The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Amandaf

I have recently moved into a new build house and they have left my garden like this just a heap of mud. With the nice weather starting I feel I should be doing something but don't no where to start.




You have a 'blank canvas' so you can create the garden of your dreams. I would start with a layout sketch on paper. You can divide into sections. Think about the kind of garden you would like and what is achievable, realistic. What can you manage? Raised Veggie Garden? Patio? Seating area? Native Plants? etc? You can go in 100 different directions.

24 May, 2016


The most expensive thing will be fencing between you and your neighbours, assuming that you want some - perhaps you don't, but bear in mind either you or your neighbour might have cats, dogs, children that do not respect boundaries! Usually one side fence belongs to you and is your responsibility and one your neighbours, so some sort of agreement should be reached. Seems strange that the developer has only put in stake fencing, are they going to erect a proper fence?

24 May, 2016


Some of the more mature members might remember the BBC Radio programme, 'Beyond Our Ken'. On one of the sketches, Arthur Fallowfield (aka Kenneth Williams) favourite saying was: ''The answer lies in the soil.'' So I make sure that your soil was in good condition. Yes, I would draw up plans as to what you want in your garden, taking into consideration as to the suitability of plants to your soil, height and what your garden will look like during each season of the year.

24 May, 2016


They are not providing a proper fence but I have spoke with neighbours and we are going halfers on a fence to lower the cost
As this is my first house I have never had a garden so I am a bit clueless the soil isn't in the best condition there's bits of glass and brick and the mud is rock solid tried to do flatten the hill a little but The mud just wouldn't budge
Was just thinking maybe try and grow some grass just now because of the nice weather until I properly no what I want to do with the garden because my living room faces the garden the mud isn't a nice to wake up to in the morning

24 May, 2016


You should visit the local garden center to see which plants do well in your area. There is usually a knowledgeable staff member on hand

24 May, 2016


The alphabet at the bottom links you to members photos and questions...D takes you to design ideas....a weath of knowledge there for you to browse, ask questions as you go along if need be.....look at l for lawn for example

24 May, 2016


Wouldn't bet on a knowledgeable staff member at any UK GC! The first thing you are going to have to do is get rid of all the builders rubble and get some decent top soil or nothing is going to grow. I am extremely surprised that the house builder has not put up fences and cleared at least some of the rubble and laid top soil.

24 May, 2016


Looks at the moment that they should come back and finish the job, the banks a bit rediculous really, when it rains won't it just wash onto the soil below?

24 May, 2016


Well the houses at the end of the green are on a much higher level, which means the garden is going to overlooked all the time. I would have expected the builders to at least grass the bank properly to keep it from being washed away - Amanda, things aren't right here, what are you promised when you bought this house?

24 May, 2016


I agree with you Moongrower, you would expect the builder to separate the properties with something other that a stake and board division, but I was trying not to depress Amanda too much, it's a bit daunting. Agree also with your amazement at Bathgate's idea that UK garden centres always have someone who actually knows something about plants, occasionally you find someone, otherwise it's usually a person who knows which way up to put the pots of plants - and that's about it! I would gang up with your neighbours and get on to the builders and see if they would at least give you some top-soil, otherwise it's more expense.

25 May, 2016


As PamG and Moon Grower have stated the bank may provide a challenge in terms of drainage. I would consider very carefully what you plan for that end of the garden.

What a great blank canvas to work with though. So many options. I moved into a relatively new build a few years back, on a slope, with poor soil and now it's like a jungle.

From personal experience I would say take your time with planning, don't rush to fill every space and most importantly take loads of photo's. It's great to look back at each stage of development and appreciate the changes you've made.

25 May, 2016


Decisions! Are you going to be living on your own? Are you hoping to be a "gardener" or do you simply want a reasonable space to look at? Are you able to spend on it or are you on a tight budget? All these things make a difference. Which way does the garden face, ie where are the shadow going to be?

What is your priority? Privacy at the bottom of the garden privacy at the sides or a lawn? Don't be in too much of a hurry to get rid of the "mud" until you know what you are aiming for. In the meantime you could buy a few large containers - big plastic pots will do if you're on a budget, and buy some bright summer bedding plants that you can put between the window and the wilderness to cheer you up.

Don't rush into anything until you have an idea what you are aiming for. Keep in touch -we look forward to developments!

25 May, 2016


Its the bank and whats behind it that worrys me, sorry its doom and gloom but where is the water going.......
Its got to be a concerted effort with the builders, mud flooded garden/house is a scary thought
Its all just very odd

25 May, 2016


If this is a new build then the builder is probably still on site to deal with problems. I would go and see the foreman and tell him you are not happy about the state of the garden. It should not be a sea of mud. Sounds as if you will have recurring problems because they forgot to put in any drainage. If he is not prepared to help then maybe the NHBC insurance lot who are supposed to check everything has been done to a certain standard will take your complaints on board. I would sort out the drainage problem before spending any money on plants.

27 May, 2016


Obviously none of you have bought a new build in recent years. Developers don't put up fences, don't turf gardens, don't lay land-drains, don't clear away their rubbish etc these days. They build to a price and sell at a profit. You only get extras like fences and turf if you pay for them.

Amanda, your deeds will tell you which boundaries you are responsible for and may stipulate what sort of boundary you can have (your solicitor should also have told you when you signed the contract - it's about the only thing solicitors do bother to tell homebuyers). From the construction of the back fence that is your boundary (the rails of the fence are on your side) and you will be responsible for the maintenance of it.

As far as the garden goes, the best advice is to Steragram's 'Don't rush in' - find out how the ground behaves, where the sun shines, where it doesn't and spend time deciding what you really want from the garden before you start spending lots of money.


29 May, 2016

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