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Tell B&Q about your unloved garden - £150 giftcard to be won NOW CLOSED

(174 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Jul-13 10:52:47

As you may have seen already, we're working with B&Q, who so far have helped 20 MNers revamp their unloved gardens - soon you'll be able to check out the video of their revamps. MNers have also been posting their before and after pics of gardens they've transformed here so do check out this thread for Mumsnetter garden makeovers!

Now, we'd love to hear from other MNers who might have an unloved garden of their own. Do you have a lawn that's more of a jungle? A window box that's a little bit weathered? Or a patio that's seen better days?

Tell us what makes your garden so unloved for a chance to win a £150 giftcard from B&Q. What do you want to change about it? Maybe you'd like to put down some decking or just get some new plants? What has stopped you from changing your garden?

Everyone who shares their unloved garden stories here will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 B&Q giftcard.

Please note that any comments you post here may appear on the B&Q pages on Mumsnet and potentially elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw

pussinwellyboots Mon 29-Jul-13 14:22:04

The main thing that stops our garden from being as we'd like is time and small children who like to 'help' and be involved in everything that we do! I'd love to update our garden by adding in 'easy care' features such as lawn edging. Our patio is very old and battered and not very pretty, so i'd love to redo that. The main change however would be to get a shed for bikes so that we don't have to empty out the lawnmower etc before going out on a bike ride.

Our garden was a jungle, grass waist height!
We discovered a patio in there! The slabs need replacing (brought from b&q yet to be layed)
What we have done this year though is plant a load of bulbs (25p a pack from b&q sale!) which will hopefully come up next year and brighten the place a bit!

We plan to have a veg patch too but have yet to do that!

Never really had a garden before so am enjoying having a go grin

tethersend Mon 29-Jul-13 14:41:58

We have been fighting with the housing association for four years to get the ten tonnes of rubble removed from the garden- some of which turned out to be the old air-raid shelter grin They have finally done it, and we are making a start, but it was like Armageddon, and it took weeks to get it to look like a Savannah.

Our carefully planted grass seed has refused to grow, and the brambles are threatening to return on a daily basis. We are just managing to keep it liveable, but it really needs a 'push' to make it nice.

Having a garden in the city is such a luxury, and I just want it to be as good as it can be.

MikeLitoris Mon 29-Jul-13 14:45:40

Ours is a tiny garden and has no greenery at all.

Crumbling stone wall all around and cheap stones and decking on the ground.

Its probably the most boring place on earth.

It needs to be easy to clean as our dog has isssues and will only go to the toilet in our garden, not out on walks.

Spirael Mon 29-Jul-13 14:46:24

You want the story again? wink May as well keep trying, I guess!

We live in a new build house where the builders went bust part way through the build. Consequentially, it was finished as quickly and cheaply as possible by the bank.

As such, the garden had nothing done to it. No turf, no patio, nothing. It was just a barren area full of holes, half-bricks, broken knife blades and enormous weeds. We have a wonky half-fence to separate us from the neighbours.

Since we moved in, between sorting out the neglected interior, we've been frantically trying to transform the outside from wasteland to garden. We've removed tons of weeds and dangerous building material, so it is at least semi-safe now for our daughter to play out there.

We've been digging over sections at a time and scattering grass seeds, which is starting to help. We're in the process of painting the half-fence, which makes it a bit brighter. We've also managed to install an outside tap, though we don't actually have a hose for it. (Watering grass seeds with a watering can is a long and slow process.)

With a bit of time and money, our plan is to lay a patio, put in some flower beds, plant some flowers and a vegetable garden, lay some proper turf, get some garden furniture and build some decking. Hopefully before we retire in 40 years or so!

blizy Mon 29-Jul-13 14:53:39

Our garden is quite small with a decking area at one end and "grass" at the other. The grass is mostly clover and when it has been raining (I live in glasgow, so it rains a lot) it turns very boggy and we can't use it for at least a week until it drys out again. Being a childminder this is pretty useless as I would like to be able to use the garden all year round. I have been thinking of either paving or laying turf and taking the grass away. I would also like to
Add some planters with bright colourful flowers and plants as a memorial to daughter.

cather Mon 29-Jul-13 16:13:50

Our garden is very neglected and the weeds are threatening a take over! There is an area that has trellis on three sides that is very overgrown but must have been lovely when it was planted as the climbing roses are beautiful but the are hasn't been looked after. The ground beneath them is full of rubble and weeds and spoils the beauty of the roses. I would love to clear the area and add a bench as the scent from the roses is amazing and it would make a lovely spot to sit and watch the children play.

chocolatelime Mon 29-Jul-13 17:00:53

Our tiny garden is a blank canvas at the moment! The whole garden is a wooden deck on 2 levels and although I had a few plants in pots they were looking very scruffy, so I recently removed them. So I literally have a deck with nothing on it! We have an allotment and grow a lot of our own veg, but I need to put some of our gardening efforts into creating a lovely relaxing space at our home.

I would love to have some wooden planters, maybe a trellis with climbing plants and a bench for us to sit on & enjoy.

CMOTDibbler Mon 29-Jul-13 17:02:44

When we bought this house, it had a very slopey garden, and a grim patio on the only flat bit.

8 tonnes of topsoil, a giant deck, and some epic work with a mini digger, its soo much better. But no plants, garden furniture etc. Its all hard landscaping and no prettiness!

trikken Mon 29-Jul-13 17:52:21

Our garden needs love but is a mass of weeds at the moment. It could be nice but just need to save up for some plants and something to make a nice path-way. We dont have a proper fence either so need to sort that out. possibly a little raised vegetable garden would be good for the kids and I.

AnneEyhtMeyer Mon 29-Jul-13 17:54:44

Weeds weeds and more weeds. It is a constant battle and I just want transform the garden so that they can no longer take over. Our grass is virtually 100% clover.

Any plants I do buy seem to be eaten by the local wildlife. Why can't they eat the weeds and leave my plants alone I don't know!

I'd love to be able to clear an area for DD to grow some veggies. If she grew them she might actually eat them.

poppy1973 Mon 29-Jul-13 18:05:02

One of the reasons we purchased our house was the lovely back garden originally. However, we lost the garden when the diggers/bulldozers had to come into the back garden and dig up the old septic tank and drop a new septic tank in - just weeks after we moved in !!! It took a whole year until we had grass as we had to get someone in to rotavate the ground and plant new seed for us. Since then we have worked in trying to get a garden back the young children. We have now managed to get some vegetable beds back into the top garden to plant vegetables and am now trying to sort out the side of the house where the diggers caused so much damage getting up the side. We are now trying to smash rubble up to get a nice base to put shingle down so we can place nice pots etc. to make that area look nice.

Steffanoid Mon 29-Jul-13 18:15:54

our first house together as a family has a lovely big garden, but since we moved in the priority has been the interior, and we've only had funds for babies room to be finished just before he arrived, transforming my grass, moss and weeds would be something I'd love to do to make somewhere lovely hopefully by the time this little one is crawling about grin .
The giftcard would be used for perennials on a border and some planters for the paved area, maybe even a little bench to transform it into the suntrap haven it's got the potential to be

TheFutureMrsB Mon 29-Jul-13 18:34:32

Our garden has been the last thing on the agenda, we had to re-decorate the entire house and a lot of the junk has been put in the garden hangs head in shame but it really needs to be sorted.

Having four children we really do need the garden to save our sanity for the children to be able to play outside and also it would be nice on sunny days to have breakfast out there but at the moment it looks half jungle half building site sad.

The bottom half is concrete (chipped concrete at that) with steps leading to the top, we need a gate that actually stays on the wall and not like the one we have now which flops off everytime we open it! The concrete needs to either be sorted or covered with something (decking) and then it needs to be made child friendly. This would be the ideal place for my littlest ones sand table etc. as it is right outside the back door.

The top is mostly grass with a path, the grass is patchy and overgrown, there is a lovely bushy tree thing but that is starting to get a bit wild and then there's the junk at the top of the garden waiting to be taken to the skip yard. It's not ideal by any means but it has lots of potential to be a lovely garden with a bit of hard work and some plants and prettiness!

Lucie1979 Mon 29-Jul-13 19:01:18

Oh my god! Where to start! Ok so I'm not particularly green fingered! The lawn is actually more of a jungle! We have no borders, just an uneven bit of grass/lawn/jungle/weedfest! We are lucky to have such a nice sized garden and it really is time to make more of an effort. The children long to play in the garden but it needs saving!!! HELP!

ProphetOfDoom Mon 29-Jul-13 19:17:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loopyloou Mon 29-Jul-13 19:23:59

Our garden has terrible earth, like clay, making it extremely difficult to dig over. It needs bags and bags of compost or something digging into it to improve the soil.

One side gets barely any sun, so nothing much grows there.

The lawn is full of weeds and needs some treatment to kill the weeds and improve the grass. However, as we have two cats and a dog, I am unsure what products I can safely use.

The borders are almost empty, due to the quality of the earth.

Unfortunately our Hollywood swing has now developed rust and the cover is frayed, so it will need to go to the tip. Where it has stood is separated off from the lawn and gravelled, so, as we don't plan to replace the swing due to the expense (this one we bought in the sales many years ago), we will need to remove the gravel and edging and lay down new grass seed there.

The fences need to be stained to protect them.

Generally the garden looks unloved and consequently we don't spend much time out there as it's just not very nice. It needs a lot of time and money spending on it.

I have my fingers well and truly crossed that I win, as the prize would come in very handy. smile

loopyloou Mon 29-Jul-13 19:24:47

Forgot to mention that we also need a shed to keep the lawn mower and spade etc in.

Fraxinus Mon 29-Jul-13 20:02:04

I don't know how long I will be living here.

That's why I'm not motivated to do much here. Moving house is hard enough without having to move big pots and benches.

When I move into a place I'll be staying in, then I'll make it beautiful.

Lilyloo Mon 29-Jul-13 20:19:34

We entered the comp but didn't win sad so decided to use our holiday funds to do some work in our garden with the lovely weather.
When we bought the house we turfed it all and made a small patio out of grey cheap paving slabs.
We then purchased a trampoline which took over a large corner of the garden.
I planted some 'plants' which most turned out to be shrubs in an area cornered off with some log roll.
This turned into a big pile of bare mud under the trampoline and some massive shrubs / trees in a small area.
Do and ds have dug it all out and put in a large decked area. The trampoline has been moved and is now on a barked area. However we have run out of funds (despite sacrificing our holiday and its now raining) We would love a storage container , and I would love a raised bed to plant some vegetables in.

Lilyloo Mon 29-Jul-13 20:20:58

Dp not do

maternitart Mon 29-Jul-13 20:35:52

We moved house when I was pregnant with our first so we decided to get rid of the small pond in our new garden.

We emptied it (of rancid water and decomposing fish) and pulled out the plastic lining...

That's as far as we've got. So we have a big crater of a hole near our back door. DH chucked a couple of broken bricks in there, just so if any small person falls in they'll probably cut themselves on them.

We also have no garden furniture meaning we've spent all the hot weather sitting on a bit of plastic near said hole.

Our garden used to be ok, despite the fact that most of the lawn is so steep it can only be mowed by sending the mower abseiling down it then pulling back on a rope. Then a massive tree fell down and crushed the three nice trees that we had. Now there's nothing left except the mountain.

We have a small patio area, but it's in desperate need of weeding and cleaning if we ever find the time and energy.

The garden does have potential. We've just neglected it for so long it seems like a mammoth task to make it decent.

