Forum home Problem solving

Complete newbie looking for help

Good morning everyone hope you are all well.

Finally decided it is time to try and at least improve the garden but know nothing at all about gardening. Below I have added some pictures of the garden in its current state ideally would like to try and sort the grass out first and get it looking better. Last summer we used some evergreen to try and make it more greener than it was but we probably added to much in places and killed some of the spots. The garden is east facing so gets sun in the morning but as the day goes on the top end loses it while the bottom is fine.

Just looking for some pointers where to start or places I can read that offers any sort of advice.





Thank you.

Posts

  • Pauline 7Pauline 7 West Yorkshire Posts: 2,105
    I  ( and others may disagree ) would make any flower beds and borders I want first, rather than fix the grass and then dig it out to make the beds.

    The grass I would scarify to get rid of any thatch. .....It will look worse after, for a short while. ....then any bare patches you can reseed. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,481
    Hi Rickytheowl and welcome  :)

    What sort of garden do you want?  Something neat and tidy, mainly grass with beds around the edges, or do you fancy something with separate areas ... even a small garden can be divided into 'rooms' with trellis, climbers, pergolas etc to provide a sheltered sitting area, a little patch for herbs , a shrub or two to attract birds ... 


    A couple of cheap books to give you ideas

    https://www.worldofbooks.com/gardeners-world-101-ideas-for-small-gardens-by-martyn-cox-gor001473978.html?keyword=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4MHS45CM2gIVzbXtCh3rCArMEAQYASABEgJ3nvD_BwE 

    https://wordery.com/alan-titchmarsh-how-to-garden-small-gardens-alan-titchmarsh-9781846074059?currency=GBP&gtrck=aXpIMGhhaDcvQXFNcndiTUFDZGxOS1VuWUNKeUhLTU43RnVGMGtVd2tYVHlMT2oxVGdTUGRDdjJ4RUZ1c2ZETkNpMXdtQTEycjNmb21YMURYS0d3N0E9PQ&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_4G1oJGM2gIVpbDtCh3Luw_MEAQYASABEgJ-I_D_BwE 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    I think the main thing with smallish gardens (it's bigger than my first one!) is to get rid of the straight lines. Try to make a new path that curves across the garden. Pavings slabs if you can afford them, concrete if you can't.

    Pop a trellis half-way (or maybe one third, whatever seems to work best) down so that you can "hide" part of the garden as seen from the house and have a gateway to walk through - it all adds to the mystery, and provides more vertical growing space.

    Put wires or netting on the existing fence (paint it first if you think it might need it in the next couple of years) and cover the fence with climbers (e.g. honeysuckle, clematis).

    Then dig some beds into the grass - keep the edges curved, do not, repeat do not, use straight edges that run parallel to your fence!

    Then the fun bit - start picking plants. Hardy perennials are good for beginners, plant and forget. Mostly. And lots of bulbs for next spring. Plant the bulbs in layers (shallow ones on top of deep ones) to pack in as much as possible. And don't be afraid to experiment. And of course, look to see what your neighbours grow.

    Above all enjoy! Gardening is very therapeutic after a hard day's work.
  • Thank you very much for the responses so far it is very much appreciated.

    Pauline 7 said:
    I  ( and others may disagree ) would make any flower beds and borders I want first, rather than fix the grass and then dig it out to make the beds.

    The grass I would scarify to get rid of any thatch. .....It will look worse after, for a short while. ....then any bare patches you can reseed. 
    Last year we did lay down about 10 bags of bark clippings on the border we have now but as you can see the grass sort of takes over haha so maybe something to look into. In the past we did have a wood border going round but that didnt last long until it kept falling down and breaking.

    Should I look to scarify as soon is possible?

    Hi Rickytheowl and welcome  :)

    What sort of garden do you want?  Something neat and tidy, mainly grass with beds around the edges, or do you fancy something with separate areas ... even a small garden can be divided into 'rooms' with trellis, climbers, pergolas etc to provide a sheltered sitting area, a little patch for herbs , a shrub or two to attract birds ... 


    A couple of cheap books to give you ideas

    https://www.worldofbooks.com/gardeners-world-101-ideas-for-small-gardens-by-martyn-cox-gor001473978.html?keyword=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4MHS45CM2gIVzbXtCh3rCArMEAQYASABEgJ3nvD_BwE 

    https://wordery.com/alan-titchmarsh-how-to-garden-small-gardens-alan-titchmarsh-9781846074059?currency=GBP&gtrck=aXpIMGhhaDcvQXFNcndiTUFDZGxOS1VuWUNKeUhLTU43RnVGMGtVd2tYVHlMT2oxVGdTUGRDdjJ4RUZ1c2ZETkNpMXdtQTEycjNmb21YMURYS0d3N0E9PQ&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_4G1oJGM2gIVpbDtCh3Luw_MEAQYASABEgJ-I_D_BwE 

    We ideally just want to have something neat and tidy really. Maybe try and improve on the border that we currently have. Where the fence is on the left hand side in the first picture we are looking into getting fence screening to provide some privacy. so maybe a chance for some climbers. On the bird front not so sure that is a good idea the number of pigeons that have flown straight into our windows in the past couple of years is crazy, we do have loads of other visitors aswell with having a wood to the rear of the garden.

    I think the main thing with smallish gardens (it's bigger than my first one!) is to get rid of the straight lines. Try to make a new path that curves across the garden. Pavings slabs if you can afford them, concrete if you can't.

    Pop a trellis half-way (or maybe one third, whatever seems to work best) down so that you can "hide" part of the garden as seen from the house and have a gateway to walk through - it all adds to the mystery, and provides more vertical growing space.

    Put wires or netting on the existing fence (paint it first if you think it might need it in the next couple of years) and cover the fence with climbers (e.g. honeysuckle, clematis).

    Then dig some beds into the grass - keep the edges curved, do not, repeat do not, use straight edges that run parallel to your fence!

    Then the fun bit - start picking plants. Hardy perennials are good for beginners, plant and forget. Mostly. And lots of bulbs for next spring. Plant the bulbs in layers (shallow ones on top of deep ones) to pack in as much as possible. And don't be afraid to experiment. And of course, look to see what your neighbours grow.

    Above all enjoy! Gardening is very therapeutic after a hard day's work.
    Not sure if at the stage just yet to be redoing the borders but who knows though what may happen down the line maybe I might get into it.

    Hopefully I have responded with enough information so far. Thank you for taking the time to give me some advice and even some ideas.




  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,117
    I would do the following:
    - increase the border depth and make a clean definition of the lawn edge using a half-moon edger this will immediately tidy-up the look. 
    - cut, scarify (looks like you have a lot of thatch and moss) and overseed the lawn
    - in the borders I would go for evergreen low maintenance, so foliage interest all year and also colour with the likes of hellebores, skimmia and choisya. Re-use the bark chippings you have.
    - for your climber I would go for Trachelospermum with a trellis for support
Sign In or Register to comment.