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DIY Ideas needed for mud patch outside patio

We have a 4.2m by 2.5m area outside the sack doors that previously had slate chippings on. With two children, this has been a wasted area as we just walk over it to get to the garden (after this patch there is a bit of old slabbing and then grass garden-so we already have a nice bit of garden for the kids to play in but this area is just wasted and ugly at present). Desperately need some quick ideas we can do ourselves as can't afford to have it slabbed - and there is an old man hole cover-and local landscapers aren't free as we want to do it now.

We initially considered decking but now not going to take that on. Husband thinks leave 0.5m of slate chippings around perimeter to allow for drainage (there is already a slope) and then have a square patch of grass. Ideas would be do welcome as we are not gardeners or designers at all.

Thank you 


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,083
    Grass would probably be the cheapest option although you would need to do some ground preparation before turfing / seeding as it will likely be quite compacted. Could you remove the slabs at the bottom of the pic? Then you could run the new lawn into the existing lawn (if I understand your description correctly). I would however have some 'hard' landscaping of some description at the rear of the house rather than grass right up to the french doors. That will be a recipe for wear and consequently mud in coming into the house. Maybe you could relocate the slabs at the bottom of the pic to the house? As for the edges I would be tempted to remove the purple slate and make some nice planting borders. That will also maintain your drainage requirement.

    There's lots you could do depending on time, budget and needs of the area. I'm sure some other folks will have some additional ideas. Oh, and welcome to the forum.
  • That's a great idea, just wondered if grass would be OK on only a couple of extra inches of topsoil (I say 'mud patch' but underneath is all kinds of old rubble from previous owner). Moved the slate as we literally just walked over it to get to the garden and seemed such a waste of space when the kids could be playing on it nearer to the house. Thanks 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 7,927
    For instant results and economy, I would move all the slate to the middle to make a decent path from the doors to the lawn, then put down bark mulch each side for the kids to play on. You could do it in a weekend. If you then wanted to, you could buy 2 or 3 child friendly shrubs and plant them in the bark mulch as already suggested and leave enough room around them for the kids to run round them or play hide & seek. 
  • HazybHazyb Posts: 329
    Is the height of that not breaching your damp proof course?  I'd suggest it needs lowering near the door and window.

    A small patio area with a step a to the new lawn ( good idea)  may be necessary unless the picture you posted is unclear and there is a path. 
  • daffygardenerdaffygardener Posts: 109
    edited May 2019
    As HazyB says be aware of the dpc and don’t go above this. you have an access way on the right and 2 doors one each in the left and right if I’m understanding the picture correctly. If you have a quadrant (quarter of a circle) of grass leaving the rest with the slate and ?paving against the house. The quadrant then shape I’m thinking of is - from a clock face between 9 and 12 O’clock with the point to the bottom right of the picture. 12 O’clock being near the spade, and 9 o’clock being near the paving edge. It will give you some shape and can plant something in the area on the left of the picture to soften the area. But don’t take this right to the house. If going for grass, do a bit of research as you may need to select a different type of grass seed depending on if this area is shaded or sunny. Would like to see what you decide on 
  • Thanks all. Like the idea of slate path. The damp course is quite high at French doors end but will definitely have slate perameter again all brick work to ensure draining. 
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