Forum home Garden design

A new build heavy clay garden

we have recently moved into a new build house.  It has a heavy clay garden.  We have had a shed built and stepping stones to the small patio.  We need ideas for the small garden as it is totally waterlogged.  hELP !




  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,448

    Blimey, that is waterlogged! Was the turf laid by the builder ?

    Also which way does the garden face, and what sort of things do you want to grow, flowers and  / or veg? This will give some ideas for suggestions image

  • yes turf laid by builders !  We have since learned there is no topsoil whatsoever.  It is East/South facing and gets the sun  We like flowers and shrubs. The only veg we would grow are beans and peas.

  • The “cheapest” option is planters. I think you should be talking to CAB though, by law there should be a certain amount of topsoil, if there isn’t they have to dig out that clay and replace it.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,448

    I thought that was the case, ours was laid on hardly any topsoil many years ago. Are they still building on your site, if so is there any one you can speak to about it?

    As regards your plans on what to do, I would suggest thinking about the following:

    Do you want a lawn at all, or would you be happier with more hard landscaping and flower beds?

    Do you want a garden with plants that require more work,or things that "look after themselves"

    Assuming you're in a house and not a bungalow(!) , from an upstairs window, make a plan on paper, and try sketching  different areas for beds etc. Bear in mind the bigger the beds the better, or you will be digging more over the years to fit more plants in image

    I don't know how experienced you are when it comes to gardening, but one piece of advice l swear by is to visit a good garden centre several times a year if you can, seeing what is displayed and if you like the look of it, read the lable and if suitable, buy it!

    Hope this is of some use. Good luck!  image

  • Thanks we love gardening and this is our twelfth move !  We have not had a new build before and our thoughts are turning to raised beds.  We are pensioners so heavy digging is not an option !  Sketching is a great idea ! 

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    I think raised beds are a good option. The area is narrow, by raising it upwards, you have instant height and maturity already. My previous neighbour's garden had two long raised beds on each side with the middle part with gravel. Then a pergola was built onto the ends of the garden to create height for climbers and create privacy. The area closest to the house, a nice seating area or a place to sit and eat and space for pots and troughs. Keeping the grass and working the soil will be very time consuming.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,448

    Raised beds sound like a good idea. I was looking at your photos again, and wonder if it would be better to have bigger slabs alongside the shed rather than the stepping stones to the compost bin (at least I think it's a compost bin!).

    Even if the grass recovered it would be very awkward to care for and bigger hardstanding would be helpful when you cone to empty and fill it. I always find bits of twigs etc round mine and it's easier to clear up.

    Hope I don't seem to be "teaching an old dog new tricks" image

Sign In or Register to comment.