Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • chib
    • By chib 10th Jul 17, 5:25 PM
    • 454Posts
    • 1,291Thanks
    chib
    Help on tidying up garden
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:25 PM
    Help on tidying up garden 10th Jul 17 at 5:25 PM
    When we bought our house the front of it was covered by wooden decking, unfortunately it was poorly built and the wooden structure was rotten. I was able to lift it all myself and find a local man with van clear all the wood away for a reasonable £40.

    Below is a photo of what I'm left with, the bare soil now (As expected) has some weeds coming through I'll need to clear up.

    I asked our local landscape gardener for a quote to put railway sleepers in between the grass and soil then lay chips where the soil is currently thinking this would look neat. The quote was a frightening £1,600 - realistic perhaps but exceeded our expectations.

    We're doing some work internally currently but would love some thoughts on a budget way of tidying up the front of the house a little. We're not skint, but don't have £1,600 sitting available to do it.

Page 1
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jul 17, 5:31 PM
    • 59,135 Posts
    • 345,255 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:31 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:31 PM
    Your image never loaded for me (that'll be my slow PC/broadband issue).

    Could you get the sleepers ordered/delivered - and get some method of getting them from point of delivery to the spot you want (method could be £10 to a neighbour ... or buy a sackbarrow .... or push/lift them bit by bit yourself over the course of a week, depending how far it is).

    You can get weed protector sheets cheap enough - no need to cut them, just fold the excess under.

    You can order and get relevant chips/whatever delivered and .... slowly over time .... shovel it out.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 10th Jul 17, 6:45 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 2,484 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 17, 6:45 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 17, 6:45 PM
    Stone chips would be better than bark as it's more durable and will look much better against the concrete and brick of the house and paths.

    You could probably get concrete edging relatively cheaply too, compact the soil, membrane, layer of type 1 compacted then layer of stone chip. You'll then have an area that could look quite nice once you place some decent plant pots on it.
    • I have spoken
    • By I have spoken 11th Jul 17, 7:35 AM
    • 4,817 Posts
    • 9,528 Thanks
    I have spoken
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 17, 7:35 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Jul 17, 7:35 AM
    I'd tidy up the lawn edge with a string-line and spade, then dig over the exposed ground to transition the slope to the lawn. Rather than sleepers, you'd likely be OK with lawn edging, Suttons 'Smartedge' is 10m for £40.



    For the ground, get a sheet of decent quality weed-suppression fabric, the woven stuff not the fleece and a 1 tonne bag of golden pea gravel, that'll be less that £100. Don't go for grey chips, it makes the garden look like a half-finished road.

    After that, you can plant through the gravel/fabric, just scrape the gravel back, cut an X in the fabric, plant and replace.

    I'd be thinking about cotoneaster horizontalis at the back to disguise the brickwork

    Last edited by I have spoken; 11-07-2017 at 7:44 AM.
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 11th Jul 17, 9:01 AM
    • 7,034 Posts
    • 9,755 Thanks
    KxMx
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 17, 9:01 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Jul 17, 9:01 AM
    How about asking another gardener to quote?

    You could also ask them what they recommend- might turn out cheaper than your plan.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 11th Jul 17, 5:51 PM
    • 15,163 Posts
    • 10,960 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 17, 5:51 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jul 17, 5:51 PM
    Fix some trellis up against the brickwork of the steps and grow a climbing plant , extending it up the bannister that would look very attractive, maybe something like jasmine.
    • MrsWenger
    • By MrsWenger 11th Jul 17, 6:59 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    MrsWenger
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 17, 6:59 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jul 17, 6:59 PM
    I'd tidy up the lawn edge with a string-line and spade, then dig over the exposed ground to transition the slope to the lawn. Rather than sleepers, you'd likely be OK with lawn edging, Suttons 'Smartedge' is 10m for £40.



    and a 1 tonne bag of golden pea gravel, that'll be less that £100.

    Originally posted by I have spoken
    A lot of very good advice in this post but I would suggest that you give careful consideration to pea gravel as cats love to use this as a toilet...
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 11th Jul 17, 8:19 PM
    • 22,543 Posts
    • 86,071 Thanks
    Jojo the Tightfisted
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 17, 8:19 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 17, 8:19 PM
    I'd tidy up the edge and fill that space with flowers - some roses, a cotoneaster as previously suggested - the birds love them - honeysuckle, some hollyhocks, all for height and scent/colour - then lots and lots of cottage garden plants (most from seed). Or, if I didn't have the time or inclination for that, I'd stick some sandy soil in and grow lavender and rosemary if it gets a lot of sunshine. Does it face north/south/east/west? Is it a hilly, exposed location?

