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Advice with layout of side garden

Hi all,

We're in the middle of sorting out a big empty space to the side of the house, and I have a rough idea in my head of layout, but need some advice on a couple of bits. Sorry, my post might be a bit long and rambly!

Gate and fence to be replaced, 6ft high double gate roughly where it is now (brought back slightly to bring in in line with front of house, fencing matching existing fence on left between gate and house. Bins will be going in front of fence at front of house so not on patio, and this will become a seating area. concrete, to left in photo above, in front of garage will be broken up, and the part currently covered in dug up concrete back left of photo will be left as is (concrete). 

Image below shows rough plan (not to scale): I want to put a raised bed along the fence (using sleepers?) and the area in front of garage, and dug up bit in photo above will be gravelled. We're discussing moving slab creating a path running from kitchen door to back garden out/ or replacing as they're too close to side of house, and possible reducing the size of patio a bit/increasing amount of gravel. Still debating how to finish border between gravel/leading towards back garden, as
it's a bit messy with wonky slabs etc, so that's still tbd, but focusing on layout of side part.

The things I'm not sure of:
Raised bed along fence, original plan was to have a bed with espalier fruit trees, but when digging up this area a couple of problems have come up: 
1. the remains of the foundation of the original wall that used to run along the border are still there, there seems to be a very deep layer of concrete running along the length of the fence. Once we break up the concrete in front of the garage, I might be able to dig some of it out, at least the part nearest the garage, but seems like a big job. So, considering leaving the foundation in situ, and creating a raised bed using sleepers. Presumably this will be no good for trees, but could have climbers  and more shallow rooted plants instead.
2. The fence was buried quite deep under ground level (land next door seems a lot lower the other side of the fence - edge of fence was gravelled and once I started moving this and digging down, the gap between the drive and fence was mostly filled with bits of brick and rubble. So I will have to back fill quite a lot with soil, and the gravel boards are rotted quite a bit, possibly need replacing? See photo below which shows what it's like. I need to double check who the fence belongs to. I'll then need to put something between the fence and raised bed, to stop the fence from rotting further. 

3. The part that's been dug up with the blue tarpaulin on it, I'd like to have raised beds for growing veg. I can't decide how to lay this out. The drain cover in the middle will need to be kept clear, so I was thinking a rectangular bed either side (blue, with route from garage to back garden via blue arrows), or whether having an L shape would be better maximise sunlight reaching them (red bed, with route to back via red arrows - makes it a longer walk round to back with lawnmower etc.) 
drain pipe runs down front of garage, so want to put a water butt in (orange blob, although could be on side of garage instead, and reroute the path running down the side slightly).

There are a few other bits and pieces we still need to think about, varying ground levels, stopping the gravel travelling etc. but these are the main things I'm not sure of, however do let me know if you can think of any problems with my plan, or what might work better.

Thanks for reading :)


  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 620
    You could lay 'gravel grids' down on top of an anti-weed membrane, the gravel spread on top of the grids. They're not that expensive, and are strong enough for driveways. If the gravel needs further stability B&Q also do a sort of gravel fixative 'Polar Stonehold Binder Solution 2.5L Clear'.

    Good luck with your plans, that's a big job, but no doubt worth it when it's done - enjoy your project.
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,091
    Does the fence have concrete posts that the panels and gravelboards slot into? If so you could replace the wooden gravel boards with concrete ones.
    The other thing to think about is whether you're going to need to be able to drive a car through to the garage. If you will, that will limit the width of the raised bed and of whatever you plant in it. And if you do build the raised bed on top of concrete, make sure water drains away quite freely.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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