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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

TallulahTT Sat 13-Jul-13 21:39:35

We have put in a few hours this afternoon, it was hot even in the shade, it's been great to spend some time with my teen without having to spend a fortune, I have cut a lot back, now I'm thinking maybe too much! It looks a bit bare. I have bought a few smaller bush type plants, I have found at the bottom of the garden there is lumps of concrete and bricks and impossible to dig down far so I have bought the smaller versions and I'm hoping they'll grow to the size I'd wanted to buy. I may need a year for my after picture after today's cutdown.

DoingItOurSelves Sat 13-Jul-13 23:01:01

Our unloved junkyard with plants garden looking embarrasing, hopefully soon to change.

DoingItOurSelves Sat 13-Jul-13 23:08:01

The new fence makes it not quite as unloved, but what you can't easily see is the last bit of the old one has been turned upside down, is missing a foot off the bottom, and has had bits nailed onto the top to try and create some privacy.

DoingItOurSelves Sat 13-Jul-13 23:17:03

here you can see our attempt at tree owning, the collapsing greenhouse, and what were the so called 'mezzanine' stairs, (one thing about being flooded we don't have a 'mezzanine' anymore, which as I couldn't access it I'm not sorry about!)

DoingItOurSelves Sat 13-Jul-13 23:29:31

This wall is actually part of the little bit off the yard which doesn't really count as part of what we're trying to do up, but I thought I'd include it because it shows some of the damage post flooding, (it's much worse further down and won't dry out, and the renders's down to brick in places at the bottom) and I'm going to ask the nice folks I've met (more about them later) at B+Q's advice.

Cremolafoam Sat 13-Jul-13 23:40:06

this is my plan

Cremolafoam Sat 13-Jul-13 23:41:00

this is what we cleared today

Very constructive day.
Fence built, trellis put up and some ground cleared.

Tomorrows plan: shed removed, ground turned over and borders for flower beds cemented in. Will also remove the old chicken wire fence.
Will maybe get my pretty planters hung up too. smile

That leaves just the planting to be done and the patio to lay, not a clue how to lay patio so will watch some YouTube tutorials.
Any patio advice greatly welcome.

Solo Sun 14-Jul-13 00:48:31

I'm not a tester, but would love to get my garden sorted.

The reason that I have a rubbish tip/jungle instead of a garden now is that the estate residents overlooking/bordering my garden used my garden as a dumping ground sad after about a year of me living here. It was a lovely garden before that, but after numerous broken and smashed TV's, microwaves, video recorders, tumble dryer doors hmm, vacuum cleaners, used condoms, urine filled bottles (I could go on) being thrown over and me paying out four times to have it cleared (approximately £1200), I gave up.
Now though, I get less thrown over and I'd love to see Dd playing out there. Ds at almost 15 has never played out there despite living here all his life sad
I dream of sitting out there with a glass of wine in the summer.

Lucewheel Sun 14-Jul-13 11:05:38

It sounds like we have all been busy in this heat in our gardens.

We made good progress yesterday. Visited B&Q and were in there for ages much to the DC's disgust. We did manage to stick to the plan for what we needed but it is very easy to get distracted with all of the options that are available. The staff were fantastic and at least 3 different ones helped us at different locations within the store. They were even phoning around other stores to find the item that we had seen online but was sold out in that store, really impressed.

We came home with cement and sand to redo the patio's, lawn patch repair kit for the areas that have been under slides and trampolines, some paint for the shed window and door, a BBQ grin and a larger outdoor table.

The afternoon was spent clearing out all of the junk out from the garden and pressure washing the patio's. I discovered that one is pink and one is white it is amazing how much dirt had accumulated on it and it stank when it was being pressure washed, yuck.

Today we are taking the junk to the tip and fixing the patio's. The DC's are having a great time helping out and the garden is starting to feel like our own.

We have been taking photos so will update with those later.

SaltySeaBird Sun 14-Jul-13 18:16:08

Not a tester but sharing our garden story.

It was a bit wild when we moved in and our gardening knowledge was zero (and to be honest is not much more than that now). There were paths and steps going no where and a split level patio. We've removed all the concrete and reused the patio stones to create one flat one. We've added a few shrubs but it still needs a lot of work to even compare to our neighbours lovely plots!

