Please note: This topic is for your comments and feedback on Product Tests being run by Mumsnet. It is not the place to post (or ask for) comments on other products. If you do this, your comments may be deleted. If you'd like to run your own product test, please email insight@mumsnet.com. If you are an entrepreneur or start-up and would like to ask for some feedback, please visit our media requests topic.

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

Upside down again.
What Am I doing wrong here?

Openyourheart Thu 11-Jul-13 17:53:08

Job of the evening is cutting down a dead apple tree. I'm spending ages clearing stuff. I just want to get on with doing the nice creative bit!

Openyourheart Thu 11-Jul-13 17:54:28

Another question to answer:

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 help, just me. I'm a single mum with 3 kids so no-one here to help but I don't mind because I like to do things my way, anyway.

Cremolafoam Thu 11-Jul-13 20:39:12

I'm wondering if b&q are reading this thread because I went for a recce today and pretty much every plant looked half dead/ thirsty/ wilted. Yes I know it's really hot at the moment but there was not one healthy looking specimen to be had at Holywood Exchange. I am a bit disappointed tbh. I'm going to phone after the bank holiday ( tomorrow and Monday here) to find out when they'll be getting some fresh stock. It would be a complete waste of cash ATM .sad
Have made a list of the hard landscaping things we need and most are in stock so that's positive at least.

Front garden dismantling/ bonfire scheduled for Saturday .grin

VirgoGrr Thu 11-Jul-13 20:47:16

Oh FGS! It was all going so well!
MNHQ!! DP has managed to lose his wallet today, with the B&Q card in it. Any chance that it can be replaced? I have the receipt from my first shopping trip with the card number on.

VirgoGrr Thu 11-Jul-13 21:00:50

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?
We just have too much land! I know that sounds like a stealth boast blush but its difficult when you don't have loads of time/money to spend on it. Any little effort doesn't make much of an impact.
I'm going to spend my free money on a yard next to our garage. I want to have a private space where I can put a new greenhouse, have a place to sit, somewhere dog free ;) and walls to hang things from. I think this amount of spend can actually have a bit of an impact on this space.
- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?
I'm thinking about a Mediterranean style, painted walls, nice lighting, terracotta pots. I think the weather is making me think about holidays and nice places to sit in the evening.
- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?
All my own work so far - DP is going to help with shifting rubbish and wiring up the lights for me though. (Resident labourer/electrician - handy) smile

VirgoGrr Thu 11-Jul-13 21:07:00

Another view

VirgoGrr Thu 11-Jul-13 21:08:16

Oh, yeah. There's a broken down car in it too. :/

OpheliaBumps Thu 11-Jul-13 22:35:24

Wow, I put some stuff on the fence last night to kill the algae, it's worked miracles in 24 hours (and only £7, a bargain). All of the algae has gone, just need to give it a quick scrub to remove the residue and the fence is ready for painting - that's my weekend sorted then.

Will post a photo tomorrow of the fence post treatment, I'm really impressed with how well this stuff has worked!

EeyoreIsh Thu 11-Jul-13 22:37:23

Eeyore checking in smile

I've got my vouchers, and I've spent today at Hampton Court flower show so I've got oodles of ideas grin grin

heading to b&q first thing Saturday morning, I cannot wait!

OpheliaBumps Thu 11-Jul-13 23:24:08

Ooh eeyore I'm really jealous, I haven't been to TAtton flower show for years, I used to love visting the big shows.

G'wan, tell us your ideas!

Aw virgo what a shame, I'm sure you'll be able to get it replaced.
Or you never know, someone might hand in the wallet.

