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My Sad Front Garden


By mabroon


Reading a blog by stroller this morning set me thinking, why do some of us tend to not lavish the same attention on our front gardens, in my case its because I am at a loss at how to deal with manhole covers and a slope.

The grass is looking sad so OH was brushing in a top dressing when I took photo, you can see the manhole covers at front and the slope is to the right of the photo.

The sloped area is very dry and grass is brown for most of the year. The grass in the top left corner has gone brown and we don’t know why. I wondered if we could make a rose bed where the slope is, keeping it grassed is the easy option but boring and its brown! I want to keep the cherry tree as every garden has one either weeping or column. In a few years when they are more mature it will be a very pretty street.

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You look like you have a drainage problem under that grass, have you tried to put a garden fork into that area and see how it feels under there, maybe builders rubble and not a good layer of soil. As for the manhole covers why not dig out the grass on a sort of curve and put in shrubs and roses you could continue it all the way around to the sloping side of the grassy area. It would help to hide the manhole covers - you would just have to be careful not to go too deep down as you would break the drains etc.

17 May, 2013


just had another thought you could dig out the grass and gravel that area near the manhole covers that would disguise them well. Some lovely coloured slate or gravel would work well.

17 May, 2013


There is very little topsoil Oliveoil, its mostly clay, but we didn't find that out until the back garden was ankle deep in rainwater. We have been hard at work remedying the back garden and have neglected the front. The offer from the builder of laying turf was a Trojan horse. My OH is not too keen on planting around the manhole covers just in case any access is needed. Thank you for the suggestion though. :)

17 May, 2013


Now the gravel is something we could work with, cover the manholes with a thinnish layer and maybe a few pots. cheers. :)

17 May, 2013


You would maybe get some coloured gravel to match up with the slabs up to the door, that would look good. :O)

17 May, 2013


We have white skye marble around are manhole covers and have 2 red alpine planted containers sit on them.

Rest of front garden is crushed plum slate.

Good luck Mabroon:)

17 May, 2013


Our front garden is very similar,on a slope with two manhole covers at the bottom ,near a path..if only they had placed them in the path ! I put two pots on mine in the summer..what summer,I hear you say ! it does disguise them a bit..We were told not to plant anything big in that area,because of root damage..hence no border,so the grass meets the path there..we just have to live with it..and lots of builders rubble,and concrete under our lawn too,so it will never be perfect,whatever we do..

17 May, 2013


Thank you all, the gravel/skye marble is under consideration. We did have two pots of daisies on there last "cough" "cough" summer but the wind and rain were very detrimental to their wellbeing. Placing drains there Bloomer is a tad unfair, every garden in this development seems to have them, as you say we will have to live with it but do our best to make the best of it. :)

I wonder if drains are being put into gardens for easier maintenance, no pavements to dig up.

17 May, 2013


You will find that a few years of top dressing(as your OH is doing) will make a real difference! It certainly helps with drainage (and forking will, of course)
With regard to people spending more time on their back gardens.....I suppose I'm the exception as my front garden is my real priority as regards colour.For one, it's bigger and I grow veg in my side garden...And, perhaps I'm a bit of an exhibitionist as well!!!!!!!!!!Good luck with the grass etc.
I must say I love the slabs you've put down and also th stone used in your house!!!!!

17 May, 2013


We have the same problem with manholes...ours is planted in the front garden, and well above soil level. I just put a big planter on it, and usually with things that are "drought"(whats that) tolerant, cos when the sun does shine it's there all day and gets very warm there(I should be so lucky,) and also cos I forget to water the front!!! Good luck with the lawn.... My OH swears by Aftercut :-) Forgot to say welcome to GoY :-)

18 May, 2013


I have a manhole cover that stands out like a sore thumb too .... mine is on the edge of the lawn close to the path leading from the drive to the back door, which is the preferred entrance to the house. :-(
My herb-wheel sits on top of the manhole cover; it is made up of six separate sections, so easily moved when required. I have scented herbs in it, such as mint and thyme, so it smells nice. I have bay and rosemary growing in pots nearby too, all very convenient for the kitchen. :-)

18 May, 2013


I like the sound of your herb wheel,Xela..another great idea..and as my kitchen looks over the front garden,I might give that a whirl..I have two of those covers,so that's a thought for one of them....the other will have a pot of Pelargoniums it's a very sunny 'summer' of course :o) thanks for that...

18 May, 2013


Pelagoniums for me as well Bloomer....anticipating sunshine by the bucket load lol:-)

19 May, 2013


At least there are no pests that like them,Val..and all they seem to need is a tidy up....I wouldn't be without them...I shall be off to our local market soon..or Morrisons.. never had a bad batch yet,and much easier on the purse strings:o)

20 May, 2013


Your herb wheel sounds lovely, so many ideas, will take them all onboard, thank you all very much.

20 May, 2013

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