LastLight Mon 29-Jul-13 20:53:28

Our garden was a mass of slabs when we moved in. We thought it would be easy to look after, but actually, it was just ugly. So, we started taking up some of the 326 (yes, I did count them) slabs, to find... More slabs. Yep, someone had put an ugly patio straight on top of another ugly patio. We got them all up, but thanks to a crap spring and work commitments, we have yet to do anything about getting rid of them, let alone making a pretty garden. So we currently have a garden full of sand, weeds.... And, yes, slabs. Its going to be a fun summer getting rid of that lot!

FairyThunderthighs Mon 29-Jul-13 21:11:05

My poor garden is a bit unloved yes. It has the potential to be beautiful though! We have decking all the way to the end, with two "cut outs" at the sides. One currently has slate chip/tile things (that's the technical term) and the other is just bare mud at the moment. I would love to put grass on both sides so my children have a comfy place to play!

NorkyButNice Mon 29-Jul-13 21:51:23

When we bought our house the garden was lined with enormous conifers which blocked out all of the light meaning that nothing grew in the borders. We've had them removed, and the stumps ground but the soil is so dry and full of roots still that it's a nightmare.

We also had a smashed up greenhouse halfway down the lawn and are still picking shards of glass out 3 years later!

I'd love to get some perennials and shrubs in now, maybe some bulbs so we have a chance at a decent garden next year!

manfalou Mon 29-Jul-13 21:58:29

Well our garden isn't really a garden. Yes we have (some) grass and asmall patch of gravel with a circular stone in the middle but that is all. We have DEAD plants in pots and a 4 EMPTY hanging baskets in the corner... oh and then theres the broken 'water feature' in the corner which is around about the same place the cat has dug a hole in the grass. Both gate handles are broken so our almost 3 old can escape if we're not careful. It needs a bit of face lift to make it pretty again but no funds to do it with.

ouryve Mon 29-Jul-13 22:22:21

Our garden is across a back lane, so pretty much out of sight, out of mind. It's not possible to just the the kids go across there alone, since they both have SN and need direct supervision.

Anyhow, we replaced a rotten wooden garage with a sturdy brick and block one, a couple of years ago. DH finally got around to laying a drive, last year. He also got halfway down the side, laying a new path. He's done a bit more, this year. And there it ends. The area behind the garage is a mass of rubble, with weeds growing out of it all. There's an old concrete patio at the bottom of the slope. With weeds growing out of it. There weeds (nettles and willow herb, mainly) trying to work their way in from the field at the back of the garden. I do have a raised bed at one side, which has been full of veg, in the past though I've left it alone, this year, so I can concentrate on other things. Every now and again, a magnificent stinkhorn pops up, somewhere along by the fence blush

We need a skip and it needs gutting!

madrush Mon 29-Jul-13 22:54:33

We have a garden with enormous potential that has been terribly neglected for the last 12+ years (we just moved in last winter). The warm weather following wet this summer has made the already overgrown shrubs completely out of control. We have brambles and bindweed coming up everywhere (I have never seen bindweed leaves so large or bramble stems so thick!). We want to love it, but currently want to cry when I go out there as I just don't know where to start with my shears and secateurs. What we really need is to be brave with some decent tools - I think we need industrial strength hedge trimmers and tree loppers to really cut back and see what is there. I can see a rose bush with beautiful grey-green leaves poking through a huge overgrown, half dead rhododendron - no flowers and I feel so sad that it has been strangled. We also need some heavy duty weedkiller for the excess brambles I guess and maybe some spring bulbs or early flowering plants would give us the inspiration next year to carry on the battle.

DanceLikeJohnTravoltaNow Mon 29-Jul-13 23:20:50

Our garden has a raised pond with a classy plastic statue of a naked lady in it courtesy of the previous owners. When we moved in over 12 months ago I thought "how rude!", but I barely notice it now unless visitors mention it. We haven't got the energy to have it taken out.

Our front garden would be lovely if it weren't for our horrible half tarmac half broken flagged driveway. It really lets the front of the house down, but we need to concentrate our energy on the inside of the house for the next few years so I can't see anything changing out there for a.while.

harverina Mon 29-Jul-13 23:29:21

My garden has been seriously neglected and allowed to overgrow - we moved in to the house in November last year and, because the whole house has needed decorated, all of our money and effort has gone into doing inside. I am pregnant and we are working on the nursery at the moment.

The garden has huge potential - the back is lovely and private but is in desperate need of being weeded and landscaped - it is on an incline and because of this we haven't been able to buy dd a swing or slide this summer. I have promised her that next summer we will have flattened the garden so that she will have somewhere decent to play. We moved home as we didn't have a garden in our flat and dd absolutely loves being able to play outside.

My hope is that we will manage to save enough money in order to get the garden done in time for next summer. We would need to purchase a new patio, some patio furniture and also some lovely new shrubs.

lorisparkle Mon 29-Jul-13 23:34:22

Our garden is very much a children's play area with a worn out lawn covering most of it and shrubs at the sides. One side looks fine but the other is just a collection of weeds. I would love to do something with it but time and money just get in the way!

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 29-Jul-13 23:42:48

Our front garden is quite simple and easy to keep nice. The back garden needs a lot of work, however. The concrete slab that is the top of our septic tank needs hiding somehow- maybe some decking and pots or a large trellis/screen? It is so unsightly and I know people see it and start to imagine all of the poo waste underneath. £150 in B&Q vouchers would go a long way towards hiding it.

Tigerbomb Tue 30-Jul-13 00:16:16

I desperately wanted to win the competition but alas wasn't picked - so we decided to spend our holiday money and have a "staycation" and use the time and funds to do the garden.

Unfortunately two builders skips were required to clear the rubble and they made a big dent in the funds. My DH managed to fill in the old pond with a load more rubble and patioed over the top of it using the odd slabs we found at the back of the old rotting shed.

I begged, borrowed and stole (not literally stole) pots and with the help of cheap growbags and cuttings and reduced sale plants managed to help brighten the garden but would love to do so much more,

We have a huge area of dirt that would benefit from a makeover

Spottybra Tue 30-Jul-13 06:43:22

We had a nice garden when we moved in, but over the years I've realised that it just wasn't me.
DH tried to help by planting a couple of laburnum trees. Now I hate them and he won't part with his contribution to the front garden. I stuck some lavender in and the sunflowers tend to self seed if I leave them....

In the back, well, after tearing up the lawn and kindly leaving a large muddy patch the dog was provided with a seperate run. Only now he has realised he can jump over the fence since he's grown so large. The lawn is turning to clover and moss (must really by more grass seed) and one quarter is now taken over with the fir trees DH cut down on my demand to let light into the garden. Therefore every fortnight you find me trying to fill the green bin with fir tree waste.

The fences in both the front and the back sorely need replacing. I'd like some kind of hedgerow but it would need a brick wall, even a low laying one because the dog and the rabbit are quite good at escaping.

We need a summerhouse which will also double as a place to store toys.

I want a low maintenance flower bed which I'm slowly getting there with, poppies, lavender, rosemary...I need some roses because I love roses. We have daffodils and bluebells in the spring. I've bought two hydrangea plants and both died.

I have seen my dream was full of white flowers of all different descriptions. However, I'm so not a gardener so anything above occasional weeding (which I don't like but is needed) isn't going to get done. I will stick with poppies, lavender, rosemary and my appligias/applecias/whatever they are donated by my mum from her garden.

Actually, if my mum were well she would sort my garden out. She used to exasperate me as a child as she loved her garden beyond anything. I'd be the seven year old tidying the house and cleaning it whilst she pottered around with a cup of tea outside with all the neighbours admiring her flowee garden, orchard and kitchen garden.

By the way, my peas have died due to infrequent watering.

Spottybra Tue 30-Jul-13 06:47:55

I'd also line to add, this bloody soil. I grew up thinking all soil was rich and anything just grew. Moved away and I have dry sandy soil. Anything I want to grow needs the hosepipe everyday or it needs to be extremely durable.

lolancurly Tue 30-Jul-13 10:09:28

So, we are lucky to have a nice big garden and I am not complaining, hones, BUT, Mother Nature has gone and made everything grow like the clappers so that we can barely see out the windows! Honestly, it's like sleeping beauty's castle here, with the weeds choking the life out of everything. Our lawn (HA!) undulates which makes it impossible to play games on for fear of falling into a pit. I think we need some weed killer, some gardening implements to attack the weeds, and some nice thick gloves to pull up the brambles so that Prince Charming can battle his way through the thorns and rescue me from the kitchen sink.

CrackleMauve Tue 30-Jul-13 10:28:07

I am not a natural gardener, much as I would love to have a beautiful garden. We moved into our new house and have a small but potentially good garden. Problem is, the house had been empty for a while and to avoid weeds the flower beds were all covered in membrane and bark chips. No plants except a diseased tree that has mostly been cut down and some encroaching brambles we are slowly killing off.

It is a lot of work turning bare flower beds into something better. We've dug over half of one and planted some donated plants. But it has barely made a dent. I'd like to fill all our flower beds with hardy plants I can't kill off. I'd like to grow some vegetables. I'd like to redo the patio and repair the fences. Make my garden a little peaceful zone in the city.

awaywego1 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:37:05

I moved into our house 2 months ago-it had been empty for 5 years and a builder had filled it with rubble and metalwork. Ive cleared 50 bags of it so far on my own.
The house is rented so I can't make massive changes but would love to make it more useable without spending a fortune-it's the first time I've ever had a decent sized garden and am massively excited and overwhelmed. The back half of the garden is so overgrown that I have yet to see the bottom of it-I've been chopping away but have limited tools and money so it's slow work. I've started to dig out a patch for a veg bed as I love to grow some food and have got some pots but I would be massively grateful to have some money to invest in it to make it pretty grin

SoupDragon Tue 30-Jul-13 10:44:57

As I gaze over my garden I see a vast expanse of perfectly striped, mown lawn sweeping majestically away from the calm of the terrace outside the house, lovingly decorated with pots of bright flowers and beautiful furniture. At the end, there is a wild flower meadow surrounding the orchard, leading you to the ancient beech tree at the end.

I absolutely do not see an expanse of yellowy brown moss luring the eye away from a weed stewn patio towards the depths of unmown "wild area", with a dead apple tree, plum tree and a pear tree which is a pear tree only by name, not produce.


BlackeyedSusan Tue 30-Jul-13 17:21:37

I have become responsible for my mums garden. i spend several hourrs every feew weekends pulling up bindweed, and cutting back shrubs. I am making a few hidey holes in the shrubs for the dcs but I would love to be able to turf a small area for them to play on.

the front garden looks lovely, for one month of the year. i wuld like to be able to get some plants to make it nice all year round. we did get a bargainous 72 annuals from b and q for £10 i set the record for planting 72 plants in about 72 minutes! they are mostly looking good now but i need to get some background plants to make them go further. i could really do with going rround a garden centre every month to find one thing that looks good per month.

titsaturner Tue 30-Jul-13 19:47:15

Our poor garden is slopped with walls that support the lawn. Unfortunately one of the walls is now starting to lean. We also need to replace the fence. Very costly jobs but necessary as we've now got a 10 month old dd who's on the move and very nosy! Any help with paying for the work would be great!

PourquoiPas Tue 30-Jul-13 19:56:04

When we moved in, the garden was a jungle. We then had a surprise baby, followed by another baby and it is only ths year we have tried to reclaim it. 40 bags of greenery and rubbish later, we have some old uneven paving and some sad uneven grass, a small herb garden (yay!) and a 1x2m veg patch.

It needs a lot of work, some fences to replace the gaps whee brambles kept us secure previously and some cheering up. It would be amazing to be able to use the garden properly, and be proud of it.

bunchoffives Wed 31-Jul-13 00:17:31

I have a beautiful garden, thank you very much! And I'm quite green-fingered so everything is growing well... and I don't really want to change a thing.

At the back.

