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Tell B&Q about your unloved garden - £150 giftcard to be won NOW CLOSED

(174 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 29-Jul-13 10:52:47

As you may have seen already, we're working with B&Q, who so far have helped 20 MNers revamp their unloved gardens - soon you'll be able to check out the video of their revamps. MNers have also been posting their before and after pics of gardens they've transformed here so do check out this thread for Mumsnetter garden makeovers!

Now, we'd love to hear from other MNers who might have an unloved garden of their own. Do you have a lawn that's more of a jungle? A window box that's a little bit weathered? Or a patio that's seen better days?

Tell us what makes your garden so unloved for a chance to win a £150 giftcard from B&Q. What do you want to change about it? Maybe you'd like to put down some decking or just get some new plants? What has stopped you from changing your garden?

Everyone who shares their unloved garden stories here will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 B&Q giftcard.

Please note that any comments you post here may appear on the B&Q pages on Mumsnet and potentially elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw

FairyThunderthighs Mon 29-Jul-13 21:11:05

My poor garden is a bit unloved yes. It has the potential to be beautiful though! We have decking all the way to the end, with two "cut outs" at the sides. One currently has slate chip/tile things (that's the technical term) and the other is just bare mud at the moment. I would love to put grass on both sides so my children have a comfy place to play!

NorkyButNice Mon 29-Jul-13 21:51:23

When we bought our house the garden was lined with enormous conifers which blocked out all of the light meaning that nothing grew in the borders. We've had them removed, and the stumps ground but the soil is so dry and full of roots still that it's a nightmare.

We also had a smashed up greenhouse halfway down the lawn and are still picking shards of glass out 3 years later!

I'd love to get some perennials and shrubs in now, maybe some bulbs so we have a chance at a decent garden next year!

manfalou Mon 29-Jul-13 21:58:29

Well our garden isn't really a garden. Yes we have (some) grass and asmall patch of gravel with a circular stone in the middle but that is all. We have DEAD plants in pots and a 4 EMPTY hanging baskets in the corner... oh and then theres the broken 'water feature' in the corner which is around about the same place the cat has dug a hole in the grass. Both gate handles are broken so our almost 3 old can escape if we're not careful. It needs a bit of face lift to make it pretty again but no funds to do it with.

ouryve Mon 29-Jul-13 22:22:21

Our garden is across a back lane, so pretty much out of sight, out of mind. It's not possible to just the the kids go across there alone, since they both have SN and need direct supervision.

Anyhow, we replaced a rotten wooden garage with a sturdy brick and block one, a couple of years ago. DH finally got around to laying a drive, last year. He also got halfway down the side, laying a new path. He's done a bit more, this year. And there it ends. The area behind the garage is a mass of rubble, with weeds growing out of it all. There's an old concrete patio at the bottom of the slope. With weeds growing out of it. There weeds (nettles and willow herb, mainly) trying to work their way in from the field at the back of the garden. I do have a raised bed at one side, which has been full of veg, in the past though I've left it alone, this year, so I can concentrate on other things. Every now and again, a magnificent stinkhorn pops up, somewhere along by the fence blush

We need a skip and it needs gutting!

madrush Mon 29-Jul-13 22:54:33

We have a garden with enormous potential that has been terribly neglected for the last 12+ years (we just moved in last winter). The warm weather following wet this summer has made the already overgrown shrubs completely out of control. We have brambles and bindweed coming up everywhere (I have never seen bindweed leaves so large or bramble stems so thick!). We want to love it, but currently want to cry when I go out there as I just don't know where to start with my shears and secateurs. What we really need is to be brave with some decent tools - I think we need industrial strength hedge trimmers and tree loppers to really cut back and see what is there. I can see a rose bush with beautiful grey-green leaves poking through a huge overgrown, half dead rhododendron - no flowers and I feel so sad that it has been strangled. We also need some heavy duty weedkiller for the excess brambles I guess and maybe some spring bulbs or early flowering plants would give us the inspiration next year to carry on the battle.

DanceLikeJohnTravoltaNow Mon 29-Jul-13 23:20:50

Our garden has a raised pond with a classy plastic statue of a naked lady in it courtesy of the previous owners. When we moved in over 12 months ago I thought "how rude!", but I barely notice it now unless visitors mention it. We haven't got the energy to have it taken out.