We'd like to do a small vegetable garden, put up a fence at the bottom and do something about the lumpy lawn that is so rutted you can't sit on it. It's only small but the costs are stopping us doing much this year but I would like to sort the lawn out over the autumn so my 11mo isn't in danger of tripping over the ruts!

Cremolafoam Sun 14-Jul-13 18:45:27

Day 2 in the big makeover house:

Front door repainted
2x Gates repainted
4 more square meters of rye grass removed( phew) 16 down 8 to go.
3 x tree stumps pulled out
2 xwillow trellis panels attached to porch.
=
2x knackered gardenersgrin

Big day today, shed was removed at lunchtime. smile
DH used spare fence boards to create a raised flower bed, it looks great. Well it well when I've put plants in it.

Removed the chicken wire fence as well.

Just finished and it's too dark to take any photos but will update tomorrow.

Tomorrows tasks are...fill new flower bed with soil and compost, plant up with what little plants I have at night.

Start turning over the earth and make it level.
Pay day on Tuesday so we'll head to b&q on Wednesday to get the fence paint, gravel, sand and cement. Then get on with painting the fence and laying the patio.
Only £11 left on the card so will have to add to it.

Roma2013 Mon 15-Jul-13 09:02:23

Hitting B&Q this morning to look at pavers, fencing, plants and whatever would make our yard lovely! I like wandering around B&Q. I'm not sure why. I like their policy of emplying older staff.

Bloomin' eck. I am sore this morning, digging, raking and lugging big rocks around is a bit of a workout.
Didnt feel it at the time but I'm certainly feeling it now.

DH at work all day so it's a bit more difficult to dig over the garden with a 2yo and 3yo running around my feet. Hoping they'll have a nap smile

EeyoreIsh Mon 15-Jul-13 09:39:11

Our garden is really taking shape now. We haven't managed to tackle the awful fence, but we've made such an impact on the rest of the garden, I'm really chuffed!

My DH is out again this morning finishing off the decking. He's clocked up about 15 hours so far, the star!

Has anyone else struggled to upload videos?

Mine fail quite a bit, have managed to add two after several attempts, still have another two to add.

gazzalw Mon 15-Jul-13 12:57:52

I'm most impressed at you having to do major garden work in this heat.....At least we were inside in the grotty wet weather for the Unloved Room challenge!

We were out in our garden yesterday and really the bottom third of ours needs a significant overhaul.....I think it's more than we can do on our own ;-(. DW says she's tempted to just erect some fencing and disown it....!

Good luck and make sure you're well hydrated and STL'd and take frequent breaks!

lissieloo Mon 15-Jul-13 14:34:02

Afternoon gardeners, will be doing a proper post tonight but just wanted to check in. Stuff was delivered this morning. Two lovely chaps, who offered yto take it to the back garden. We said no because Daft Dog was out there being demonic, so they put it on the front. I have built the frame for the decking (oh, how I love Florence The Drill) and have put down first board. Off to a meeting with ds's teacher in a min, time to freshen up and will throw my shorts and bikini top back on when I get home and Florence is recharged.

OpheliaBumps Mon 15-Jul-13 15:15:07

lissie I love that your drill has a name! How easy was it to put together a decking frame? We have decided to buy a new wooden playhouse (25% off at the moment) and are wondering about putting it onto decking rather than straight on the lawn. DH isn't the most gifted diyer, so these jobs usually fall to me.

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Mon 15-Jul-13 15:43:06

Hello everyone - just checking in with a little update

so on the hottest day of the year (so far....) we lifted the old stepping stones and dug out the path - 8m long by 1 wide to a depth of 100mm. i have rehomed the turf we lifted down one side of the lawn, where the border had grown too wide, and some other pieces into the baldy patches in the back garden

we are broken

i have bought -
10 25kg bags of sand
5 25kg bags of cement
30 paving stones
a digging spade
dp's absolutly favorite thing - a squirty gun to go on the end of the hose - we can't believe we have lived our entire adult lives without one (stand by for the hosepipe ban...)
some string
and....three tonnes of gravel!

