Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to say Hi. I am new to this gardening stuff (or will be) and I am sure I will be coming back for lots of advice in the future image

We are currently buying a new build so will have a completely blank slate and we got to see our first glimpse of what will be a garden at the weekend.




  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,106

    Hello rainbowfish.

    I love a blank slate.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • RainbowfishRainbowfish Posts: 276

    I am sure it will be a weedy slate by the time we move in

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    hello, how exciting to have a garden to design, i'm sure everyone here will be very helpful image

  • Bizzybee63Bizzybee63 Posts: 74

    Hi Rainbowfish, Welcome to the forum. I'm a beginner too and have had lots of helpful advice on here.

    You might want to find out where the sun comes in your garden and  for how long and think about what plants you like the look of.

    I'm going to visit some gardens at the weekend to get ideas myself.

    Enjoy working on your blank canvas!

  • Bizzybee63Bizzybee63 Posts: 74


  • GardenmaidenGardenmaiden Posts: 1,095

    Hi Rainbowfish, just watch out for any rubble buried under the soil. I'm afraid its a common occurrence. But what a great space.

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436


    I had a blank slate too 20+ yrs ago

    It's very exciting but also very daunting and can be jolly expensive!  

    Deciding what you don't want or like is a great place to start

    Hard landscaping should be first and unless you have an enormous area, finished before you put in large plants that need moving several years later because you really need the path to go a different way image

    Always do your research and try not to impulse buy. ..We all do it image well most of us

    Take before and after shots, us lot love to see the graft image

    Good luck 


  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,293

    Hello, how exciting to start off a new garden! Lots of ideas and advice here. Love the name, I used to keep Rainbow fish years ago, they were my favourite image

  • RainbowfishRainbowfish Posts: 276

    It's not going to be our forever home so other that a few more paving slabs and a shed we probably won't be doing much hard landscaping and will be planting up a lot of containers. I am looking forwards to experimenting with plants. I am very much an informal cottage garden type. Colourschemes etc can come later when I have worked out if I can keep any plants alive. So far it is not looking great. I have some roses in containers outside my flat & they are full of aphids, black beetles and black spot.

    I know the soil is quite heavy clay and the garden is south-west facing so will get lots of sun image It should be sheltered as it is completely surrounded by other houses. Before they put the topsoil down it looked very stoney.

    Can I leave the soil as it is and just plant in the topsoil or will I need to remove the top soil, dig out some of the stone and replace the topsoil before planting?

    I have little pots of 'mixed perennial' seed sprouting on my window sills. It's quite exciting trying to work out what is coming up. I will probably need some help identifying what they are soon but I know atm they are too tiny to tell.

  • GardenmaidenGardenmaiden Posts: 1,095

    If you built raised beds, you wouldn't need to touch the soil. If this isn't something you are going to do, just dig out the stones as you plant in that area.

  • cathy43cathy43 Posts: 373

    Hello Rainbowfish, very exciting starting a new gardenimage Your site sounds a bit like mine 10yrs ago, my only advice can be summed up in two words, manure and grit! If you plant anything direct add lots of manure and grit to the hole, gradually all the holes will join up! 


  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 2,378

    Hi there Rainbowfish image welcome to the forum, new here myself and new to gardening, sort of had a blank slate also but had to clear rubble and ground elder to get it blank! image good luck with your project you will get lots of friendly advice from everyone here image

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,535
    Welcome it might be a good idea to test your soil to see if it is alkaline of not.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,210

    Welcome rainbowfish.

    A blank canvas is a wonderful thing. No concerns about ripping up someone else's pride and joy.

    As my dear late mother would have said " act in haste , repent at leisure"

    If you have no fixed ideas, live there for a while, sow grass seed rather than turf if money is a bit tight ( when  isn't it? )  , you can always remove parts of the grass later to add beds etc.

  • RainbowfishRainbowfish Posts: 276

    Great advice so far image

    The wait is the really frustrating part. Potted on some of my seedlings to help.

    @Logan I suspect that the soil below is alkaline as the stones looked a bit chalky. I think I will need to look for a soil test kit.

    @Hostafan1 We have been planning to seed rather than turf, but not wanting anything formal (or wanting to mow lawn on a regular basis) I have bought some mixed wild flower seeds (& have some country file seed image) to sow with some meadow grass seed rather than normal lawn

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