    It's dependent upon the climate conditions, the rainfall, altitude, and what the soil (acidic/alkaline/neutral) is like as to what will thrive, but I would guess that it's pretty free draining with what looks like a slope down to the street - you could change that into more of a meadow feel if you wanted (and it would save trying to mow down a slope) by adding various wildflower seed mixes for very little cost.

    A bit of wirebrushing and a pot of exterior white paint as you start and it'll look lovely!
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • chib
    • By chib 12th Jul 17, 7:59 PM
    • 454 Posts
    • 1,291 Thanks
    chib
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 17, 7:59 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jul 17, 7:59 PM
    Thank you all for the responses, it's very helpful.

    On the edging I'm a little confused - the photo may not be clear (See updated one below, weeds are coming through now!) I understand the edging where the grass sits higher than the soil but here the grass itself is on a hill and starts about a foot below the soil.

    If I clean cut the grass at the top is there something I could put between that and the soil that I could then lay stones down on the soil?

    I've sourced myself a hoe to sort the weeds and a wire brush to start rubbing down the brickwork and flaky paint around the steps.

    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 13th Jul 17, 5:55 PM
    • 22,543 Posts
    • 86,071 Thanks
    Jojo the Tightfisted
    Thank you all for the responses, it's very helpful.

    On the edging I'm a little confused - the photo may not be clear (See updated one below, weeds are coming through now!) I understand the edging where the grass sits higher than the soil but here the grass itself is on a hill and starts about a foot below the soil.

    If I clean cut the grass at the top is there something I could put between that and the soil that I could then lay stones down on the soil?

    I've sourced myself a hoe to sort the weeds and a wire brush to start rubbing down the brickwork and flaky paint around the steps.

    Originally posted by chib
    OK, that makes it a lot clearer.

    Being very careful to not fall down the slope, I'd cut a narrow/shallow trench at the point I wanted the grass to start with a narrow spade. I'd water it for a good long time first to try and make it easier. And then use the spoil from that to even up any dips in the ground that is sort of flat under the windows.

    And then I'd stick in a layer of sand, tamp it down firmly, then lay bog standard bricks, including secondhand ones that look weathered, to make a small path alongside the new flowerbed, brushing some more sand over them when I finished. There are fancier ways to do it, for example, laying hardcore, adding mortar or buying a path-on-a-strip, but I'm thinking cheap, effective and quick - plus easy to replace when money's not so tight.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • Chris25
    • By Chris25 13th Jul 17, 7:43 PM
    • 12,007 Posts
    • 11,382 Thanks
    Chris25
    We used to have a similar front plot to that. Cotoneaster horizontalis was exactly what we grew ( the variegated type).

    Be careful if you plant a climber to grow up the rails of the steps - we did that and M-I-L came a cropper getting her hand caught whilst coming down the steps holding onto the handrail. Luckily she wasn't badly hurt but it could have been v much worse.
    • Ash Mc
    • By Ash Mc 15th Jul 17, 12:25 AM
    • 98 Posts
    • 211 Thanks
    Ash Mc
    A budget solution would be to dig it over, rake the soil out to fill on the gap and sow grass seed on it to take your lawn right up to the house.
    • chib
    • By chib 18th Jul 17, 11:37 AM
    • 454 Posts
    • 1,291 Thanks
    chib
    OK, that makes it a lot clearer.

    Being very careful to not fall down the slope, I'd cut a narrow/shallow trench at the point I wanted the grass to start with a narrow spade. I'd water it for a good long time first to try and make it easier. And then use the spoil from that to even up any dips in the ground that is sort of flat under the windows.

    And then I'd stick in a layer of sand, tamp it down firmly, then lay bog standard bricks, including secondhand ones that look weathered, to make a small path alongside the new flowerbed, brushing some more sand over them when I finished. There are fancier ways to do it, for example, laying hardcore, adding mortar or buying a path-on-a-strip, but I'm thinking cheap, effective and quick - plus easy to replace when money's not so tight.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    I'm sorry - I don't fully understand. Promise you I'm not stupid, just want to ensure I get it.

    Last night I cleared a lot of the weeds you can see in the recent photo and I've put down the black fabric at the top/flat part to reduce any more that come through.

    This is a profile of the garden - you can see the grass slope and where the layers of dirt are. It's the section "2" and where it ramps up to "3" that I'm not sure what to do? The black line is where I've laid fabric.

    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 18th Jul 17, 11:49 AM
    • 4,212 Posts
    • 5,484 Thanks
    spadoosh
    In section two i would put paving slabs so you have easy access for any maintenance. As you go between 2 and 3 have a small wall to hold back and keep tidy the soil/stones.

    Saying that im not sure how well it would fir with the existing path set up.
    Don't be angry!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,238Posts Today

7,549Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin