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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

Bearfrills Fri 02-Aug-13 17:38:40

Who put a shed slap-bang in the centre of a postage stamp size garden?

Whoever it was that built ours, that's who.

My ideal garden project would be to gleefully tear down the shed with a really big sledgehammer and replace it with grass. It's then put in a patio near the back door and pave down the size of the house to make a 'parking area' for the kids' many scooters, ride-ons and wheeled things, maybe that way I won't keep tripped over them when I'm hanging the washing out.

Speaking of washing, know what else is rubbish about my garden? The anchor post for a rotating washing line that snapped and had to be dug out. Turned out that the anchor post was attached to a veritable boulder of concrete. A metal tube a mere inch in diameter required us to dig a hole 5ft by 3ft to get the concrete out. Slight overkill on the part of the person that installed it, we don't even have a rotating washing line but we do now have a 5ft by 3ft sunken section of the garden. My 3yo pretends its a moon crater and sits in it for ages. I'll be sorry to see it go but the 1yo keeps falling into it.

What greenery we have is mainly weeds and DH attempted to paint the fence but then we got a winter that lasted six months and it was left half done. Now it needs to be totally redone. I'm trying to put it off a bit longer by sending the kids out with their chalk set to colour in the patchy bits but they much prefer to draw stickmen on the shed.

I hate that shed ....

JParkson Fri 02-Aug-13 17:41:47

When we bought our coach-house, we were pleased initially that we had a garden (rare for a CH!), but we weren't so pleased to see that it had been shoved full of privet type shrubs and firethorns too. Plus a gert big linden/lime tree.

Well, tell a lie, it wasn't a gert big tree when we bought the house, but the blasted thing is now! And this year, we've had a bumper crop of lime moth caterpillar things invading us by piggy-backing on the dog <ick> picture

About 4 years ago, DH ripped out all the shrubs, and we put up a couple of baskets, put some membrane down and some gravel, and got a little wheelbarrow planter.

Cue the dogs peeing in the wheelbarrow, and the baskets being shredded by the gale-force winds that buffet our house-front. So our attempt at a low-maintenance garden failed miserably even then!

I personally would like to turf it over, and DH wants to pave it. <sigh>

I fear he will win this debate eventually...

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Fri 02-Aug-13 17:42:32

Our house is a new build, when we moved in the garden was a sharply sloping yard of rubbly mud. We couldn't afford to have it turfed, so we've seeded (and weeded, and repeated ad infinitum) the 'lawn' ourselves. We've been lucky enough to salvage some ropey shrubs from a bankrupt garden centre. And it's looking so much better, but it's still pretty rubbish.

Ideally, we'd like to landscape it into 2 or 3 flat terraces, with a tiny beach-hut style shed at the bottom. A small round patio opposite the doors and a deck going round from the doors to the garage door with a pergola type thing above it with climbers/vines growing up it.

If DH gets his way we'd also have climbing holds up the garage wall!

A few more years till we can afford all that, at least!

asuwere Fri 02-Aug-13 17:42:51

we paid someone to clear our garden a few months ago - it was completely overgrown and with a falling apart shed. could only afford for it to be cleared though... still unloved but kids can at least go out there without getting lost in the undergrowth... It's the weeds that get to me though, we have a lot of paved areas but the weeds still poke through and due to the children, it's limiting as to what kind of weedkiller I can put down and I loathe pulling them out (hate bugs/dirt!) they never stop growing...

MrsGeologist Fri 02-Aug-13 17:43:29

Our garden is shared with our neighbours and is very large, but it hasn't been properly looked after for years. It's just a forest of ivy and bindweed, with bits of broken glass, old rusty garden tools, rubbish and nettles all over it. The trees were cut back a bit recently, and my neighbour's formidable mother has been round to weed the patio and clear what she can, but it'll take at least a year to get rid of all the weeds and for grass to grow. It's a shame, because the kids can only play on the patio, not on the bit that should be lawn, because it's not safe.

NoToast Fri 02-Aug-13 17:46:24

No garden as such here, just a concrete courtyard with a raised bed we created years ago and some old shrubs we planted. It used to be fantastic, planted up carefully with edible goodies that were pretty although it needed paving and a bit more thought in design and some money spent. We let the house when we went to care for a family member, now we're back, with a little one in tow and the garden has been seriously neglected and needs re-planting and a re-vamp to be safe and fun for a toddler. I'm also not sure if the paint-peeling walls have made our beds toxic so everything grown for the table next year will need to be in containers. At the moment most of the growing things have been from the B&Q reduced plant section and money issues will mean little can be bought to do it up.

aristocat Fri 02-Aug-13 17:57:59

My garden is very unloved and I need somewhere peaceful and relaxing to sit. We have a huge grassed area and a patio which constantly needs weeding and an assortment of mis-matched garden chairs.

