I have a design, I need solution ideas?

Ok so I have decided this year to finally sort out the back garden (we've spent the last two years on the inside of the house). 

I've tried to do some general upkeep and all the plants in the garden I planted around two years ago and are doing well, with decent growth and have returned for the second year running. However I now want to get the garden to a nice looking area to use for BBQ etc. 

So I have attached a plan of the current garden with sizes, a plan of how I would like it to look and some images of the garden too (in it's worst state). 

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The items I need help with are:

1. At the rear of the garden there is a height difference to the garden behind. I need a retaining solution to sort this out and permanently seperate the two. My current thoughts are flag on edge or 2 railway sleepers?

2. The soil in the flower beds is not great and full of tree roots. I want to create a raised bed (or should I say increase the height of the existing bed in order for me to add some decent compost / top soil and be able to actually get into the ground to plant more. What should I use to increase the wall height? Additional stone? Timber? Suggestions please.

3. As you can see in the pictures the garden walls are in a bad state with spalling bricks and they look awful. My initial thought was to have them filled and rendered with new coping stones? As rebuilding them will be too expensive. Any other solutions are welcome?

4. It has been suggested to me to turn the small wall to the front of the garden into a hardwood seating area? Not sure on the cost of this. 

Thanks for your time. 

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Posts

  • arobson90arobson90 Posts: 6

    Extra images for clarity:

    imageimage

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,965

    I would reconstruct the stone wall a bit further out, losing a little more lawn and bringing the wall square with the top of the steps. Then use sleepers to terrace the slope, one in the middle and one at the top to retain the neighbour's garden. I think topping the brick wall in timber you can sit on makes sense, maybe even a sleeper coping.

    image

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 2,914

    I would use sleepers, could you use 1 foot concrete gravel boards at the foot of the fence.Why top the small wall with hardwood, I frankly think it would look odd, (plus hardwood, expensive) why not a few cushions when seating is needed.

  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619

    There's usually people giving away that type of rock on sites like gumtree and schpok, or cheap on eBay.  You could probably add a little more height to it yourself (not much, e.g. 3-4 new slabs).  You may also be able to salvage a few of the existing rocks from that right-hand-side curve if instead it went straight to meet the top of the steps?  It depends what experience you want.  It may be just as effective to plant some tall-ish overhanging shrubs in that bank and hide it that way and possibly add some fragrance to your garden at the same time.

    As for the red brick; you could paint it and turn it into a little courtyard area, perhaps with a few small climbers and a mirror or two.  It's hard to see how big it is or how much sun it gets, though, so that may not work out.  I'm not sure about a hardwood seating area, that doesn't sound like value for money/time to me.

  • SussexsunSussexsun Posts: 1,444

    The stone wall at the back.

    If you want to keep the stone look you could build a new wall in front of it with concrete blocks and then use the old stone to be cemented onto the facia of it to give the impression of an old stone wall. If you want it higher then add some rebar to strengthen it and it will be able to hold the soil without the risk of it giving way.

    the red brick wall

    repair and render the front and paint any colour you fancy. New coping along the top. 

    It all depends how much you have to spend but repair and rendering would be the cheapest option.

    To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.

  • arobson90arobson90 Posts: 6

    Hi everyone. 

    Thanks for the quick responses, really appreciate it. 

    I think for the brick walls I will go with the repair and render option, with new coping stones. 

    As for the flower bed I really like the idea of splitting the levels with sleepers so will get prices based on that option. Although I have no idea how I would go about reconstructing the stone wall in order to get the squared off look. 

    I agree the hardwood is probably very expensive for little use. 

    I was also originally going for a new patio, but to keep cost down I am considering having it re-laid instead. 

    I will get some costs and let you know how I get on. 

  • arobson90arobson90 Posts: 6

    In addition my only concern with rendering the walls is that is the bricks are already spalling (which means they have moisture in which is blowing the face off of the brick) how long will the render last? 

    What about building around the wall at the front of garden with sleepers? Or taking out the front face of brickwork and replacing with a sleeper build up? 

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    Which way does that fence and wall at the bottom of the garden face and  is there much light.?

    The terraced beds as on the plan could look good  with some exciting planting. Painting the  brick wall and fence a light colour could make a huge difference if it is very shady. It is impossible to judge from the photograph how dark the garden might be.

    My initial reaction is to clear the beds of anything that you do not like. then just sow some annuals so it looks better while you are carrying out your bigger plans. Try sowing green manure ? 

    Whatever you do, I know my first reaction would be to have to have some plants even if it is just thick sowing of bright annuals.

    Keep us posted.




    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • arobson90arobson90 Posts: 6
    Iamweedy says:

    Which way does that fence and wall at the bottom of the garden face and  is there much light.?

    The terraced beds as on the plan could look good  with some exciting planting. Painting the  brick wall and fence a light colour could make a huge difference if it is very shady. It is impossible to judge from the photograph how dark the garden might be.

    My initial reaction is to clear the beds of anything that you do not like. then just sow some annuals so it looks better while you are carrying out your bigger plans. Try sowing green manure ? 

    Whatever you do, I know my first reaction would be to have to have some plants even if it is just thick sowing of bright annuals.

    Keep us posted.

    See original post

     Thanks for the response Iamweedy, 

    All of the plants now in the bed I planted and have more than doubled in size since planted, so theres nothing in that sense I want to remove. The biggest eyesore right now is the brick wall, could I get away with cleaning the faces, getting rid of all loose items and then using a breathable paint? 

    My garden faces south, so the rear bed gets sun for a few hours in the morning and in the evening. The patio gets sun all day. 

    Last edited: 04 May 2017 14:05:34

  • arobson90arobson90 Posts: 6

    So my plans have changed on this one and I am now having the whole grassed area excavated to create a much bigger and usable patio space. From the stone wall to the rear fence is not going to change. However there will then be a sleeper retaining wall which will follow the current soil area around the grass with the lawn area coming down to the same level as the patio. 

    I would love some layout ideas or if someone could photoshop my theoretical design up that would be great. My queries:

    1. Should I go for one giant flat are or maybe have a raised or stepped section to break it up?

    2. What plants would people recommend for the sleeper retaining wall / planters?

    Thanks in advance. 

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