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Mid terrace sloped garden

StephenhillocksStephenhillocks Tunbridge WellsPosts: 1
Hi all. I'm quite new to gardening but am keen and enthusiastic. Me and my family live in a mid terrace property and would like to tackle the garden to make it more family friendly. It is south facing approximately 30m long and 6m wide. It slopes upwards away from the house and is roughly 8m higher at the far end of the garden. Quite steep! Whilst I would like to terrace the whole garden (possible long term project) for now I would like to create a terrace about 3/4 of the way up so that our daughter has a flat area to play and possibly have a trampoline. I'm aware that I'm going to have to manually move a lot of soil as being mid terrace there is no side access for a mini digger. However I'm not sure what to do in regards to creating retaining walls for the gardens on either side. Is there a limit as to how close I can get to the fences and would sleepers provide good enough support. Has anyone else been in a similar situation and if so how did you get round it? Any help or ideas would be very much appreciated.


  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 766
    Given how steep your slope is, I would recommend that you get the professionals in. When I did the RHS garden design course, they recommended that you consult a structural engineer for any retaining wall above 1m in height and especially if the garden continued to slope upwards behind the wall. 
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,735
    Do you have any photos you can attach?  Is it really 8 metres in difference, or do you mean 8 feet?  There is a 3 metre drop between the top of our garden and the patio.  It was originally sloped, but the previous owner put in two terraces.  These were originally brick walls, but had subsided over time.  We replaced them with railway sleepers, which are more forgiving of some movement.

    I agree with @Butterfly66 Get a professional to do any work.  Any brick retaining walls will need excellent foundations, and drainage to allow any water to seep off.  If you use railway sleepers, be aware that they will rot, and they can do so surprisingly quickly if not protected properly.

    If you are on clay or a hill (like us), then you can expect whatever you use to subside a bit over time, unless you are very lucky.  Ask yourself if you could plant up the slope and use it as it is, as in the long-term, it will make life easier.  We love our garden, but terraces are a lot of work, with lots of trudging up and down stairs to maintain the garden.  I've attached a photo to show you our sleepers when we first installed them.

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