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How to level a garden

jackwoodward10jackwoodward10 Posts: 4
edited June 2020 in Problem solving
Hello

I’m new here and new to owning a house/gardening. 

When we moved in the rear garden was a mess, the previous old couple let the garden run wild and overgrown for 4 months before we moved in. 

We’ve started to tackle some of the mess and will be dealing with the right side soon before sorting out all the damaged fence. Then we are planning to plant some privacy hedges/bamboo along the back fence. 

However, before we get to all that I’d really love the garden/grass to be flat. I’m not sure if it’s clear in the photos but it slopes down from the top right to the bottom left. How would we go about doing this? Ideally we’d want it the same level as the bottom left that way we won’t have to raise the patio or create a step

Thanks


Posts

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,306
    Just to preempt...be very careful with bamboo...or you will spend the next ten years trying to remove runners. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Just to preempt...be very careful with bamboo...or you will spend the next ten years trying to remove runners. 
    We were planning to get the clumping bamboo and put root barriers along the fences
  • Treeface said:
    I don't think bamboo would even grow tall enough to block out those windows. The fence looks 6ft tall and bamboo doesn't get much taller than 8ft. Certainly mine hasn't in the past couple of years.
    Unfortunate slope you have, running towards your house and patio. I have a slope from the house out towards the back of the garden and the moss grows down that way, plus there are pools of water during heavy rains.
    I don't know how you could level that by hand, but hiring a digger and just scraping off a layer of turf until you get it level (using some kind of levelling system like a string and sticks?) and then use all the bits you scraped off to form a raised bed thing on the left hand side (or even at the back as this would raise the level into which you could plant the bamboo.
    What I’ve researched about bamboo says some can grow up to 4.5m, 6m and 8m. I’d be happy with 4.5m as I’m not too fussed about the top windows that much. 

    Thanks I’ll have a look at digger hire 
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,675
    My top terrace starts at the height of the top of your fence, so to me, you have a very flat garden indeed.  Gardeners are often very keen on flattening slopes, but unless it's absolutely necessary (i.e. you can't walk up it, or push a lawn mower up it, or it's causing flooding issues), then I would leave it as it is.

    The issue with creating screening for privacy is probably worth spending more time and effort (and money!) on.  Agree with the others about Bamboo.  Apart from trees, which you wouldn't want to plant near a fence anyway, the other only thing that might give you enough height to screen the neighbouring windows are pleached Beeches.  These would not be cheap to buy as mature specimens, and it would take years to create them from young plants.  

    There may be some other type of tree, which is cheaper and fast growing, and which could also be pleached to create a barrier between you and the neighbours.  However beware of any fast growing trees that you plant (pleached or otherwise), as they can create even more headaches for you and/or your neighbours.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    If you have a rotavator you could break it all up, roughly level, allow it settle for several month and final level. Adding top soil if necessary.

    As has been hinted at dead level is not quite what is needed. It is better to grade (slope) the lawn slightly away from the house and patio. 

    I did it all at our current house, it wasn't that bad. To get a level put in pegs using a spirit level and long piece of wood, remembering to include the grading by knocking down the furthest pegs from the house the appropriate amount and adjusting the ones between.

  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,253
    The tall bamboos are usually not the clumping ones.
    I can't tell from the photo how bad the slope is but can you do raised beds alongside the boundaries on the right and where the shrubs are?
  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 6,835
    Treeface said:
    I don't think bamboo would even grow tall enough to block out those windows. The fence looks 6ft tall and bamboo doesn't get much taller than 8ft. Certainly mine hasn't in the past couple of years.
    Unfortunate slope you have, running towards your house and patio. I have a slope from the house out towards the back of the garden and the moss grows down that way, plus there are pools of water during heavy rains.
    I don't know how you could level that by hand, but hiring a digger and just scraping off a layer of turf until you get it level (using some kind of levelling system like a string and sticks?) and then use all the bits you scraped off to form a raised bed thing on the left hand side (or even at the back as this would raise the level into which you could plant the bamboo.
    I think you're right about the height of the clumping bamboo.  Ours is over 20 years old, and is only about 6 feet high.  Other bamboo will grow much higher but can/will be invasive if not properly contained.  I removed a Phyllostachys from our garden and some of the canes were over 15 feet tall.

  • Treeface said:
    I’d be happy with 4.5m as I’m not too fussed about the top windows that much.
    I'm confused as to what kind of privacy you want if you're not bothered about the windows. Why else would you plant bamboo at the back if it wasn't to block out those windows?
    4.5m will probably be enough, think the current tree in the garden is 3/4m. The windows aren't the main concern but you can basically see each other from the patio doors
    edhelka said:
    The tall bamboos are usually not the clumping ones.
    I can't tell from the photo how bad the slope is but can you do raised beds alongside the boundaries on the right and where the shrubs are?
    KT53 said:
    Treeface said:
    I don't think bamboo would even grow tall enough to block out those windows. The fence looks 6ft tall and bamboo doesn't get much taller than 8ft. Certainly mine hasn't in the past couple of years.
    Unfortunate slope you have, running towards your house and patio. I have a slope from the house out towards the back of the garden and the moss grows down that way, plus there are pools of water during heavy rains.
    I don't know how you could level that by hand, but hiring a digger and just scraping off a layer of turf until you get it level (using some kind of levelling system like a string and sticks?) and then use all the bits you scraped off to form a raised bed thing on the left hand side (or even at the back as this would raise the level into which you could plant the bamboo.
    I think you're right about the height of the clumping bamboo.  Ours is over 20 years old, and is only about 6 feet high.  Other bamboo will grow much higher but can/will be invasive if not properly contained.  I removed a Phyllostachys from our garden and some of the canes were over 15 feet tall.

    The Fargesia Robusta which is a clumping bamboo tree can grow to a max of 12 - 15 feet which will be more than enough? All the alternatives seems to be super expensive to get a mature tree 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,648
    @jackwoodward10,  I would really suggest you learn to live with the slope, it doesn't look really bad from the photo. Not only would levelling it be hard work,  if you take it down from the right hand side, you would be left with gaps under the fence there and you cannot pile up soil against the lower left hand fence because that will rot it.
     Live with it for a year or so and then see if it still annoys you!
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