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A new garden over an old lawn... where to begin?!

I have a relatively small garden which I recently made a little bigger by demolishing an old garage! Now it has been removed I am faced with the enormous task of designing and PLANNING my new garden. I have a rough idea what I want to do but I am very new to this and find the lawn/planting side of things a little daunting and overwhelming! I built some raised beds from the old roof timbers but just don't know where to start! So...
  • When is the best time to lay a new lawn?
  • Should raised veg beds be built on gravel or the bare earth before filling?
  • With regards to garden boarders, is it best to buy potted plants or grow from seed?
  • and when is the best time to plant everything out?
I am guessing most of it will be for Spring but wondered if there is anything I can do now apart from the jobs like paving & fences etc!

Any and all suggestions most welcome!!



  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,898
    I would just work with the existing lawn, and create a raised bed veg plot in the area you have just made with the removal of the garage. The hardcore will make a good base for paths and you can create your raised beds on top of it as well (provided they're reasonably deep).

    It's good to buy potted plants for your borders to get you going, but you can be raising seed too. Actually a good way of filling them up is buy perennials you like as good size plants, and divide them in autumn/spring - much quicker than seed.
  • That's great advice - thank you for that. It's hard to tell from that picture but the lawn is a state! And since wheeling barrows of rubble across it with the added heatwave it's even worse! Most of it was moss before so it's pretty bare now. I would love to keep it but I think I will need to do something with it. Plus.... I was planning on putting turf over some of that hardcore area too.... 

    Is it best to get winter out of the way if I do anything at all?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,032
    Raised beds can go on either soil or gravel, so that's easy. Just pick the best aspect for whatever you want to grow. I'd decide on that before you put any other paths/landscaping etc in place. 
    Turf can be laid in late summer/autumn, unless you're in a wetter area, in which case you can do it at almost any time. Autumn is good because the weather helps, and there tends to be less footfall on it, but it depends on how well you prep the area. If you don't have it done, wait until spring. It's likely to be very compacted when you're going back and forth across it. 
    Whether you grow from seed or buy plants depends on what you want to grow, and what your budget is. Shrubs take a very long time from cuttings, so buying small potted ones is quicker. Perennials are quicker, but it depends on what room you have for doing that too, especially for potting them on. This is a good time for perennials as @Loxley says, because they're often big enough to split. 

    The most important thing is to make a note of all the uses the garden will have, and the aspect. If you need a patio/dining area, and you would mainly use that in the evening for example, there's no point in putting it where the sun rises. Draw up a plan, and make sure any big jobs - landscaping or building beds, are carefully thought out and positioned as it's hard to change them later on. 
    Good luck with it though. It's very satisfying starting with a blank slate. Been there and done it a few times  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,267
    It looks quite small so should be relatively straightforward. I would plan now (you can also buy soma smaller potted plants and grow them on if you want), do the hard landscaping over the winter and then the turf in spring. This would give you enough time to plan and do everything as you want it, no deadlines and no stress.
  • no deadlines and no stress... I like the sound of that!! 😄 
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