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House move

pclark42pclark42 Frolesworth, EnglandPosts: 150

I moved home only 7 weeks ago, and this was what the garden looked like, I began by putting up a shed on what was a foundation a long time past for a greenhouse.

This has divided the garden up, it appears that for the last 15 years previous occupants did nothing at all in the garden, apart from have someone cut the 'jungle' down each summer, I have discovered that along the fence to the left there was a border, the soil is so lush and black, very soft when a spade is pushed in. I have to remove the remains of a Holly bush, and then I will sort the border out. I am open to suggestions as to where to go with this long sloping garden, in the meanwhile.

I have started to build a small paved area at the rear of the house, and I am thinking of putting a wooden arch by the shed, with a few stepping stones through it, I will grow Clematis up the arch, which still leaves me with yards of weed ridden garden to deal with, I was thinking of rotovating the lot, and growing fruit and veg, I am new on here today, I hope my pictures are correct, and I would love any advice and suggestions, the garden is South Facing and it is South Leicestershire, my name is Phil and I am 65, so i am a bit creaky!!!


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,012
    edited November 2019
    Welcome to the Forum.
    It's not where I'd have put such a big shed . It's rather... erm.... dominating.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,289
    Is the paving properly laid or is it just on the grass? I'm slightly confused by the last pic.
    Was that just to get the layout, and is the previous photo where you've done the prep for it?

    I'd agree about the shed, but you can always disguise it with climbers or a border etc. If you paint it a dark colour, it will disappear a bit too. 
    It's probably not worth keeping any grass as it's a small area, especially if you want to grow edibles. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,871
    Hello Phil and welcome to the forum. Are you pleased to have what looks like a fairly long, narrow garden or a bit daunted?  I love the paving. If you turned it round by 45 deg, you could do a garden design based on triangles which would make it more interesting. I would agree that the shed could do with painting a dark colour, how about dark grey or a very dark brown. It would blend it into the garden so you wouldn't notice it so much. An arch with a clematis or rose from the shed to the fence I agree would look very nice.  Behind the shed, just take your time and dig up the grass (or use weedkiller if digging is too much hard work. Then you could make raised veg beds surrounded with bark mulch paths to grow what you fancy. You may even have room for a small apple tree. 
    I'm sure the other members will have lots of other ideas.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,217
    edited November 2019
    The best approach to a long narrow garden is to make it appear wider and not visible all in one go.   That shed effectively blocks the view and is asking to be disguised with a treelis feature covered in climbers to hide the shed and any bins or other work stuff.  

    I think I would have put the shed at the end and made a seating area out of the base with a pergola to give height and train perfumed climbers over it.   The thing to do now is to decide whether you want curves or angles to give you the appearance of width and what you're going to do with the space behind it - quiet relaxing area, play for children, wildlife friendly, fruit and veg?

    Below are some basic design ideas for narrow gardens which break it up with circles or triangles or curves so it appears wider and makes you want to explore.  I would urge you to lay those paving slabs at an angle to the house rather than square on.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pclark42pclark42 Frolesworth, EnglandPosts: 150
    Hi Everyone and thanks for the comments, I'm afraid the shed went in that spot due to a perfect brick base already being there, and i needed to put my tools somewhere quickly, I am going to paint it, I have dark brown, however next doors is a sage green colour and fits in, and yes the paving is only on the grass to get the layout, I have just finished digging the base out, it appears that from the house the land rises for about 3 m, then it starts to fall away, a sort of a hump, so to get a fall on the paving stones away from the house meant I had to go down 250mm (25 barrow loads of soil) I have made a heap with the soil to re use at some point, I will post a bit more later.
    Thanks everyone.
  • pclark42pclark42 Frolesworth, EnglandPosts: 150
    edited November 2019
    Today I managed to get the whole of the earth out, to allow 100mm of sub base and 30mm of grit sand, slab layer, then the slabs which are 22mm thick, so I went down about 170mm which allows for a bit of uneven areas.
    also, see that concrete semi circle, I think it was either a well or a water feature, I am thinking of turning it into a rock garden for alpines to grow, what do you think guys?? Oh and see that bush above the end of the timber, that was a Holly bush, and I'm afraid it has to go, I have started sawing through the roots, and boy it will not move at all.
  • pclark42pclark42 Frolesworth, EnglandPosts: 150

    Well the small patio area is about complete, it is damp after a lot of rain, but when dry there are no bleeds from the mortar on slab edges, I'm pleased with the result, as I have never before built anything like it. I had to remove some of those fired bricks because they were broken, and looked awful, I replaced them with the Welsh slate edgings, this brought my slabs further towards the camera, leaving me a gap at the other end where the 2 red bricks are, so the question, shall I build a small wall to retain the earth, or fill in with more soil, leaving a slope? I can't make up my mind. Help!
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,610
    Personally l would go for a wall, or maybe railway sleeper(s) , something to act as a buffer rather than a slope. That's just my opinion though! 
    Nice paving  :)
  • pclark42pclark42 Frolesworth, EnglandPosts: 150
    edited January 2020
    More progress today, I built a wall to stop soil/water running into next door from the rockery I'm going to build, I know they are outdated, but I love those Alpines, I'll keep you posted on progress. Oh and i actually got around to turning over a bit of the ground, the soil is unbelivably soft.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,629
    That soil looks good enough to eat...   :)
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
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