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Hi, I'd describe myself as a semi experienced gardener in terms of planting and plant care. I have recently moved into a new house with a larger garden. It is essentially a 96ft garden that is all lawn from the patio to the far end. It has a few shrubs on either side. I am looking for options in terms of what do do and can already see where I would like to build raised beds etc.

Would you recommend I get in a few experts to draw some plans and do the work or should I attempt to do it myself?

I was thinking about getting the landscape gardeners in to build the beds then I can take some time to fill them.

Does anyone have experience of a similar situation?

A tricky question to answer I know.

Thanks for your HELP!



Welcome to Goy, Grassroots.
We had a similar situation when we moved into our garden some 20+ years ago; wall to wall grass. Now there is no grass at all. And never a garden designer near it, shock-horror!
If you want instant garden that is bright and colourful this summer then you will need a garden designer to do it for you. We started off in one corner and started building beds as we thought fit and removing the grassa as it went along. It took years to get it to the state that we wanted but, and this is important to me, it is what 'we' wanted and not what the designer thought we should want. It all developed organically and we enjoyed the work.
Everyone has their own ways of doing things, just enjoy what you do.

14 Mar, 2011


That's great advice, thanks! I am now off to find pictures of your garden.

14 Mar, 2011


We are doing a mixture of the two....we've lived here for 20 yrs. but the back garden was full of brambles, old fencing and weeds, weeds, weeds..a bit of mixed paving slabs dotted about and a pretty sad patio! We are now retired from running our own newsagents and live above our old shop. There never seemed to be the right time to get stuck in to our garden until now.

We had a firm come and put up new fencing and flagging and they also cleared the back garden of brambles etc. It is now ready for the next stage.

I have been a few months sorting out how I'd like the small back garden to look, got a design on paper (roughly) and last week spoke to a gardener who will now lay turf and establish the borders (subject to his quote!!).

We were going for a gravel garden but have now discovered the cost is beyond our means so have reverted to our original idea of turf.

If you are fit and able it is always nice (and cheaper) to develop the garden our case it was a step too far. I know you will get lots of ideas/help here on GoY and so would encourage you to go for it, Grassroots. Keep us updated (& apologies for this rather reply!!!)

14 Mar, 2011


we are similar to whistonlass, in our last garden in Devon, we needed some instant help, the garden designer was helpful in that respect, and we tossed around ideas as to what would suit us best in terms of planting, but he didn't dictate to us [ most won't.] He brought another man in to dig the beds [the hard part!]
Then some goodness was added to the soil, and he put in the larger shrubs. We bought and then put in the smaller ones ourselves, and when that was done, decided on two other small beds, which we dug and planted ourselves.Once that was done, we could see what the garden needed [over time] but then had to leave that house, so some lucky people got the benefit of it.It would have been too much for us to do it all ourselves, and seeing the initial work done, gave us confidence to try other things in the garden.

19 Mar, 2011


What I can now add to the mix, Grassroots, is that we've had a quote now for the finished project. It is a hefty amount but would give us a lovely, complete garden and it would be done to my sketch and plan.

But....and it's a big but....we have not made a decision yet as it will be costly. If you would like to know any details of the advice, costs etc. that we've been given by this gardener then PM me and I will share what info I have.

Be prepared if you do want to get professionals doesn't come cheap. Have you got any plans/ideas/sketches or looked here on GoY or in gardening books to get an idea of what you are aiming to achieve. That is what I started to do at the back end of last summer so it's been a long time in the planning. Good luck with whatever you decide.

19 Mar, 2011

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