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Best way to cover concrete?

(13 Posts)
MissObsessed Tue 21-Mar-17 13:48:15

We moved into our new house about 6 months ago, the house itself had everything we wanted but the garden is a real state to be honest! With a baby on the way and it being winter we didn't bother with it too much but now would like to make it nicer than it is.

I've attached two photos (and you can be as honest as you like, I know it's a shithole!) but what would be the easiest and cheapest way of sorting it please?

We don't want to dig up the concrete but just create something where we can sit out there and perhaps have the baby sitting on a rug in the summer (he will be around 9mths by then) Would something like artificial grass work?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, it's a concrete hellhole grin

sunnyhills Tue 21-Mar-17 18:11:51

I'm a bit over tired and not knowledgeable enough to say much but while we're waiting for a more energetic expert I wanted to say - don't despair .

It looks as though there#'s aflower bed on the left of your photo and possibly a smaller one on the right .And I'm sure it will be possible to revive them .

Emmageddon Tue 21-Mar-17 18:23:11

Dig over the flower beds and chuck in a load of summer flowering bulbs. Aldi sell bags of bulbs for 99p.

As for the concrete, you can cover it with fake grass, pave it, deck it or paint it, depending on your budget. There are lots of ideas online, I quite like this paint job.

It's not a shithole, you have a potentially nice little garden, somewhere to sit out in when the sun is shining, somewhere for your DC to play, somewhere to dry the washing.

shovetheholly Tue 21-Mar-17 19:03:40

Yep, dig out any areas you have of soil and really improve it - add LOTS of compost. Then plant some climbers into it that you can train around the walls - things that spread will happily go around a corner on wires (the Gripple system is brilliant). This will give you a green backdrop in time. In front, plant some flowers - whatever is suitable for your soil and aspect and climate. If you don't have any areas of soil, consider digging out at least some of the concrete and creating a small bed.

I would use some repeating pots or troughs with this - it looks better if these are largeish and identical! If cash is tight with a little one on the way, you can build planters quite easily with cheap pressure-treated timber.

MrsBertBibby Tue 21-Mar-17 19:13:44

I reckon if you can run to some masonry paint, a fresh coat on all the painted areas would really give it a lift.

Do you know anyone with a pressure washer to blitz the concrete with? Does wonders for our manky patio!

MissObsessed Tue 21-Mar-17 19:54:47

Thank you for all your suggestions! The area to the left is a raised border so we can definitely put down fresh soil and plant some nice flowers, unfortunately the area to the right is just where weeds have broken through the concrete!

We also plan to paint the wall at the back and the surrounding brickwork so that should lift it too.

The main problem with the concrete (which I think is difficult to see in the pic) is that it is very even, with lots of cracks, it essentially looks like 3 different lots of concrete badly joined together - would this stop use laying something like artificial grass? It also slopes a lot which would make decking or paving tricky, unless we laid some sand or something first to level it?

My Dad has a pressure washer so will borrow that too!

justdontevenfuckingstart Tue 21-Mar-17 19:57:47

could you get some sleepers and do some raised beds?

justdontevenfuckingstart Tue 21-Mar-17 19:59:28

And join some facebook selling groups, you never know what could crop up at a time when people are starting at doing garden maintenance.

sunnyhills Tue 21-Mar-17 21:12:59

The legend that is PigletJohn might offer some advice on how to approach the concrete .

You could ask over on or I think if I type @PigletJohn he may see this .

I'm not sure if he's ever been over here on gardening .But I guess even PJ could be spread to thin ...

shovetheholly Wed 22-Mar-17 09:13:55

I know you say you don't want to dig out the concrete, but to be honest, anything else is just going to be a temporary fix. It's a bit like woodchip wallpaper - you can paint over the magnolia colour with something nicer, and put up a few pictures that will help to cover it, but it's still going to be woodchip.

You can still make it look loads nicer by covering with pots, though!

bookbook Wed 22-Mar-17 09:22:51

Agree with shove - its tricky with concrete, especially if its different levels. At 9 months, baby will be crawling and inspecting too I suspect. As a short term measure though definitely pots - look on local fb pages/gumtree and freecycle to see about cheap pots - its time when everyone is spring cleaning sheds and greenhouses - if you go that way make sure they have a nice big base in relation to the pot size , so baby cant tip them over easily.

Eatingcheeseontoast Wed 22-Mar-17 09:25:38

You could try planting something within the cracks....creeping thyme or creeping mint (very easy to propogate if you buy one plant - it's not an entirely quick fix as you 'll have to wait for them to grow on enough to plant in the cracks - but could smell and look lovely.

sizeofalentil Thu 23-Mar-17 21:33:19

We've got a concrete 'patch' in our garden where a shed was. I've saved a lot of mismatched tiles and am going to stick them down with some concrete to create a mosaic.

Once it has settled, going to sweep compost over the cracks and then plant creeping thyme in them.

NO IDEA if that will work or not, but that's my plan.

We've also go a concrete path that I was going to paint with bright paint and stencil Moroccan-inspired tile patterns on.

My garden is in the same state as yours right now - but don't worry, you'll get it looking lovely in no time.

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