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New Garden - Advice

Hi All,

First time posting here, finally i am starting my adventure in gardening as I got my first house few months ago, and also was recently scammed by a fake landscaping company (£2k out of pocket now, but least they got me some patio slabs neutral)

So, I decided to take things with my own hands and  I spend the this weekend digging out the old grass and weeds which was kind of dead, and also remove a lot of stones  in the garden. (The back workout  was insane lol) I am now left with unlevel/uneven soil and full of small stones. I wanted to create a patio at the back of the house and add some turf at the front. Put a picture of how it looks at the moment.

Any advice on how to go on from here? Should I dig more or can I start levelling? What material should I level this with? 

Thanks for the help


  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    It doesn't matter where you post as most look at discussions rather than categories.
    I'm sorry you were scammed, that's a lot of money to lose.

    I'm afraid your question is rather vague and short on detail.
    A drawing of what you want and where you want it in the garden would help to go along with your photo.
  • delskidelski Posts: 274
    You paid £2k for just patio slabs?! Take the scammers to court for the £2k.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,454
    As @K67 says,if you can give an idea of how you want that area to look it will help. Just a rough drawing will do.
    I see it's slightly higher than the existing hardstanding, will the turf be against that area ?

  • Hi

    Thanks everyone for the kind responses.

    @delski, I can't  take them to court, they lied about everything. The person is nowhere to be found, even the bank account they gave me was from someone else, well lesson learned.

    @K67, @AnniD

    Sorry Yes, I trying to achieve something like this:

    The patio is planned to be in the back of the garden as my garden is north facing, so the sun hits there really good.

    This is just an idea. Probably I will remove the rocks, and add more plants :smile:, as I like it.

    Hope this gives a better description, on sort what I am trying to achieve.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,454
    Personally l would guess it's time to start levelling, but bumping this up in the hope that someone with more expertise can help. I'm hopeless when it comes to levelling. 
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Just trying to work out which way your drawing is.
    Is the patio end up by the gates in your photo or is it on the concrete in the foreground?
    Are the slabs you have for the patio or for the line of slabs(?) up the middle?
    Do you use those gates as if so the slabs will need to be low enough to open them.

    First.  Mark out your patio area and lay your slabs all info here

    Once done this will set the level for your grass
  • @K67, Thanks for that. 

    Yeah the patio will be where the gate is. Most of the sun its there in the afternoon, just need to make sure as you said that then can open when I lay the flags :smiley:

    The slabs I have are for the patio. I haven't got the ones for the "walking path" yet.

    My main drama/concern, is can I level the soil where the patio will go with grit/sharp sand? Or should I level it with MOT sub base. The soil in that area is not straight. 

    My thinking was:
    1 - Level the soil for the patio with grit/sharp sand.
    2 - Add MOT sub base.
    3 - Add full beds for flag
    4 - Lay the flags.
    5 - Level the lawn for the turf & plants
    6 - Work on turf & plants etc..

    Does it seem reasonable?

  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    For a stable and firm patio you will have to dig out to the depth needed to lay 100mm of sub base, then a sand and cement layer usually a mix of 4 sand to 1 cement. Then on top you would bed your slabs, we've always used the 5 piles of mortar method, lay slab, tap down, check level, tap down more if required.
    I suggest you watch a few videos on this and some might suggest other ways that dispense with the mot base but if  it's not done right your slabs could crack and move and lift.

    You need to work out the size of patio you need for the furniture, with enough room to pull out a chair if you are using a table.

    You will also need to hire a compactor plate aka wacker plate as it's impossible to get a firm base without one.

    I think levelling the soil, compacting, sub base, compacting, then slabs will bring your levels up way above the gates, and gates often drop lower when they are open.

    I would forget about the grass until your patio is sorted.
  • @K67,

    Alright thanks. I guess this weekend from tomorrow I will tackle the Patio. I will update the post after I laid the patio.

    Thanks so much.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,683
    I like your plan. I wouldn't go for lawn either side though - the space doesn't look wide enough. Low planting would be nicer, and then you can make your paving a bit wider. Perhaps you could make it non-symmetrical to make it a bit more interesting. Your design's clean-lines reminded me of these gardens: Notting Hill — Charlotte Rowe
    Highgate Family Garden — Lucy Willcox Garden Design
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
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