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Starting over...

Hi everyone,

We have recently been renovating the house that we bought about 18 months ago and with most work now complete and the occasional sign of spring showing we thought it was time we started to turn our attention to the garden...

We are very lucky and have a large garden, about 25ft wide and 150ft long, however we have done nothing with it other than occasionally strimming the grass since buying the house, and it was an overgrown meadow when we moved in.

The garden is currently split into 3 sections with the first third laid to gravel (on top of a concrete base), the second third is grass (which is very uneven, clumpy grass, with what looks like mole hills all over the place, and weeds galore - brambles, bindweed etc.).  The final third has a shed and general waste groudn area.

For this year we have set ourselves the target of renovating the grass portion and want to remove what is there and lay a new lawn in its place and possibly extend the grass back towards the house.  So a few questions for those more experienced than us:

1 - what is the best way to remove what is already there?  (should we simply weedkiller it and then dig through? scorch it by placing tarp over the top? Dig it up in strips and compost it?)

2 - Seed or turf?  (Seed appeals as the area is so large and I've read that you get a better quality finish but it is difficult to grow lawn from seed, are there any particular problems I should watch out for?)

3 - Can we lay grass over the concrete area? (I realise that I can't simply put turf on top of concrete but is it possible to raise the level by laying sand etc and then put grass down? Or am I better off breaking the concrete base up and removing completely?)

We're looking for solutions that give us the best end product rather than being the quickest / easiest.

Any advice people can offer would be greatly appreciated!!

I've attached some photos below to give you an idea of the area and condition of what's there currently:










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