Our front garden would be lovely if it weren't for our horrible half tarmac half broken flagged driveway. It really lets the front of the house down, but we need to concentrate our energy on the inside of the house for the next few years so I can't see anything changing out there for a.while.

harverina Mon 29-Jul-13 23:29:21

My garden has been seriously neglected and allowed to overgrow - we moved in to the house in November last year and, because the whole house has needed decorated, all of our money and effort has gone into doing inside. I am pregnant and we are working on the nursery at the moment.

The garden has huge potential - the back is lovely and private but is in desperate need of being weeded and landscaped - it is on an incline and because of this we haven't been able to buy dd a swing or slide this summer. I have promised her that next summer we will have flattened the garden so that she will have somewhere decent to play. We moved home as we didn't have a garden in our flat and dd absolutely loves being able to play outside.

My hope is that we will manage to save enough money in order to get the garden done in time for next summer. We would need to purchase a new patio, some patio furniture and also some lovely new shrubs.

lorisparkle Mon 29-Jul-13 23:34:22

Our garden is very much a children's play area with a worn out lawn covering most of it and shrubs at the sides. One side looks fine but the other is just a collection of weeds. I would love to do something with it but time and money just get in the way!

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 29-Jul-13 23:42:48

Our front garden is quite simple and easy to keep nice. The back garden needs a lot of work, however. The concrete slab that is the top of our septic tank needs hiding somehow- maybe some decking and pots or a large trellis/screen? It is so unsightly and I know people see it and start to imagine all of the poo waste underneath. £150 in B&Q vouchers would go a long way towards hiding it.

Tigerbomb Tue 30-Jul-13 00:16:16

I desperately wanted to win the competition but alas wasn't picked - so we decided to spend our holiday money and have a "staycation" and use the time and funds to do the garden.

Unfortunately two builders skips were required to clear the rubble and they made a big dent in the funds. My DH managed to fill in the old pond with a load more rubble and patioed over the top of it using the odd slabs we found at the back of the old rotting shed.

I begged, borrowed and stole (not literally stole) pots and with the help of cheap growbags and cuttings and reduced sale plants managed to help brighten the garden but would love to do so much more,

We have a huge area of dirt that would benefit from a makeover

Spottybra Tue 30-Jul-13 06:43:22

We had a nice garden when we moved in, but over the years I've realised that it just wasn't me.
DH tried to help by planting a couple of laburnum trees. Now I hate them and he won't part with his contribution to the front garden. I stuck some lavender in and the sunflowers tend to self seed if I leave them....

In the back, well, after tearing up the lawn and kindly leaving a large muddy patch the dog was provided with a seperate run. Only now he has realised he can jump over the fence since he's grown so large. The lawn is turning to clover and moss (must really by more grass seed) and one quarter is now taken over with the fir trees DH cut down on my demand to let light into the garden. Therefore every fortnight you find me trying to fill the green bin with fir tree waste.

The fences in both the front and the back sorely need replacing. I'd like some kind of hedgerow but it would need a brick wall, even a low laying one because the dog and the rabbit are quite good at escaping.

We need a summerhouse which will also double as a place to store toys.

I want a low maintenance flower bed which I'm slowly getting there with, poppies, lavender, rosemary...I need some roses because I love roses. We have daffodils and bluebells in the spring. I've bought two hydrangea plants and both died.

I have seen my dream was full of white flowers of all different descriptions. However, I'm so not a gardener so anything above occasional weeding (which I don't like but is needed) isn't going to get done. I will stick with poppies, lavender, rosemary and my appligias/applecias/whatever they are donated by my mum from her garden.

Actually, if my mum were well she would sort my garden out. She used to exasperate me as a child as she loved her garden beyond anything. I'd be the seven year old tidying the house and cleaning it whilst she pottered around with a cup of tea outside with all the neighbours admiring her flowee garden, orchard and kitchen garden.

By the way, my peas have died due to infrequent watering.

Spottybra Tue 30-Jul-13 06:47:55

I'd also line to add, this bloody soil. I grew up thinking all soil was rich and anything just grew. Moved away and I have dry sandy soil. Anything I want to grow needs the hosepipe everyday or it needs to be extremely durable.

lolancurly Tue 30-Jul-13 10:09:28

So, we are lucky to have a nice big garden and I am not complaining, hones, BUT, Mother Nature has gone and made everything grow like the clappers so that we can barely see out the windows! Honestly, it's like sleeping beauty's castle here, with the weeds choking the life out of everything. Our lawn (HA!) undulates which makes it impossible to play games on for fear of falling into a pit. I think we need some weed killer, some gardening implements to attack the weeds, and some nice thick gloves to pull up the brambles so that Prince Charming can battle his way through the thorns and rescue me from the kitchen sink.

