think you can only post one pic at once so I will quickly do the next few posts as 'before' pics. They were taken on the last dull day to add a extra sheen of depression and neglect grin

BeehavingBaby Wed 10-Jul-13 18:32:30

Front square - just tidy?

BeehavingBaby Wed 10-Jul-13 18:33:59

Side of house - bike track at the moment. Major weed, and some big plants down the side? Girls resistant to buddleia destruction, apparently it is the fairy house hmm

BeehavingBaby Wed 10-Jul-13 18:37:26

Also need to replace most of the panels, that is one of only 2 nice new orange-y ones, from B and Q naturally smile. The other 7 are falling off, and yes that is a propped up double mattress in the distance, tres shameless.

Main bit I would love to be more loved:

BeehavingBaby Wed 10-Jul-13 18:39:34

I thought the writing went above the picture, the colon doesn't make sense there, never mind.

Would also like to do climbers down the side of the garage too, on wire rather than trellis to save money? It is a west facing wall, don't know if anyone knows what to put there?

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?

We moved in over a year ago and thought we'd get the inside of the house done before touching the back garden.
Well the inside still isn't finished, but something needs to be done about the dumping ground/jungle so that we have somewhere to sit and enjoy watching the children play
To be honest lack of funds has prevented us from doing something sooner.

- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?

My favourite book as a child was 'The secret garden', I've just finished reading it to DD and we love the idea of creating our own mini version.

- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?

No, we'll be doing this ourselves, me and DH.

- How did you find your shopping experience at B&Q? Were the staff helpful? Did you find anything in store you maybe didn't expect to beforehand?

I did my shopping online and planned to reserve and collect, called B&Q and asked I they could keep my order until the gift card arrived.
The man on the phone was very helpful and said they could keep it until the weekend for me.
A further phonecall to find out about delivery was very positive, chap said simply come in and pay with your gift card and we'll have it delivered for you ASAP. I'm very impressed with the customer service so far smile

- Did you use any of the help and advice that B&Q offer? This includes their videos on YouTube, leaflets and classes in store etc. If so, how useful was that help and advice?

Yes, have been watching the YouTube tutorials.
Very useful and informative. Easy to follow for novices like me.

- If B&Q could do anything more to help you next time you visit, what would it be?
Not sure really, so far have been very helpful.

- Have you had any feedback on what you've done with the garden from family/friends? Has the transformation had a big impact on you and/or your family?

Just getting started, so will answer this later.

I've attached a 'before' photo.

BeehavingBaby Wed 10-Jul-13 18:43:27

Last post - had a slight set back today when I sliced through the hedge trimmer cable half way through the hedges. I (along with all females to whom I am related) seem to do this more than 50% of the times we trim the hedge, whereas DH never does it. Never been electrocuted but hoping my dad will be able to fix it at the weekend sad.

Hmm, my garden is upside down. hmm

hackneyzoo Wed 10-Jul-13 21:01:00

Just got the vouchers today and we made a start at clearing the area over the weekend. I've got all my dates mixed up and we are off on holiday a week on friday, I'm working during the day and over the weekend, so this is quite a bug family effort to get it done on time.
So far so good though. Am completely shock at how easy it is to spend £320!

Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?

We live in a terrace with a back yard and small front garden, we moved in two years ago and just haven't had the time or money to do anything with the space.

- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?

Since we haven't had the funds to do it , I have been looking at our neighbours' gardens and gardens int he surrounding areas. I like the idea of attracting bees and other insects and I like a slightly
wild and unkempt look (as thisis how it will end up looking anyway!)

- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?
A friend who is a zooloigist has taken an interest and suggested plants and design and that sort of thing. A bloke from B and Q heled answer our questiosn about building a raised bed.

- How did you find your shopping experience at B&Q? Were the staff helpful? Did you find anything in store you maybe didn't expect to beforehand?
The staff were helpful, the B and Q was enormous. We thought it would be difficult to spend the money... it wasn't!

- Did you use any of the help and advice that B&Q offer? This includes their videos on YouTube, leaflets and classes in store etc. If so, how useful was that help and advice?
A member of thier staff gave us some advice and will have a further look at thier website.

- If B&Q could do anything more to help you next time you visit, what would it be?
It took a while to be served, but it was a busy store.

