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Raised awkward shaped garden - help!

Dear all,

I attach a picture of our rear garden.

Its approx 75 ft and running to a point, the rear is backed onto woodland.
To the left you will see our fence and gravel boards which are leaning over. On the other side of this fence is a shallow brook that runs from the woodland providing natural run off, not the strongest of platforms for the boards which is why they have given way.

Near the top of the garden I have started to clear a raised patio, this looks like type 1 underneath. At the very top there is a small raised triangular section of earth and plants.

The garden is on a slope going upwards.

Id like:

* Get rid of the ugly gravel boards and fencing (which I feel essentuates the triangular shape) and put something else in there place.

* Dig out the rest of the gravel and then level the garden putting in retaining walls.
This would also involve replacing existing patio wall perhaps in favour of a simple straight line of sleepers.

* Once leveled put a shed at the very top to take away the triangular point  

Has anyone got any good ideas about how this might be achieved?

I.e - best way of building something down the side to retain the earth and stop it shifting into the brook.

We are on a budget, I’d like to do most of it myself barring buildings walls which I’d be happy to pay a local builder.




  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,466
    If it were mine I would put a simple chainlink fence along the left hand side and plant a wildlife hedge of shrubs. This would give a visual link with the woodland, making your garden look larger, and in time the roots would consolidate the soil and prevent too much erosion. Dogwoods are good for this, they like damp soil, have smallish white flowers in summer, followed by black berries, good autumn colour and brightly coloured stems in winter, if cut back hard at this time of year. This prevents them getting too big as well. 
    In my opinion (feel free to disagree, it's your garden!) a relaxed woodland glade style planting would suit the setting best and would not require a lot of levelling, beyond the base for the shed and a seating area in  a sunny spot.  Your neighbours have not levelled theirs and you might get more run off from their land if yours ended up lower.
    It would be easier and cheaper too!
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,672
    I think you will need professional advice and help to stabilise the soil on the left hand side and will probably need to move your boundary line inwards away from the edge. The chain link fencing is a good idea and if you left a gap in the middle in which to sit and watch the water/wildlife, this would enhance the garden. I would suggest evergreen climbers like honeysuckle, clematis etc rather than a hedge as that would need at least 3-4 ft width. I would also get rid of the lawn and create a gravel circle in the widest part, siting your shed as you say in the point of the triangle, with some trellis in front of it on which to grow more climbers and hide the shed.  Leave the dwarf walls and semi circular paving in order to save money - they add a bit of character. Hope this helps. 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Definitely get some professional advice from builders/landscapers on how to stabilise the bank to your left. If you are not overlooked from that side, then a chain link fence would be a good idea once it is stabilised. . 
    I see a circular/oval lawn nearest the house surrounded by planting. Across the width of the garden at the bottom/top, round about where the bin lid is lying, a wooden pergola going all the way from one fence to the other. That would be your entrance into the wild part of the garden (and the shed). It would also give you a focal point from the house and hide the shed.
    Your money will have to go on the bank and the fences. The rest you will be able to do yourself. The slope from the photographs doesn't look too bad. I would save money there and keep as is. Unless you have a very strong reason for wanting a flat garden!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,218
    Personally I find sloping gardens are more interesting...
    Good luck with the bank stabilising though.  Yes, professional advice would be good!
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • Tony1234Tony1234 Posts: 4
    Thanks so much for the comments and advice.
    I should have mentioned that we are very much aiming for a non fussy garden with as much turf as possible, previously the garden was full of stones and ornaments of one description or another but no great for children I’m afraid. Hence aiming at retaining walls / bank and then turfing. Some plants will of course be nice and we will keep in mind those suggestions above.
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