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Help with back garden ideas


We moved into a new palce a few years ago and now looking to redo the back garden. Currently its slab, chuckies and a wall across the middle. We would like to make this more child friendly as we have 2 small children. Also make it nicer looking.

We have thought about leveling everything out and starting afresh but it will be quite costly. Other ideas were to redo the entire top with new slabs and the entire bottom with astro turf. Or vice versa, top with Astro and bottom with new slabs. Any thought welcome, and any other ideas much appreicated. 









  • I like the layout, are you not going to have flower beds or plants in the ground anywhere? 

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150

    Hi Steve, I think you have the bare bones of a lovely garden there. All the hard work is already done for you with the retaining wall and paving.

    I assume the table and chairs are in the sunny spot so leave that paving alone, same goes for the path from the bottom of the steps to the house. You could expand on your top paving by using the ones on the left of the path.

    I would remove the shingle from the lower level for your turf, the kids will balance, climb and jump off that wall.

    You need to think about what you want from the garden. Playground, entertaining area for summer BBQ, a quiet spot to sit and relax?  Do you want to grow flowers, fruit, veg?  Do what works for your family and I'm sure you can have a lovely space you all enjoy.




  • If you wanted to find a compromise then you could remove the left hand wall. I'd say about 30% of your garden is dedicated to the patio furniture which is probably too much.

    With the left wall now removed you could level it or just create a slope that your children can roll down. Preferably using real grass but astro turf if it won't grow! If you did level it you could extend the right-hand wall along to the fence at the back and move the steps too, so you create a much bigger play area.

  • Jo104Jo104 Posts: 10

    Gravel is great if your kids are of an age to enjoy playing with toy dumper trucks. I remember my daughter's preschool hoovering their Astro each week to tidy up the mess that blew on to it from neighbouring gardens ... You may just be better off with grass. Could you install a sandpit with a cover too? I would put the grass at the bottom personally as then the kids don't have to go up and down the steps to get to it. I think some green plants would transform the space into a lovely garden very quickly, it doesn't need to cost a bomb. If you have the patience you could just make a small area of lawn and seed it yourself... The kids might enjoy seeing it grow. 

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    what a lovely garden,  personally i would create a flower bed beneath the walls and grass the lower area, use the slabs from lower area up the top & have your bbq etc up top, kids stuff down below.

    i have been reading a lot lately about astoturf & the worries surrounding it's use of carconagenic ground up car tyres and the dust it causes children to inhale, here's a link to an article, there are alot on google for you to look at if you choose to. :)

  • I think your starting point has got to be where do you want your seating area: where does the sun fall? I'm guessing its where you already have the table and chairs. Also, what are the paving slabs? If they're real stone then give them a good clean and keep/reuse them.

    I think you've got a number of options here - its a good space to work with and with the retaining walls in place the expensive work has already been done :-)

    Low cost option - lift all the paving from the bottom half apart from a pathway to the steps and turf. Re-use the lifted paving to enlarge the patio area top right. Dig out some beds where the gravel is for planting - grow some climbers up the fences and have some pots along the raised walls to grow things which will trail down over the wall.

    An adaptation of the above would be to also lift the paving at the top and re-lay it slightly out from the fences and walls to give you space to dig out some beds. It would cost a bit more, but probably not much as you should have most of the materials already.

    A higher cost option would be to re-position the left hand wall and curve it round towards the back fence. It would give you a smaller raised area, but a much larger lawn at the bottom. It really depends on how much space you want for the kids to play in and how much you want to keep for the adults ;-)

    I would also go for real turf rather than artificial grass. We also considered artificial but decided against it for several reasons: although it looks nice and feels nice to touch, it doesn't have the nice cool fresh feeling you get from real grass. Real grass is better for wildlife and also for drainage. And lastly....decent artificial turf is VERY expensive and no-one really knows how long it will last because its only relatively recently that its become more mainstream.

    Yes, real grass needs a bit more looking after, but its cheap (in comparison) and you can always re-seed bits which get a bit worn out. For me cutting the grass is a chore - I don't particularly enjoy doing it, but I still prefer it to having artificial turf.

  • LandlubberLandlubber Posts: 396

    yes, grass is bestimage

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