Forum home Garden design

We need some serious help!

We moved into our new home around a year ago and have been playing around with things in the garden to try to make it look a bit more green (it is pretty much all concrete sadly!)

We potted a few plants and painted a few walls in the summer just so it wasn't unbearable to sit outside in, as it is a lovely south facing garden which gets boiling hot in the summer ( in Devon), just not that appealing! We really want to get stuck in to gardening this year so don't mind if it is low or high maintenance.

We are planning on making some raised beds to put on the upper graveled level to grow some vegetables (the whole raised level is entirely concrete, I have thought about trying to get this removed to make the garden bigger but think it would cost a fortune!)

If you have any ideas as to what we could do (i'm pretty in-experienced as this is our first garden!) I would be so unbelievably gratefulimage! I have posted a few pictures of what it was like when we purchased the garden, and the very tiny little bits we have done to it so far!image






  • I forgot to mention, we also have large storage box around to the side of the garden, and a compost heap working away it's magic at the moment as we have two guinea pigs that make a lot of (useful) mess! 

  • Tetley says:

    Welcome to the forum Laura,

    If you want a garden, the first thing to do is get rid of some slabs, and work on the soil.  A very big job only looks impossible if you do the whole lot in one go - so the answer is - a little at a time.

    If you could map out where you want to make beds, and remove the slabs, one bed at a time, perhaps you could build on that, mapping out where the pathways need to go for access purposes.

    The raised beds on the top level could be a good idea, but think ''drainage'' especially important if it's a sun trap...... hiring a kango hammer might help to make a few holes through the concrete image

    If you do resort to pots, make them as big as possible, and maybe consider a watering system.

    See original post


    Thank you! I was considering getting rid of some of the patio area, i'm just unsure as to how it will look due to everything being concrete (if that makes sense?!) I HATE the paving slabs, and we are constantly jet-washing them and picking weeds out (even the strongest weed killer doesn't seem to move these things!) 

    Is there an area that you would suggest would be best to start doing this? Sorry if I am picking your brains too much, It's just when you're so used to seeing something everyday it is hard to imagine how to change it!

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,892

    That manhole cover in the middle - do you know which direction the drain is running?

    In theory, if it was me, I'd start with the 6 slabs in the corner between the wall and the steps - leaving clear access to the steps and round the corner of the house. But if there's a drain running under there, perhaps not. 

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,602

    If you can't remove the slabs or the concrete then the answer is container gardening. Use large pots and troughs, put some on the ground level as well. You've made a great start with painting the wall and planting the pots by the fence. Is it your fence? If so you could use bigger pots and plant clematis to climb up the fence but you would need to put up some wires to support them. You could grow something up the concrete walls too and taller pots with taller plants would help to hide the walls.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • I know I am old fashioned but there are lots of good books that will give you some inspiration. Back copies of GW will give you ideas as well. I don't know what your budget is but another idea might be to get a local designer in you can specify what you want done & what to do yourselves. You can often get them to draw something up & implement it entirely yourself. I know a couple who did that years ago & spent 5 years gradually implementing a design & learning about gardening while they did it.

    I agree with others start small & work up but having a plan to work to is always a good idea, you can get some very cheap design software packages if you want to be entirely DIY.

    AB Still learning

  • Thank you for all of your input. I'm not sure about the drain, so I will have to look at the documents for our home. We did start to do some climbers in pots against the walls, but the fences are ours, so we could do some up there too.

    We have a few gardening books, but there doesn't seem to be as much on gardens that are primarily concrete, but I will have a look around

    Thanks again!

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,602

    Have you looked at images on Google?

    I suppose a lot depends on budget. If you hate the paving stones and could afford it then you could lay new ones or what about using some wooden decking? Trellis on the walls might look more attractive and it could be painted a colour you like too.

    You could have a small climbing rose in a large pot against the house wall, or something scented like Star Jasmin.

    Or a pergola with garden furniture under it and climbers up it, either in pots or in the ground if you can remove some pavers.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,602

    imagePlants make a difference!

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Don't forget, if the wall is too low to grow something up it, you can trail something down it!

    Thse pavers won't look nearly as bad when they are just the plain contrast to a busy mass of plants, instead of the main feature as they are nowimage

  • The picture looks lovely! I have just purchased some second hand gardening books for small gardens, patios and container growing off Amazon, so I have plenty of weekend reading!

    Yes I think the problem is that it is so bare at the minute, the focus is just on the bland paving slabs and walls!

Sign In or Register to comment.