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Unique garden- help needed on a design

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  • If i get time this weekend, i'll have a dig under where the grass type plant grew (on the level with the lavender and tulips.) to see what is under there!

    I know first of all i need to dig behind every wall and add drainage and weep holes, before they collapse from water loading. I have removed a total of 4 mature trees from the site, a 5th being the large conifer type tree, in the space of 6 months... Which is where the gravel will end up going.

    I don't want grass, I'm selling the lawnmower and not buying another one! Not with that amount of steps!

    Now here is the extent of my plant knowledge... perennial? is that something you plant once and comes back year on year? I'd like to plant plants like that, plant once, grows back for many years, i don't want to raise seeds every year, or plant new plants every year.

  • I would keep some gravel around the house, Wide enough so nobody can jump across it, but have to walk over it. Gravel is brilliant to annoy potential burglarsimage 

  • Hot, sunny, formal: all suggest Italy to me.Have a look at this website for some fantastic ideas, both classic and modern. You could keep the gravel, use the paving. Maybe make judicious use of astro turf to get the green effect. Add some clipped box in big terracotta pots. Box edging to some of your beds, fill with bright perennial plants. Irish juniper (Juniperus communis 'Hibernica') makes a good substitute for Italian cypress, doesn't get out of hand, not like Leylandii. Any help?

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/italian-gardens-/p/8

  • Problem image BAH HUMBUG!!!

    Unfortunatley, well, we had an idea this would happen, but we thought we'd have a little bit more time before it did!

    It looks like i need to put in some hard graft!

    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y163/vibrating_cake/20140918_184427_zpsztevkifo.jpg

     If you click on the big link for this photo, the large back wall has a crack in it, just behind the remaining tree.

    Also the wall in the foreground has a crack near the left hand side, about a third of the way in.

    As i said, we have removed now 4 mature trees from this land (yes they were planted waay too close together!) So the moisture level in the clay-y soil has skyrocketed, putting stress on the walls.

    We knew the top wall was going to come down on its own accord with the size of the gap, but it's done it in a hurry!

    Does anyone know how to brace these walls? none of them have any sort of drainage behind them, and they are just single skin rock walls with mortar?

     

    Also, on a design point of view, if i moved the top retaining wall so it ran parallel with the wall above it (the one that is about 3 bricks high) and created say, a 4 foot wide terrace.Then used the soil i dug to created raised planters up to the level of the small wall at the back. it would remove the "dead space" from the top left corner of our garden... what could i plant in these? They will be in the shade from the fence almost constantly.

    That then means we have an extra few square meters of space where the big gravel section is---turn that into our entertaining area, then i need ideas for the top most tier (to the right hand side of the picture)

    Anyway, the main question is I have no imagination! Would moving the wall back and building it properly created more space, or will it just look daft? (ofc it means removing the two trees)

    And Would me digging behind the retaining walls, filling the cavity with gravel-adding drainage then sealing it all with some landscaping fabric to prevent the gravel getting silted up work?

     

    Also. On a further note, bloody hell i've got some nice soil! its thick and black and sticky when wet, but it's really loose and easy to dig, so it's not the dreaded clay i thought it was!

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