DoingItOurSelves Fri 12-Jul-13 00:08:20

Signing in to say I’m in and flowers
I’ve name changed for this for a few reasons, (please don’t link me to my usual posting name even if it’s obvious) but the more positive one being; this project's going to be me and teen ds together, not this is ‘mum’s project and I get to eat out there afterwards’, “isn’t it ds?” (response: “hmm… fair enough, fair enough.” grin )

We’re going to take a leaf out of Openyourheart’s book, and start with a few of the questions for the first post. We’re hoping to have ‘before’ photo’s tomorrow, but I’m tempted to do a clear up first as it’s that bad, but as it is, will definitely prove it’s an unloved garden!. blush

Why is your unloved garden unloved?
Neighbourhood problems initially made it difficult to use, and then major disability hit to compound things, but we decided to reclaim it and started collecting useable things towards it, but then repeat drain flooding, causing a wall collapse, and a lot of personal difficulties including financial one’s set everything back, and tbh all of it put together left us really dispirited and overwhelmed, (small violins please) and we turned our backs on it. blush
The opportunity (and actually being one of the winners!) has really helped change that. flowers

What do you want to change about it?
Almost everything! It’s currently just a large collection of pots, wood, bricks rubble, sacks of earth, broken mini greenhouse, etc, and a really embarrassing dumping ground, with the remains of some potted things clinging on amidst the mess.
We’ll post more about what we hope to turn it into tomorrow after we’ve been to B+Q. (we may be some time… smile )

DoingItOurSelves Fri 12-Jul-13 00:13:46

Virgo sad if you haven't already, I'd call customer services first thing, and cancel the card, I'm sure they could transfer the unused portion onto another card.

Openyourheart Fri 12-Jul-13 03:37:10

Virgo I really hope you get the card sorted out because I am really looking forward to seeing your transformation.

lissieloo Fri 12-Jul-13 09:28:57

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

Our garden is tiny. When we moved in it was an overgrown dump, we cut it all back and layed turf. We had planned to build a small deck and turn one side into a veg patch, but haven't got round to it. Time's gone by and it's seemed harder and harder to do. The top end, by the gate and leading onto a field, is just barren. stomped down dirt and an old bench.

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

We have a small house and would like to turn the garden into a usable "room". We have had a very clear idea of what we wanted to do. We want to make the most of living rurally and the lovely views with a place for us to sit while our ds plays on the lawn. We want to grow fruit and veg because I am a very keen cook, and I remember my grandads garden being full of lovely smells and colours. We want it to be pretty, and very countrified

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

My BFF is a gardener, he advised me on what sort of decking to buy and how to measure it out.

- 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 extremely helpful, and there were plenty of them (which was good, I hate wandering round trying to get help) One gent in particular was brilliant, he showed me pics of his own decking and helped confirm the amount of joists and boards I would need. He also started off my list for delivery and advised on weed control roll. I can't praise him highly enough. The helpdesk could have been more helpful though. seemed more interested in chatting to each other, than me.

- 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?

I watched "how to" youtube vids and an ideas one.

- If B&Q could do anything more to help you next time you visit, what would it be?

A list of things you need in the relevant departments. So if I am decking, I could pick up a list telling me I need gravel, etc. Or maybe an app you can download that calculates how many boards/joists you need or how many rolls of paper.

- 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?

We are awaiting delivery, so will answer this later. But ideas have been positively met, esp by our 8yo DS.

lissieloo Fri 12-Jul-13 09:30:52

This is where the decking will be.

lissieloo Fri 12-Jul-13 09:39:31

virgo, thats a shame sad have you called head office?

Geeklover Fri 12-Jul-13 10:09:23

Marking my place. I'll answer the questions when I get in the computer this evening.
I spent hours with a nice man called Peter in b&q Inverness the other day. I am fairly sure he was glad when I left but he and another guy Paul were amazing with their help and advice over 2 visits. And my stuff is being delivered on Wednesday. grin
Oooh and was so excited and surprised to get the voucher on Monday I nearly hugged the postie.

geeklover
We were in the Inverness branch as well smile
Well technically DH did the shopping, but said the staff were excellent.

Babieseverywhere Fri 12-Jul-13 12:45:17

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?
Our garden had two reasons for being unloved. One we moved here with a three month old baby and had three further children within the next six years...literally babies everywhere. So no time or energy to do the garden.

Second my DH use to make bio-diesel in the shed at the bottom of the garden (fully legal to make up to 2000 litres a year for personal use only). As this involved using dangerous chemicals, the shed and the bottom third of the garden was fenced off with a gate for safety reasons. Then because we didn't use that section of the garden it became a dumping ground for stuff that should of been tipped straight away.

- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?
I am aiming for weedfree, cleaned paving, painted fences,more practical space for the children using the whole garden and to try adding a few plants to see how we get along with them. Plus a 'new-to-me' water feature...I want to hear the sound of water in a garden.

- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?
My friend is a trained interior designer and she is so brilliant with ideas and colours etc. I can't do everything we have planned for the garden for this makeover deadline. But I plan to use the B&Q unloved garden project as a springboard to upkeep and improve our very tatty and underused garden and file the more ambitious ideas for a later date.

- 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?
We didn't expect to find and to ultimately end up buying a big playhouse. We went looking for a swing but the children adored the Croft Playhouse and had to be bribed to get out of it ! We decided though the wanted a swing, that a playhouse would get far more use over the next few years and the local park has swings just 5 minute walk away.

Bolton B&Q was very helpful, especially telling us where we could find the Croft playhouse, as they had sold out (restock in 28 days) and gave us the details for St Helens branch, which we have reserved a playhouse at. Payment for playhouse is a third B&Q vouchers, a third grandparents donations for children's birthdays, a third donation from us for children's birthdays. Still a lot of money gulp. Lets hope they love it as much when it is up at home.

- 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. But at the moment and for the next few days we are clearing and cleaning. But once we get to fence painting and plants...I'll be having a look.

- If B&Q could do anything more to help you next time you visit, what would it be?
Not for visits, but regarding the phone lines. I have really struggled to get through to the St Helens branch with the phone going dead or too static or simply not being picked up. If there could be a message with where in the queue you are or something. Ensure music is played rather than static when you are on hold. Maybe have one staff member who just answers phone queries if possible. I should add that every staff I spoke to was very helpful and professional, it was just hard getting in contact with them !

- 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?
My parents are wondering if the plants we will add, will survive. As very avid gardeners themselves, with a beautiful leafy garden, they don't understand our totally paved with no plants back yard (this is what it was like when we moved in)

It has already has a positive impact on us. I already sit out there for more meals and plan what I'll be doing to the garden. As it is clearer and cleaner it is more pleasant.

I can't wait until the 28th July as it will be done, though I am less looking forward to all the hard work. Will be chipping away as we can and doing couple of days at the weekends. Though we have to celebrate DH's 40th this weekend, so limited gardening this weekend. It will be done. smile

Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity smile

Geeklover Fri 12-Jul-13 12:48:17

Ooh they said somebody else had been in as well it was your dh grin
Most of the staff were fab. There was a leetle bit of an issue with not communicating properly about delivery by which point I'd been in there for 2 hours but it was fine.

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Fri 12-Jul-13 12:49:55

- 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?

hmm i don’t want to be a grump but I’ve just had an entirely unfruitful and disappointing visit to b&q.

the sleepers I was interested in were marked as being £19.98, although on the website they were £14.98 - open the rustic ones are very rustic, all sizes and shapes, essentially tree trunks with two opposite sides shaved off . Anyway off I wandered to find someone to ask about the pricing. I walked and walked and not one orange clad soul did I find. I walked all the way down to the 'builders materials' end, and found the slabs I think i want, again no one to ask about ordering and delivery

I walked around and around, all the way back to the garden end, still no one. I hung around by the 'help point' someone eventually appeared from a side door, I collared her and said I wanted some info on delivery, she went off to find someone, who eventually turned up and told me he could help and had to “get back to timber” as he was the only person working who was trained.

There were seemingly two members of staff in a shop the size of a small town. In fairness I have always found them very helpful in the past, perhaps they’d been caught on the hop by the good weather and were far busier than anticipated. But I’ve not managed to buy anything other than a reduced parsley (50p) and a spade so far

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Fri 12-Jul-13 12:51:06

wow what a veiw lissieloo

i LOVE your plans, i think you're going to make a wonderful space

Openyourheart Fri 12-Jul-13 14:03:04

I'm getting obsessed with this.

Just been to B&Q Stockport as it is massive.

I got a grass rake as the area is covered with twigs which I need to remove before I start digging; a draw hoe to smash those nasty weeds; a multi prong cultivator to break up the soil; and 10 raspberry canes.

I really need to sort out my laundry but I keep getting diverted to the garden.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now