OpheliaBumps Wed 10-Jul-13 21:28:09

Just got my gift card, and have started buying some of the stuff I need. So far I've got stuff to de-algae the fence, fence paint, lawn treatment and a rather gorgeous oleander (it was the last one in B&Q & I didn't want to miss a bargain plant purchase, will buy the rest of my plants nearer to the end date).

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?
We moved in to our new build when I was heavily pregnant with twins, and there was never time for the garden, it always got pushed to the bottom of the list. We managed to put in a few plants, but haven't maintained them very well, and we've added a lot of outdoor toys for the twins. I want to turn it from a play area for the kids to a space the whole family can use - some plants to appreciate, somewhere to sit, and a split between the play and family areas.

- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?
Inspiration comes from previous gardens I've created, I want to add in some of my favourite plants, so there is something to attract me to spend time outside.

- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?
It will be DH & me doing the revamp, with a little help from the kids grin. DH is on a stag do this weekend so I'll be doing a big chunk of the work on my own then.

- How did you find your shopping experience at B&Q? Were the staff helpful? Did you find anything in store you maybe didn't expect to beforehand?
So far they've been lovely, really helpful. DH really really wanted an oleander, they're his favourite plant, and I said B&Q wouldn't have anything as unusual as that, I was expecting the plant selection to be more mainstream. I had to eat my words when we found one solitary oleander in stock today, a lovely example which is about to flower (desperately hoping it holds off till I'm ready for taking photos).

- Did you use any of the help and advice that B&Q offer? This includes their videos on YouTube, leaflets and classes in store etc. If so, how useful was that help and advice?
Not yet, as my plans don't really need any skills I don't already have.

- If B&Q could do anything more to help you next time you visit, what would it be?
When I go to choose the plants, it would be good to have some advice on what I'm choosing, simply to save me reading every plant care label to work out what is suitable for me & what isn't.

OpheliaBumps Wed 10-Jul-13 21:36:22

The playground!

OpheliaBumps Wed 10-Jul-13 21:40:29

The boring, algae coated fence & lack of plants

OpheliaBumps Wed 10-Jul-13 21:43:56

and more of the same, unloved fence & non-existent plants

OpheliaBumps Wed 10-Jul-13 21:48:18

and finally, another shot showing some of the outdoor toys, to show how little space there is for us to use as a family

Not a tester but having a bit of a garden fail....

Invested in new planters to brighten up our spartan garden. Lovely.

Planted plants in said planters. Lovely.

Bizarre overly hot weather happens while we are on holiday and plants get scorched and die. Boo.

There's a lot of dead, blackened mint plants staring in my window at the moment..... wine

OpheliaBumps Wed 10-Jul-13 22:16:38

Oh no mrscumberbatch, poor you! I'm not planting anything just yet, it's far too hot to risk it at the moment.

I hope you didn't spend too much on your plants?

We spent about £60 Ophelia which isn't too bad- could have been a lot worse!

We'd spent a day at DP's GP's who'd given us some lovely cuttings from their garden as well..... (saved us a fortune but feel so guilty about it knowing that it's all gone to waste.)

Luckily we are better parents than we are gardeners so all is not lost wink

Openyourheart Wed 10-Jul-13 22:31:34

Hello!
Gift card arrived today and so far I have bought an incinerator to burn a whole pile of garden waste. I also hired a skip for all the stuff that you can't burn (skip not from B&Q). The skip is now full and I had a fire going all day. All the rubbish is now gone.

I think I'll try to answer one question each time I post so here goes.

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?

I have a big garden and this bit is a part that I used to keep chickens on. I had a large walk in run and the weeds grew up behind it. The chickens are no longer with us so it is time to do something else with the space. The photo is after I sold the chicken run on ebay.

Openyourheart Wed 10-Jul-13 22:35:05

This is what it looks like today. Note the B&Q incinerator that I have used for the smaller bits of wood.

Now I'll answer another question.

- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?

Mainly from watching Gardener's World and Beechgrove Garden.

Openyourheart Wed 10-Jul-13 22:59:19

Oh, second part of question.

The style I'm going for is a vegetable plot. Not sure how it will look until I have done some more ground work.

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