The front garden, now that's a different matter entirely!

It's a lawn. That's it. Just grass. I'd love to shape it, put in some flower borders, may be a tree or two. Add a beautiful path and perhaps an arch with some climbing roses. A wisteria carefully trained up the front of the house would be great and perhaps some clematis either side of the porch. It would be lovely to feel uplifted when I come home and walk up to the front door.

MadMonkeys Wed 31-Jul-13 07:59:02

Most of my garden is very loved, but there is a thin strip of land down the outside of our garden fence which is definitely unloved. It slopes down to a public footpath and due to the advent to two small children I just never get time to do anything with it. The previous owners planted a selection of rampant shrubs against the fence which I occasionally hack down. The power cable for the mower is too short to get the mower to the end of the area so the end bit is a bit of a wilderness. So with a bit more time my action plan is to get a longer extension lead to get the mower all the way to the end, to give the shrubs a jolly good prune and decide which to keep and which to chuck and get some ground cover shrubs to reduce the grasses area while still stabilising the slope. Oh and it faces north so large bits of the lawn are moss, not grass...

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 31-Jul-13 08:17:33

Our garden has enormous potential. Its about 36 x 18 and around 20 years ago the previous house owner got garden designers in who created some lovely borders edged in sawn logs. There are wood/ log stepping stones over weed fabric. Unfortunately about 10 years ago the couple who lived here divorced and all gardening stopped. The fence has rotted, the sawn logs are bug hotels and seriously decayed the stepping stones are mushy underfoot.

The teenage children who were left to their own devices built four sheds in the garden that take up approx half of it.

The council planted beautiful bird cherry trees along the edge of the footpath at the back of the garden roll on twenty years and they're mature tall trees so the full sun border planting is not only overgrown but competes for light so is all very leggy and sad.

The bird cherry dominates the garden as it completely overhangs - suits us we're shade lovers, but it sheds. Flower casings, then flowers, then berries, then catkin type seeds then all its leaves. We moved in to many years leaf decay around the sheds.

Basically everything needs to go so we can create a blank canvas, refence and work with the beautiful mature bird cherry to create a family space for us and the three DC.

I'm thinking probably something sweepable like paving but have 80 little thyme plants grown from a £1 pack of seed ready to plant to soften the hard lines. And create a bit of a thyme path.

AGnu Wed 31-Jul-13 08:33:20

When we moved in our long, narrow garden had overgrown hedges down each side & a death-trap wooden garage at the end that looked like it was about to fall down any second. There was an uneven patio, the edge of which was just supported on on-end paving slabs, most of which had fallen over. Oh, & the previous owner had left old toys everywhere.

We got a gardener in to replace the hedges with fencing & get rid of the garage & then we put in some raised beds & a couple of fruit trees & then I got pregnant with DC1 DH started to strip the lawn which desperately needed levelling & reseeding. While doing that he found the concrete base of an old Anderson shelter(!) so set about removing that. By this time we had DS1 & #2 was on his way. We were now v short of both time & money.

DH's parents came one day for a visit & we mentioned our grand 'someday' garden plans to them. The following day they rang up & offered us however much money we needed to pay someone to come do everything we wanted! shock They insisted that they wanted to do something nice for their DGC so they had a nice playspace. & we'd "get the money in 30 years anyway when [they] die"! hmm

That was back in March & our garden is still very much unloved & looks like a total wasteland. The goldfinches seem to be enjoying the seed heads & the local sparrows all come in for a dust bath...! We hired a gardener at the end of March & he was due to start early-mid May so I'd have somewhere safe to let DS1 play in the summer while learning to take care of DS2 too. He's now 7.5weeks old &, after much chasing & hassling, our garden work starts TOMORROW!!! grin

It's currently seriously unloved but in just a few weeks time we'll have a flat lawn, a stone patio with a proper retaining wall & a railing to stop the DC falling off the edge! As if that weren't exciting enough, DH's DGPs sent us a cheque for £1k when DS2 was born & asked us to use it 'for the children' as they wanted them to enjoy it before they died! hmm DH's family are all so morbid! We're currently looking into playhouses & planning to buy a shed to convert so it'll be usable as a playhouse for many, many years to come!

I genuinely can't express how excited/blessed I feel right now! Our downright dangerous garden will be unloved no longer & our children will have somewhere to run around! thanks

jmcglynn Thu 01-Aug-13 17:02:33

We have a battle with the brambles in our garden every year. Every summer we clear them and by every winter they are back in force. We haven't had the time to come up with a permanent solution but now are children are getting older they are chomping at the bit to be allowed to play outside. We'd love to be able to clear the space and let them run free. Not to mention I'd also quite like to build some raised planters to start a vegetable plot, the one I've been talking about for 4 years!

lougle Fri 02-Aug-13 17:25:25

We moved into a house with an unloved garden. So unloved that we still find pieces of glass over a year later! We are gradually working our way through it but it feels like a neverending project.

Bearfrills Fri 02-Aug-13 17:38:40

Who put a shed slap-bang in the centre of a postage stamp size garden?

Whoever it was that built ours, that's who.

My ideal garden project would be to gleefully tear down the shed with a really big sledgehammer and replace it with grass. It's then put in a patio near the back door and pave down the size of the house to make a 'parking area' for the kids' many scooters, ride-ons and wheeled things, maybe that way I won't keep tripped over them when I'm hanging the washing out.

Speaking of washing, know what else is rubbish about my garden? The anchor post for a rotating washing line that snapped and had to be dug out. Turned out that the anchor post was attached to a veritable boulder of concrete. A metal tube a mere inch in diameter required us to dig a hole 5ft by 3ft to get the concrete out. Slight overkill on the part of the person that installed it, we don't even have a rotating washing line but we do now have a 5ft by 3ft sunken section of the garden. My 3yo pretends its a moon crater and sits in it for ages. I'll be sorry to see it go but the 1yo keeps falling into it.

What greenery we have is mainly weeds and DH attempted to paint the fence but then we got a winter that lasted six months and it was left half done. Now it needs to be totally redone. I'm trying to put it off a bit longer by sending the kids out with their chalk set to colour in the patchy bits but they much prefer to draw stickmen on the shed.

I hate that shed ....

JParkson Fri 02-Aug-13 17:41:47

When we bought our coach-house, we were pleased initially that we had a garden (rare for a CH!), but we weren't so pleased to see that it had been shoved full of privet type shrubs and firethorns too. Plus a gert big linden/lime tree.

Well, tell a lie, it wasn't a gert big tree when we bought the house, but the blasted thing is now! And this year, we've had a bumper crop of lime moth caterpillar things invading us by piggy-backing on the dog <ick> picture

About 4 years ago, DH ripped out all the shrubs, and we put up a couple of baskets, put some membrane down and some gravel, and got a little wheelbarrow planter.

Cue the dogs peeing in the wheelbarrow, and the baskets being shredded by the gale-force winds that buffet our house-front. So our attempt at a low-maintenance garden failed miserably even then!

I personally would like to turf it over, and DH wants to pave it. <sigh>

I fear he will win this debate eventually...

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Fri 02-Aug-13 17:42:32

Our house is a new build, when we moved in the garden was a sharply sloping yard of rubbly mud. We couldn't afford to have it turfed, so we've seeded (and weeded, and repeated ad infinitum) the 'lawn' ourselves. We've been lucky enough to salvage some ropey shrubs from a bankrupt garden centre. And it's looking so much better, but it's still pretty rubbish.

Ideally, we'd like to landscape it into 2 or 3 flat terraces, with a tiny beach-hut style shed at the bottom. A small round patio opposite the doors and a deck going round from the doors to the garage door with a pergola type thing above it with climbers/vines growing up it.

If DH gets his way we'd also have climbing holds up the garage wall!

A few more years till we can afford all that, at least!

asuwere Fri 02-Aug-13 17:42:51

we paid someone to clear our garden a few months ago - it was completely overgrown and with a falling apart shed. could only afford for it to be cleared though... still unloved but kids can at least go out there without getting lost in the undergrowth... It's the weeds that get to me though, we have a lot of paved areas but the weeds still poke through and due to the children, it's limiting as to what kind of weedkiller I can put down and I loathe pulling them out (hate bugs/dirt!) they never stop growing...

MrsGeologist Fri 02-Aug-13 17:43:29

Our garden is shared with our neighbours and is very large, but it hasn't been properly looked after for years. It's just a forest of ivy and bindweed, with bits of broken glass, old rusty garden tools, rubbish and nettles all over it. The trees were cut back a bit recently, and my neighbour's formidable mother has been round to weed the patio and clear what she can, but it'll take at least a year to get rid of all the weeds and for grass to grow. It's a shame, because the kids can only play on the patio, not on the bit that should be lawn, because it's not safe.

NoToast Fri 02-Aug-13 17:46:24

No garden as such here, just a concrete courtyard with a raised bed we created years ago and some old shrubs we planted. It used to be fantastic, planted up carefully with edible goodies that were pretty although it needed paving and a bit more thought in design and some money spent. We let the house when we went to care for a family member, now we're back, with a little one in tow and the garden has been seriously neglected and needs re-planting and a re-vamp to be safe and fun for a toddler. I'm also not sure if the paint-peeling walls have made our beds toxic so everything grown for the table next year will need to be in containers. At the moment most of the growing things have been from the B&Q reduced plant section and money issues will mean little can be bought to do it up.

aristocat Fri 02-Aug-13 17:57:59

My garden is very unloved and I need somewhere peaceful and relaxing to sit. We have a huge grassed area and a patio which constantly needs weeding and an assortment of mis-matched garden chairs.

What I need most is some decking and something to make it pretty, we have no flowers or plants at all sad But as I am not the best gardener ........ whatever we have needs to be simple and easy to maintain.

madmumm Fri 02-Aug-13 18:19:01

Our garden is boring! We've recently moved to this house which is a RAF married quarter and the garden is very plain, a tired looking grey patio, a patch of lumpy grass and simple wire fence between us and the neighbours with little privacy. We expect to be here for 5 years so want to make it more attractive with some colourful plants and to provide a bit of screening. Our 2 young children love being out in the garden but finding time and money to improve it is hard.

gazzalw Fri 02-Aug-13 18:23:41

Our garden has been unloved since we moved in 12 years ago...Aside from filling in the multiple ponds and chucking the gnomery it wasn't really our top priority with a baby and we frankly haven't had the time and money to really give it the attention and love it deserves. We are very lucky as by London standards our 80 foot garden is 'huge'.

The problem is that the bottom half is a nightmare of concrete and hugely heavy boulders for rockeries which are so 1970s...We dug up the rusting rotary dryer but that was set in a huge concrete bucket which is now cluttering the far end......Essentially without a lot of 'beefcake' and associated hiring costs it's just not easy to make a positive difference and DW has tried...........

I reckon it would take at least £2K to just do the basics to get rid of the concrete, rocks, level the ground etc.......and another £1K to do the fencing.....

Moral of the tale is never buy a home (and garden) that requires total renovation unless you have the cash upfront to blitz it all when you first move in......

JakeBullet Fri 02-Aug-13 18:23:54

My garden is boring because I am still recovering it after all the previous tenants who have ignored it!

When I moved in here the garden was full of rubbish, crisp packets, toys, plastic bags etc...I filled many many black bags to clear it all but am still finding the odd bit here and there.

So I am slowly recovering it with time and when I have some money. It still needs so much work and tidying up but money is a massive issue so I do what I can and when I can do it.

The best thing is the two sunflowers which I planted last year and which have self seeded this year...I have a whole row of beautiful golden yellow sunflowers now. smile

katiewalters Fri 02-Aug-13 19:06:03

we live in apartments, so have a shared garden, but we have a space of our own, right outside the back of our apartment and would love to vamp it up a bit. get some plants, grow some of our own veg and fruits. we would get a couple of garden chairs for when we are outside, as there is nowhere to sit.

delilahbelle Fri 02-Aug-13 19:12:37

Our garden has the potential to be nice... if I didn't have a black thumb. I have a lawn that despite scarification and many doses of additives still is a mixture of moss and weeds. I have trees that have been butchered by the previous owner, and at least one tree stump. The roots don't add anything to the lawn either. We have the remains of a brick barbque, and a patio that could be lovely if clean and weed free. But there's just no time. It's south east facing, reasonably private, and with some large unidentified shrubs, that I can just about hack back.

In short, I lack the time, knowledge and ability to make it look lovely. I wish I could win the lottery and have it all sorted out for me.

CatHackney Fri 02-Aug-13 20:06:43

Our front garden looks a bit of a mess for all sorts of reasons. We've got as far as planting a hedge in the front, but it hasn't yet grown. We'd love some nice, big planter boxes for our bay window, but I haven't been able to find any really nice looking ones that come in a big size that would look nice in front of the main window, but with matching smaller planters to go in front of each of the side windows. We really need a secure bike shed and bin store, but we'd like an attractive one with a green (i.e. planted) roof and again, just can't find what we want! We also need to do a bit of work on the garden path. Once that's all done, I think that buying the plants would be the easy bit!!

SevenReasonsToSmile Fri 02-Aug-13 20:12:07

We have an enormous leilandii hedge around our garden which blocks out a lot of sunlight and grows at a rate of knots. It's currently around 8ft but judging by the thickness of the cut branches in the middle must have been at least 20ft high at one time. We're desperate to get rid of it (and gain an extra 4ft of garden all the way round!) but we can't afford to pay anyone to do it and its such a huge job we haven't even started, plus its not as vital as the house renovations.

LizzieLouC Fri 02-Aug-13 20:18:04

If I ever could choose my career all over again I dream of being a gardener. My garden was beautifully planted with B&Q seasonal plants every year and my lawn weeded and 'feeded' with Products recommended by B&Q's helpful staff! Then when my even more beautiful girls came along spending time with them became more important than weeding. The garden is now full of B&Q children products - a beautiful wooden tree house and a bargain play house. It's even finished off with a cat alarm and shed from B&Q. I'd love to complete all this with a beautiful patio area and furniture to sit and enjoy the view as my girls enjoy their playground!

Jims Fri 02-Aug-13 20:20:27

Our garden had been neglected for at least 15 years before we moved in. Hence it was a woodland. Over the last couple of years (after sorting the house out - it didn't even have hot running water!) we've dug out a small woodland, dug over and sieved about a tonne of topsoil, levelled it with a mini digger and laid turf to create our lawn. My DH has built a retaining wall/seat at the back of the lawn. And we're still only half way up the garden!

The sieving was a bit ridiculous but the entire garden had been taken over by (Spanish) bluebells and I was keen to try and get rid of them.

We're now desperate to put some more interesting plants in the beds we've created but DH is still working on the next wall for a washing line patio.

Mummymoneypenny Fri 02-Aug-13 21:06:43

My garden is set over 4 levels. & as each level goes up the worse it gets, unfortunately the last one is where my vegetable patch us supposed to be. I'd love to turn it into a secret garden with lawn, flowers & fruit trees but never seem to get past weeding it. I'll be hot footing it over to your mumsnet testers for ideas if I win a B&Q card!

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 02-Aug-13 21:12:34

Ours is definitely a work in progress. A dog that wees everywhere and causes yellow patches doesn't help. I have one "good" border and the rest need help. We are getting there but VERY slowly. I try and buy plants cheaply from plant sales when I can and am learning about splitting plants and taking cuttings, but it is a bit hit and miss smile

I HATE my garden. It actually makes me feel sad every time I look out of my patio doors. Last summer I kept the curtains closed a lot of the time as it was so awful!!!

this sounds over-dramatic but is, sadly, true sad

part of the garden is taken over by a shed and the giant rabbit run. we then have a crappy patio and some "lawn"
The ground around here is thick clay which means that every time it rains we end up with standing water everywhere as it just can't soak away. This in turn means that for large swathes of the year the children can't play out there because it just turns into a giant mudbath. Our climbing frame sinks into the lawn because it's so wet and soft.

The previous owners decided to overcome this by adding about a foot of topsoil onto the lawn area. this slopes down to the path which makes a lot of the garden hard to use as it has this big slope on it! it also didn't solve the problem (see above!)

I would LOVE to be able to level the garden off and make it so that my 3 boys could use it all year round either by paving it or astroturfing it or SOMETHING.

MmeLindor Fri 02-Aug-13 21:21:57

We have renovated most of the house but haven't had the time or the money to do the garden.

The previous owners were elderly and had dug up the grass to make it easier to keep tidy, but the wooden frame is damaged and falling apart and the edges filled with weeds.

We'd like to lay a new patio, but won't have the money till next summer so I would like to tidy it up and make the best out of it till then.

lolapops1 Fri 02-Aug-13 21:33:21

One garden has no wall to it what-so-ever and isn't great for letting children play in as they can just run off onto the road.
Other garden is concrete everywhere and my nerves jangle everytime children want to play in it.
Keep meaning to start a vegetable patch to get the kids involved but just never get round to it.
Would love a garden to be proud of.

Pozzled Fri 02-Aug-13 21:40:09

Our garden is very much loved in that we use it a lot and enjoy being in there- but in terms of looking after it, not so much!

It should have two gates. The front one- off our drive- rotted and fell off a couple of summers ago. It hasn't yet been replaced. The 'back' gate should open straight onto a park, but it's covered with ivy and probably hanging off its hinges as well! I'd love to get that fixed so that we could have a quick and easy route into the park, but it's hard to find the time and energy.

We also have a concrete area with some gravel bits which I don't like much- the kids keep playing with the gravel and getting it all over everywhere.

melrose Fri 02-Aug-13 23:59:11

When we more in our garden was beautiful, it is now well loved and played in But mainly weeds And lacking it's former beauty, would love to restore it, if only I had the time!

ataraxia Sat 03-Aug-13 08:57:33

We have a long thin strip of grass down the side of the driveway and visitors (especially the milkman!) tend to use it as part of the driveway. The grass never gets a chnace as it has dobbing great tyremarks running through it. I'd like to put up a small fence or other border and make the previously unloved space into a herb and vegetable garden.

threepiecesuite Sat 03-Aug-13 09:13:38

We've had half of our garden landscaped this summer, then ran out of money! We've had it raised to get rid of an annoying slope. The bottom of the garden, where we did want DD to have her own little space is still unloved.
I'd like to put soft bark down, paint the fences, and add a few bright plants in tubs and maybe a few little things she could grow.

sazzle82 Sat 03-Aug-13 11:54:05

Our garden was a mess when we moved in. We have just about got the grass under control, but the patio needs some attention. At the back of the garden there is a wall which is as high as my head and has a border behind it which has some overgrown plants and some young trees at the back. Unfortunately it is also full of weeds and, being pregnant this summer, there has been no way for my to get up the ladder and sort it.

NettleTea Sat 03-Aug-13 12:34:37

My poor garden is in a sorry state. I moved here 5 years ago and was full of enthusiasm. I got my friend's son in to take down 3 trees which were preventing any light to get into the garden/house and ended up with a wood pile that was 3m round and bout 5ft high for 3 years. I shoddily built a raised veg garden, had 1 year of veg and since then the local cats seem to have used it as a loo and its developed a wonderful crop of hay. The wood pile was finally removed last summer. I had put up a playhouse from ebay for my son. Something happened. I dont know what. The door fell off and now nettles and brambles have moved in and I can even take it down. There is a big bramble patch climbing up the front of the house, and again at the back - Ive lost 2 chairs and a table in there somewhere. 2 months ago I tried to mow the lawn and the mower blew up.....
The main problem is that I work at my other half's parents farm All gods hours. And I never seem to have any time off. As a result their farm is looking better than it has in years, but I am living in bramble hell.

Blatherskite Sat 03-Aug-13 14:53:30

Our patio was put in by my PIL when the house was bought, brand new for my GPIL.

More than 25 years later, it's old, dated and after years and years of sustained ant work - really rather wonky too. We'd love to change it but it's one of those jobs that is just too expensive for the small amount of disposable income we have left every month while we wait for our youngest child to go to school so that I can get a job again. It looks awful - it's one of those red and cream slab job that were so beloved of the 80's and it's riddled with weeds but we're stuck with it for now sad

My dream would be to dig the lot up, treat all of the ants nests with nematodes and then put down some decking at a higher level so that I don't have to worry about DD falling down the big drop anymore. I'd shape it to make more of the lawn while giving us a better spot for the garden table. I might even add some lights for the Summer evenings.

wibblyjelly Sat 03-Aug-13 15:37:16

We have moved into a new rental property recently. All we have done in the garden so far is kill off the weeds and the grass! DS is 10 months old and walking, and at the moment, it's not really baby friendly for him. We would also love to grow things at the back, fruit and veg, but have no idea how to go about it!

treeny12345 Sat 03-Aug-13 17:54:11

We moved into our new house over winter so there wasn't much we could do outside. We have managed to lay some grass (the rolls from B&Q) in some parts in time for our lbs first birthday party which has taken really well but now the rest of it looks really nasty! A big hedge that's in a very random place! Although the cats love it we do not! Our front and back gardens are very uneven and don't even start me on the state of the drives with some stones some very wonky and cracked paving and some holes!! A lovely overhaul is needed to make it safer and nicer for our lb to play and everyone to enjoy our BBQing area a bit more! grin)

ineedtogetoutmore Sat 03-Aug-13 18:02:32

we've just moved into our new home, when we first saw out terrace garden it was paved in the middle with flowers round the edges. nothing spectacular but we could do something with it. there was a 4 week gap between the old owners moving out and us moving in. when we moved in we discovered that one of our lovely new neighbours had broken the gate and thrown an entire house worth of carpets and underlay into our garden.
it was so heavy and drenched from the rain we had to cut it up with a Stanley knife bit at a time and hire a trailer to move it all to the tip. it took us hours. we can now finally start again with our garden. which now consists of pavement and squashed plants all around the edges thanks to the carpet.

we are hoping to get some nice flowers round the edge, some nice garden furniture and decking....and a new lock for the gate lol

TiredFeet Sun 04-Aug-13 14:37:59

our garden is just a plain rectangle, part decking and the rest lawn. I haven't really done any gardening but I would love to add some flowers in pots and hanging baskets to add colour and interest. I'm really nervous and not sure where to begin, I keep meaning to try but can't really justify the expense at the minute. I love seeing other people's flowers and hanging baskets though, it really lifts my mood, so I think it would make so much difference to our rather boring garden.

snailsontour Sun 04-Aug-13 21:45:08

Gawd, where to begin!
We moved into our new home last Wednesday, and inherited 'the grand project', with 'potential'.
Basically, we have beautiful gardens - but sadly they have been neglected since the previous owner became bedridden more than six years ago.
Somewhere hidden in the undergrowth is the wonderful gardens that used to be opened to the public - we just need to dig, and dig deep to find them and nurture them back into gardens to be proud of.

skiesmylimit Mon 05-Aug-13 03:37:48

My garden is unsuitable for my 15 month who loves outdoors, the patio is unsafe, uneven and a disaster, he would fall and hurt himself. The grass is uneven my 4 year old cant have the trampoline he wants. My fence is in need of a seriously good paint makeover.

