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Tree covered slope gardening?!

We're buying a new house with our first garden. It's a decent size but all up a very steep slope. It's also covered in trees and large shrubs. There's paths twisting around it. Overgrown and needing a fair bit of cutting back. Undergrowth needs cutting back from the paths as it's a trip hazard. Advice is to wait and see what we have but you've got to live with it too. Can't live with something you can't safely walk around.

Since it's winter we move in cutting back woody shrubs and even trees is a good idea since sap is down. Winter/autumn is the best time for pruning and even hard pruning back of woody plants I learnt as a youngster. January move in expected so a quick clear out.

So basically I'm seeking advice. What would you do? What would you put in and take out?

Background, the slope runs up in a WSW direction, slightly off the West cardinal point. Slope is steep such that you're above the roof of the house very quickly. It's a bungalow with undercroft/garage (bungalow on stilts). We have solar panels so might need to keep lower trees clipped back a bit. The rear patio is slightly boxed in by what's growing above it. The area is heavily limestone area but it have no idea what is in this garden. I have a feeling there's limestone at or near the surface in places. Soil will need improving to grow anything under the trees I think. Anything you need to know to give advice please ask. I've had one viewing which was mostly spent in the garden as it's what sold us on the house. We like the great outdoors and this is like that in our own property. Like owning a mini wood!!


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,231
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,019
    We live in a bungalow, with a steep slope garden, and an undercroft garage!  Can  you send us some photos, it will make it much easier for everyone to visualise it?
  • pansyface said:
    Yes, my first introduction thread, that was it's purpose but it rambled into a request for info. Which is what was the aim with this thread. Maybe I should not have started this direct advice thread too.
  • We live in a bungalow, with a steep slope garden, and an undercroft garage!  Can  you send us some photos, it will make it much easier for everyone to visualise it?
    I will but I'm perhaps jumping the gun here? Offer accepted but we're not in yet? My bad, I should have said. We'll not let it fail as it's within budget by some amount and finance in place. I don't think there's any fault with the house but enough to stop us going through with it and it's an inheritance property for the vendor. I can't really photograph it just yet.

    I'm an eternal optimist I reckon because I'm planning our garden before it's even ours!! I hope there's nothing wrong with that. We're going to move to that village and pretty much all of it is a slope one way or another. Most gardens are sloping but this one is sloping a lot.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 34,027
    It would be better to wait.
    If you get the house, then take photos and ask for advice, a little bit at a time.
    Too much info on one post puts people off answering IME.  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,809
    edited 18 October
    In the meantime have a look online and in books at pictures of gardens in similar situations to give you some ideas of what can be done, and so that you can let us know the sort of thing you’d like to achieve. Not just the appearance of the garden but how you’ll need to use it ... children, pets, growing fruit and vegetables, entertaining etc. 

    Also do some sums so you can work out a garden renovation budget for say, the first three years. That way we wont give you Rockefeller advice when you only have Bob Cratchit pockets. 

    Good luck ... hope it all goes smoothly 🤞 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • The only picture close to it was for the selling entry on Rightmove for a neighbouring house. Not sure that's right to post. Looking at other houses like ours sold nearby there's a lot of similarities. Except for one house that seems to have cut a lot down and put lawns in. A mix of flat, landscaped lawns and ones simply planted on the slope. Looking at Google satellite images it all looks like trees up to the house except for that one house.

    Not sure how we'll end up using it. I guess sitting in, getting fresh air, exercise (through gardening), kid's play area (imagination derived from loads of hiding places, dens, etc), BBQs and even entertaining family. We're not big socializers, not antisocial just kind of like our own space, meet people outside more.

    I like rooms idea in gardens. I think this is partly there. The paths lead to something but not clear what, probably seating areas. Some look flattened out with I think gravel surface too. The issue is a lot of to has been overgrown. You can make out the paths but you're pushing through in places. Some areas have plants kind of covering over what was possibly a seating room if you like. There's potential but it's shade/woodland gardening. If there's such a thing.

    I'm thinking foliage plants more like Hostas, a few plants like what grows native locally. Not sure I'd go with Ransomes which are good plants and grow a lot round here, plus make a decent plant to crop. Great for salads, a for of pesto, etc. I actually like the idea of edible plants. My wish has always been to have a place to grow fruit and vegetables that are better or cheaper than supermarket? I'm a lover of gooseberries but will they grow and crop under trees? I don't think this is the garden for a veg patch somehow.

    I think if I can get a few good, straight sticks or branches I might make a little den for our son somewhere? Perhaps with a tarp, lavvu or similar. It's a place for us all so it would be great to give him his own spot.
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