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Help! Massive new bit of garden to make use of, no idea where to start!!!

(15 Posts)
Jumente Fri 18-Sep-09 12:45:41

I hope some of you are feeling a bit Linda Barker and can help me with suggestions of what you would do with this space.

Basically we've finally had a load of dead/dying trees removed at the end of our patch, and have now got an area roughly 50ft long and 30ft wide to sort out from scratch.

It's surrounded by an old brick wall, fence etc and other people's gardens all round that, it isn't really overlooked as there is a mass of hedgy forsythia and ivy climbing all over a dying cherry tree, and several other tall trees and saplings around the edges.

There is a shed already at one corner, sadly none of the trees is really treehouse suitable (no spreading type branches etc) but we have a playhouse nearer the house so that's not a disaster smile though ds did want one!

The ground is just earth, covered in sawdust now and the edges have ivy.

I was thinking of seeding it with tough grass, for starters, and maybe putting the climbing frame on it - but I'd like to be more inventive than that.

I thought about adventure playground type thing but again, how would I build that kind of thing - no idea!

Please feel free to fling any ideas at all at me, I've to go out now but will be back later on to see if anyone has replied smile

We thought about adopting some battery chickens too...but am not sure about their needs or whether we'd be able to let them roam etc. Do you need a run, or just a roost?

Pannacotta Fri 18-Sep-09 16:37:03

An adventure type playground area would be great.
There are some good books on gardens for kids, why not have a look in your local library?

Another option is to ask around and get recommendations for skilled local landscapers and get some of them round to give you some ideas/quote.

Lots of landscapers will build tree houses/dens/climbing frames and it often works out cheaper than buying them new.

Some ideas here

Jumente Fri 18-Sep-09 17:21:47

Ooh thanks Panna. I will have a look smile

How is your project coming on?

Pannacotta Fri 18-Sep-09 19:48:17

We are getting on ok thanks, slow progress as we are trying to do both house and garden...

Hope you find something fun to do in your garden. Btw you might get more replies on the Gardening thread.

Good luck!

toja555 Fri 18-Sep-09 22:19:53

When I have time and resources, I am dreaming to make a Japanese style garden. Unfortunately don't know much about it, just saw plenty of pictures and was really amazed.

GrendelsMum Sat 19-Sep-09 11:08:06

Perhaps your children could design an adventure playground? You could research it by going to places with fitness trails in woods, perhaps. It wouldn't necessarily need to be very complex to make - a series of ropes hung from trees might make a good starting point?

But do you really want to have an adventure playground in your garden for ever? How about planting something like an orchard, where the children can play now but will still be enjoyable for the whole family in the future?

Or could you grow a willow igloo and willow tunnel ?

LIZS Sat 19-Sep-09 11:14:11

Watching with interest , also have a large patch which is being cleared. Love the idea of willow , saw some tunnels at the Eden project a few years back.

bronzebeard Sat 19-Sep-09 11:15:54

raised bed veg patch? COuld make it look lovely with features at path junctions and ornamentals in with the veg

Grendels willow thing sound slovely

bronzebeard Sat 19-Sep-09 11:17:05

re chickens you can do either but its best to have a small secure area for them even if you do freerange just incase you need to shut them away for any reason

Jumente Sat 19-Sep-09 11:27:01

Some great ideas, thankyou...I lie the willow idea, but also the chicken idea and the vege idea!

Ds wants to grow veg so I think a raised bed would be perfect. We kind of did a recce for the chicken thing this morning, there is some hedge that needs patching to keep them in - how high do they tend to fly?

Otherwise would just create a fenced off bit with a gate, and a safe house with an enclosed area for if we are off out or something. I guess foxes wouldn't come too much in the day?

Have to do some detailed chicken research I think before we dive into it.

I feel inspired now! smile

Pannacotta Sat 19-Sep-09 13:17:07

I was also going to suggest willow after having pondered on this.
A willow den is great fun for kids, Bunny Guiness wrtites about this in her family garden books.
A tree house is also a lovely thing to have or a play houser tucked away.

GrendelsMum Sun 20-Sep-09 13:05:23

Don't underestimate how much compost you need to fill raised beds. They are great (I'm a huge fan) but it does help if you start making your own compost heap now, or if you can get free council compost.

Make sure your chickens can't get at the veg beds either - but chickens and fruit trees can be a great combination (our neighbours have this, plus raised beds, and its lovely). But chickens can totally destroy grass - I don't know how much area you need to have both chickens and grass, but it seems to be quite a lot.

If the brick wall is south facing, it would be great for growing an apricot up against - best variety for ripening reliably in the UK I think would be 'Tomcot'

Ripeberry Sun 20-Sep-09 13:18:21

Once you've got some ideas make some rough sketches! Also for the veg garden take into account which areas have the most sun and the adventure area could maybe go in the shadier area?
Have fun, I love projects like this smile

Jumente Sun 20-Sep-09 17:20:34

thankyou very much!

smile I've decided we're having some chickens.

I've put in a request to adopt some ex batts, and I think they will be really happy up there...the ground is perfect, I don't need to seed it if it's for chooks, and I'll just need a few amendments for the security aspect then we are good to go.

I'm so excited!!! Good point about raised beds though, I think that might be project #2 if the chickens settle in well.

Thankyou for the apricot recommendation Grendelsmum, I might use that elsewhere...have just put up some fencing today which needs something grown against it.

I just need to find out how high my chicken fence needs to be, now...and how to foxproof it!

gardeningmum Wed 07-Oct-09 20:17:44

Hi I'm the owner of the website mentioned in an earlier post. If you still have some of the felled trees then use the trunks for your kids to climb on. One thing I have seen recently at the new kids play area in Wisley Gardens is a tree trunk carved at one end with the face of a crocodile. You could also use sawn up tree trunks as stepping stones.

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