What I need most is some decking and something to make it pretty, we have no flowers or plants at all sad But as I am not the best gardener ........ whatever we have needs to be simple and easy to maintain.

madmumm Fri 02-Aug-13 18:19:01

Our garden is boring! We've recently moved to this house which is a RAF married quarter and the garden is very plain, a tired looking grey patio, a patch of lumpy grass and simple wire fence between us and the neighbours with little privacy. We expect to be here for 5 years so want to make it more attractive with some colourful plants and to provide a bit of screening. Our 2 young children love being out in the garden but finding time and money to improve it is hard.

gazzalw Fri 02-Aug-13 18:23:41

Our garden has been unloved since we moved in 12 years ago...Aside from filling in the multiple ponds and chucking the gnomery it wasn't really our top priority with a baby and we frankly haven't had the time and money to really give it the attention and love it deserves. We are very lucky as by London standards our 80 foot garden is 'huge'.

The problem is that the bottom half is a nightmare of concrete and hugely heavy boulders for rockeries which are so 1970s...We dug up the rusting rotary dryer but that was set in a huge concrete bucket which is now cluttering the far end......Essentially without a lot of 'beefcake' and associated hiring costs it's just not easy to make a positive difference and DW has tried...........

I reckon it would take at least £2K to just do the basics to get rid of the concrete, rocks, level the ground etc.......and another £1K to do the fencing.....

Moral of the tale is never buy a home (and garden) that requires total renovation unless you have the cash upfront to blitz it all when you first move in......

JakeBullet Fri 02-Aug-13 18:23:54

My garden is boring because I am still recovering it after all the previous tenants who have ignored it!

When I moved in here the garden was full of rubbish, crisp packets, toys, plastic bags etc...I filled many many black bags to clear it all but am still finding the odd bit here and there.

So I am slowly recovering it with time and when I have some money. It still needs so much work and tidying up but money is a massive issue so I do what I can and when I can do it.

The best thing is the two sunflowers which I planted last year and which have self seeded this year...I have a whole row of beautiful golden yellow sunflowers now. smile

katiewalters Fri 02-Aug-13 19:06:03

we live in apartments, so have a shared garden, but we have a space of our own, right outside the back of our apartment and would love to vamp it up a bit. get some plants, grow some of our own veg and fruits. we would get a couple of garden chairs for when we are outside, as there is nowhere to sit.

delilahbelle Fri 02-Aug-13 19:12:37

Our garden has the potential to be nice... if I didn't have a black thumb. I have a lawn that despite scarification and many doses of additives still is a mixture of moss and weeds. I have trees that have been butchered by the previous owner, and at least one tree stump. The roots don't add anything to the lawn either. We have the remains of a brick barbque, and a patio that could be lovely if clean and weed free. But there's just no time. It's south east facing, reasonably private, and with some large unidentified shrubs, that I can just about hack back.

In short, I lack the time, knowledge and ability to make it look lovely. I wish I could win the lottery and have it all sorted out for me.

CatHackney Fri 02-Aug-13 20:06:43

Our front garden looks a bit of a mess for all sorts of reasons. We've got as far as planting a hedge in the front, but it hasn't yet grown. We'd love some nice, big planter boxes for our bay window, but I haven't been able to find any really nice looking ones that come in a big size that would look nice in front of the main window, but with matching smaller planters to go in front of each of the side windows. We really need a secure bike shed and bin store, but we'd like an attractive one with a green (i.e. planted) roof and again, just can't find what we want! We also need to do a bit of work on the garden path. Once that's all done, I think that buying the plants would be the easy bit!!

SevenReasonsToSmile Fri 02-Aug-13 20:12:07

We have an enormous leilandii hedge around our garden which blocks out a lot of sunlight and grows at a rate of knots. It's currently around 8ft but judging by the thickness of the cut branches in the middle must have been at least 20ft high at one time. We're desperate to get rid of it (and gain an extra 4ft of garden all the way round!) but we can't afford to pay anyone to do it and its such a huge job we haven't even started, plus its not as vital as the house renovations.

LizzieLouC Fri 02-Aug-13 20:18:04

If I ever could choose my career all over again I dream of being a gardener. My garden was beautifully planted with B&Q seasonal plants every year and my lawn weeded and 'feeded' with Products recommended by B&Q's helpful staff! Then when my even more beautiful girls came along spending time with them became more important than weeding. The garden is now full of B&Q children products - a beautiful wooden tree house and a bargain play house. It's even finished off with a cat alarm and shed from B&Q. I'd love to complete all this with a beautiful patio area and furniture to sit and enjoy the view as my girls enjoy their playground!

