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Major inspiration needed!

I have recently moved into a rented house and now that I have got the inside cleaned and organised, I have started looking at the outside.  Sadly there's not much to look at. The garden is a simple, small rectangular, terrace-house garden. It has a wooden fence all the way around the perimeter with a (badly fitted) raised slabbed area at one end and the rest is a thin sprinkling of dirt and gravel that is being held in by a concrete step/lip. I am currently registering as a childminder and also have a young daughter of my own so I need it to be safe for children (I know gravel isn't great around young children but I can't do anything about that) so that means no poisonous plants, unsecured heavy objects that could fall onto the children etc. You're all clever people and can work out what is a danger to children.

This morning I did a bit of excavating and found that under at least half of the gravel/dirt is just solid concrete so I figure the possiblilty of planting in/around the gravel is unlikely. Just to make this even trickier, this is my first garden and I'm not convinced how green my fingers are.

So in short, can anyone help me with ideas to turn my depressing grey rectangle into something nice to look at and safe for children that uses just (or mainly) pots and other semi-permanent features that I can move with me if/when I move house. I have idea's for the patio which involves (when the seasons right) planting thyme etc in the cracks, but ANY ideas are welcome. I really have no clue on how to make it a nice place to be!!


  • Hello Esme, a photo always seems to help people with ideas. Any chance you could upload one and I'm sure everyone will give you loads of suggestions. 

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    This is a bit of a money question, As a low cost solution I would buy a sack of daffodils and plant these in pots and overplant them with violas.

    Then after the daffs have finished in the spring you could look at geraniums or lavenders.

  • Hello! On my phone atm so don't have any pics right now. Am new to this so will try to upload a pic when on my pc (or just get the fella to do it!)

    Money-wise, the cheaper the better, because I've just moved I'm quite poor lol. If its something that is slightly expensive but won't be needed till spring it gives me time to save up. Thanks for your ideas so far!
  • Can you work out which way is North, so we can work out how much sun your garden will get and how much shade?  Are there tall buildings or trees nearby that will give a lot of shade?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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