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Design help

so I have a new house with one of the smallest gardens :( can anyone help me with what to do? These are the pictures I have. I also have 2 little ones 4+2. I ideally want the slabs up but with there hardcore and sand underneath I don’t know what to do with that, also it would be ideal to do a bit at a time. Does anyone have any tips/ideas? It is south east facing and gets most of the sun in the morning with the left hand side of decking getting the sun until late afternoon possibly early evening. I also have a plastic greenhouse under the window and the trampoline in the picture when I was buying the house I currently don’t have one facing the house. My kids love bugs/animals etc so wildlife friendly is best. I hate it and I need a proper garden back :'( 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 6,558
    It certainly is a soulless area @FlowerNewbie , but help is at hand on here l am sure. :)
    I don't know if you are thinking of a lawn, it maybe too small for that. Normally l wouldn't suggest artificial grass, but somewhere soft for the children to play is an idea.
    With regard to lifting the slabs, you could possibly get rid of them on Freecycle or similar.  It's a sunny area, so bee friendly plants would do well.
    I think the first thing you need to do is work out what you want. You already have a seating/play area with the decking (which l assume you're going to keep?). It does seem a bit overlooked, have any of the neighbours got trellis or similar to give them privacy ?
  • FlowerNewbieFlowerNewbie Posts: 149
    so this was the first day we got here, I have quite a few pots now with plants ready to bloom, also with strawberries and a cherry tree in a pot with a single cherry lol. definitely real grass for kids to play on, don't really like the idea of the artificial grass :) the neighbours all seem to have really low fences which is good for light but not so good for privacy, so don't know how to bring this up with them either. I genuinely don't know how to start the layout, and the bins annoy me,  we got a new big recycling bin and they take up a big part in the already tiny garden :(  i hope someone can help lol.
  • OmoriOmori Posts: 619
    Some ideas...

    The decking area makes a nice seating area, and if you replace the railing with an arbour that you could grow climbers over, that would give privacy and greenery.

    I would hire someone to come and remove the pavers and the sand/hardcore, and get some topsoil brought in to replace.  A landscaping company could give you some quotes on this. 

    Then you could have a curvy lawn leading from the back door to the seating area, and curvy flower beds to the sides.  You could place a large paving slab in front of the shed to step onto from the lawn.  It's easy and low cost to seed a lawn yourself, or you could buy turf.

    Lastly, you could replace the low side fence with a taller fence,  and grow climbers for more interest/privacy.

    I realise all of this may be too costly at once, but you could tackle it over time?  Just some thoughts, enjoy your new home!
  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823
    It's certainly a low maintenance area at the moment but you can do anything you want with it as it doesn't have any plants in the way.
    I'd ditch the decking just because I don't like the can get slimy and slippery and a bit dangerous. You could keep some of the slabs as stepping stones and have a mini patio where the decking is at present or next to the house, then grass the remainder of the area whilst incorporating things like clover, cowslips, violets and daisies for dots of colour and to benefit the bees. You can plant bulbs (crocus, chionodoxa) under the lawn for spring colour. Having a narrow bed alongside the exposed fence would allow you to grow climbers such as honeysuckle which will give you a bit of privacy as well as gorgeous scented blooms.
    If you do ditch the decking you will need to plug the gaps in the conifer hedge to stop small people escaping....or get rid of the conifers and have a fence which should be more secure.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 6,558
    edited June 2019
    Glad to hear you're thinking of grass  :). It fits in better with the wildlife thinking, that's for sure. 
    It is difficult regarding privacy if no-one else has done it. You could disguise the bins with a bin store, these are a bit flash, but will give you some idea
    You can use trellis as a material, and l have seen some that have a "green" roof, again, wildlife friendly.  Maybe something for the long term.
    It depends on your budget, but if you can get someone to give some quotes for sorting out the paving as Omori suggested that would be a start .You may well be able to incorporate some of them into the new design, as a patio or for stepping stones. Once they are softened by lawn and planting l think they will look okay.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 62,298
    You can use pergolas with climbers to create a feeling of privacy in some areas without the unfriendly aura that putting up high fences would have. 

    This book

    has loads of good suggestions. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FlowerNewbieFlowerNewbie Posts: 149
    i like the idea of getting rid of the conifers, they are an eyesore and taking up quite a bit of room. Look really difficult to remove though 😰 i also want a bin store! We’re on a seriously low budget (student to be) and I don’t mind getting my hands dirty but it’s the disposal of the hardcore i don’t know what to do with. Ooh I love the idea of the peregola! I think a fence is one of the ideas that we really need, with the gap at bottom for hedgehogs of course! 
  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823
    You could go the lazy route and just cut the conifers off at soil level. I'm sure there will be a sharp intake of breath at such slapdash gardening, but sometimes you just have to take the easy course.

  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823
    You could contact your nearest household waste site to see if they take hardcore but of course you will need transport for that option, or you could hire a skip. Sadly that costs money but it does mean you can deal with the waste easily.
    You could also try freecycling it as there maybe someone out there in need of hardcore for a building job. It's unlikely but it's worth a try.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 6,558
    Lol, that thought crossed my mind too @Ceres :) !
    I'm assuming you're just talking about the conifers along the bottom behind the decking @FlowerNewbie ? If you're taking the decking out, l'm guessing you can cut the conifers down to ground level and then bring the fence line forward slightly along the boundary, complete with  "Hedgehog Highway" hole of course. The conifers along the side don't look too bad as far as l can tell, and can act as a shelter for birds.
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