Flowers in my garden are non existent

attachmentmummy Mon 05-Aug-13 09:44:43

Our balcony is being replaced this week, and we would love to make it look all gorgeous when the new one goes up! We spent yesterday removing the broken bamboo screening; the build up of long-exhausted compost and dead plants in the corners; the rather knackered table and chairs; and the few remaining healthy plants! Mind you, I say 'healthy', they definitely need re-potting and some new nutritious compost to feast on! Once this new balcony goes up, we are going to be rather busy...

whattodoo Mon 05-Aug-13 20:16:11

We moved into a beautifully matured garden last year - but its a bit daunting to maintain! Lots of shrubs, ponds, trees etc. We're not green fingered, so everything is now starting to look decidedly overgrown and neglected.
I'd love some pointers as to what to do with each of the shrubs and plants, and some ideas on how to replace those that require lots of maintenance with some that are easier to look after.

JR81 Mon 05-Aug-13 23:05:47

Urban girl
New mum
Lacking green fingers
Owner of neglected garden
Vegetable patch wanted
Entertaining space needed
Dangerous areas dealt with [have got a baby now after all!]

Garden benches without the rot
A water feature twinkling
Raised beds with ferns on top
Dreams made real with a little pot luck
Edible herb garden can't forget that!
Nor the sad looking gazebo at the back...

ldt87 Tue 06-Aug-13 01:02:48

My garden is unloved because it's mainly used by children and dogs, and work means we don't always get stuff done out there when it needs it

I would like to paint my fences, weed all of the paving, plant things that will come back every year or look good year round, reseed my lawn and put in new borders along one side. Some trees need cutting back and some huge weeds have taken over one corner. I would love to feel proud to sit in my garden. It's a lovely size and has long of potential really.

ldt87 Tue 06-Aug-13 01:03:39

I also have lots of pots to fill with colourful plants and would love hanging baskets and solar lights.

happynappies Tue 06-Aug-13 13:09:36

We moved into our house 10 months ago, and one of the big attractions was the huge garden. We thought it would be great for the children (we have four under the age of 6) and it has been. They have been out come rain or shine, and have been digging, trampolining, playing football etc. We thought we'd take our time to get a feel for the garden. The 'well-stocked borders' seemed so neat and tidy in the Autumn, and they bloomed into life in Spring, and we've watched this riot of colour happening around us without a clue what to do. I've just logged on to Mumsnet for the first time in ages with a view to posting on the gardening boards, because we have no idea how to deal with all the plants, shrubs, flowers, trees. What do you cut down/back/remove? We don't even know which bits are weeds and which bits are flowers?!! We went on holiday recently and saw lots of inspiration - I think we'd like more areas dedicated to vegetable growing. We could have more herbs and plants like lavender... A definite area for the children's trampoline and other equipment, and then there is my husband's skateboard ramp (don't ask!!). The patio is old, so we could update that. We just don't have so much time with a 9 month old, a 2 year old, a four year old and a six year old, but our second will start school in September and our third starts pre-school after Christmas, so maybe there is hope!!

Our front garden was laid to gravel stones by the owner just before we moved in. This was meant to be "low maintenance", but there is nothing low maintenance about weeding stones. Unless you like pouring a gallon of poisonous weedkiller into your yard every few weeks. confused The stones are also starting to slip off their black plastic groundsheet through vibration, earth settling, etc, so we will have to top them up at some point or the front yard will look patchy. We have very stubborn dandelions out front that have turned into dandelion bushes; despite my husband digging them up with a shovel, they were back within a week.

Family have suggested sticking large pots onto the stones and growing either bright flowers or vegetables. I would prefer to just lay it all to lawn. The backyard is lawn - it gets fluffy every once in awhile, but then DH mows it and weedwhacks, looks great again in an hour.

We also have a driveway that was laid using the gravel and two strips of patio slabs. These are getting loose after two years of use. I would rather do a brick lock-block driveway, which would be easier to shovel in snow and probably more stable throughout the year.

RunningGingerFreckleyThing Tue 06-Aug-13 15:46:50

The previous owner of our house did nothing to his garden. When we moved in there was a Weeping Willow less than 10 metres from the house, which was much taller than our house. It took over the whole garden and only weeds and brambley types were able to flourish.We've had it cut down now but the tree stump remains at 3 or 4 feet tall because we can't get a stump grinder down the steps due to the crazy height of them. I'm less than 5ft and I struggle to climb them!
If I could sort our garden, I would first rejig the steps so that anyone other than a giant can use them without the need for rock climbing equipment. Then I would dig up the tree stump so I could have an actual square of grass.

SleeplessInBedfordshire Tue 06-Aug-13 16:30:18

Gosh, where to begin! The lawn needs levelling as its very uneven. I put my foot down and told DH he'll have to wait to do the lawn as I'm making the most of the garden this summer on Maternity leave.
Other than that the borders need sorting. I want 2 rather than 3 edges of flowerbeds so we'll have room for a slide or something for DS. We don't have the space otherwise.
Finally we have some rather large bushes in the flowerbeds that need pruning. DH lopped one off at the bottom, leaving a 3 inch stump, and hasn't touched the others. I'm no gardener, but that's not what I had in mind when he strode off cheerfully saying "Off to do some pruning dear!" two months ago.
So yes, I'd love to sort out our garden.

NaturalBaby Tue 06-Aug-13 16:39:00

I don't know if this will count but ...
We moved house a few weeks ago and the garden has signs of previously being loved but the vendor admitted she has just let it go so it is very overgrown, as well as very big! There is a patch of lawn, tarmac going in 4 different directions right through the middle of it, an overgrown patio, a veg plot full of weeds, some collapsed fencing in places and a gappy hedge in other places.

I've spent the last few weeks cutting back as much as possible on my own but there is a huge compost heap that is now 3 times bigger - I'm talking 2m high and at least 5m wide! There is a patch of woodland that has been added to the garden but is full of overgrown roses, brambles, stinging nettles and I'm pretty sure there's at least one wasps nest in the ground next to an empty pond and fountain. My dc's are desperate to have the fountain going but I would like a child safe water feature that doesn't need electricity to run.

The house and garden has a lot of history and I am really looking forward to taming it but it is a huge job to do alone, and I am currently registering as a childminder so need to focus on childproofing a small section of it. I'm resisting the urge to hire a man with a digger to clear and turf the rest of it.

People always comment on the size of our garden ( it's not huge, just long!) but it's too big for me. The lady before us had very green fingers and I really need to simplify everything..... And get rid of a million dandelions!

mymatemax Tue 06-Aug-13 18:00:22

we loved our garden when we moved in, beautiful lawn, lovely shrubs & different areas.
Then our boys came along & they have loved our garden, its been a football pitch, a campsite, a fort, a battlefield, an assault course, a playground, et etc.
Now the boys are a little older the grass is battle scarred the shrubs overgrown or down trodden.
Our shed is bulging.

We would love to love our garden again we just need a little help to get us started. I have willing and able labour (the ones that messed up the garden) I just need a few pennies to get us going!

TheGirlOnTheLanding Tue 06-Aug-13 18:06:54

Our garden has been at the bottom of our long DIY to-do list since we moved in nine years ago. We go into garden centres, are intimidated by the choice of plants and our lack of confidence about what to do with them, and walk out empty handed again. Vouchers would encourage us to take a few planting gambles and fill the bare beds with colour.

Mandy21 Tue 06-Aug-13 18:13:17

We moved in about 3 years ago and are gradually trying to get it to a family friendly garden. We just never get chance to have a good few days sorting it out! It hadn't been looked after for years. Its such a bonus to have for the children, and we've had such great weather we've spent pretty much every day out there for the past couple of months, but it could be so much nicer. I'd love to be able to feel proud of the garden, invite friends for barbecues and playdates. One day....!

FattyMcChubster Tue 06-Aug-13 18:27:00

Ooh I started a thread about my unloved garden the other day!
We are very lucky to have a big garden but it has been so neglected its untrue. When we moved in there must have been 8 greenhouses (totally out self here) all smashed up, glass everywhere, no grass, about 10000 margarine tubs and the biggest most godawful shed you've ever seen. Practically falling down.
So, the greenhouses got pulled down, tubs cleared, most of glass cleared (still have to be careful with dd in garden). The shed is due to be torn down shortly. We managed to sow grass relatively well.
DP did a bit of a boob and used weed and feed a bit too generously and a lot of grass diedhmm.

The plan now is to have a smaller shed at the back of the garden with a chicken run and a vegetable patch.

Would love love love to win a we could do so much to get our dream garden going! I would love dd to grow up helping out with chickens and growing her own veg.

littlemonkeychops Tue 06-Aug-13 20:12:15

I posted on the original thread about why our garden us unloved (lawn that is more weeds than grass, overgrown shrubs, filthy patio).

Since then we've bought some new patio furniture which makes it look a lot better, but we'd still live to tackle it properly.

Two things hold us back, money and time.

starlight36 Tue 06-Aug-13 20:27:06

We moved into our house about three years ago. The house had been rented out for years so both the front and back gardens were pretty neglected. The front garden is completely overgrown and had become an outside toilet for the local cats whilst the back garden was full of used tea lights, empty beer bottles, bindweed and overgrown bushes. We've managed to wrestle control over half of the back garden but the arrival of two children and the unpredictable weather have hampered our efforts. We've lost quite a few perennials we planted due to the harsh winter weather and plants we've replanted didn't survive the erratic summer we've had so far.

We've been a bit disheartened by it all but if we won the gift card it would motivate us to have another re-stock of the plants we've lost and focus on tidying the rest of the garden to make it as low maintenance as possible so it doesn't get back into the same state.

CheeryCherry Tue 06-Aug-13 22:02:52

Our front garden was pebbles over when we bought the house. We stuck a few pots on it as a temporary measure, but 9 years on, it is still the same. The small wall at the front of the house had been hit a few times before we moved in, and the stones just haphazardly piled up. Embarrassing really as its the first thing anyone sees when they come to the house.

Our garden is tiny but it has a lot of potential! We have some lovely shrubs, a small cherry tree and a tiny patch of grass but I'd love a proper organised window box full of fresh herbs and a climbing plant at the front door like a clematis or a honeysuckle. A nice bench to sit and watch the world go by (or drink coffee on while the kids run amok!) would just complete the whole thing grin

Elainey1609 Tue 06-Aug-13 23:09:39

Oh I used to love my garden
But we now seem to have an invasion of that Japanese knotweed plant
That we can't seem to get rid of angry
It's taken over whole garden and killed everything can't afford to do industrial weed killers numerous times

Don't even seem to have a garden any more sad

dahville Tue 06-Aug-13 23:22:17

During the recent heatwave I managed to kill almost every potted plant in our back garden blush

To be fair I was at the end of my pregnancy (then adjusting to a newborn) and life also got in the way.

I would dearly love to plant some pretty flowers for me and some rocket for my husband as well as starting to show my son how to garden (without killing plants!).

I would also like to lay done a small line of paving stones to make it easier to walk from my side gate to the front door. Ooh, and maybe a small flat area to put the bistro table and chairs... so many things to do :-)

crazykat Tue 06-Aug-13 23:28:40

Our garden was a mess when we moved in, the drive was dangerous, the grass waist high, only half a fence and a wrecked patio. We even found an old metal bed under all the grass and random bricks buried in the 'lawn'.

Now we have an okay fence and pulled up the worst of the patio and dug out the bricks. We've done the best we can with the drive with what money we have. We have a corner house so the garden starts at the front and wraps round the house, with the bit at the back a small triangle shape. This means most of the garden is at the front.

In the front the ground is shaped like a bowl with quite a big dip at the centre so that when it rains it becomes a pond. The ground at the back is bumpy so we can't have swings or a trampoline for the DCs.

