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Back garden project ideas - inspire me!

(5 Posts)
Facilitator Sun 08-May-16 08:08:05

We have a new ish build, large back garden with dead grass partly because of the soil, sun in certain areas and leatherback beetles eating the roots.

I want something fun and practical to maintain, but know absolutely zero about plants etc. DH just wants Indian Stone and a raise bedding area. Having read up on Indian Stone it doesn't appear very ethical as a product so I've gone off that idea completely.

Pinterest is good but it isn't always practical.

Space is about 10 metres by 8m and half of it is paved at the minute but we'll dig it all up to change soil underneath.

Budget £3-5k

engineersthumb Sun 08-May-16 09:09:12

We are keen gardeners but until our house renovations and baby production run cease just have no time! The small flower beds just became cat toilets... and they say you can't shoot them grr! I dug these out and layed slate clippings (best bought online as wickes etc will brake the bank). Then we planted up some large pots with bedding plants for cheap colour and stood themnon yhe slate. Once winter sers in we stack sll the pots out of site. Its lazy gardening but xan look very nice.
Do you really need to change the soil? Have you looked at biological control methods such as releasing friendly bugs/parasites?

AGrinWithoutACat Sun 08-May-16 09:59:08

First question I would ask is how will you use the garden area? Once you can answer this you will be able to narrow down choices. You can also (be nosy) peep at neighbours gardens for ideas even if they are the I-definitely-don't-want-that type, or go visit large gardens and look at what they have done as you can use the same ideas on a smaller scale. Once you have a concept idea Pinterest can be good for how other people have used the concept and you can take little bits from their gardens to build your own.

Small children might need a play area and in a small space a paved area that can be chalk drawn on, hold a sand/water table can be good. This could also be used as a seating area with a bench or a small table/chairs set.

10 by 8 is big enough for a small lawn if you want traditional with beds around the edges (make them curved with different shrubs and could become a cottage style garden)

I love a herb garden and have deliberately planted one around my whirligig washing line as during summer the clothes pick up the scents and smell much nicer

If you cook and don't mind the work you could have a herb garden and a couple of raised beds for growing fruit and veg, read up on companion planting and mix in the right flowers for colour and pest control, depending on layout what about adding fruit trees at the end of the garden or espalier along a fence.

If you are a complete novice go to a couple of independent garden centres, describe the size/shade/drainage, and they will give some good advice. Think about how it will look in winter as well as summer you can add bulbs for Spring colour, structural plants and grasses or evergreens for winter.

You may want to add some form of ornament, pretty stone rather than garden gnome grin, or even build in a water feature, water bubbling over pebbles idea that is easy to look after, and will let birds have a drink.

To give you one low maintenance but pretty all year round idea ...

I have a small side garden which has house walls on 2 sides, measures about 3 by 5 metres, with a path to the door running through it. Between the path and wall I have slate chips with barrel planters with bamboo and grasses. Along the other wall is a raised chipped area big enough for a small bench and a couple of small planters with smaller shrubs, in front of this is another slate path. Then taking up most of the space is a slightly raised bed which I have planted with alpines and is in the process of becoming a fairy garden, this cost me under £300 as I was willing to do all the manual labour myself and bought small plants to keep costs down.

Facilitator Sun 08-May-16 15:02:23

agrin thank you so much for your detailed post. Lots to consider there.
engineer we have some pots about but no plants at the minute. Dd and DH have put some in one of those pop up green houses and they're starting to sprout.

So I'm sitting in our back now, I've sweeped it all down and the paddling pool is out.

What do I want out of the garden?
Something that looks pretty.
Low maintanence
Child-friendly (ish) she's 5 now, so an area for her but happy with levels.

Love the idea of a herb garden, we attempted a potted planter with herbs in. The oregano is the only one still going but I'm assuming the British weather isn't great to grow things like basil, chives etc.

AGrinWithoutACat Sun 08-May-16 15:31:18

grin I love planning a garden and can't wait to get the old shed down in ours so I can get the next bit laid out

I am in Scotland and the only herb I have trouble with keeping is Basil - or as I know it Slug Food!

Chives should thrive, sage, rosemary, lavender, marjoram , fennel etc all grow well for me with no real looking after

Low maintenance beds, dig them over well, strong weed suppressant fabric pegged down, cut small slits and plant through it, then cover with bark or gravel. Any seeds that germinate will be easy to remove as they wont have established deep roots. There are lots of small shrubs that are evergreen and will flower in spring /summer that you can plant and then just leave to it - just check max sizes so you know they won't get bigger than what you want.

Your DD sounds the perfect age for gardening - she might like her own 'garden' that she can plant and play in, I did alpines in a barrel for DD1 and this gave her something simple to look after and a world to play in with her dolls.

With what you have described I would keep a flat area for playing in, setting up a tent, outdoor picnics etc - it will also help keep maintenance down

If you can sacrifice a corner a small 6' by 4' shed makes a great play house combined with toy storage and can be adapted as she grows, we kept the play kitchen and doll bits in ours and meant that the DCs could play outside even when the weather wasn't great, paint the door with chalkboard paint, add trellis and she could grow sweet peas / sunflowers etc up the side

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