Jims Fri 02-Aug-13 20:20:27

Our garden had been neglected for at least 15 years before we moved in. Hence it was a woodland. Over the last couple of years (after sorting the house out - it didn't even have hot running water!) we've dug out a small woodland, dug over and sieved about a tonne of topsoil, levelled it with a mini digger and laid turf to create our lawn. My DH has built a retaining wall/seat at the back of the lawn. And we're still only half way up the garden!

The sieving was a bit ridiculous but the entire garden had been taken over by (Spanish) bluebells and I was keen to try and get rid of them.

We're now desperate to put some more interesting plants in the beds we've created but DH is still working on the next wall for a washing line patio.

Mummymoneypenny Fri 02-Aug-13 21:06:43

My garden is set over 4 levels. & as each level goes up the worse it gets, unfortunately the last one is where my vegetable patch us supposed to be. I'd love to turn it into a secret garden with lawn, flowers & fruit trees but never seem to get past weeding it. I'll be hot footing it over to your mumsnet testers for ideas if I win a B&Q card!

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 02-Aug-13 21:12:34

Ours is definitely a work in progress. A dog that wees everywhere and causes yellow patches doesn't help. I have one "good" border and the rest need help. We are getting there but VERY slowly. I try and buy plants cheaply from plant sales when I can and am learning about splitting plants and taking cuttings, but it is a bit hit and miss smile

thisisyesterday Fri 02-Aug-13 21:16:17

I HATE my garden. It actually makes me feel sad every time I look out of my patio doors. Last summer I kept the curtains closed a lot of the time as it was so awful!!!

this sounds over-dramatic but is, sadly, true sad

part of the garden is taken over by a shed and the giant rabbit run. we then have a crappy patio and some "lawn"
The ground around here is thick clay which means that every time it rains we end up with standing water everywhere as it just can't soak away. This in turn means that for large swathes of the year the children can't play out there because it just turns into a giant mudbath. Our climbing frame sinks into the lawn because it's so wet and soft.

The previous owners decided to overcome this by adding about a foot of topsoil onto the lawn area. this slopes down to the path which makes a lot of the garden hard to use as it has this big slope on it! it also didn't solve the problem (see above!)

I would LOVE to be able to level the garden off and make it so that my 3 boys could use it all year round either by paving it or astroturfing it or SOMETHING.

MmeLindor Fri 02-Aug-13 21:21:57

We have renovated most of the house but haven't had the time or the money to do the garden.

The previous owners were elderly and had dug up the grass to make it easier to keep tidy, but the wooden frame is damaged and falling apart and the edges filled with weeds.

We'd like to lay a new patio, but won't have the money till next summer so I would like to tidy it up and make the best out of it till then.

lolapops1 Fri 02-Aug-13 21:33:21

One garden has no wall to it what-so-ever and isn't great for letting children play in as they can just run off onto the road.
Other garden is concrete everywhere and my nerves jangle everytime children want to play in it.
Keep meaning to start a vegetable patch to get the kids involved but just never get round to it.
Would love a garden to be proud of.

Pozzled Fri 02-Aug-13 21:40:09

Our garden is very much loved in that we use it a lot and enjoy being in there- but in terms of looking after it, not so much!

It should have two gates. The front one- off our drive- rotted and fell off a couple of summers ago. It hasn't yet been replaced. The 'back' gate should open straight onto a park, but it's covered with ivy and probably hanging off its hinges as well! I'd love to get that fixed so that we could have a quick and easy route into the park, but it's hard to find the time and energy.

We also have a concrete area with some gravel bits which I don't like much- the kids keep playing with the gravel and getting it all over everywhere.

melrose Fri 02-Aug-13 23:59:11

When we more in our garden was beautiful, it is now well loved and played in But mainly weeds And lacking it's former beauty, would love to restore it, if only I had the time!

ataraxia Sat 03-Aug-13 08:57:33

We have a long thin strip of grass down the side of the driveway and visitors (especially the milkman!) tend to use it as part of the driveway. The grass never gets a chnace as it has dobbing great tyremarks running through it. I'd like to put up a small fence or other border and make the previously unloved space into a herb and vegetable garden.

threepiecesuite Sat 03-Aug-13 09:13:38

We've had half of our garden landscaped this summer, then ran out of money! We've had it raised to get rid of an annoying slope. The bottom of the garden, where we did want DD to have her own little space is still unloved.
I'd like to put soft bark down, paint the fences, and add a few bright plants in tubs and maybe a few little things she could grow.

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