If we had the money I'd love to buy a tonne of top soil and hire a leveller to make the ground nice and level and put down grass seed. There's also a garage base/foundations so I'd like to build a simple garage there to store bikes and toys so that when the weather is bad the DCs can play in there. I'd also like to put a high fence or plant a hedge in the front garden for privacy as we're on a main road, plus we could then get a trampoline.

I'd love to dig some flower beds and a small raised planter for vegetables at the back. We'd need a lot of top soil as there's no soil as such in the garden as its heavy clay so no good for growing without the time and money to replace it.

To do all this would be expensive but we're saving what we can to make the garden nice (and safe) for the DCs to play in as there aren't any decent parks on our estate (Local authority housing) and they're still too young to play on the fields behind our house.

Patilla Wed 07-Aug-13 07:57:26

Our new front lawn appears to have been attacked by insects deluge having no problems previously. It's gutting as we spent the last of our savings on it and are at a bit of a loss as to what to do.

Our back garden has different patches of grass and in an ideal world we would sort that too but it's too expensive.

At present our garden is just grass or patio. I would love some plants and DS aged four really wants us to plant some bulbs to come up in spring.

I would also like to get DS a tub to grown some vegetables next year if we could afford it as I feel time is limited for his interest in this sort of thing.

With an even bigger budget I would get some decking to make a little Play area for DD that is level with patio doors, a picnic table to have lunches out with the DC, some way of giving us shade as there is none until late afternoon and a box that we could put a few outdoor toys into.

flow4 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:07:55

I have just bought a new house, and it has a garden - the first garden I've had since I was 9, nearly 40 years ago! It has so much potential: I want to grow berries and a few veg, and my teenage children have been promised a trampoline and summerhouse-type hang-out... But the previous owners were not gardeners, and all there is now is a lawn and one straight, thin, overshadowed flowerbed full of weeds... Where to start?!

We moved here last year and the garden has needed sorting since then but we haven't managed it yet.

There's a random "pathway" which has a double layer of slabs on it, empty (but for the weeds) borders, a rundown shed which needs to be replaced and moved as it currently takes centre stage in the garden (not sure why). At the bottom of the garden is a pretty little apple tree which is covered in a holly tree and a beautiful, grade 2 listed wall but at the moment it is hidden by ivy, slabs, the shed and a compost heap. So I see potential.

However, realising that potential will be tough due to lack of time as we have 2 small children and also lack of funds. And maybe a feeling of how overwhelming it is to sort out and a lack of inspiration. I have booked myself on a gardening course this autumn to help with the lack of inspiration, so maybe this time next year we'll have our family sanctuary created by my own fair hand.

Souredstoneshasasouredpebble Thu 08-Aug-13 12:21:25

We took on our mother in laws house and garden which had previously been inhabited by students and the garden untended for 4 years.

We cut everything back but feel we are losing the battle with 20yr old established shrubs, broken fencing, rabbit hole pitted lawn, an abundance of unwanted gravel, and a recent garden fire next door that took a large part of our replanted garden with it.

Holes, weeds, gravel, charcoal is the sum total of our garden and we are so ashamed of it.

Souredstoneshasasouredpebble Thu 08-Aug-13 12:22:37

What do we want to change? Just a decent lawn would be enough.

Health issues and finances are stopping us completing it.

HannahLI Thu 08-Aug-13 13:43:55

We recently moved in to a new house and to say that the garden is unloved might be an understatement. The lawn was a jungle and although now trimmed it needs some attention with some new seeds and a cover to help patch it up. There is so much Ivy that has grown in from the outside which I don't think has been touched in years. The trunk of the Ivy was as think as my arm - I have never seen so much Ivy in one place! We have started to pull it down but now we need to redefine the borders (which currently don't exist any more), buy flowers to go in them, prune and sort through the plants that are left and fix any fence panels that have been damaged by the ivy! It needs lots of attention! PLus we would love to make a cosy seating area for us to sit out in in the evening with new table, chairs and parasol!

doglover Thu 08-Aug-13 13:56:06

We have recently moved into a property that had been vacant for three years ..................... and unloved for many years before that.

We'd driven past it regularly over the years and seen how the house was neglected and the garden, a wilderness.

Our first viewing of the bungalow revealed a back garden that looked a bit like a warzone. The wooden fencing at the rear only had 2 vertical panels - the rest were horizontal, partially obscured by brambles and ivy. There were no planted areas, no borders, no paths or landscaping, just a veritable jungle of grass and tangled weeds. In the corner was a shed. Well, I say 'shed', but this makes it sound far too grand. Sunken into the ground with a plastic tarpaulin as a roof and brambles to secure it on a windy day, was a ramshackle wooden wreck. Peering inside wasn't a pleasant experience.

The day after we exchanged contracts, we hired a petrol strimmer and started to attack the brambles and 'lawns'. We took photos to remember just how overgrown everything was - the grass, well above knee-height - was like cutting hay. Once shorn, my husband used the lawnmower to tame it still further but it almost looked worse when this work was complete. Patches of bare earth competed with the non-existent fencing to entice our two dogs to explore our new neighbours' gardens much to our embarrassment. But, in all honesty, who can blame our pooches for wanting to decamp and sunbathe in an outdoor space which has soft grass, warm patios and peaceful planting.

One of these days ........................................

fedupdownhere Thu 08-Aug-13 14:06:40

since the kids have grown up the garden has been neglected and now we loose the dog everytime he goes out there sad

LaVitaBellissima Thu 08-Aug-13 14:17:31

We have a side return that's full of old paint and rubbish from when we had a loft conversion. There are also a few big tree stumps and this takes up so much space as we live in a Victorian terrace so the garden isn't very big. I'd love to clean it out and start from scratch, pull out the half concrete paving and do a small deck area and step and totally tidy it up.

snowwhite27 Thu 08-Aug-13 15:25:03

My garden is VERY unloved. I recently moved into my new house and the garden should be renamed the jungle. There is weed everywhere. The grass is probably waist high due to the very hot weather we are having. I don't know where to or how to start. Worst of all I haven't been able to enjoy the garden at all due to the state it's in. My garden is so unloved it would weep if it could. Money is quite tight at the moment so have been putting it off. These vouchers would come in so much use.

SillyTilly123 Thu 08-Aug-13 15:48:35

Not sure if you are allowed to nominate someone? My nanas garden used to be lovely when my grandad was still alive and fit but as he got older (and eventually died in 2009) the garden slowly started to decline. Me and my brother has just managed to landscape her front patch (just took everything out and gravelled it-only took about 20 bags of gravel-so not very big) but the back will cost way too much for my nan to ever have it looking decent again.

Its quite a big garden and it used to be fenced off half way down. The bottom half was for growing vegetables in (there's allotments behind so the soil is great for growing) and they had a greenhouse which used to grow the best tomatoes in the world wink The half closest to the house was just a lovely lawn with a border around it and loads of nice flowers. It gets the sun all day and I remember playing out there in my paddling pool when i was little. Now the garden is just all grass/weeds, its no longer sectioned off so its just a mass of unkempt lawn and its uneven all over. I'd love to have the money to restore it as close to its former glory as possible for my nan to enjoy for the rest of her days.

SillyTilly123 Thu 08-Aug-13 16:14:11

...cont (forgot to add)
If i were to win the money i'd use it to hire a rotavator (if you can use the gift card for that? But if not i'll pay that myself) Take all the grass/weeds from the bottom half and buy a small fence/paneling to fence it off (shouldn't cost too much as the garden is more long than wide) Then dig the borders on the top bit and buy some plants to put in them. I dont think i could manage to get a greenhouse too with that much but will buy some veg seedsand maybe some planters/compost heap to put in the bottom next spring. and if there's any money left over some fairy garden ornaments or whatever takes my nanas fancy.

my garden is very unloved. its small and a mess. i would love to make it nicer so that my children could play out there, dd1 has aspergers and adhd and cannot be trusted to play outside. it needs new fencing and levelling out more than anything. we used to have lovely parties and bbq's but over time they have dwindled as i cannot manage the upkeep as well as looking after my 4 dc's, 2 of whom have ASD's. i would love a garden makeover to give the children the space they so desperately need and want to play in.

guineapiglet Thu 08-Aug-13 17:08:54

Another one here who has just moved house and inherited a garden the previous owner 'promised' would be tidied up - smile it was a neglected wilderness full of cat poo and chalk stones. We have moved to the deep south from the north, and brought some lovely things with us in pots.....
I have resolutely tackled the overgrown hedge, the hideous leylandii, the bind weed and ivy and am now trying to create a bee haven and a pleasant place for the whole family to enjoy - the paving is all haphazard and uneven, and the garden slopes, so is going to need some skill to restore and nuture it - a lovely low level dry stone wall to remind us of our northern roots, and an updated patio area would really help us to create something to enjoy and pass on, - like many of these stories, trying to make a space beautiful instead of an ugly, neglected and sad piece of land. We want to enjoy our gardens, not ignore and feel sorry for them!

JeanBodel Thu 08-Aug-13 17:16:55

We are lucky enough to have quite a long garden. It contains a giant vegetable patch which is useless to us because neither DH or I is in any way interested in growing vegetables. It also has a patio where stepping on half the stones is a gamble as they may tip up and throw you into said vegetable patch.

If we had the money I would repair the patio and make it much bigger so the kids could ride their scooters on it. I would also get the kids the swing they have been asking for all year.

I would then buy an apple tree and some fruit bushes and turn the veg patch into a fruit producing area. And some posh pots so the children could plant them up with colourful plants. And some storage for all the plastic toys currently scattered around the garden. And a nice bench for me to sit on and read.

I am sure I could spend a lot on the garden - but if we had any spare cash it would have to go on the interior of the house because that is dire.

KnittedWaffle Thu 08-Aug-13 17:43:52

Although this is a rental property I still like to take pride in sorting the garden out.
When we moved in it was the size of a postage stamp because it was so overgrown.
The neighbours said that our landlady (a lovely old lady) used to take pride in the garden but that the previous tenants didn't use it much.
In the first week of moving in I got my two eldest DC to get their all in one suits on and out we went, chopping down weeds and branches and it's now at least four times the size. I bought a playhouse and there's much more room for the DC to play but I still want to add flowers a few bushes at the bottom of the sloped area and put a wee bit of grass in so DC3 can sit outside with them.
It looks a little bit like a building site but we'll get there next summer eventually!

This summer DD and I have sacrificed our holiday, spare money and lots of time to try and get our garden sorted. So far, we have one side with all the hard stuff just about done- decking, lawn and gravel. But we've ran out of funds for the pretty, fun stuff- pots, flowers, a nice table, that sort of stuff. And my back garden still looks like a bomb has hit a jungle, but thats a lot more than £150 worth of work out there!

A helping hand would be very appreciated smile

GetStuffezd Thu 08-Aug-13 18:25:42

I moved into this house two weeks ago and the 30x30 foot garden was a meadow, chest high. I rang a chap on gumtree advertising gardening services and he casually quoted twenty quid to blitz it. When he saw it, standing there with his battery powered strimmer, his face fell! Eventually we sorted something out and he hired a brush cutter and had it done in two hours. So now I have the beginnings of a garden.... But nothing else!

Moving has wiped me out financially so I haven't got any equipment of my own yet. I've also managed to de-weed the lovely little borders at the front and am desperate to get some lavender and herbs in there. Any help would be gratefully received! grin

BTW I got some delightful come-uppance after sniggering at all the cat mess moaners on MN. Literally within 4 minutes of getting rid of the final weed, my ginger cat went number two in the freshly turned soil. angry

Stopanuary Thu 08-Aug-13 18:41:24

I live in a small cul-de-sac of 10 homes. There are several communal areas by walls/at the backs of garages etc that were planted up when the houses were built (about 20 years ago). This planting is now out of control - there is blackthorn, honeysuckle, mahonia, buddleia, pyrocantha etc - so this summer instead of the pruning I've tried before, I am removing the plants completely - roots and all!

