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Starting a garden from scratch

Staring a garden from 'scratch' the basics what to do and what not to do the basics on a budget. I have a friend that has a decent size garden that is just grass he hasn't got a clue where to begin.

He would like a grassed area, maybe small shallow pond and would like it to be low maintenance.

Ill post a picture later


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,649

    He needs to measure it and draw it to scale and then note north, south, east and west.  he also needs to work out what kind of soil he has - sandy, lomay, gritty, clay, acid, alkaline, neutral, well-drained, boggy.....

    Then he needs to think about what he wants in the garden and also how much money he has to spend on materials and how much time he will realistically spend on maintenance each week to keep it weeded and trimmed and mowed as needed.  Otherwise it's no better than having a perfect kitchen installed and then never washing the dishes or wiping the surfaces and cleaning the floor.

    Shallow ponds tend to be high maintenance as they easily fill up with weeds as the water warms faster than deeper ponds and even evaporates.  To protect any fish and aquatic plants from freezing in winter it needs to have a central depth of minimum 60cms plus a shallow beach end to allow wildlife to escape and not drown - frogs, toads, hedgehogs etc.

    Some well placed shrubs will add interest and be low maintenance if well chosen but the choice will depend on what kind of soil he has and which way the beds face.   Easy perennial flowering plants will add colour and interest thru the seasons but again the choice depends on his garden conditions.

    I suggest you send him to the local library to borrow a copy of Alan Titchmarsh' How to Be a Gardener in book and DVD form or buy one on the internet.  

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you for your comments that was very helpful.

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,457

    My first (and third actually) gardens were populated by friends and neighbours' cuttings and divisions.  This is a really cost-effective way of building your stock.  Just ask people, most are happy to give their surplus away rather than "green bin" it.

    Once I had a "giveaway" it was up to me to research and learn where it would be happy in my garden and plan what it would go with.

    This is a pragmatic way of building a garden and not intended to replace any other approach but it worked for me and built my plant knowledge no end in the process.

    Hope you have fun and do post your pics along the way .

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,996

    Glad you got a new thread started Angela - it'll make it easier for advice as it's clearer what you're looking for image

    I think Obelixx has covered it quite well already. If you can get a few pix that really helps. It's important to get the basic info about aspect, soil etc, and then decide on likes and dislikes. Getting the initial structure of the garden is the best way to go.

    Plenty of people to help with tips on the practical maintenance etc too. image

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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