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Ugly dumping ground

I have become obsessed in wondering what to do with this part of the garden. It's at the side of our house, the house wall is west facing and the bin end is south facing. we have raised beds on the east facing side that were built by previous owners  , it was originally a grassy slope.

I hate the block paving, it covers the whole patio area at the back of our house too. Underneath there is some sand, and heavy clay soil. It has saplings growing through it which I am constantly trying to pull up and perennial weeds. It is back breaking to maintain and the blocks are a horrid pink colour.

In front of the fence where the bins live is a concrete base for which I presume was for for a greenhouse or shed . In the corner by the composter are some slabs that were laid/ dumped on bare ground.

On the one hand it's a private space, we're not overlooked by anybody. On the other hand it feels imposing with the high fence one side and the house the other.

Its hard to imagine how it could look. 

I have taken some bricks up to make a new bed by the house and broom grows very well there. 

It will certainly have to be done in stage as we can't afford to do a quick makeover.

Any suggestions, advice would be extremely appreciated.image



  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    Hiya, I read on another thread that you like the cottage garden look image I would paint the fence and plant the raised beds with foxgloves etc.  Maybe in front of the bins you could erect some kind of wooden screen and plant climbers in pots up it.  maybe take out more slabs, enrich the soil and plant pockets of herbs and cottagey plants

    In the edge along by the wall maybe sprinkle poppy and daisy seeds

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    I think if you tidied it up a bit it would look better. You will have to get into the routine of regular weed killing for the paving. As soon as weeds start to appear in the spring spray it all with something like Pathclear and do that another once or twice during the year to keep it clear. That will make the paving much better.

    is the pile of stuff next to the wheelbarrow cuttings? If so, then your composter is much too small. Or if the pile is a once off get them bagged and binned asap. 

    Make the most of the raised beds with colourful annuals, still plenty of time to sow them by seed. 

    Basically I am just saying love it a bit more and you may come to like it better.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    Ps I don't think it looks an ugly dumping ground.  You have the bones of a lovely area to sit at a bistro table with nice cup of tea or something stronger if after midday image

  • Thankyou?. It does have potential but I can't see past all the bricks and concrete. The block paving is definitely coming up, it doesn't match the rest of the garden where the tiers are curved. I've used weedkiller before but I don't really want to use chemicals in the garden though I guess I will have to when we come to have something else as a path laid down. 

    I love the mature cottage garden look, the curved lines and full of plants and wildlife, . I've cut out loads of pictures from magazines, I'm just not sure how to piece it all together and put it in my garden. And unfortunately my other half is definitely not a handyman and has no interest in gardening!!!!?

  • Hi 

    It could be a really pretty place.  If it was my space and I did not want to remove the block paving, I would seek to cover the fence with evergreen climbers - I love variagated ivy so that would mean removing some of the paving near the fence.  I would keep it as a courtyard, put a pvc membrane over the block paving and put down decorative gravel nice table and chairs in the centre.  Then use lots of different pots/containers, different sizes and different heights of plants for a layering effect.  Similar in the raised bed and near the edge put some trailing plants in.   

    Good luck and do a search on the internet at images for a pretty courtyard or small garden for lots of ideas.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,968

    I would leave the paving.  If weeds will grow in the cracks so will Creeping Thyme - get the weeds out and sprinkle lots and lots of Creeping Thyme seeds around.  As has been said, lots of cottage garden plants and climbers in the raised bed above that nice curved wall, ferns at the foot of the wall.  Then go to your local country auction house and buy lots of old chimney pots, stand pipes, sinks and old terracotta pots  etc of all different sizes and heights for growing plants in and fill them full of plants - trailing campanulas, ivy leaved geraniums, prunella, Lady's mantle,  there's loads of pretty things.  Arrange them in groups/clusters of varied sizes.  

    Take up an area of paving and plant a pretty tree ... perhaps a fruit tree ... and get some attractive garden furniture ... some of that wrought iron style would look lovely  Perhaps one of those wrought iron seats that goes around a tree trunk too .

    Then just screen off the bin area by erecting some posts and large trellis panels and put containers with small climbers in against the trellis. 

    It'll look a picture image

    All that'll cost money, but it won't cost as much as taking up that paving and making something completely new.  

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

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,968

    I would caution against putting gravel over a solid base ......... it will move beneath your feet and bad slips can result ,,, I know someone who broke his leg when he slipped on a badly laid driveway where the gravel hadn't 'bedded in'.  


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

  • Hi dfa

    I have a gravel front and drive and it always moves beneath my feet.  Might be more hazardous when I get older but I have never had a problem yet.  

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,987

    Pressure wash everything, then stain the tiles with concrete stain?  

    Utah, USA.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,968

    Hi Pottering girl image  I'm glad it's not been a problem so far ... my younger brother, a fit farmer then in his early 50s, broke his leg and was on crutches for my son's wedding ... simply because the gravel slipped under his feet.  He had someone come and look at it and they said that gravel needs to be bedded into a soft surface.

    Please be careful. 

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

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