CrackleMauve Tue 30-Jul-13 10:28:07

I am not a natural gardener, much as I would love to have a beautiful garden. We moved into our new house and have a small but potentially good garden. Problem is, the house had been empty for a while and to avoid weeds the flower beds were all covered in membrane and bark chips. No plants except a diseased tree that has mostly been cut down and some encroaching brambles we are slowly killing off.

It is a lot of work turning bare flower beds into something better. We've dug over half of one and planted some donated plants. But it has barely made a dent. I'd like to fill all our flower beds with hardy plants I can't kill off. I'd like to grow some vegetables. I'd like to redo the patio and repair the fences. Make my garden a little peaceful zone in the city.

awaywego1 Tue 30-Jul-13 10:37:05

I moved into our house 2 months ago-it had been empty for 5 years and a builder had filled it with rubble and metalwork. Ive cleared 50 bags of it so far on my own.
The house is rented so I can't make massive changes but would love to make it more useable without spending a fortune-it's the first time I've ever had a decent sized garden and am massively excited and overwhelmed. The back half of the garden is so overgrown that I have yet to see the bottom of it-I've been chopping away but have limited tools and money so it's slow work. I've started to dig out a patch for a veg bed as I love to grow some food and have got some pots but I would be massively grateful to have some money to invest in it to make it pretty grin

SoupDragon Tue 30-Jul-13 10:44:57

As I gaze over my garden I see a vast expanse of perfectly striped, mown lawn sweeping majestically away from the calm of the terrace outside the house, lovingly decorated with pots of bright flowers and beautiful furniture. At the end, there is a wild flower meadow surrounding the orchard, leading you to the ancient beech tree at the end.

I absolutely do not see an expanse of yellowy brown moss luring the eye away from a weed stewn patio towards the depths of unmown "wild area", with a dead apple tree, plum tree and a pear tree which is a pear tree only by name, not produce.


BlackeyedSusan Tue 30-Jul-13 17:21:37

I have become responsible for my mums garden. i spend several hourrs every feew weekends pulling up bindweed, and cutting back shrubs. I am making a few hidey holes in the shrubs for the dcs but I would love to be able to turf a small area for them to play on.

the front garden looks lovely, for one month of the year. i wuld like to be able to get some plants to make it nice all year round. we did get a bargainous 72 annuals from b and q for £10 i set the record for planting 72 plants in about 72 minutes! they are mostly looking good now but i need to get some background plants to make them go further. i could really do with going rround a garden centre every month to find one thing that looks good per month.

titsaturner Tue 30-Jul-13 19:47:15

Our poor garden is slopped with walls that support the lawn. Unfortunately one of the walls is now starting to lean. We also need to replace the fence. Very costly jobs but necessary as we've now got a 10 month old dd who's on the move and very nosy! Any help with paying for the work would be great!

PourquoiPas Tue 30-Jul-13 19:56:04

When we moved in, the garden was a jungle. We then had a surprise baby, followed by another baby and it is only ths year we have tried to reclaim it. 40 bags of greenery and rubbish later, we have some old uneven paving and some sad uneven grass, a small herb garden (yay!) and a 1x2m veg patch.

It needs a lot of work, some fences to replace the gaps whee brambles kept us secure previously and some cheering up. It would be amazing to be able to use the garden properly, and be proud of it.

bunchoffives Wed 31-Jul-13 00:17:31

I have a beautiful garden, thank you very much! And I'm quite green-fingered so everything is growing well... and I don't really want to change a thing.

At the back.

The front garden, now that's a different matter entirely!

It's a lawn. That's it. Just grass. I'd love to shape it, put in some flower borders, may be a tree or two. Add a beautiful path and perhaps an arch with some climbing roses. A wisteria carefully trained up the front of the house would be great and perhaps some clematis either side of the porch. It would be lovely to feel uplifted when I come home and walk up to the front door.

