Gardening help

Hello, basically as you can see from the picture below we have a gap between 2 sheds in our back garden and we are wanting to change it to make it better looking so we can put our house on the market. 

We are looking for the cheapest option, I thought of bark but then I would need a border all around it and bark looks really dark.

Also we have lots of animals so grassing it will not work due to our animals.

Also we are looking for solutions we can do ourselves.

I thought about getting a cement mold and doing it that way but I don't know if that would cost a lot.


I am really looking for help on what to do, we are looking for the cheapest and most reasonable ideas.

Thank you for any help




  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 732

    If cheapness is the issue - I'd be tempted to go for a quick neat look.  Clear the junk away, rake what's underneath flat.  Buy some cheap ornamental paving slabs which have a hint of a shade in them e.g. Mediterranean warm colour (a certain DIY store has them for £3 each - cheaper if they haven't managed to sell many and have stock left).  That would lighten up the area between the sheds.  Just throw builders sand over the soil and don't cement in the slabs, just arrange them.  Then get a big pot, stick something eye-catching in it and it would look bright, neat and tidy.  You could only paving stone a large square or rectangle from the centre to take up almost from left shed to right- not fuss with the whole area and use cheap bags of light bark or on offer small gravel to fill in the leftover bits (with weed suppressant underneath).  You could get an end of season roll of weed suppressant. 

    If cheapness wasn't the issue - I'd be tempted to dig it all over, add some good soil and plant caned up raspberries or some autumn fruiting thing - to make it look homey and productive as if that's what you always do!  image

    A lick of sale price wood paint like Cuprinol in a nice shade or colour would liven up the sheds and make them more attractive  - not suggesting they're not attractive, but buyers would be impressed that things look so well cared for!

    I'd shop around the garden/diy type stores and see if they have on offer labels on some of these things.  The above is the quickest cheapest option I can think of.  But not to everyone's taste of course.  It's a quick fix for neatness.

  • BenWBenW Posts: 8

    Thank you yarrow for your message, I was thinking about using one of these but I dont know how much the cement will cost.


    Also with slabs would it not be really hard to flatten it perfectly, I am not a professional I really am looking for something really simple 

  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 732

    These slabs are not so much slabs as 'decorative paving stones'.  They're quite light in weight and easy to move around into shapes.  If you get the area as near as flat as you can - ie rake it all over then walk all over it or thump the flat end of the rake down all over it - you can step back, have a look to check it's even - just rake more when it's not.  Using builders sand underneath is a great wheeze - if any stone is uneven - you just put more sand underneath it to even it up.  It's not a huge time-consuming task, is not heavy work - and any buyers can lift the lot really easily if they wanted to do something else there as nothing would be cemented in.  It's easier than you think to stamp about and get the ground as even as you find acceptable.  I'm a girlie - and it was a piece of cake for me. 

    I've seen those moulded patterned things only on tv, never seen any locally so can't comment on either the final result or how time-consuming or price it would be.  However, if you were to do that, you would really need to get the spirit level out and be very precise about an even surface.  (Which is why I won't attempt anything cemented-in myself!)  If you messed up the levelling - you could find yourself with time consuming problems.  But it looks nice.  You should seek out a builder or path laying friend...or friend of a friend to advise on what the pros and cons of using the cement mould would be.  Especially the type of friend who is likely to say 'Oh leave it with me mate, I can get you some at cost price and lay it for you'.  Job done!

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,918

    Your first thought of using chipped bark is the easiest and cheapest. Get rid of all the rubbish, level it out as best and then put the bark down. You can then get some different sizes of pots and fill them with colourful plants (may be wise to stick to perennials at this time of year). Job done for not very much. Your idea of cement blocks is both time consuming and expensive and not something to be done in a hurry for good effect.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • BenWBenW Posts: 8

    I think hogweed I am going to attempt your idea I am going to level it out as best I can buy bark and put bark on then put a little border in front so the bark just doesn't go everywhere.

    Then buying some plant pots and adding some plants because the bark looks a bit dark so adding some plants in pots would really brighten it up a bit.

    Its the cheapest and we are planning on moving out so I think this will be the best option.


    Thank you

  • DorcasDorcas Posts: 159

    Definitely go for bark chippings.  If you need to edge it, the cheap way would be to use a green plastic edging strip - for 10 metres it's about £3.  There'll be loads of it on Amazon.

  • BenWBenW Posts: 8

    I am thinking for the border to use a brown border which I have in the garden some where else with bark quite close to the sheds. So it matches.


    Thank you all of you !, you guys are an amazing help and I will get to work on it very soon

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