Good Afternoon,

I am just starting a new garden approximately an acre in size..last season because of no time to start I level the whole site with a JCB and I just seeded it all with grass, which is now well grown and it seems a shame to dig quite a bit up but I would like to start putting some cottage garden borders in...

This morning I drew a roughly to scale plan of where I would like the main house lawn and the cottage garden borders...

One currently lawned area that I would like to start first is approx. 40 yards long and 13 yards wide, (south facing) with a wall approx. 18 yards long on part of the long right side, this wall is the remaining standing  back wall from an old barn that once stood on the site...(the standing wall is approx. 7 feet high).

My problem is that when I tried to dig a spade in where I would like the main flower border the floor of the old barn is only about half a spade depth down... thoughts are to try and get some top soil to make the borders...(I do know that when the grass grew this year it did not burn off in the summer heat which I thought it would do with no depth of soil to retain moisure...I am in Normandy France and it was very hot this year)

Could anyone tell me please roughly how many tons of top soil I will need for the new flower border which will run along most of the right hand side of the garden some of which will be under that wall.

The size of the new border will be approx. 33 yards long (kidney shaped) 4 yards wide at its widest point dropping back to about 2 yards wide.

I have tried to work it out but as per usual my brain has stopped please please please I need your help.

Thanking you in anticipation.





  • quite a few I would say! I "made" a new garden, with borders after digging up concrete - exposing very hard subsoil. Probably about half the size of your planned border. I created a small lawn (about 8 foot by 10 foot), where I only needed about 3 inches of topsoil, and also a curving border (about 3 foot by 10 foot). I also had about a ton of garden compost, so could create a kind of raised border  - it is deepest in the middle, about 12" deep - to give me enough planting depth. I topped that with a layer of topsoil before planting and then mulching with barrowloads of leaf mould. I used a ton(ne?) of topsoil and had I not had lots of other stuff, it would have barely covered the ground. You will be amazed how much you need. I used a calculator on this site to get some idea of how much I needed. It might help you.

  • CarmicCarmic Posts: 56

    Oh dear dear dear Ginglygangly...according to that website I need 45 tonne+...

    ...ouch my back hurts just thinking about it...

    ...anybody fancy a free holiday in France spreading topsoil...???image

  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 11,255

    ME!!! If you can wait till the warm weather comes backimage

  • CarmicCarmic Posts: 56

    ...tis always warm in Normandy...

    Its a 3 bedroom any more offers...???image

    this is the house...

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    Nice. Haven't the back for it thoughimage

  • CarmicCarmic Posts: 56

    It really is a very exciting project Carmichael...but hard work will not kill me...image

    In the spring I barrowed 30 tonne of gravel for the drive and I survived...only just but nevertheless I survived...!!!

    I'm thinking because of the way that the garden did not drought nor waterlog, leads me to believe it must be hardcore for the base of the old barn

    I am very sorry but I do not understand what you mean re "compost or manure to trench in rather than top soil".

    ..could you please explain further..Thanks

  • CarmicCarmic Posts: 56

    Good idea Verdun...will try to dig a wee bit tomorrow and see what it turns up...

Sign In or Register to comment.