the gravel was an impulse buy

i don't want to bang on but i had A LOT of trouble sorting out the delivery. you can't order 'bulk delivery' stuff online. the first trip into the store yielded no one who could help. i went back to work and phoned through my order - 20 minutes on a 0845 number, i get to the payment bit and they don't have the facilties to take giftcard payments. nevermind he says, i'll create you an account, put this order on it, you just have to pop into store, give the account number, all your details are there and pay. well, no one in the store knew what i was on about about, they knew nothing about their 'bulk delivery' service depite me standing 10 feet away from a huge advertisment for such. to cut a long story short it was a huge, lengthy nightmare and had i been paying with my own money i would have walked away and gone elsewhere.

anyway rant over, the stuff is due to arrive tomorrow - i'm very excited to get phase ii underway

Hanging baskets in situ, not planted up yet.

Having a wee rest as have been at it since 9am.

lissieloo Mon 15-Jul-13 17:19:25

Terra, that looks lovely!

Ween, that's crap! At our store they booked it for us in minutes. Didn't have to open an account or anything. But it sounds like you've done some great work today, I'm impressed.

Ophelia, grin she's Florence The Machine. It's so much easier with her (my old drill is a bit iffy now, overworked, the poor love). The frame was surprisingly easy, the fiddly bit was cutting a joist to go in the centre. BUT we did 2400x2400 to make life easier. I just need to fit the last couple of boards, then we will slap on the stain to dry overnight.

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Mon 15-Jul-13 17:25:31

Great to see everyone's progress

Yes it was rubbish but I'm willing to believe it was an anomaly, I've had good service there in the past. I think partly the problem is its SO HUGE and each person knows their own section. But obvs if you have to wander around to find someone as it's so big you inevitably stray into someone else's section where they don't know about what you're asking

Anyway, it's sorted now. Delivery booked for tomorrow and a few days hard work ahead of us smile

Roma2013 Mon 15-Jul-13 17:31:21

What a frustrating day at B&Q!! ... and I was SO looking forward to it��

Had a confusing episode with dh as we tried to work out how many metres square of pavers we'd need. Turns out that it was something like 27 but then we looked at the prices! A 10m sq kit would cost us around £370! and then we'd need about 3 of these so would have to put in about £600-700 of our own money! We're either calculating this all wrong or B&Q have expensive pavers...(may have to have a rethink tonight). Equally frustrating was that the real life colour of the pavers in store frequently bore little resemblance to
the online colour - or indeed of the illustrative picture next to it.

The next disaster was the fencing we'd envisaged we'd get. Nothing came near the height of our peeling painted 2.1 metre high walls! All the fencing panels stopped at 1.8metres. Radical rethink was in order. We couldn't walk away with nothing so we thought that, instead, we'd buy a light blue masonry paint to freshen things up. We asked for a tester pot but despite the Dulux Weathershield brochure saying specifically that tester pots of exterior paints were possible, B&Q in Newcastle refused to do us one. So we'll just have to take a chance on the colour... which isn't what we wanted to do really. Reached the till and the assistant said it was a 3 for 2 offer on tins of paint. Brilliant we thought! We'll get a third pot so back we went to the paint aisle, collected tin no.3, returned to till only to be told that this offer was only available to clubcard holders. However, a second assistant said that if we signed up there and then we would be eligible for the deal. This meant traipsing half way across the store for him to sign us up on the computer. Okay, we thought... 30 minutes to school pickup... if we did it quickly right then, we'd just make it back to school to collect dd2. And then - great... Computer Said 'No'. Well, in fact, it said nothing at all. Assistant moved us to another computer and again tried to access the registration website. Once again the system failed. Sod this I thought, and as he was still trying to boot up the page, I accessed the B&Q website on my iphone and completed the registration process to get a clubcard number. Went back to the till to claim the 3 for 2 offer on the paint only to be told this time that, actually, it didn't apply to masonry paint!! Thoroughly p****d off at the lackadaisical ignorance of staff re store promotions which had cost us 30 minutes of time and made us late to collect dd2. One piece of misinformation I could forgive but for two members of staff to have us running around the store needlessly trying to register for a clubcard wasn't an enjoyable experience. Oh well, I shall have another rethink tonight. I was tempted to buy a lovely large blue pot but the only one big enough for an impact plant was cracked and had a piece of it broken. Need to think about what to cover our ugly car port door with as well now...

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