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Please help with my jungle!


Here is a before and after shot of my garden. I have lived here for around 2 years and never done anything with it. The neighbours tell me it's been very overgrown for a number of years. I have cleared a lot of the weeds/brambles/nettles etc by hand and has taken me around a week to get it from the first to second photo. 

I'm looking to create a low maintenance garden that's suitable for my 9 month old to play in when she is a little bigger. I'm thinking of taking everything out (apart from the tree) trying to level it off and putting a weed membrane down then bark. 

Any ideas how to do this would be amazing as I am very stuck. Low cost would be fab too!

Thanks in advance for any help! And please ask any questions ????




  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,382

    Bark will be an open invitation to cats to come and do their business and, if you buy a grade that's small enough to be comfy for your child, it will break down all too quickly and provide a great place for weeds to germinate and grow.   Larger grades are not comfy to walk on for little feet.

    I think the best option is to clear all the crud as you are doing - well done by the way - then level the soil that's left, rake it over and sow some grass seed in autumn or spring.  There are various seed mixes available to suit different situations - shade, sun, hard wearing for children to play on or finer for a proper lawn.

    It will need mowing every 5 to 7 days during the growing season but will be much easier to keep clean and tidy than bark and cheaper too than buying a membrane and then all the bark. 

    later on, as your child grows, you can easily add a swing or a wee trampoline as desired and then, when he or she has grown out of that phase, you can introduce plants and a seating area for mum and dad to enjoy.

    Here's some advice on sowing a lawn from the RHS - 

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LBear27LBear27 Posts: 7

    Thank you for replying! I really don't want grass as it ill be too much for me to maintain but thanks for the heads up about the cats. Next door have 5 so maybe I will rethink the bark haha! I'm even more stuck for ideas now though!!

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,382

    Your garden doesn't look that big.   Maybe 20 to 30 mins max to mow?   Surely not too much.

    Cats will go for bark, gravel, sand, rubber chippings.   


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LBear27LBear27 Posts: 7

    I know but it's buyer a mower and somewhere to store it and I just don't have the time at all ??

  • CloggieCloggie Cambs Fens but not black soilPosts: 1,444

    paving slabs it is then! image

    Maybe you can recycle some from freecycle to keep costs down?

  • LBear27LBear27 Posts: 7

    Great idea thank you! How do I level the garden? It's so uneven 

  • LBear27LBear27 Posts: 7

    Such beautiful ideas thank you! ?

  • I have to say that I agree with the whole bark thingy.... Total nightmare with cats image.  What about creating a wide-ish path down the middle of the garden (if you keep your eyes peeled on free cycle people are always getting rid of old garden slabs etc.) level the path so it's a nice solid surface to lay a path, then on either side you can plant seeds.  Creeping thyme is a nice idea, super low ground coverage and will take a small amount of walking on, maybe sow some wild flower seeds (there is a company that send out free wild flowers if you want their website private message me and I'll give it to you).  Then as your daughter grows she'll have space to do some planting and growing too.  Just an idea image

    Also, I've even seen people on freecycle getting rid of plants... Definitely a place for you to have a wee look!

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    I have freecyled a lot of plants recently. They were all well recieved . The sort of perennials which need the clumps separating regularly.

    Put a "wantedWnote on freecyle. I also swapped some that way and I was given two lovely brunneras.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    As for your clearing work well done. Power to your elbow,  keep at it. I would put weed killer on all the grass  and weeds and  start again.

    Have you got a strong friend or relative who could give you a hand? 

    My daughter who has  two young kids, removed a lot of the leylandii and when we went over to see her we brought all the stuff back home to dispose of in our local recyling centre.

     I know now  how difficult it would be to do with a little one around.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

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