Front garden From scratch

I've recently been rennovating a friends garden, would love to get some feedback.

We've sourced materials as cheaply as possible, and settled on a design that's both achievable and desired by the garden owner.

I've taken these photo's and will write what I was doing:


The onriginal garden

 Essentially what you see is how the garden started, with a low rockery wall where you see the dip. The whole garden is layered in bark chip, weed supressent matting, and heavy clay soil.


The design

After deciding on a practical and desirable design I drew it out with string and stakes. This helped me gauge the amount of earth works required. The bottom left is a pond, middle right is a seating area, and the lines represent new rockery walls, running through the middle of pond and seating is a walk way.




  • Miss BecksMiss Becks Posts: 3,468

    Keep us posted with new pics of progress. I am currently on a project with my back garden. Haven't even thought about the front yet, so I'll be looking for ideas. image

  • higgy50higgy50 Posts: 184

    Yes always interested to see a project develop!

    I am also at the 'Must do something about the front garden' stage!!....


  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 391

    very exciting I'll be back to look at the progress


    The hard bit

    Building up the main rockery wall layer by layer, I back filled with the heavy clay in the pond area. Digging small amounts of the pond as I made the rockery seemed to make the work alot easier.

    I made the 3 planting areas and also dug the middle out slightly, not only to provide more earth to back fill, but also to allow compost to be added, and to create a tiered effect amongst them.
    Rockery planting

     I aimed the planting around aroma, appearance, and also the ability to screen the seating area from the road. I used many herbs, and plants with interesting foliage and tall flowers, as well as a tall plant in each section to prove the screen.

    The bulk of the aggregates was Mellow Cotswold, creating an area that both blended with the sandstone but also stood out from it. Using moonstone (small gravel coloured white, black, and the odd one or two in red and dark blue), I edged the sandstone to make the definition of Mellow Cotswold and Sandstone clearer.         Also on the right of the main planting area I added logs and branches where the ground was concrete, and "golden gravel" on the small planting area.


  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 391

    Its looking great I'm loving the stages. What work you've done


    Seating area

    As there were some old bags of green slate lying around, it only made sense to use this as the surface of the seating area. Using green slate for the bulk of the seating area, I also used a mix of plum slate, and blue slate to create some definition.

    Planted adjacent to the walkway leading to the house is a mixture of trailing herbs, the shown will hopefully entwine with the logs and brances. As you may have noticed there are various querky "ornaments" dotted around the garden which seemed a useful way of adding instant impact (considering the use of young plants), as well as being unique points of interest.
    Current state



     This is how the garden currently looks overall, as you can see the pond will be raised, meaning I need to lay some foundations and begin building the wall before doing anything else with the pond.

    Once the wall is at least partially built (side closes to the seating) I can create the path running through to garden. Seems like a handy use of time whilst waiting for the concrete to dry.


  • weejenny wrote (see)

    Its looking great I'm loving the stages. What work you've done

    Thanks Jenny, I thought it might be useful for others looking to do similar projects if i did a walkthrough. Feedback is one thing, but inspiring is another all together image

  • higgy50higgy50 Posts: 184

    Good work!! Doing it in stages and keeping a photographic record is exactly what I have done, I then post it on my blog! It's amazing how many people have written in to say how this format really helps them to visualise each stage and then try similar projects in their own garden! Therefore keep up the good work and of course posting it on here, I'm certainly enjoying it and always looking for different ideas!



  • Miss BecksMiss Becks Posts: 3,468

    It doesn't look that steep when you are looking at it from above does it! But from the side views, it's quite a drop! That must have made it awkward to work on. It's looking good though. image

  • chelliechellie Posts: 37

    looking so good image ive just uploaded our back garden that we are in the middle of doing love seeing all the different stages and how things begin to take shape looking forward too seeing the end result image welldone x

  • Insomnia1973 wrote (see)

    It doesn't look that steep when you are looking at it from above does it! But from the side views, it's quite a drop! That must have made it awkward to work on. It's looking good though. image

    It certainly didnt seem steep when I started working either. Before I knew it I was jumping down a 3 / 4ft drop to get plants and aggregates in _

  • Oh, forgot to say at the beginning and can't edit image but if you're unaware you can click the photo to get a larger version (all good quality)   enjoy image

  • Now it's starting to get dark far too early I've just remembered about this post hah.
    A few things changed since the last photo, mainly the decision not to have a pond!

    Here's how we're looking:



    As you can see the seating area has been moved to where we were storing sandstone, wicker fencing masks the cold metal bars and mirrors help to keep the space feeling open.
    The pond has been filled in with a small amount of compost, small pieces of sandstone and any leftover large pieces we had, and has then been planted up with alpine plants and what I know as Lucifer grass (or monbreacher, spelling?)

     A variety of potted plants has been used to soften areas where planting would prove difficult.
    Regular garden gravel has been used to create a path, as well as 2 large pieces of nicely weathered sandstone. Left over bark (from the original clearance) has been used to help add contrast and to hopefully help keep the weeds out (some of the old weed surpressant matting was used also).

  • Unfortunatly even I can see this last addition to my post is lacking compared to my previous posts, however, it's been some months since this project was completed.

    Regardless I hope any of you viewing this thread have enjoyed it, I know I enjoyed doing it! Please leave feedback as I'd love to hear what you have to say!

  • LynLyn Posts: 8,107

    You have done very well, I could not have the patience for that project though, you planted three flower beds, all out, then dug the pond, all filled in, I suppose the customer is always right, but what a lot of work!

    Keep us posted ,would love to see the finished garden.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • It was great fun, certainly not regretting having done it haha.
    Unfortunatly as the second to last photo shows the house went up for sale, and has now sold. After approaching the new owners to get a birds eye photo it seems these are the only ones I'm able to come away with as they weren't too keen on letting me in.

    However from the photos I do have nothing has changed. Requires abit of imagination to piece it together though I guess.

  • lisa69lisa69 Posts: 119

    El Chaffinch what a lovely project and such a shame they didn;t stick with your original design.  What a great use of an awkward slope, we have a heavily sloping back garden and planning and design is problematic to say the least but this thread is inspiring and shows what you can do with some imagination.

    Keep us posted on your next project image

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