Help with small rented space!

Hi, I posted on this forum a few years back and since then we have made an attempt to make our garden more usable and nicer to look at/be in. But it's still not quite there. The issues we are still struggling with are lack of privacy, particularly from our immediate neighbours over the fence. Any suggestions? We did have a trellis but it can be a bit of a wind trap and most of the trellis snapped eventually. We have a bench but it's uncomfortable, has no privacy and ideally we would like some more space for us all to sit and maybe a table. As you can see we have two half's which are totally separate. The grassed area is up above the fenced bit below and has been good for planting and a trampoline but has no real space beyond that. The bottom section suffers from lack of drainage. We have laid some gravel on half of it and some mats so our daughter could sit but there's a large part of it at the back that we don't know what to do with and the stone/dirt covering makes it really difficult and uncomfortable to use. Any ideas would be welcome! Anything to make it look nicer, any features, any idea for privacy, use of plants etc. Our daughter would love her own little section too. We can also get rid of the slide if needs too. 
Thank you in advance! 

Posts

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,715
    I'm finding it difficult to imagine your garden from the photos and your description. Could you post one more looking at the garden from the house and one looking from your boundary towards the house please? One thing I would suggest is that you perhaps rake the gravel to one side and put down a thick layer of bark mulch chippings instead -where the play area is  -   much more child friendly than gravel!
  • Rivers2Rivers2 Posts: 6
    Hi Lizzie, 
    The third photo is looking from the house to the garden. There are no windows on to the bottom section of garden. The door opens up at one end and looks out on to the concrete path with the guinea pig hutch in front. I can get a photo from the boundary, it's literally from the green fence you can see. It looks back on to the bare house wall with the door at the far end. 
    The top part, which we've planted is as you see it in the photo. It sits beneath a long window to one of the bedrooms.
    We did have bark chippings down for a while but we had to lift them (and actually swept them up to create a bed in the corner). The drainage is so poor that they just turned to mulch in a really short space of time. They were just a soggy mess in a matter of weeks and then became a real problem because the door to our garden goes straight in to the living room, so it became full of damp chips that the cat (and child) dragged in! 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,715
    Okay, thanks for that, I think I understand the problems now. The only other solution I can think of is to construct a kind of trellis arbour around your existing bench (which you could put cushions on to make it more comfortable and have/make a small table in front to eat off? A panel trellis behind the bench would help to provide some privacy. As to the soggy ground conditions, are you getting run off from the sloping ground? Would some connecting plastic mesh squares laid on top of the gravelly bit work?  Hopefully other posters might be able to help with more suggestions. 
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