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Smallish garden but big ambitions...where do I start??

(7 Posts)
NoPlanYet Fri 19-Feb-16 17:30:19

Massively premature but I've just had an offer accepted on dream house which sadly doesn't have a dream garden. However after seeing lots of houses we've decided garden is the one thing we can compromise on since house is vvv close to a huge park so teenage DC (currently have 1 2yr old, this will be our forever home) can run around etc.

Garden is ~40ft square, so not exactly teeny but not like the 140ft dream garden I yearned for. However I'm crap at gardening and lazy so silver lining perhaps...

I want fruit trees and bushes, flowers, some lawn for toddler football, and ideally some kind of slide/swing/teepee fun thing too. I also want a pond, though it can be small obviously!

At the moment the first 15ft are paved patio. I can lose some of that but would like some patio to remain for bbq etc. And smokers hmm

I very happily have money to throw at this, can prob afford 10k if needed though obviously I'd be a lot happier if the cost was only a few hundred.

Aspect: the back of the house points south east so the back wall of the garden points north west.

Garden is flat wit not much in it, a few borders.

House in in Hampshire if that helps with anyone who knows a company.

Where should I start? apart from waiting until I've actually bought the bloody house-

I'd like a hill with a slide going into a dugout teepee. And I imagine a path swishing from corner to corner with teepee stuff hidden in one far corner and fruit trees in the other. Not sure where the lawn fits.

No need for a shed as there is a garage.

I want some height but nothing mad.

Are the companies who would do this? I have access to a local gardening cooperative who can probably do a lot of the manual labour if an expert drew up a plan?

Any and all ideas much appreciated. Please no-one kill my buzz by telling me my ideas are crap and my garden is titchy.

toomuchtooold Sat 20-Feb-16 18:46:29

It all sounds good to me but I am a bit of a beginner! I'm sure one of the regulars will have more helpful thoughts...

If there's no space for a lawn, do you need a lawn? The play area might be better with bark chips or similar anyway, as grass may take a bit of a kicking with the wee one.
I would say no to the pond at least for now - you'll never be able to take your eye off your DC, it's really easy for them to fall in and drown. (And as the proud mother of two nearly 4 year olds, I can tell you they are even more accident prone at 3/4 than they are at 2! I think it's (misplaced) confidence grin)

The wee one is going to love it :-)

Oh, and it will probably be cutting it very fine to get any plants in for this summer by the time you complete (and then do all your earthworks for the slide and stuff) but you can always shove in some strawberries.

toomuchtooold Sat 20-Feb-16 18:46:45

Oh, and do you have a photo?

echt Sat 20-Feb-16 20:53:07

You can have pond, even if it's container sunk into the ground. Cover it with rebar with long pins to hold it down. The right thickness of rebar can hold an adult's weight and children can't fall through. Plants can grow through bars, which rust nicely and blend in. Rebar is not expensive, or wasn't when I was last in the UK.

toomuchtooold Sun 21-Feb-16 06:23:26

That sounds like an ideal solution echt.

NoPlanYet Sun 21-Feb-16 15:12:01

Rebar sounds like a great idea, thanks echt.

I'm so impatient and want to just pay some cash and have the garden finalised within a month but I realise that's not sensible in reality...

Any more ideas, especially of companies who might be experts in creating something special much appreciated

shovetheholly Mon 22-Feb-16 09:51:15

Oh wow - that's already a very nice space. With a bit of work, it'll be sensational.

I think the first thing is probably to go on Pinterest and start working out what kind of garden you want. That means figuring out what style of planting and landscaping you like (high modernist and austere? prairie? country cottagey? jungle?).

When you're listing things that you'd like, bear timescales in mind. Ten years is a long time in human terms (and an age in child development terms) but it is a short time in gardening terms. Children grow up quickly, trees grow slowly. Developing a whole garden solely around a toddler is a recipe for a space that's more or less obsolete just as it's hitting its stride. By all means, include tons of fun stuff for them, but remember this is a space for you and your teenagers too - and try to ensure that whatever is there is adaptable to your future use as a family.

I wouldn't put a hill in such a small space - you'll lose such a lot of space, and it'll look really odd. You could have a standalone slide, though. And what about a living willow structure instead of a fabric tent - you could design something really fun AND beautiful that you will all use?

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