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Starting from SCRATCH!

Hello all,

I hope you are all keeping safe in these uncertain times! I am reaching out to you for some advice and guidance on my soon-to-be new garden once I am actually able to move.

Despite being greenfingered, this is my first property that is actually my own and therefore first garden! Despite a quote from a garden design company (whose design basically just involved levelling the garden in two and replacing the grey slabs with new paving and came to a ridiculous £3800) I have been scouring blogs and the internet for design ideas to no avail and have found myself quite intimidated!

The garden is a typical new build lawn type.. west facing with zero planting and quite overlooked. Ive attached a couple of pictures for you. 

Im on a fairly limited budget as a first time buyer but I can be quite handy. SO! Can any of you come to my rescue with advice on design and planting?

Very excited to hear your feedback,



  • cornellycornelly Posts: 970
    Sorry Finlay unable to open the pics.
  • Oh! Sorry about that, let me try again!
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,159
    First thing l would say, is assuming you want a seating area,  don't assume it has to be outside the back of the house. You may want to have more than one, somewhere for a morning coffee as well as the evening glass of wine (or soft drink).
    Make a note of the sun morning until evening and work out the best place(s)  to sit.
    A bin store near the back gate, or nearer the house if you don't want to get wet putting the rubbish in them ! Somewhere for a washing line ?
    You are pretty overlooked,  it doesn't necessarily need to be solved by planting a tree or two,  a pergola may do the job.
    Do you want to keep the lawn, grow flowers and/or veg, or are you looking for an easy care garden? 
  • f.mcfarlane93f.mcfarlane93 Posts: 8
    edited April 2020
    Hi AnniD! 

    Yes, definitely wanting a seating area for that glass of vino / caffeine hit. At present the garden has a few squares worth of patio using the same horrible slabs as the path (the entrance to the garden is two patio doors. 

    The garden is very overlooked, yes. Not fussed about growing veg or keeping a large lawn space but do want to be able to grow flowers and herbs! The bins are a problem as they can't be stored in the lane to the back of the garden...!

    I love pergolas... I have a huge love of clematis / climbers :) 

  • Andy19Andy19 Posts: 671
    Put your bins against the fence to the right of gate then put posts and trellis in front to screen them off. Nice blank canvas to make your own stamp on the garden.
  • Plot75Plot75 Posts: 69
    I'm going by if it were mine: Source free pallets to make a wheelie bin shed. Place Featheredge boards around paths and steps, add weed barrier and a lovely type of gravel (love the sound when walked on) to stop gravel going onto grass. Add a pergola at the back and create a seating place underneath covered in climbers. Create a bed for herbs in corner or random pots of herbs. From gate side I'd have a snake path that would take me around the garden rather than a straight line. I prefer cottage plants/flower types as more rustic and natural and less maintenance and wildlife loving. 

    Please update the posts with your before and after, would be lovely to see how it ends up. X
    Mix 2tbsp of white,granulated sugar with 1tbsp of water and place on a spoon for a Bee to reach. Sometimes they're too exhausted to reach back to the hives when it's hot and dry. 
  • Hello All!

    Thanks so much for the initial ideas and comments. I thought I would drop by with a few progress pictures! Patio has gone in, and a summerhouse constructed. I have also dug out a little bit of a border (this is tough work because of the poor soil and builders rubble) and planted Rhodedendron, Azalia, Lupin, other cottagey type plants a few £2 roses from Tesco and a small apple tree. I dont know much about my soil so im figuring a try and see what survives approach is probably best towards learning what works and what doesn't. 

    I have a raised planter / bench that will cover the two ugly water pipe access covers and the stepping stones are yet to be laid properly. The fence has been treated with stain!

    Does anyone have advice on reseeding my lawn from it being a total mud bath in the construction? I have raked it, sprinkled grass seed down and scattered a thin layer of top soil over it but nothing seems to be happening. Perhaps I am just impatient? It just looks like the seeds are just sitting there on the lawn haha! Any other suggestions for plants that thrive in poor soil appreciated! 


    in poor 

    Thanks again,

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,933
    edited March 2021
    Gosh you've been busy :D 👍

    It's too cold for grass seed to germinate at the moment ... it needs a soil temperature of around 10C ... they used to say that a farmer should sit bare-a*s*d on his field to decide whether it's warm enough to sow ... I'm from a farming family and can assure you my father never did that ... Ma wouldn't have allowed it 😲

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hahaha I love that! And as Im in Scotland im not sure I should try that or I might get frostbite! Ahh ok. So its a case of impatiently waiting for another month and trying again with the grass seed! Thanks!
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,241
    🥶😱🤣!!!   @Dovefromabove

    @f.mcfarlane93 - That's great progress. Like your choice of summerhouse and slabs for the patio.
    Where have you hidden the bins?
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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