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Garden layout

(14 Posts)
nutcracker Sun 20-Mar-05 16:47:06

O.k i know this is pretty boring, but it is sunday.

At the mo we have a little strip of patio that runs along the width of our garden, and then the rest of it is grass.

Tha lawn is quite big and is in an awful state, will probably have to returf it, but now dp is saying perhaps we should make the patio bigger and have it run up one side of the lawn. Not quite half and half, so there would still be a big peice of lawn for the kids to play on.

Is this a good idea do you think or not ???

Will i regret not having the grass. It dies get quite muddy so perhaps it would be better to have a bigger patio for bike riding, scooters etc]

Oh i dunno, am such a gardening virgin.

SoupDragon Sun 20-Mar-05 17:09:03

It sounds like you'll get more use out of extra patio. It's not like you're planning to get rid of all the grass - as you say there'll be plenty left for playing on.

SoupDragon Sun 20-Mar-05 17:10:10

Can you make it so that it curves from (say) top right corner down to bottom left to make it look more interesting?

Anteater Sun 20-Mar-05 17:18:40

Kids do like mud tho..
How about a hard wood chip area..?

nutcracker Sun 20-Mar-05 17:35:24

Was just suggesting that to dp Soupy, will have to draw a couple of things out, see what it looks like.

Anteater - Yeah the kids love the mud, it's me that doesn't . Did think about the bark but a friend of ours had that and regretted it cos she was forever sweeping it up.

Anteater Sun 20-Mar-05 17:46:07

Not bark, (goes mulchy and yucky) Hard wood chips, 1 cubic meter for about £25.

SoupDragon Sun 20-Mar-05 18:17:24

Mark it out with a hosepipe in your garden to get the shape right.

nutcracker Sun 20-Mar-05 18:35:03

Ahh right Anteater , will have a look at that.

Great idea Soupy, hadn't thought of that. Hmmm just have to buy a hose

jangly Sun 20-Mar-05 18:39:56

How about having the patio along the top and then a concrete or paving path all round the edge of the lawn so they can ride bikes etc round and round.

hub2dee Sun 20-Mar-05 19:07:31

Patio needs to be in the sun else will never be used and always be gloomy. Can you clarify aspect / dimensions of plot plus any significant changes in levels ?

Lawn in perm. shade will always struggle to dry out in the UK. Maybe abandon the idea here and grab that space for a bed / play area etc. ?

I played with a hose pipe making shapes for at least one year for our garden but the final design is good, IISSM.

(made that one up: 'If I say so myself.')

Our patio is a strip across the garden with a big bulge to the right hand side for the table / chairs etc. And in the negative space this created on the left, I put the lawn, with a golden mean spiral shaping its far side. Kind of hard to explain. Might link to some photies if anyone is interested. Still need to do planting up (this year's job)...

nutcracker Sun 20-Mar-05 19:17:11

Link to piccies would be great Hub2dee , sounds very nice.
Had not thought at all about it being in the sun or shade, will have to check that out.

Jangley - That is quite a good idea, am gonna have to draw some of these out and see what they look like i think.

nutcracker Sun 20-Mar-05 19:19:14

Sorry meant to say also to hub2dee, it is a fairly flat garden and size wise dp reckons it is about 20 yards wide and 15 yards long, which means bugger all to me.
I would describe it as a medium sized garden

hub2dee Sun 20-Mar-05 21:19:56

Hi nutcracker,

I haven't created a proper Web site for my garden, so I've posted three photos for you in the For Sale section as this allows images and also gets purged after two weeks. (See 'Please Ignore (garden photo for nutcracker)')

Hope it explains the sort of shape I was talking about.


hub2dee Mon 21-Mar-05 08:34:12

If you have a digital camera, try taking a photo at 08:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 and watch which area is in shadow.

You can also lay down the hose pipe or use random objects from the garden (spade, wheelbarrow, tarpaulin, a chair dragged out from inside etc.) to see what shrubs / trees / lawn / water might look like positioned in different spaces. Take more photos as you place and move all these things about and you can then compare photos and notice what lines / curves look best etc.

If you go back through old photos of people eating / playing in the garden at different times of the year you might also see recurrent patterns which show where the sun will be...

The sun is higher in the sky during the Summer months, and much lower in Winter, so this also comes into play...

Blocking full view of the entire garden and creating the feel of different spaces can be one useful trick, as can creating glimpses of things in the distance by framing using hard landscaping features (arches / pergola etc.) or planting.

Something the pros also do is to use the proportions and style of the house to influence the design: formal vs. informal etc. Also the recurrent widths of blocks of windows can help determine the repetition of scale elements in the garden and suggest a positioning grid which can be a good starter. Our house is smallish, so for example, I needed to keep the individual elements (patio, lawn, deck) in proportion to each other and the house, IYSWIM.

A decent sized Summerhouse / play cabin / shed will help keep clutter out of the main garden area and give kids a fantastic, inspirational play area. You can get them built (at a price) to your own design, or dress up a cheapy from B&Q etc.

A boggy area (whether shallow pond or just wet soil) will attract bugs and frogs and birds, and if that's your thing you'll be in heaven. I made thee bog areas - two for plants that like to be damp / wet, and one for insect-catching carnivorous plants ! Also dug a small pond, part-covered by a cantilevered deck, with a false bottom so the deeper water (needed to support wildlife) is hidden from the little monsters. Investigate the pond options carefully, weighing up your attitude to risk and your knowledge of the kids' behaviour - perhaps consider fencing it off until they can be trusted around water.

I found a book by Robin Williams - 'The Garden Planner' was amazing for lots of really well worked out illustrated designs and good text.

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