I have three green waste wheely bins of my own and the use of a neighbours... one of the highlights of my fortnight is the day these are emptied and then I can chop down some more!

I contacted the local authority before I started and they're quite happy as these areas are not their responsibility and have been most encouraging.

All the neighbours are really pleased and with a bit of luck the last roots will soon be out and I'll be ready to plant anew in about four weeks.

The voucher would benefit not only the ten homes that directly view the rediscovered spaces but hopefully other overgrown areas on the estate too as the improvements are seen and replicated

CousinArnold Thu 08-Aug-13 19:22:47

We live in a rented house where the garden has obviously been 'unloved' for quite some time. The main problem is overgrown borders which desperately need weeding, and a one corner which is completely overgrown with bamboo. Not sure why anyone would plant bamboo in a small suburban garden - it grows ridiculously tall and quickly too!

As with many people, it is difficult to find the time (and energy) to sort out the garden when you are working and have small children around. Not to mention having the time to do it needing to coincide with some reasonable weather!

Thisvehicleisreversing Thu 08-Aug-13 19:24:33

The garden of our nice new home
Is looking rather sad
If only we could sit out in it
It would make us rather glad grin

The lawn is full of dandelions
Come to think of it so's the patio
The slabs are really wonky
It looks so very tatty, oh!

I don't have green fingers
I really find gardening a pain
I weeded once, who knew?
You have to do it again!

My garden's a mess
So is my poem
So make me happy
I promise I'll get hoe-ing


Tallyra Thu 08-Aug-13 19:29:45

My garden is on the verge of being a jungle. One part of it was set aside over a year ago to be turned into a patio. It is now brambles and bindweed with a few nettles thrown in for good measure. We ran out of time, funds and man power, as fil decided it should be grassed over, therefore wouldn't help. It's the only place in the garden that we can put our huge and heavy patio table to catch the sun so at the moment in not enjoying the sight of a sunny jungle!!

Visadiva Thu 08-Aug-13 20:38:22

My lovely son has ambitions to be an archaeologist and asked me if he could do a 'dig' in my garden. Thinking he would give the borders a little dig over and get rid of some weeds, I agreed.
An hour later I looked out of the window. Half the neighbourhood kids were in my garden with spades and buckets. The hole extended halfway across the lawn and was at least a foot deep!
The 'finds' included bits of brick and stones and old coke cans left by the builders.

I would like to win the vouchers to restore my lawn!!

Walkacrossthesand Thu 08-Aug-13 21:00:58

I am only the 4th guardian of my 'garden on a hill' in its 80 years of existence. I'm told it was a bank of conifers in its infancy, then was landscaped 70 years ago with a lot of drystone walling, which is still holding firm (I've learnt how to rebuild the occasional collapsed section!) . Over the years it has seen an overgrown shrubbery turned to lawn, climbing frames, 3m wide 'paddling' pools, a trampoline... the well-established shrubs have been repeatedly cut back and a vegetable patch established, but 'the bank' (ah, the bank!) has to date defied taming and sits in full view of my kitchen window, full of self-seeded whatsits, A 'garden voucher' prize would just the thing to kickstart Project Bank Transformation!

LewisFan Thu 08-Aug-13 21:50:39

My unloved garden is courtesy of the council housing officer promising to fix it when I signed my tenancy and then going back on her word. It's taken me 8 years of fighting to get them to rotivate it, but after that... it'll just be a 4m wide, 20ish m long strip....

I have no spare funds, really, to make a "big" impact - I'd like to add a little seating area, bbq and borders... nothing too special - I'd make £150 stretch far!

I haven't used the garden for the 8 years I've lived here - we moved in to second storey weeds and thistle bushes (yes, really) and only this summer are we getting it rotivated...

It needs help - I need help!

LewisFan Thu 08-Aug-13 21:51:55

oh I'd like to add a little allotment area at the end too...

Flatasawitchestit Fri 09-Aug-13 00:02:13

Our garden is small, and pretty unloved though not through lack of trying.

We've got uneven and sloping grass, I don't know what was here before these houses were built 8 years ago but we have a lot of weeds in the grass, big dock leaves and thistles. We've dug up, weed killered but still they come back. We've decided we'd need to completely dig up the grass, level it out and lay turf or grass seed to get decent grass.

We've spruced it up with lots of hanging baskets, empty jam jars and tea lights, bunting and stuff but its like making a silk purse out of a sows ear blush

Squirrelface Fri 09-Aug-13 12:05:34

Our "lawn" transformed itself into a dandelion carpet this year, and I think the whole thing needs to be dug up and reseeded. Meanwhile are there any hungry rabbits out there?

5inabed Fri 09-Aug-13 12:17:24

Our garden is mostly decking that was laid before we bought the house, however the previous owner just laid the decking.... they did not put in the posts for the sides that I believe are meant to be done first, there is no fencing around the 1 foot drop which is handy for kids to fall off and it weirdly stops about a foot from the fence on one side. I would love to have the skills to cut it back and fence it in and clear the nettle jungle and put some grass down for the kids, maybe even a trampoline set into the ground and I fantasise about screening the fence so no-one can see in and getting a shed for all the garden toys, bikes etc. The only thing we have managed to do is replace the gate after burglers destroyed it last year while breaking into the house while we were sleeping in it.

JakeBullet Fri 09-Aug-13 13:28:38

I now know that I need a new law mower.....and a power washer for the stones. Please send me the £150 B&Q voucher MNHQ wink

EricNorthmansFangbanger Fri 09-Aug-13 14:52:13

Our garden is awful and currently resembles a jungle...a slopey jungle. The borders need to be completely re-done and they're overrun with weeds at the moment. There are brambles and the grass is in need of a good mow but the lawnmower is currently on the fritz. In fact, the grass probably just needs to be dug up and to start again. We don't have a fence between our garden and the neighbouring one as we have been quoted £1500 by two different people (our garden is not very big by any means!) and we just cannot afford that at the moment, though we are saving up.

The wall between our other neighbours needs the rest of it painting. Eventually we would love to put in some decking at the top as the stairs from the back door are steep and a bit dangerous for the children. We would also like some raised beds and to just really make our garden a nice environment that the children can play in and to grow some of our own vegetables, which they would love.

MeAndMyGirl Fri 09-Aug-13 15:38:21

We have had terrible problems with anti social neighbours and have not used our back garden much over the last 6 months. I would love to screen our garden from their constant watching of me and get some peace and solitude for my family.

We have a plain grassed garden, I'd love to add either a patio or decking to give the dd's somewhere to play in winter and to make a nice seating area for bbqs etc. it would be lovely to be able to bundle them up and let them play out on their bikes and scooters throughout winter, the grass gets too waterlogged and like a quagmire as our garden is surrounded by trees and is in shade for a lot of the time.

VirtuallyThere Fri 09-Aug-13 18:00:14

Children and and lack of time - they are the two biggest enemies of my garden! That's why I have some bald patches where I had to rip out shrubs to acccommodate a large trampoline and a lot of our veggies ended up wilting or being eaten by snails. However we really do enjoy it still and even my 5 year old DS just being able to eat one bean that's grown on the whole plant makes it worthwhile. Luckily the majority of our garden is made up of plants of the just keep under control variety.

ducklady Fri 09-Aug-13 19:42:10

We have a nice sized garden now, not too big, or two small.we recently took a wooden shed down because it was about to fall down, the previous tenant had put it up a decade ago.
There is now a huge mess from where it stood, and we really need some nice slabs or something to go in its place.we have a 10 month old baby who is desperate to get outside and explore, but he can't, its not safe, he has to stay In his pram and watch from the window sad

Letitsnow9 Fri 09-Aug-13 22:33:41

I would love to revamp my grandparents unloved garden that was once very much loved. The flower beds are now empty and the roof of the shed fell in causing it to become a giant compost bin for leaves...
Stopping is health and time but if they were lucky enough to win then lots of window boxes and pots of colourful plants would breathe life and love back into it.

ChrissieTay Sat 10-Aug-13 09:48:40

Our garden(s) (both front & back) are in desperate need of a make-over and our toddlers are unable to play out in them hmm

We had a major house flood a while back which was caused by a water main pipe burst in the street and it broke the sewerage pipes, which in turn completely killed our grass, soil and contained levels of contamination hmm

My hubby has been trying for a while now to re-vamp the gardens, back to their original state, but is struggling as he suffered a Stroke not long ago and this is taking him much longer than expected, also with us both out of work now due to this, our funds won't permit for a nice garden hmm

This really would be a Godsend to us and would put the smile back on our boys' faces knowing they can play out in this beautiful weather again! smile

insanityscratching Sat 10-Aug-13 10:26:43

Our garden has always been "serviceable" in so far as the grass has been short enough for dd to play on and the patio has been clear. That is until this year when because of underpinning the garden looks like a cross between an abandoned building site and a jungle. I'm so envious of our neighbour who has a beautiful garden and embarrassed now seeing as our garden is worse than the one next door after he seems to have discovered a love of digging and pruning after 10 years of neglect.

captainrex Sat 10-Aug-13 11:20:43

The decking the previous owners put in (think Ground Force style), was nailed in, including over the sewage man hole cover, which will need removing the entire thing if we ever need to access this. There are weeds galore underneath this decking, that no weed killer seems to touch. The decking itself is prone to be very slippy in the winter and nothing seems to stop this.

The lawn has become less grass and more clover, weeds and ant farms.

The flower beds are now so full of weeds, that it is impossible to see the plants that remained after the previous owners stole all the nicest onces and left lovely holes.

And we have had to remove the dying box hedge out the front, and this has left a lovely trench but yet to have funds to replace with something more robust, longer lasting and nice looking.

Finally the fence door to the back garden has been warped and battered by the winds over the last few years, the catch has been completely bust and basically the whole thing needs replacing.

Not completely unloved as DH has created a lawn, grown a hedge, and made two ponds. So, very wildlife friendly - lots of bird boxes too
But I went to a friend's garden party the other day and it was over-flowing with beautiful, colourful flowers - mainly in hanging baskets and tubs.
So I'd like to show our garden more love by planting some beautiful flowers. A little colour would transform it !

Solo Sat 10-Aug-13 16:12:32

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 within 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 is 15 and 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.
£150, would be a massive help, so fingers crossed.

CatOfTheDay Sat 10-Aug-13 16:49:36

When we moved into our house two months ago the garden hadn't been touched for at least two years.

The grass was taller than me, and it was surrounded by jungle.

So far I have cut the grass, and dug our two sunloungers and three old Christmas trees - and filled two garden waste bins twice over!

I have also uncovered a pond with a waterfall and some lovely raised flower beds - and found no end of plants I never knew we had (still not all identified!)

I'd love to paint up the old decking and get the water feature working, and plant some grass seeds in the part of the garden that was buried under a pile of old trees and twigs, and £150 would be a great help towards this!

insertsomethingwitty Sat 10-Aug-13 18:44:52

I would love our garden to be pretty,
So I'm writing B&Q this ditty.
I haven't met it's needs,
So it's now full of weeds.
A project not for the faint hearted.

