If you have a lawn, you need a mower - where are you going to keep it? Maybe consider doing without a lawn in such a small space. A mediterranean garden with stones and gravel, interplanted with lavenders, rosemary, cistus, etc and some grasses could look great.
Lol. I wish our garden was like that this time last year when we moved into our new home!
Keeping in mind that the garden now looks more like this:
Still got a lot of work to do.
With yours I would rip it up and start again. If you sow the grass seed at the right time, it'll grow within a couple of months.
Hello, I have to confess that the first thing I have always done with all my new gardens is to scrap the lawn, and concentrate on good plantings, with maybe small paths, one to a tree that would add height, with little woodlanders planted beneath, and/or a bench under or around it, where you could sit for picnics to view your wonderful plantings. Lawns are such a lot of work, and often trouble, whereas reasonably small shrubs and perennials are a long-lasting joy, and in the main take care of themselves. Yes, the fence definately needs attention, and it is amazing what a lift it can bring to take time to carefully choose a colour which will make a great backing for what you wil plant, and lift your spirits. Each to their own, of course, and if a lawn will bring you great pleasure, I wish you the very best. May your grass be greener!
Lots of good advice there. However, one thing I would say is that if you are having borders and beds, please please don't make straight edges; use a vegetable-based aerosol marker and 'draw' freeform on the lawn before it's lifted/returfed/reseeded whatever. Then go back to the area you plan for the patio/BBQ and see what pops out. Then you can plan your borders and beds in regard to form, height, colour, theme: woodland, 'hot', 'calm', pastel, etc. (but only after you've established the pH of your soil) and decide if you want to reduce the lawn area further using paths. Don't forget to plan as much for pollinating insects as possible. It may be small, but there is so much you can do with it...good luck (We moved into our place 18 months ago and I had loads of new beds cut...last summer's wash-out meant it didn't come quite as I wanted it to, but there's always this year and then maybe I'll have some photos to post - perhaps we can have a competition!!)
One thing I would recommend, apart from sorting the lawn and I think you have had a lot of good advice on that score, is to keep a record of what areas get full sun, partial sun and stays in the shade. It looks like you have some pretty high fences around you and this will dictate what you can grow and where. The space looks pretty compact, so I would try and plan out what type of effect you want from the garden and what you want to grow before you start to bung plants it. Have a good look at other gardens to and see if there are ideas you can 'crib'. I would also recommend the 'Garden Design Bible by Tim Newbury as a good source book of ideas. Good luck with this Martin, once gardening sucks you in your life will never be the same again, but in a good way!
We have just bought the house we have rented for 5, almost 6 years and I now feel we I can make my stamp on it. So, I'm using the advice left for Martin!! Thank you all. I will be checking out website's above posted by "reuse" and also need to calendarise the aerating & feeding of the lawn (although I was doing this before). I am so excited!! ...although wish I had so much more time to spend doing the garden than I actually do. Have fun Martin! My tip - enter the current GW competitions (topsoil & gardening tools).