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70ft Garden - making it awesome for least cost!

Hi allNew here!

I moved into my new house in April and have inherited a 70ft tiered garden. It's lovely and massive but needs some work and due to the size it's going to cost me some pretty pennies so what to keep the cost as low as possible!

Here are some pics so you can get an idea of the layout:


 So this is view of whole garden and you can see the tiers. Its going to take me a long time to get it all as I like as have to replace the fencing on the left side of the garden too. Garden wise I am going to try and focus on the area that has the C shaped seating area (thats going to go and be replaced with patio) and the first grassy tier. Here it is below:




 And here is a drawing of what I would like it to look like eventually:


 So would have a circular patio with gravel paths and using lawn edging to form the flower perennial / shrub beds.

I have a greenhouse so I am hoping to grow a lot of the plants from seed and have been researching the kind of plants I would like and have a fairly substantial list now.

Unfortunately previous owner - who was apparently a garden landscaper - has left a lot of building rubbish in the soil which I think has effected the sparse lawn covering and that going to need replacing too image

So I just wanted to be amongst likemided people with varying levels of experience to help me along the way as I cannot afford to pay for a landscaper to come in and do it for me.

I know this isn't going to happen this year but some questions:

Should I get my perennial / shrub plants from seed going now?

Should I cut out the shape of the beds in late summer autumn and prepare them with nutrients for the next year i.e. manure? If yes, how deep and should I do anything else?

Any other thoughts or advice? image


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,641

    Get cuttings from friends and family. Or beg bits of stuff to be split, dug up and handed over for you. Birthday presents, Christmas presents, etc etc. 

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Oooo good idea image tho i know few people with good gardens. I do ave a friend who is saving me some seeds so will see if has any cuttings also!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,107

    Keep your eye on the plant and seed swap on the forum.

    My garden was built for very little money and involved a lot of seeds. Including trees. Just needs more time than buying instant stuff but a lot  more satisfying because you did it.

  • fringwoodfringwood Posts: 1

    freecycle/ebay for materials.

    Friendly Gardener's Facebook page is a great forum for ideas, hints and tips

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 8,369 certainly have your work cut out

    I do hope that particular  Landscape Gardener is no longer in business........not only has he left rubble in the soil as you suspect but he has also left you with so much unattractive hard landscaping and odd little buildings.

    The above advice is good............getting lots of "bits" that you can grow on yourself and as you have an idea of what you want your garden to be like, you can build up your plant collection and then things will start to come together.

    I wish you lots of luck ( but I still think your seller should be shot image )

  • NewcastleNewcastle Posts: 60

    I think you might get some plants for free on Free-cycle - try advertising on there as folk often need to sort out their borders or decide to cut down the area in cultivation because of lack of time or needing the area for car-parking space etc.

    A good source of plants is to join Hardy Plant Society which hold meetings nationwide and each branch often has a plant table where you can buy stuff cheap at monthly meetings and there is the potential for swaps or buying plants from the visiting speaker if there is one.

    Lavenders are an excellent weed smotherer once established and there are plenty of different varieties to choose from. They also root easily from cuttings. Lots of shrubs propagate easily from cuttings; I have done this from other folks' hedge trimmings before now and variegated holly trimmed into a standard provides some colour during the Winter months when not much else is on offer.

    Topiary might work well in a big area like yours as you have the space to include big shapes if that is what you want. Yew and Box are the traditional plants to try but there are others worth experimenting with.

    If you can afford it it might be worth getting a miniature version of a JCB on hire to scrape out the rubble as it would be back-breaking to do it all by hand. Alternatively a load of decent top-soil on top might help assuming you can find a reliable supplier who will not sell you rubbish.

  • AirwavesAirwaves Posts: 82

    Lots of good advice above. Another idea is to join your local allotment society there you will find composts and seeds of all sorts, often plants will be available and you will meet some super local gardeners who I'm sure will be able to offer you advice

  • flowering roseflowering rose Posts: 1,632

    it does not have to be expensive , what is important is your enjoyment of gardening and what you learn.

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,068

    Try to avoid the temptation of buying large plants and paying for the privilege.  Small one will grow given time.

    Alternatively, to contradict myself, buy large plants which can be split down e.g. herbacious perennials, and divide to make a number of smaller ones.

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