But instead I want roses,
With sweet scent in our noses.
Maybe decking and seating
My enthusiasm isn't fleeting.
I just need a bit of help to get started.

melliebobs Sat 10-Aug-13 19:53:19

My garden. Actually scratch that. Yard. Is unloved and a complete eyesore. Worst of all, living in a terraced house it's completely looked over by all angles by our neighbours. The shame sad. We've been in our house 4 years and in that time other stuff has just took priority, we didn't spent too much time in the garden to start with and we've not had the time or spare money to sort it. The winters have took its toll on the yard so with dd1 now here I want to make it into a nice safe area for her to toddle about in and also so I can spend some time outside with her without looking at the mess it is and end up back inside. It's something we plan to sort next spring/summer (house has been a doer upperer and we've done 1 room a year)

So. What I'd do.
The 3 walls need repointing. That's DH job
Then I would paint it with white masonry paint to brighten it up
I'd get a new back gate. It's all rotten and every time we go in or out a new chunk of wood falls off. It's all jagged on the top and its come off one hinge. So when we've got that I'd paint it a bright colour too. Maybe purple
I'd get a new shed. We only need a small one cos of space but the one we have at the moment you have to be careful where you stand Cos it's a matter if time till you go through the floor
Rather than get new paving stones I'm going to copy some of our neighbours and get it astro turfed
I'd get a bench or some form of seating
I'd get a box for under the kitchen window for some flowers
I'd get a box/netting for some climbers on our side wall
I'd get a couple of planter tubs so they are out of the dogs way and he doesn't dig it all up
And last of all as we have to keep our bin and recycling bins in the yard rather than back alley I'd try and build or find some storage so they are out of sight

Ambitious but will make it a much more usable and pleasant space smile

Hissy Sat 10-Aug-13 20:56:13

My garden is my favourite place on earth sometimes. It has a large surface pond, and I get it tidied once a year to prepare it for the winter. My landlady is fab, often sending the gardeners herself, but she is removing the pond this year as it is too much to clean/maintain.

Sadly I don't think she's aiming to replace it with anything, and the birds in the area love coming to the garden to bath and to drink.

If I were to get £150 I would get a small water feature that they could enjoy, and drink from.

NooothingMuma Sat 10-Aug-13 21:34:50

My garden was intended to be a b&q shrine grin.

I have 2 huge L shaped planters made from decking, one is well stocked, the other looks quite sad.

The "lawn" is a lush green colour, only not a blade of grass to be seen, all springy moss.

The biggest problem is being overlooked on 3 sides. Two sides have low fences in a dangerous state of repair, but the whole of the bottom of the garden is virtually open, two strands of thin wire strung between concrete posts, not ideal with a inquisitive 3 yo Dd sad

It would be wonderful to be able to secure the garden and plant up the other "coffin" (first one cost over £200 to fill)

Then I could sit out in my b&q steamer, with my wine b&q Moroccan style lanterns, looking across at my b&q table and chairs (recently liberated after 5 years in the dining room) while Dd does the hard work with her b&q tool set and wheel barrow grin

Oh did I mention I blardy love b&q grin

VileWoman Sat 10-Aug-13 22:28:51

My garden is unlvoed because I have three children under five and a hatred of the heat. this summer has not been good to me. I have areas for veg that are covered with weeds bare that really need some annuals on them that need less attention.

damppatchnot Sat 10-Aug-13 22:34:25

Our garden is shared by all our family A beautiful aviary where we can hear the birds sing, a lawn where Bess and Sophie our dogs can romp and play with my children and a border where our cat can sit and doze.
A bird station where wildlife can come and feast and a shed that dad can tinker away in

But whats left for mum? A corner where she can sneek away too and dream of waterfalls and trickling streams. Blissfulsmile

MummyPig24 Sun 11-Aug-13 08:47:44

We moved into our house 9 months ago and didn't do much over the very wet winter! Now the weather is better we have been working hard to weed the flower beds and try and grow some fruit and vegetables. However, we don't really know what we are doing or what we have growing that was planted by previous tenants. It seems to have been left to run wild. The flower beds are full of stones and weeds.

We have two small children and not enough time but we all enjoy being out in the garden. We would like it to be something that we can take pride in, but we also have very little money to buy gardening equipment and plants.

JakeBullet Sun 11-Aug-13 09:06:12

...can I add a scream about bloody bindweed? Hate the stuff and am forever pulling it seems impervious to everything I spray or drop in it too,

Have a lovely row of sunflowers at the moment and the bumblebees LOVE them. I also have Buddlea for the butterflies.

I will at some point recover the very neglected lawn....a bit at a time.

We have just finished a barn conversion and had no money left over to do the garden.
We have managed to clear the site and put some grass seed down which is starting to look like a lawn but we haven't got a single plant. Unless weeds count!
I'd really like some easy care plants that will grow quickly and add a bit of interest to the bare garden. My dad lives next door and his garden is so beautiful, its taken him years to do so I know it won't be a quick fix!

flamingtoaster Sun 11-Aug-13 09:50:41

Our garden slopes in two directions which makes life a bit difficult. The top of it is very dry, the bottom becomes waterlogged in winter. We try to do our bit for wildlife (that's our excuse!) so it's all a bit jungly and overgrown at the minute. The oregano is currently in bloom and the bees and butterflies are really enjoying it. We have a small patio but the grey slabs are very uninspiring - I'd love some nicer slabs. We need a new fence along the bottom - it's currently patched (well one section is completely constructed!) from chicken wire, stakes and sticks!

confusedofengland Sun 11-Aug-13 12:35:50

We are about to move into a house with a very unloved front garden. Obviously we feel this is a shame, particularly as it can be seen from the street, and all the other houses in the row have lovely, well-tended gardens.

There was, until recently, a big tree in the middle of the lawn. This has been chopped down, but the stump & roots are still there. There are also 2 different types of evergreen hedges, which are far too tall & unruly, so block out some sunlight.

In addition, there is a border to one side & at the front of the garden, where the soil is very stony & weedy.

The lawn itself will also need digging up & relaying, as it is at least 50% weeds.

To win a £150 B&Q giftcard would certainly go some way towards helping us to have a lovely new garden for our lovely new house!

bigreddrum Sun 11-Aug-13 12:39:02

Garden is not too bad although it is the size of a postage stamp it is but let down by a shed that is too small and falling to bits and nowhere to store our rubbish or children's toys.

We need to invest in a bigger shed and move it to the shady area - it is currently taking up the small patch of space that is bathed in sun for most of the day.

Main thing stopping us doing this? Money!

FOMOphobic Sun 11-Aug-13 13:53:14

I can't tell you about my unloved garden as it is loved, very. We do spend some money and plenty of time on it but it's one of those things you could keep going forever with.

The next projects are to build some sort of fencing at the side at the end where it's been gone for years and replaced by bushes and wire fencing, and to increase the planting to try and acheive more dense borders, including more height.

We moved into our house 5 years ago and both the inside and outside needed a lot of work. We bought just before the market crashed and for 5 years now we have been crippled with mortgage costs and childcare fees with nothing left over for either house or garden. We cut the grass and that's all we can afford to do.
It's a decent sized garden and with a little help it could look really nice. Would love to plant some flowers, have some hanging baskets and potted plants and just make it look nice and full of colour. X

Debzarella Sun 11-Aug-13 15:57:22

For me, the thing i desperately crave is some greenery in the daughter is now just starting to crawl and i want her to be able to play on a lawn and have a swing etc, but am unable to do this on awful industrial concrete and slabs. I am on maternity leave again so we are only on 1 salary for the foreseeable and therefore the garden has been unable to become a priority in the bog long list of things needed to be done. A voucher to help get the garden started so our little one can play outside would be a miracle!

revolvenotevolve Sun 11-Aug-13 16:03:15

We live in a first floor flat but are lucky enough to have a large rooftop type 'garden' where the children can play. The 'floor' is grey and the area is very bare, boring and dull.
I spend ages browsing various website to feel inspired but find I lack both the know how skills and finance t create the rooftop garden I dream of.So far I have one pot in it with a beautiful young apple tree and my daughter delightfully found it's first apple last week hiding under a leaf!

FrillyMilly Sun 11-Aug-13 18:47:07

Our garden is just a square of lawn with some dead Trees and weeds at the back. The lawn isn't even grass it's some sort of moss. Id love to rip it all up, lay some turf and add a nice neat flower bed. I'd also love to have a decked area so we have somewhere to sit without sinking in to the moss/grass.

mumofboyo Sun 11-Aug-13 20:28:58

We moved into our new home in November last year and have done nothing with the gardens. The lady who lived here before was a keen gardener and had planted borders all the way around front abd back, with trees and lawn in the middle.
We are not green fingered. At all. We have a baby and a toddler who would love to play out but at the moment it's just not suitable.
There are weeds and nettles, some poisonous plants, stones, cracked and missing flagstones, and the borders, that were beautiful and lively and colourful, are now overgrown and jungle-like, and are encroaching onto the grass.
We have no shed and few tools. Our lawnmower, which we swapped with a relative who gave us her petrol one for our electric one, conked out and won't even start now which means the grass is getting longer and more overgrown as the weeks pass.
The gardens are too big and too overgrown for us now and we just don't know where or how to start.
Ideally we'd like both front and back to be part flagged and part grass, nothing else, so that they are easy to maintain, look decent and well kept so the neighbours don't complain and most importantly are safe for the children to play out in.

pixwix Sun 11-Aug-13 21:50:10

Oh sweet baby jesus! don't talk to me about unloved gardens...

I put everything on hold in the summer months whilst I try and keep on top of the garden. I have a patio bit with weeds growing through, then there's a small wall, which needs re-cementing, then it's a 'lawn' divided by a path, lots of shrubs and bushes round the outside.

But at the back, I border onto a woodland path. The fence is falling down, and 'things' grow through.

Actually that is an understatement.

But I largely keep on top of it.

But triffids lurk. Am frightened to let small children out to play in case they disappear with a squeal, wrestling frantically, and leaving behind a folorn flip-flop as the only sign of their existence.

Sometimes, I come home from work, and stand there in my uniform, regarding the garden wistfully. I feel pathetically grateful everytime I come home from work that the whole house hasn't been reclaimed by the garden, and not been dragged into the voracious undergrowth, with just the letterbox askew on the front drive, as a reminder of where I used to live...

LynetteScavo Sun 11-Aug-13 22:49:23

I have a jungle, rather than a garden. I'm constantly fighting it, pulling up plants and cutting back brambles. It's worth it when I put the effort in, as there are some really lovely plants hiding under the jungle bits. I adore the two apple trees. smile

The patio is tragic, though. I was probably laid circa 1972, and we'd love to deck over it.

StrangeGlue Mon 12-Aug-13 08:08:39

Our garden has been neglected by the previous owners for years! We're about to start a massive project with having it terraced, little retaining walls built and a deck put in. It's going to be so much work though but worth it as at the moment dd can't easily play out there and the cats constantly come in coated in grass seed!

Oh and £150 would mean that once its a terraced and decked blank slate we could buy some plants to put in it! And maybe some decking stain.

MaryPoppinsBag Mon 12-Aug-13 08:14:10

We are moving house this week, from house with a garden that was very much loved. To one that has been badly neglected due to the property being let and then on the market for four years.

Cannot wait to get in there and get cracking. Immediate jobs include knocking down/ filling in a pond, taming a wild hawthorn hedge and making the wobbly patio safe.

I'm a Childminder so safety comes first, but I do hope to plant a few flowers in tubs with the children this year. But next year who knows what we will achieve. Things on our wish list include a summer house for some outdoors learning, a climbing frame, an area to grow fruit and vegetables, a new patio and I fancy circular lawn areas for some reason.

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Aug-13 17:14:45

Thanks for all your comments everyone! Congratulations to happynappies, who has won the £150 B&Q voucher - I'll PM you shortly

happynappies Mon 12-Aug-13 19:49:01

Wow - I never win anything, thank you MN! grin

KnittedWaffle Mon 12-Aug-13 23:36:17

Congratulations happynappies! smile

Hissy Wed 14-Aug-13 07:23:11

Well done happynappies hope your garden turns out beautifully! Sounds as if it will! smile

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