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    • FitzWilliams
    • By FitzWilliams 17th Apr 17, 12:22 PM
    • 37Posts
    • 15Thanks
    Please help me to fix/landscape my garden
    • #1
    • 17th Apr 17, 12:22 PM
    Please help me to fix/landscape my garden 17th Apr 17 at 12:22 PM
    I have photos up on photobucket and a plan of a layout of the garden. When I reserved the plot the artist image implied that the garden would have been in 2 tiers. When I got the coneyancing pack through I saw that the garden would slope down to the bottom rather than be in tiers. When I actually saw the garden I noticed that it's quite a steep drop down to the bottom - 5 steps down.

    The garden as it stands at the moment is dangerous for my one year old twins. I was planning on moving the shed as it's on one of the few flat sections of the garden then possibly fencing them off an area to play in. I don't know if anyone would be able to help but I'm really lost with what to do with this garden to make it better. My turf is already dying. It's very lumpy to walk on and I just know it will be a pain when it's ready to be mowed.

    How do I make the lawn less lumpy? I step on the grass and I can feel it sink about an inch under my foot. Would it be expensive to take the turf up, put some soil down and level it off a bit and get some new turf? And would that make the lawn less lumpy?

    I'm a garden novice and need some serious help.
Page 1
    • Art Deco
    • By Art Deco 17th Apr 17, 1:21 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 784 Thanks
    Art Deco
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 17, 1:21 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Apr 17, 1:21 PM
    Was the turf already laid? if its lumpy/sinking the under soil doesnt seem to have been bedded down enough before laying it, have you been in the house long? is there a way you can you ask the builders to come back and look at it . Looking at the photos the safest option would seem to be as you suggested to fence of an area before the first step until the children are a bit older, when theyre older it could actually be fun for them , rolling down etc, .Im sure someone will be along to offer some help, good luck.
    • Spider In The Bath
    • By Spider In The Bath 17th Apr 17, 2:38 PM
    • 1,208 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Spider In The Bath
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 17, 2:38 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Apr 17, 2:38 PM
    When they are older it is a perfect slope for a slide!

    Yes, I agree fence off the top section for now. Do you really want turf on the slope anyway? How would you mow it?
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 17th Apr 17, 4:15 PM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 20,582 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 17, 4:15 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Apr 17, 4:15 PM
    There are a number of issues here. The one other posters have touched on is accountability for the turf. If it was you who laid it, you need to take some remedial steps. If it was the builder, you should approach them to get a garden contractor to address it. The remedial steps are similar, whoever takes them.

    Until it is sorted, you should keep the lawn as wet as you can, so that the edges do not die completely.

    The steps you need to take if you want to keep as much as possible are:
    • Peel back and roll up a section of turf
    • Keep it moist (old wet towels are good) while you do a section at a time. Start in the middle somewhere, and work out from there, using the turves that are down now, to determine what you lift. You need to lift at least two turves wide, so you can see the levels
    • Pack the surface with top-soil so that it is firm and flat - there are youtube videos to show you how to do this - traditionally people trod it down on their heels.
    • You can get top-soil in small bags from a garden centre or you can get it delivered from a supplier. If you are thinking of more a make-do and mend approach, you could buy a few bags and then level by taking off the higher bits rather than levelling and packing upwards.
    • Replace the turves and water well - and keep it watered.

    If patches die, use the turf on the slope to patch in and make sure there are no gaps between the turves - your photos show what happens to the edges if they are not packed close together.

    I recommend you explore some hard landscaping for dealing with the slope as keeping that as lawn is a nightmare-in-waiting. You could go for a shelf tier, with either timber or hard shuttering (that's the wall that holds the higher level back) or a lawn edge with a sloped planted area - you could put a few rocks in there are grow low-growing alpines or traditional rockery planting (low maintenance). You could put in more than one tier but it is hard physical work and I have no idea if you have the budget or local supporters (friends and family) to help you.

    I would also explore growing some plants too - you have a blank canvas at the moment. Don't worry about the turf. If you pack it together and keep it wet it will recover and you could plant in the spaces around the edges (or on the slope).

    I hope that helps a bit
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    • I have spoken
    • By I have spoken 17th Apr 17, 5:21 PM
    • 4,963 Posts
    • 9,656 Thanks
    I have spoken
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 17, 5:21 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Apr 17, 5:21 PM
    All typical of new builds, I'm afraid. The grass on the slope is likely dying due to getting too dry after being laid and/or being laid over sub-soil that has been 'tipped' from excavating the foundations.

    Unless we know your budget, hard to give advice other than to install a fence PDQ so the tots can't fall down the steps.

    To give you any pointers, need to know if the lower part of the garden can be used for sitting out without being overlooked by neighbours, when does it get the sun and what sort of view you have from the patio.

    You could spend (very) big and get something like this, with the pool being a sand-pit until safe for the children -

    Make most use of the lower part of the garden -

    Make the slope less severe -

    Make a grand set of steps instead of the slope -

    Last edited by I have spoken; 17-04-2017 at 5:50 PM.
    • mysterymurdoch
    • By mysterymurdoch 17th Apr 17, 10:36 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 17, 10:36 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 17, 10:36 PM
    As above, this a very typical of new builds. I suspect you won't get anywhere with the builders as the lawn just isn't a priority to them. It'll be laid on stones, rubble and a smear of topsoil/clay.

    You can get it terraced but it'll cost a fair bit to get a company to do this.
    • FitzWilliams
    • By FitzWilliams 18th Apr 17, 3:00 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 3:00 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 3:00 PM

    Thanks for all the responses. Yes the property is new, I haven't moved in yet, and the lawn was laid by the builders. I lifted some of the turf and it is quite rocky/stony underneath. The dirt itself has formed into stone like structures which disintegrate when you step on them, which is probably why I can feel the earth sinking under my feet when I walk on it. The roots from the grass/or weeds as I did find some seems to be embedding itself into the soil underneath so I don't want to kill it further by taking any up and possibly ripping the roots off in the process.

    The lower part of the garden is somewhat overlooked as the upstairs windows of the houses behind are in line with the lower part of the lawn because there is such a drop in height between the houses. The fence is wide panelling though so possibly some hedges in the future will give some privacy. As it is on the hill the house does get some amazing views so I wouldn't want to put anything up that would grow too tall and since my garden is south facing I wouldn't want to block off the only bit of sun my neighbours get.

    I like the photo with the steps going down to the bottom tier with the paving at the bottom. I think anything costing over 3k at the moment would be too much though but I don't know how much these things cost.
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