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New garden


My partner and I bought our first house in July 2016 and we are both really interested in making the most of the garden. We were surprised to discover on inspection that we had an additional 3 metres (approx) additional to the existing garden. But it also came with a 3 ft drop from the exisitng garden.

I'm not sure what to do with it but have a few option

1. Fill in with hardcore and level off to make a bigger lawned garden

2. Develop a sunken area with seating and fire pit

3. Create a large pond 

4. Ask the audience 

Your help would be much appreciated 



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,015

    The area at the far end of the path? I'd plant it with shrubs, ferns and native perennials to make a 'wilderness' with a wildlife pond ... Have  a seat, even an

    'arbour' where you can sit and watch the birds and other wildlife that will

    be attracted to an area like that. 

    Thats what I've done with what was a scrubby area under trees. image

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

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    I don't want to be boringly practical, but I believe you should think long term. Is it actually a functioning drainage ditch which will prevent flooding? If you envisage having children, a three foot drop or deep pond would be a bad choice because you would then need to fence it off . With no children, your options are many. If you enjoy the idea of surprises in gardens, steps down to a secret seating area sounds rather good. You could fill in part and make part a pond. If you level it, that area could be a hidden 'working area' with shrubs to conceal a shed and a compost heap. It could be a special border for things you want to make a  feature. Don't rush - have a think about the garden as a whole and don't do anything irreversible until you are more certain of what you want. How exciting!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,015

    Good point Posy ... If children might be part of the plan, a bog garden will attract wildlife, but without the risks to little explorers. image

    Last edited: 28 January 2017 07:42:58

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

  • Unless you are planning to get rid of the trees, the lawn will not really be a viable option, as it will be hard to keep it looking good with the shade and competition from them, and all fallen leaves would need to be cleared. With shrubs and woodland perennials life would be easier, as they would be adapted to the conditions, if well chosen, and the leaves could be left to form leaf mould as in a real woodland.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    You will need to have a barrier of some sort between the lawn and the sunken area. A seating area as you suggested would be a good idea. I can see a pergola of rustic poles at the end of the lawn planted with fragrant climbing roses/ramblers and honeysuckle; a rustic bench and table surrounded by woodland plants, some big wooden toadstools, maybe a small wildlife pond.........

    or you could get some hens! But that is another whole subject!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • All I can add to this is buy a shredder! You have a load of branches and stuff in the last picture to make a load of woodchip from! Woodchip always comes in handy. If you can't shred it, burn it image

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 5,099

    There are some fab ideas and advice for you already. Which way does the garden face? The remaining trees at the back will be a great wildlife haven. It may be an idea to ask adjoining neighbours if you can have a look at your garden from 'their side' so you have an idea of what will be adjacent and if they plan to keep any large trees etc which would shade/enhance/affect yours. 

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • Looks like a really exciting place for children to dig mud pies watch wildlife make dens tree houses etc leaving the other part for the grown ups to enjoy. 

    I have a tree corner with huge chestnut trees and apart from sprung bulbs nothing much grows I did have hens but it soon turned into a muddy swamp 

    Good luck it's very exciting your first garden

  • Thank you for your suggestions.

    Currently don't have any children and am considering starting with a blank canvas. One of my ideas is to promote my garden to builders for them do drop off their hardcore, supported by sleepers around the end of the garden to level off the garden and add in a raised pond.

    if you think that is a mistake then please let me know 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,627

    I wouldn't do that.  You won't know what you're getting that could be noxious and too much will make it impossible to grow anything anyway.  

    The first thing to do is to get all the crud cleared out so you can see exactly what you have and then you can see if it lends itself to being a sunken seating area or even just a place where you park compost bins out of sight.  I don't think a lawn will work in the shade of those trees and a pond will just fill up with dead leaves every autumn and then become too full of nutrients to be a good wildlife or fish pond.

    If you clear the space you can then measure and sketch the plot, noting which way is north and which bits of you garden gets the most sun and most shade.   I would be more concerned about making a sunny seating area and making some curved or triangular beds to break up the side boundaries and make the garden more interesting.   That would give you time to ponder and research the kinds of things you could do with that end bit whether hard landscaping or a woodland glade.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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