Garden "bits"

edited 31 August 2015 at 4:42PM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    There's nothing there that the average person couldn't do
    Gasp. I am decidedly below average then ...
  • missbiggles1missbiggles1
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    You probably wont be surprised to hear that my mind is currently revolving round something not too dissimilar to that....:rotfl:

    And yet I think that's one boring garden.:(
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    Boring and definitely not relaxing.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    bouicca21 wrote: »
    Gasp. I am decidedly below average then ...

    It is all stuff which requires only a modicum of fitness for mixing cement and carrying slabs or blocks, the ability to follow instructions i.e. from books or internet, and a certain amount of patience using a spirit level and so on....

    I wouldn't start with something as complex, but broken down into its parts, there's nothing scary there. I started that sort of work when my baby daughter needed a patio to play on, around 30 years ago....and it's still there!

    I probably took much longer than the DIY experts to make that first bit of garden hard landscaping, but it gave me the experience to try other things that weren't just 'flat.'

    Edit: But as you say, that's not a design I'd like to emulate. My naturalistic style allows a little more room for error!:rotfl:
  • Any normal person could do it (and...yep...that includes women)...right....looks like I'd better start telling myself positive messages of "You too can....money...". I'm not too sure how well I will manage to convince myself...but must give the matter some thought (and reading of DIY books) and try and realistically assess my capabilities (or otherwise).

    The very first thought that flashed into my head is "Well....my father could have...in his younger days...". I tell you it is NOT an advantage to have a very capable father. I've spent my life since childhood assuming that there must be many Renaissance Men around (as my mother married one). He could pick up a book on something and think, for instance, "I think I will just learn so-and-so and do it" and he could - and get commended on it.

    That was typical - for him. I've long since learnt the majority of the human race aren't in his league.

    I'm not nearly so convinced its typical for me though - I'm just not in the same league...I'd feel pretty confident I could tackle a very complicated recipe (despite my mother not having been a cook) and there would be a reasonable chance it would turn out at least passable. But....traditional "male" skills....hmm....think I'd better do some further investigations as to whether there is a course (or two) I could take and give myself lectures on "Maybe I can make the third league (ie at least passable) if I really try....:cool:".

    Can I convince myself is the next question...:cool:
  • torbrextorbrex
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    My garden (no bits)

    Garden%20017_zpshhqmhfv7.jpg
  • Hmmm...I'd do trees and loadsa loadsa nice tall trees at that if I had a big enough garden to keep them some distance from my house. With that - totally different/more naturalistic style veering heavily towards hippy-like.

    The garden isn't big enough for large trees to be far enough away and I'm quite well-informed by now on the damage the wrong trees can do to a house. In fact, I regularly see a house that has been severely damaged by them too close by - just a tad offputting to me.

    I like the look of Japanese zen/moss type gardens - but it feels so "grey" here that that would tend to add to it a bit imo.

    Traditional cottage type gardens have a certain appeal - but its not the right house for it (ie no character whatsoever).

    Hence I tend to circle back round to contemporary/stylish - particularly as I cant think of one single garden I've clapped eyes on round here to date that is...

    Absolute pet hate - well those "concrete gardens" to start with (masses of tarmac and/or cheapie concrete paving stones and bog-standard garden ornaments). Add shrubs that everyone but everyone has round here (eg hydrangeas) and no chance....

    Infinitely better are the large patch of lawn, edged by shrubs and/or flowers that I was used to seeing and I find that tolerable but boring....

    T'aint easy to think of a stylish/non-cheapo/not in everyone else's gardens too type style...
  • wrightkwrightk Forumite
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    this is our garden.its nothing modern or stylish but it serves our purpose.its around 140ft long and was a jungle.weve had to do some hard landscaping, over 60 feet of fencing (which gives some good protection from the plants),construct big raised beds,lay a very large patio and level areas,sort the terracing out etc.

    we'd never done any landscaping before and have learnt from books/internet.theres some really good sites out there for specific projects
    garden_2.jpg
    Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day, and for once I'm inclined to believe Withnail is right. We are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    All I'm saying is: people should start garden DIY with something light and manageable, like making a planting trough, or straightforward, like a short path, depending on their strength and fitness.

    However, even wimps like me can mix concrete/mortar in a barrow with a coal shovel and carry the odd concrete block. Yes, I have a cement mixer, but very often nowadays, I do things in bite-sized chunks, DIY fashion, with the basic tools (electric drill excepted!) that people have used for hundreds of years.

    It costs money to amass some tools, but once equipped, the savings from not employing people soon cover that.

    I do know what it's like being small (old!) and relatively weak. The builder I employ for the really skilled stuff is 6' 4" and built like a brick ****house, so he can do all sorts of things that I can't, but there are ways and means.....
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    Two things strike me now that the contractors have started work on the new patio.

    The first is my lack of visual sense. They are doing just as agreed yet the effect is not quite what I envisaged. The hedge that I was planning will look quite wrong. I will have to rethink. It will be a bit like furnishing the flat. I couldn't see the totality when I started but getting things bit by bit has enabled me to work my way into a style that works, and, though I say it myself, works really well.

    The second is about skill. These guys have to excavate a lot of soil as the garden/existing patio were too high. If I tried that I'd make a pockmarked area that would have to be levelled. The contractors are able to slice off the soil and create a level surface straightaway.

    Davesnave may think anyone can do it, but this is the classic thing about skills - underestimating just how skilled one is.
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