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Too much block paving!

My back garden has loads of block paving. I’ve already taken a bit out and made a flower bed at the side but that generated a hundred half filled rubble sacks of sub base that I had to haul to the dump. Then I had to keep an eye out for people giving away soil to fill the hole in. I don’t think that’s feasible on a larger scale so I was thinking of taking off the blocks and clearing away just a couple of inches of the sub base below and then covering the rest with topsoil and laying turfs. Do you think this will work?
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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,409
    No.  Plants need to get their roots down for stability as wella s access to nutrients and water so, if you're planning to grow anything well, you need to do the work and shift all the sub base.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 922
    Personally, I would do it the expensive way. Ordering a skip large enough for all the rubble and ordering new topsoil by truckloads.
  •  :# No quick fix then.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,409
    Mini digger as well as the skip?
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,146
    Or leave the paving as it is and build raised beds on top?  That would leave you and/or future occupiers the option of reverting to the block paving if and when the garden gets too much for you.

    A previous owner of my house buried a third of the garden under concrete.  Wanting more growing space, I decided that building raised beds on top of it would be quicker, cheaper, easier and kinder to the neighbours' ears than breaking it up.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 5,274
    You could try advertising the block paving for sale and giving away the sub-base on the basis that people come and dig it up themselves? 
  • Well done @joe.shimmin for having the vision to notice the garden is top heavy with paving. Monty Don says having a path wide enough for a wheelbarrow is all that is necessary in a garden.  I agree that more greenery would not only add interest to the garden but also look far more natural too.  Obelixx is right that all plants need a good few inches depth to be able to grow healthily, even deeper for small trees or shrubs.  Don't feel rushed, take your time to decide the best plan of action for you, after all it is you that will be doing/paying for it.  Let us know what you decide and post some "after" pictures too.
  • Use a skip, rubble bags are just hassle and hard work. Don't go removing areas you may wish to pave again sometime down the line!
  • Thanks for the help. Near the house. I may pave over the block paving with something nicer like slabs of sandstone but the part leading down the garden i’d really like to make narrower and extend the grass over a bit. Then we have space for 2 cars but we only really park one there so I would like to reduce the paving and up the grass there too. Then i’d have the option of planting other things like shrubs etc in the grasses areas to add a bit of height to the garden. The block paving looks bad and isn’t exactly attracting wildlife to the garden!
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