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Please help me think of ideas for garden

Hi all. I'm a bit overwhelmed with my (relatively) new garden. It's not really been used much by previous owners and has just a courtyard area and a bit of grass. We've had the trees taken down (they were blocking a huge chunk of garden and the sun!) and now we're just stuck.

In the long run I'd like a bbq area to the side of the house, decking for seating in the opposite corner with summer house, grass section and fire pit area... But the quotes we've had were 15K plus which just isn't doable right now.

So... Looking for fairly cheap and cheerful ideas for now as we have other home improvements to prioritise but still want to create a garden we can enjoy with friends and family in the sun! 

For reference, sun starts in the grass area and moves round to slabbed area throughout the day. 


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  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,008
    Hello Kimberley  :)
    You have a good sunny site to be starting with, but what sort of garden do you want ? Are you planning on having flower beds etc.that need maintenance, or are you thinking along the lines of large pots etc on the patio area ?
    A lot depends also on how much time you want to spend say, watering and feeding for example.
    What kind of style do you like,  cottage Garden or more contemporary,  also any particular colour scheme you have in mind. This kind of information will help with advice. 
    When you're starting out with a blank canvas like this it is overwhelming, but you are in the right place. 
  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster In the Cambs FensPosts: 527
    What's under the slabs (seat?) wondering if it's a raised bed paved over. If it's a raised bed.... I'd be pleased.
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,976
    The trick is to have an overall plan, which might be too expensive to do all in one go, but which you can tackle piece by piece. But having an overall plan will help make sure you don't waste money putting stuff in that needs ripping out later...
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116

  • AnniD said:
    Hello Kimberley  :)
    You have a good sunny site to be starting with, but what sort of garden do you want ? Are you planning on having flower beds etc.that need maintenance, or are you thinking along the lines of large pots etc on the patio area ?
    A lot depends also on how much time you want to spend say, watering and feeding for example.
    What kind of style do you like,  cottage Garden or more contemporary,  also any particular colour scheme you have in mind. This kind of information will help with advice. 
    When you're starting out with a blank canvas like this it is overwhelming, but you are in the right place. 
    Thank you! 😊 It is a really good space, just bigger than I've ever had to organise and currently an empty shell! 
    We are aiming mostly for a hosting garden, somewhere to eat and bbq, somewhere to enjoy the sun, and a space for night time drinks (a fire pit). Plant wise, really just want it to look good! Not much of a gardener so Hardy, easy plants only really. I have roses out the front that I've never trimmed because I'm useless at gardening so anything fancy would be wasted here! 
  • Fire said:

    Thanks! Hadn't realised it went upside down!! 
  • What's under the slabs (seat?) wondering if it's a raised bed paved over. If it's a raised bed.... I'd be pleased.
    We've not really inspected it too much but I don't think it's beds 😩 the path over the other side is raised though so possibly something to do with that? 
  • Loxley said:
    The trick is to have an overall plan, which might be too expensive to do all in one go, but which you can tackle piece by piece. But having an overall plan will help make sure you don't waste money putting stuff in that needs ripping out later...
    Thank you! This is pretty much what we're hoping to do but we've just no idea where to start. I think I'd like tk get the slabbed area where we want a BBQ sorted, but not sure if we're handy enough to DIY! 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    edited March 2022
    Do you want to keep the fence down the middle? If you mainly want it as a socialising space, then it is perhaps good that you have a large patio that might work well for you. Which direction does the garden point? Is a good looking lawn important to you, or a detail in the background? Out of interest, which type of trees did you have taken down?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,107
    Do you need the fence that's there? You could have some easy planting - shrubs etc, which would be a lot more attractive, and would do the same job as the fence does anyway - but better  :)
    If you want more grass rather than all the paving, that isn't too difficult to do yourselves. Lifting the slabs and prepping the ground takes a bit of effort, but it would be much cheaper. Alternatively, a decent handyman would lift them and it would be fairly reasonable price wise. 
    Many people offload excess slabs too - local sites for getting rid of them etc. Disposal can be more of a problem if you can't use one of those aforementioned sites, but you could stack them in a corner out of the way, and occasionally take them to a nearby tip if you have one in your area. They might be useful in future for paths etc, so it's not a bad idea to keep them for a while.  :)
    That would give you a starting point, and then the more difficult stuff you can't do yourself, can be addressed and priced.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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