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Garden overhaul advice needed - plants, paving - everything!

(6 Posts)
monkeysmama Tue 01-Sep-09 09:53:39

Our garden is quite small at c.5x4 metres with 3 steep steps down and is paved with a reasonably deep border on 3 sides. We moved in 3 years ago but the previous owners had the garden landscaped. We have planted a few things but have let the garden go recently & the flowerbeds are rotting, neighbours' weeds have taken over our garden and it floods everytime it rains heavily so needs a major overhaul. We've also had a baby and want to make the garden more child friendly. It is overlooked by a large conservatory so we also want it to look nice.

I like a lot of colour and flowers like poppies, cornflowers, different lavenders etc.

Dp wants to get coloured concrete put down everywhere (like concrete paving) apart from a small corner where we will leave a bed with the tree, and then to put big troughs with climbers in around the garden.

Does this sound like a mad idea? Can a garden look like fully paved? What would you pave it with?

Any advice gratefully recieved.


ShellingPeas Tue 01-Sep-09 10:38:53

Personally I wouldn't be keen on coloured concrete paving - also bear in mind that if it floods when it rains, paving the entire area will only add to the problem as the paving slabs act as a barrier and there is less soil to soak up the water run-off.

An alternative to concrete paving would be something like brick paviours (sp?) which allow water to drain away more quickly - but you would probably need to create some sort of soakaway or drainage system to avoid the flooding problem.

The other issue is that containers require more maintenance in some ways than borders - you will need to water them every day, even if it rains, or install an automatic watering system.

How shady or sunny is your garden? This will dictate what sort of plants will thrive. Annuals like poppies, cornflowers etc like full sun so if your garden is shady they won't do so well.

monkeysmama Tue 01-Sep-09 10:43:11

Thanks SP. The garden is generally sunny and we're going to install a proper drainage system whatever we decide to put in.

ShellingPeas Tue 01-Sep-09 10:47:47

This is a nice example of a paved courtyard type garden.

Pannacotta Tue 01-Sep-09 12:10:46

Why do you need to pave it all? Grass is much more child friendly, much softer surface to walk and play on and no worries about damage done when falling over.
IMHO concrete is a bit grim and municipal.
You could put in soakaways for drainage under the grass which would be much cheaper and easier.

If the borders are weed infested it'd be much easier to pay someome to come and clear them for you and plant up with new low-maintenance planting such as evergreen shrubs/grasses etc as well as colourful perennials.

How about borrowing some garden design books from your local library as this is a great way to get some inspiration and work out what you like and what you want.

monkeysmama Wed 02-Sep-09 11:16:17

Thanks Pannacotta & SP.

I cleared all the weeds last month and it looked fine for a week until they just took over again. I know weeding needs to be done frequently but the problem gardens on all 3 sides make ours jungle-esque within days.

Anyway, I am keen on the paved courtyard style SP linked to and think going to the library is a brilliant idea.

Is there a time of year when it makes sense to have this kind of work done? I wonder if having it donw in the next moth or two is silly as it is the start of winter? Having said that most of my plants survived the winter snow last year - even my two olive trees.

Thanks again.

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