Forum home Garden design

Landscaping Ideas

pjwilson83pjwilson83 Posts: 2
edited April 2021 in Garden design
Newbie here and a complete gardening novice so please be kind...  :smiley:
We moved into this new home 9 years ago. At the time we just got the garden turfed and slabbed but now we would like a complete garden overhaul.
The problem is that it slopes - a lot!
As you look out onto the back garden from the back door of the house, there is a fairly flat bit of garden which then slopes quite steeply down. Also, it slopes down to the left.
Because of this we feel that a) a lot of the garden is unuseable and b) we have little to no provacy since we are higher up than the surrounding houses to the left of us.
I've attached some pictures which hopefully give an idea of this.
Ideally we would like to get a landscaper in to 'design' a new garden for us but I thought I'd come on here first to see if anyone could give us some good ideas on how to make the most of the space we have, what do to about the slopes and how to make the garden more private.
I'd say our budget would be around £10k.


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,000
    There have been a couple of sloping gardens featured in the Garden Rescue series so you could start by googling for those on Youtube etc.

    Doing a decent design which gives you some level spaces and privacy will probably involve scooping out layers to make a sunken and/or terraced garden so you'll need to factor in hiring a mini-digger and doing some retaining walls.   Best to plan it out on squared paper in advance to make the best use of the hired machinery and save time and money.

    Some ideas here to get your creative juices flowing:
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Don't think you will get far even with £10k budget. 
    Do you have or intend to have children thus needing space for climbing frames, swings,  paddling pool, football goal nets .
    In cases like this getting a designer in is a good idea.
    You don't have to commit to any work being done just their time, a good designer will go over various options and do a scaled drawing. This might cost around £1000 but it will be money well spent and could save expensive mistakes .

    You might consider concentrating on an area nearest the house and leaving the lowest part more wild, maybe making a woodland area. A 7-8ft tree will cost around £50 but buying bare root in November, but order well before, and buying a quantity could work out cheaper.

    Look forward to seeing your progress

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    The first thing is to decide how you wish to use your garden and the needs of your family. Will it be for play/entertaining/pets/growing food/wildlife/beautiful plants and flowers? Do you want to get out there and work on it every spare moment, or sit in it, or just smile as you glance out of the window? How much time will you have to maintain it if a company come in and make it perfect? 
    After that, have a look round online, at other people's gardens, in books and magazines and think about what you actually LIKE. On this site we have people with experience of design and cost - which could be substantial - but I prefer to tackle things myself. You may want major earthworks, a professional job, but if you don't, taking a small area at a time and learning as you go can be one of the great joys of gardening life and it will be YOURS, not someone else's.
     In my village a woman spent a lot of money having her garden designed and made. It was gorgeous, I was so jealous! I don't think she's touched it in ten years. What a waste of money, time, plants and opportunity.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    You read my mind @K67  I would also plant the lower, steeper part of the garden as a woodland garden, with a few strategically placed (and well researched trees), with perhaps some natural meandering paths in between them.

    My garden is as steeply sloped as yours @pjwilson83, but much shorter, and with very steep terraces.  I always advise people to avoid terracing if possible.  Retaining walls, whether they are made of sleepers/brick/concrete, tend to move or rot, and need repairing or replacing, at great cost.

    I would try to keep the upper part of the garden, close to the house, as flat as possible.  There is probably a point in the garden, where the slope makes it uncomfortable to walk, and that is probably the natural point where your flat useable garden could end, and the woodland garden begins.

  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,666
    I totally agree with what KeenOnGreen has just said. 

    My big worry would be the budget because I fear £10,000 will not go very far at all. I think I would devote the money to levelling, landscaping and planting the flattish area close to the house and leave the steep banks to look after themselves for the time being.

    In the first autumn/winter season I would clear some turf on the banks to plant a small handful of trees. Then, in subsequent years, maybe with a four year master plan in mind, plant swathes of bare-rooted shrubs. You’ll need hundreds of them and though they are reasonably cheap I think you’ll be constrained by the time it takes to clear the ground and dig the holes. Thus I suggest doing the planting over a reasonably lengthy spread of years.
    Rutland, England
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,000
    That sounds like a good plan, along with the list of features needed - seating, eating, BBQ, pond, veggies, herbs, perfume, wildlife friendly.  Delete or add as applicable.  Don't forget you can use pergolas and/or trellis panels to provide privacy and cover them with gorgeous climbing plants.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    This might be a bit negative but if you go down the 'pay a designer' path, do try to find someone who has used them and get some sort of reference/recommendation. 
    I had a design done which when it was finished, months after it was started, was useless. The designer didn't listen to what we wanted. The second designer listened to what we wanted and the plans were more acceptable but the realisation has proved to be a huge waste of money. The plants were too big for the space we have available and many were common varieties rather than named cultivars, planted in their dormant state so it was months before we realised what had happened. I do hope that this helps as your budget could soon be eaten up even before you get any work done. It is essential that you have worked out how you want to use the space before doing anything. 
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,666
    Picking up Joy’s counsel, ask on local Facebook or sites for recommendations.
    Rutland, England
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    I would love to have a sloping garden but it can be challenging. In this case, I would focus on the upper part, creating some kind of patio or seating area there, with strategically placed features (small trees, obelisks/supports with climbing plants, trellis/pergola etc.) to block the unwanted views, frame the nice views and create privacy.
    Then you need a path to the lower part of the garden. Some kind of stairs would be cheaper and easier than terracing the garden, although you can terrace a small part of it or create a sunken seating area in the lower part. Terraced beds along the fence or along the stairs would also look nice and would be much easier than fully terracing the garden.
    There are already some trees in the garden but I think it needs more and either bigger or in strategically selected spaces to give you privacy.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,923
    I would think being on top of a hill might offer more potential privacy than being at foot of a hill and everyone looking down into your garden. Trees will quickly offer screening.
Sign In or Register to comment.