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Expensive gardening mistake - help needed

Hi Everyone,

Firstly this looks like a great place to learn about gardening and gets lots of help and advice image I have to say that I am not much of a gardener, a few pots are about my limit. I like the idea of it but the reality tends to be all together something different - lol!

Anyways, I need some advice please about what to do to rectify a problem. I have a piece of ground that backs onto the driveway. There was a flat bit that sloped away from the drive. It was turfed. However, the builders dumped a load of soil and rubble on it from making a new patio and in my madness I decided to try and turn it into a sort of raised bed. I laid more soil - 4 tons of it in fact - on top of the builders mess and then shaped it so that there was a bank of earth in the middle and a flatish bit around the outside. I had planned to put in wooden borders where it sloped away ( to stop the gravel slipping down ) and then after planting up with wildlife friendly plants I was going to cover it all with gravel and  rocks and driftwood, etc. The problem I have now is that the wooden borders  cannot be knocked into the soil as its just loose, so nothing to actually hold them in place. The 4 extra tons I added has made it too deep to reach the solid earth underneath and when you do get to the solid earth its actually hard packed gravel and rock.. And because the soil is just loose it is starting to slip down the slope when it rains. Its difficult to describe it all, pictures would be far better, but I don't know how to add them here.

So if anyone can understand my slightly incoherent ramblings and offer some advice I would be most grateful image Ijust  need a way to secure the wooden borders at the top of the slope.



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,913

    Hi Hartleyhare image

    To post pics on here you need to click on the little green tree icon on the toolbar above where you type your post, and then follow the instructions - show us some pics and we'll come up with some ideas 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Consider the materials that they use to stop the soil sliding off steep slopes and onto motorways; it is a sort of chicken wire on steroidsimage.

  • cassiencassien Posts: 5

    everyone makes mistakes. I think it would be a good idea to get some roots into the soil as this will stop it slipping. I think also chicken wire would help.

    You could plant in quick growing wildlife flowers once the chicken wire is in situ. make sure you keep watering though just enough to keep the soil damp but not enough to start a landslide. 

  • Thanks for the advice. image I'll try and take some photos later on of my expensive mound of earth - lol! I have already planted a few shrubs on the top of the mound but nothing on the side. I was planning on covering the top with gravel and leaving the side to go ' natural ' . I do have some wildflower seeds that I was going to add to this as the side has already got a few  things growing in it, mostly weeds I think and a bit of  grass.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353

    I think I'd try and get some posts concreted in to attach your timber to hartleyh. They wouldn't have to be great big things - just enough to give you something to get a little height in there to contain it. If you don't get something solid and secure in place you'll be forever just trying to 'manage' it and will probably never be happy. I understand your concerns about getting through the soil etc - if you can get a photo on  it'll help a lot with further suggestions. Is there a fence or wall on any side of the space - the house wall or a boundary with a neighbour for instance

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I have taken some pictures, so will upload tomorrow. I had thought about concreting in my wooden borders, but as hubby pointed out a solid or level base is needed for the concrete ( he used to be a concrete plant manager, so knows all about concrete ). I have neither. No fences or walls close enough.

  • Here are a couple of pics of the bank.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    We have all done it, what looks good on paper turns out to be a disasterrrr darling.

    Quick fix and now is the time to do it, buy and scatter some wild meadow seed plenty of it after raking the bank into a semblance of order, the growth quite rapid will stabilise the soil and hold it in position, how else do banks work in nature the grass sod holds it.

    Add some shrubs in pockets along the bank even in pots if you have to, a couple of taller ornamental grasses will take root in time.

    The green bit at the bottom of the bank near the building could be paved or gravelled, it looks as if you could get some posts in there near the bank to hold a gravel board, all those things will help and it time you will wonder what the fuss was about.

    Alternatively hire a JCB and dig a canal through the middle to the nearest water way for the boat, just a thought.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,913

    Hasn't Monty Don created a raised garden overlooking a meadow - with a firepit on top of it?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    Just get rid of the boat and spread the soil etc out... image
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