Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 76 replies

Miss Becks

Well, Jess is distraught as I have just dismantled her outdoor playhouse so I can do something with this area, but what??

It is mainly slabs, but next to the fence is mainly dirt/rubble/weeds.

Has anyone any ideas what I can put up this area (obviously after a good tidy up and top soil added to the border bit) as it only receives sun until about 1-2pm at the moment, then it's just shade.

I would love to concrete over the lot and build a dividing wall between grass and patio, but not possible at the moment.

Any patio pictures of raised beds/containers would be most welcome for inspiration.


Becks. x


Miss Becks

Or should I just apply to one of those gardening make-over shows!


Yes-but don't bank on getting accepted

You need help -those slabs look like they need relaying-do you want to keep the grass?how much space is there that we can't see?

Miss Becks

This is the other half Geoff, where I was standing to take the photo, obviously pointing the other way at the house.


And this is the whole view.


The stone building on the right is two outhouses I keep my tools in. But I'm out there digging now, and I have just uncovered a section of white tiles (on the right of the pic above). Just normal house tiles??? Why, I don't know. I have also found a garden tool, which you can see leaning up against the wall by the chair. It's a half moon shaped thing. I haven't a clue what else I'm going to dig up!


Miss Becks

Sorry, on the left. The tiles that is.



Well I'm wondering if you could crowbar up the slabs to the left of the concrete post and put them on their edges to make a raised bed. The white tiles I would suggest you get rid of, but there is something very satisfying about weilding a lump hammer! Over the years I've unearthed a lot of weird and sometimes wonderful stuff in my garden, the best of which (victorian pottery, tiny glass bottles, a butler sink...) I've kept as decoration or reused. The half-moon tool is probably a lawn edger.

I guess the area you're going to revamp is just outside your kitchen. In terms of planting, might it be possible to put training wires horizontally on the fence posts? Even though the area doesn't get full sun, herbs like parsley and mint (latter in containers) and probably sage would do OK there, and you might think about soft fruits at the back. Or a climber - honeysuckle would be happy. I would also suggest you think about painting the fence in a lighter colour, which would match in with the lighter areas on the back wall of your house.



By the by, the half moon shaped thing you dug up is probably a lawn edger - something you may not necessarily want, but if you do, a good clean and sharpen would make it as good as new.


Miss Becks

Ooh Figrat, don't get me started on that concrete post! I hate it. I presume it was the previous owners washing line, but I don't use it, and have no way of getting the thing out.

I like the idea of the raised beds on the left. Yes, that is the kitchen. That is sort of what I had in mind for that side. But I have just come accross a layer of housebricks right in the top corner. I might be able to build that wall after all!

I like the soft fruits idea as well.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Miss Becks

Thankyou Bookertoo! I think that is what it is. It's not so much half moon now I've looked at it. It's like a spearhead shape, with two flat bits either end.

You could wrap chicken wire round post, grow a climber up it and turn it into a thing of beauty!
Miss Becks

Oh figrat, that is just genius! I have a spare large pot! I could cut the bottom out of it, slip it over the top of the post to the bottom, so it looks like it is growing out of it, fill with compost and do the climbers up it!

Happy days then! Would be worth enriching soil beneath pot before planting climber(s) as roots will of course grow into it.
Miss Becks

Yes, I will. I'm going to take up all those slabs on the left side of the post anyway, and use that area for raised beds I've decided now.


hollie hock

Hi Becks,

Thanks for the pictures. What I am learing is that gardening is a long term thing.

Do little things at a time. I would clear out the patio area, so you can see the area. You will be surprised when all the clutter has been cleared away at how big the area is.

Then I would kill all the weeds, growing through the slabs, the weedkillers that you can dilute, paint on with a small brush.

I'd paint the fence, a dark colour.

Towards the end of your garden, you have some lovely beds. Bedding plants are increduley cheap at the moment.Would look lovely with some crocus daffs, the spring time.

I would sow wallflower and forget me not seeds for flowers next year.






Miss Becks

Hi Hollie-Hock!

Thanks for your suggestions. I've actually been looking at fence paint colours on the B & Q website. Quite like the dark red shades.

Those beds in the picture actually had just been planted with veg seeds, so there is brocolli, cabbage and onions coming up there now. The picture is a couple of months old. It was just that corner I need to fill where I'm going to lift the slabs and put raised beds, although I might want to put some more veg in them as well. But if it's shady from afternoon onwards, not sure they'd do well.


Gary Hobson

I'm with holly-hock on this. Making a garden is not an overnight job, contrary the impressions given by TV makeover shows. I wouldn't bother trying to shift heavy slabs, or do anything like that to begin with.

Just tidy up; remove the weeds in the paving; and plant some pretty annuals to make the place look nice for the rest of this Summer.

HH mentioned several flowers (bedding, wallflowers, forget-me-nots) and didn't mention vegetables. Personally, I'd have a lot more flowers than veg. In my experience, it's more economical to buy vegetables from a grocers. This is especially true if you haven't grown veg from seed before. The success rate may be low. But that's up to you.

I also agree with HH in saying that there should be plenty of bedding annuals for sale in garden centres right now, or quite soon, simply because garden centres have not sold a lot of bedding, due to the very poor weather and absence of customers. They simply have to get rid of bedding, and reducing prices is the best way.

I'd also reinstate the playhouse somewhere. Catering for your little girl and making her happy has to be one of your garden's main purposes.

And speaking of holly-hocks, I wonder if it's not to late to sow some holly-hock and foxglove seeds in little trays (to be potted up to flower next year). They're both tall and colourful flowers, and might look nice growing against the fencing, if they would grow there (holly-hocks like some sun).


Hi insomnia, just seen your photos and noticed the slabs your going to take up, had them in my garden, they are solid, the square ones are heavy, the larger ones, the rectangle ones, and i see at least one, weigh at ton, if your going to move it "walk it",


ps, dont do it with your girl  in the garden, in case it falls


Before you go for the red will make your garden seem smaller and not very relaxed. Think about the paler blues and greens. They will expand and brighten your plot. They also show off theplants that you grow in front of them.


Miss Becks

Thanks for all your plant suggestions! I have wrote them all down next to me here on my pad. I agree that it all takes time, but I see such wonderful pictures of what everyone else has done, and I get a bit carried away. Time to put my realistic head on.

Gary, when you say 'sow some holly-hock and foxglove seeds in little trays (to be potted up to flower next year)' do you mean indoors, or to start off outdoors, as I have no greenhouse, and it would be a windowsill job? And Jess has now decided she no longer wants to keep her playhouse as it gets too many spiders in it!!

pash, I only lifted 2 today, the smaller square ones, and I did 'walk' them. Much easier. They weren't too bad actually. I put them right in the corner and moved my 're-potting' table up there.

Joe, not sure about green, as some parts have gone green anyway, and I'm not keen, but hadn't thought of blue. Hmm.

I'm a huge lover of roses, which I'm sure some sorts do well in the shade. How easy are they to maintain?

Been tidying up out there most the day between visitors (they never come when it's tipping down with rain), and got it looking a bit more workable. Next jobs are tackling the weeds and de-rubble all the soil.