MadMonkeys Wed 31-Jul-13 07:59:02

Most of my garden is very loved, but there is a thin strip of land down the outside of our garden fence which is definitely unloved. It slopes down to a public footpath and due to the advent to two small children I just never get time to do anything with it. The previous owners planted a selection of rampant shrubs against the fence which I occasionally hack down. The power cable for the mower is too short to get the mower to the end of the area so the end bit is a bit of a wilderness. So with a bit more time my action plan is to get a longer extension lead to get the mower all the way to the end, to give the shrubs a jolly good prune and decide which to keep and which to chuck and get some ground cover shrubs to reduce the grasses area while still stabilising the slope. Oh and it faces north so large bits of the lawn are moss, not grass...

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 31-Jul-13 08:17:33

Our garden has enormous potential. Its about 36 x 18 and around 20 years ago the previous house owner got garden designers in who created some lovely borders edged in sawn logs. There are wood/ log stepping stones over weed fabric. Unfortunately about 10 years ago the couple who lived here divorced and all gardening stopped. The fence has rotted, the sawn logs are bug hotels and seriously decayed the stepping stones are mushy underfoot.

The teenage children who were left to their own devices built four sheds in the garden that take up approx half of it.

The council planted beautiful bird cherry trees along the edge of the footpath at the back of the garden roll on twenty years and they're mature tall trees so the full sun border planting is not only overgrown but competes for light so is all very leggy and sad.

The bird cherry dominates the garden as it completely overhangs - suits us we're shade lovers, but it sheds. Flower casings, then flowers, then berries, then catkin type seeds then all its leaves. We moved in to many years leaf decay around the sheds.

Basically everything needs to go so we can create a blank canvas, refence and work with the beautiful mature bird cherry to create a family space for us and the three DC.

I'm thinking probably something sweepable like paving but have 80 little thyme plants grown from a £1 pack of seed ready to plant to soften the hard lines. And create a bit of a thyme path.

AGnu Wed 31-Jul-13 08:33:20

When we moved in our long, narrow garden had overgrown hedges down each side & a death-trap wooden garage at the end that looked like it was about to fall down any second. There was an uneven patio, the edge of which was just supported on on-end paving slabs, most of which had fallen over. Oh, & the previous owner had left old toys everywhere.

We got a gardener in to replace the hedges with fencing & get rid of the garage & then we put in some raised beds & a couple of fruit trees & then I got pregnant with DC1 DH started to strip the lawn which desperately needed levelling & reseeding. While doing that he found the concrete base of an old Anderson shelter(!) so set about removing that. By this time we had DS1 & #2 was on his way. We were now v short of both time & money.

DH's parents came one day for a visit & we mentioned our grand 'someday' garden plans to them. The following day they rang up & offered us however much money we needed to pay someone to come do everything we wanted! shock They insisted that they wanted to do something nice for their DGC so they had a nice playspace. & we'd "get the money in 30 years anyway when [they] die"! hmm

That was back in March & our garden is still very much unloved & looks like a total wasteland. The goldfinches seem to be enjoying the seed heads & the local sparrows all come in for a dust bath...! We hired a gardener at the end of March & he was due to start early-mid May so I'd have somewhere safe to let DS1 play in the summer while learning to take care of DS2 too. He's now 7.5weeks old &, after much chasing & hassling, our garden work starts TOMORROW!!! grin

It's currently seriously unloved but in just a few weeks time we'll have a flat lawn, a stone patio with a proper retaining wall & a railing to stop the DC falling off the edge! As if that weren't exciting enough, DH's DGPs sent us a cheque for £1k when DS2 was born & asked us to use it 'for the children' as they wanted them to enjoy it before they died! hmm DH's family are all so morbid! We're currently looking into playhouses & planning to buy a shed to convert so it'll be usable as a playhouse for many, many years to come!

I genuinely can't express how excited/blessed I feel right now! Our downright dangerous garden will be unloved no longer & our children will have somewhere to run around! thanks

jmcglynn Thu 01-Aug-13 17:02:33

We have a battle with the brambles in our garden every year. Every summer we clear them and by every winter they are back in force. We haven't had the time to come up with a permanent solution but now are children are getting older they are chomping at the bit to be allowed to play outside. We'd love to be able to clear the space and let them run free. Not to mention I'd also quite like to build some raised planters to start a vegetable plot, the one I've been talking about for 4 years!

lougle Fri 02-Aug-13 17:25:25

We moved into a house with an unloved garden. So unloved that we still find pieces of glass over a year later! We are gradually working our way through it but it feels like a neverending project.

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