Forum home Garden design

Help! Horrible eyesore...

Hey! First time posting here.. I’m really struggling to find ways to make this a nice area.. we inherited it from the previous owner, and everytime I see it, it makes me sigh a little inside.. can anyone suggest a way to improve it? It’s in a right old mess.. 



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    If your budget runs to replacing/renovating the wall, I'd do that, then do a mix of climbers and shrubs, or a mix of shrubs and perennials, in the area in front of it. What you plant would depend on the aspect, the soil, your climate and your likes and dislikes.
    Alternatively, put a screen in front of the wall and plant up in the same way. If you have deciduous climbers, you could make the screen a focal point in it's own right, by making it in an interesting way or painting it a colour you like.
    Other features could be added like bird baths or sundials etc. 

    If the wall is supporting the ground behind it, you'd need to address it's condition at some point though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • thanks for the reply! Yeah it’s a supporting wall, I considered just pointing it and covering it with a bamboo screen, but I’m not entirely sure how long it’s got left! Would you remove the gravel then and take it back to soil? Or just continue container planting? 
  • Pauline 7Pauline 7 Posts: 2,191
    A few things to clarify before we can advise anything, 
    1) Do you own the wall?
    2) What way does it face ?
    3) What is under the, concrete? 
    4) Whereabouts,  roughly,  are you?
    And finally  How much time  can you give to get it done and upkeep it?

    Sorry about all the questions , but those things will have a bearing on what will be successful. 

    Something  will be possible. 
    West Yorkshire
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    Personally - I'd plant into the ground. Containers are more work, but it depends on your likes and dislikes. That doesn't mean you can't have a couple of nice specimen pots while plants grow, especially a few annuals if you like them. 
    The ground will probably need some work to make it a good medium for growing, especially if it hasn't had any attention for a while   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks for the reply!

    1) yes as far as I’m aware? Behind it is a public footpath, not sure if that has a bearing on it? 
    2) it faces south 
    3) it’s earth underneath, but I haven’t checked how far down it goes
    4) were in South Yorkshire, I’ll be honest, there are a lot of jobs to do in the garden, much bigger ones.. so I’m looking for something rather low maintenance 
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,278
    I love the erratic look of the wall. 

    If it was me, I would get rid of the junk which means that trellis, the brown plastic pots and, I’m afraid to say, that plastic wall plant on the left. I would get the wall pointed but leave a few gaps which I’d enrich with soil and plant some Erigeron karvinskianus.

    The white gravel looks artificial, indeed it sets me in mind of a graveyard. I would scrape it away and put down Terram weed  suppressing geotextile then top it with standard golden brown gravel. You might need an extra course of bricks to retain the gravel and, if so, look for reclaimed bricks that will give character. Have some more Erigeron tumbling over the path. 

    I would cluster the genuine terracotta pots and buy a couple of much larger ones, placing them in front of the brick pillar. The uniformity of the brickwork there detracts from the charm of the wall so put something tall in the big pots, agapanthus perhaps, or cosmos, to break the line.
    Rutland, England
  • EmerionEmerion Posts: 458
    What’s under that gravel-like surface? If you find that wall hideous rather than quirky, you could attach some trellis to the firm wall to the left, and to some sturdy posts driven into the ground,  to cover the wall. Then grow some climbers on that. Clematis? Is it sunny or shady? - There’s a climbing hydrangea for shady walls.  If you could plant them in the ground (hence my first question), they will be a lot easier to care for. If not, plant in the biggest pots or tubs you can manage - bigger than any of those shown in the picture. Then decide what you want in front. There are loads of options, depending on how much time you want to spend looking after your garden. 
    If at first you don’t succeed, have some cake. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    I actually like the wall too @BenCotto, and, if it was mine, would like to see some of it with some carefully placed planting etc  ;)
    However, if it isn't in good repair, that needs addressed. Even then, if the OP doesn't like it, there are plenty of options to disguise it. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,889
    Mmm - like Fairy I'm wondering just how stable the wall is. If it's not stable you probably should get it rebuilt / refurbished sooner rather than later. Any work you do now in front of it is likely to be spoilt at a later date if you have the wall done later.

    If it's even slightly unstable AND it's a retaining wall you should probably address this with some urgency as it could be dangerous if the wall collapsed and anybody (especially a child) was in front of it when it happened.

    If you can't afford to do that now and the wall is stable I'd go with the suggestion to attach some trellis and grow an evergreen climber (perhaps a jasmine if it's fairly sheltered) to hide the wall.

    Weed the area in front, fresh shingle plus some ornamental pebbles and cobbles (think pebbley beach) maybe a nice log or bit of driftwood / other ornament / bird bath and a nice arrangement of planted pots. Will look lovely.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Thanks for all the suggestions so far! I’ve just been out to check the wall and only found two small loose bricks, the rest of it seems very secure.. so I think I’m going to leave it for now and maybe have it pointed.. there’s some kind of weed growing out of it that pretty much takes over in the summer, I have to keep pulling it out or it grows like crazy, seems never ending, I don’t know what it’s called but it’s quite leafy with tiny pink flowers? It essentially turns the wall into a bush if I’m not careful, and I think that’s what may be eroding the cement.. 

    I’ve taken away the rubbish bits like the trellis etc.. unfortunately I can’t remove the plastic flower ball as it’s my neighbours :( 
    I’ll look tackling the gravel situation tomorrow and let you know how it goes! 

    Erigeron karvinskianus looks great btw! Really like that! 
Sign In or Register to comment.