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Should we slope garden to aid drainage?

Sorry, another drainage question from me as we prepare for our lawn next month!

I paid a local gardener a one hour consultation fee for some ideas in turning our small, N facing back garden into an "oasis that makes me feel I'm not in inner city London" (my brief). 

She suggested that when we have topsoil added, we slope the garden slightly towards the house. This would involve drilling holes at the base of the retaining wall to allow rainwater to run through and into the channel drains of the patio. She also said a slope as you look out of the kitchen window would help with privacy & a sense of cocooning because the garden will be higher at the back. 

Is is she right? If so, what gradient would you make? Garden is 9m long. There are pics in my previous posts. Thanks! ????


  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,897

    I'm not sure I would ever chose to slope ground towards my house. When you get one of those insane rainstorms (usually in July) where someone appears to be emptying buckets on your head, the water will be running off too fast to soak into the ground and if it overwhelms your patio drains, even just for a few minutes, what's the risk it'll come into the house? Or would you just have a small pond where the patio is supposed to be? Will that matter, if it's just for a short time?

    Personally I'd lay the lawn flat and create the same feeling of enclosure by having taller plants at the far end. That also avoids the question of what you do at the end where, presumably, your sloping ground would be higher than the bottom of your neighbour's fence? Or is there a wall there?

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179

    A slope doesn't actually help with drainage - only when it's a hard surface - and I wouldn't choose to have it sloping towards a house either.

    Making the soil itself more free draining is the solution. Incorporate plenty of compost, manure and grit if the soil's heavy.   image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • SandTSandT Posts: 70

    That's interesting, thank you.  There was another suggestion by the same gardener which turned out to be total poppycock, so not sure how experienced she is now!

    At the top of the garden, we have a 5 foot fence and the neighbour has a wall on the other side.

    Fairy:  three of us spent yesterday turning the soil and adding compost at 5l per square m.  It still looks pretty gloopy and dense particularly at the bottom, but of course it's too early for compost to have made a difference.  Would you add pea shingle as a layer on top of this but before our topsoil arrives next week?  I am so desperate not to have a bog or moss anywhere. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,391

    And mowing a sloping lawn can be a right PITA. image

    Not a good idea, in my humble opinion. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179

    I'd mix the pea shingle in with all the soil mixture,although I'd use grit in preference as it's finer. It'll be a little while before you can sow seed or lay turf, so be prepared for it to be a bit soggy for a while, unless you suddenly get some seriously dry and warm weather. As you're in the south, that might be the case, but you have a bit of prep first. Let the soil settle for a bit, then rake it and firm it andlightly rake again before it's ready for turf/seed. If you get dips and holes, or lumps and bumps,  you can then amend it by raking and firming again.

    Don't rush into it, as it makes a big difference to the finished product if you prepare well initially  image

    Re the privacy of the garden - good choices in your planting will help with that. A five foot fence will be fine with some shrubs and/or climbers for screening. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • SandTSandT Posts: 70


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