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Very interesting reading some of the other horrific "buried garden rubbish" stories here.Fairygirl has a good point re before and after photos to keep your spirits up and give you the strength to carry on, so you can see how much you've achieved.

It is worth all the pain and anguish and you will be rewarded 100 fold for your work.

Here are a few of our before and after photos to give you a confidence boost Bill! Like I said earlier, I became really depressed with our garden, we had both reached the end our tether and literally wanted to kill the people responsible for being so irresponsible and causing us so much trouble -I still do at times..!

; ) Jokes aside though, you will do it and be able to enjoy your lovely garden in the end.

Good luck to anyone who has experienced what some of us here have and remember -take it one step at a time!!!

 BEFORE (August 2012)


 AFTER (March 2013) Ready for turf and new flower beds!

 We also got rid of the over-bearing Palm Tree...!!!







Thank you...!


What a difference James

.  Make sure you keep us updated with photos as the season progresses !

We have not had problems with builders rubble, but did find some strange bits of junk abandoned in the wilder parts of our garden.  We tidied them and then planted them up (I put this photo on the spring beauties thread yesterday - but here it is again).

 The black thing is an old water barrow (originally we thought it was something for collecting food scraps for feeding pigs - so to us it will always be known as the pig swill trough).  The silver box has "Property of Walls" stamped into the sides - so must have once been an icecream container.  My Dad remembers them from summer jobs in the ice cream trade - says he used to get ice burns from picking them up, the metal got so cold.

In the background are a load of old chimney pots (picked up at architectural salvage yards before they were trendy - I think we paid £10 for each of them) and an old rhubarb forcer.

So one man's junk became my pride and joy - and gives our courtyard a bit of character

Great idea tidying up and recycling those bits and pieces you found in your garden chicky. Looks lovely! I wish we could have found anything that interesting in ours!

Unfortunately, in our case, as in Bill's, we didn't find a single thing that could have been recycled unless of course we were thinking of extending the house over the whole lot so it could have been used for some form of sub base. Tragic that so many people don't value their outdoor spaces enough.

I will indeed keep you updated on our progress, Thanks for your interest!


somerset steve
I have a fairly small garden and have a similar situation. Although not a new build the garden has never had much more than 12 inches of soil on top of fairly solid bedrock in places, builders rubble in others.

My advice would be to plan out the garden where you want a lawn for example and where you want to build up some planting areas maybe take advantage of the poor depth/quality of soil by planting Mediterranean herbs that expect poor soil in an area just to get you off the blocks so to speak.

I can relate to the feelings of things possibly overwhelming you but try to take one part of the garden at a time and enjoy completing small areas e.g. front gate to front door or outside kitchen window with containers.

Might be worth some professional advice for improving soil and depth if laying a new lawn for example but don't expect it all to happen overnight like me its your work in progress and you will get there!

Somerset steve I have to agree that it's doing one part at a time or it can be daunting. Frustrating though when you want to get it all done and be able to use it! I think that's the legacy of the 'instant gardens' TV programmes unfortunately! It's satisfying once you get a few bits done and start seeing the improvement though and some pots here and there can really motivate you.

James my current garden is rather sad and empty and progress will be slow as I'm about to add on to house, but some pots and seed sowing etc are giving me hope!

Chicy-love the ice cream container!

thanks everyone. I am in good company. I have to admit the weather and my little one have been keeping me very busy. That and tinkering in the world of seeds and propagation! Of the lessons I've learnt!

Anyway have been back in the garden recently and will post some photos of before and after. I can see that mine is a minor complaint compared to some of yours.

You'll see too that I am full of questions...




 Front garden when we moved in


 In October when I first started to clear and change it



 how the garden looks now

Nice work Bill, thanks for sharing. Well done. 

Here's where we're up to with our rear garden after saying goodbye to all the rubble.

March 2012, Shortly after we moved in (This was before we even knew what lay beneath the soil!) :

All the best, 


7th May 2013 After giving the new turf its' first mow :


Hi, we've got a large garden and through the years we've found all the above plus brake shoes clutch cables engine bits and old metal window frames. But the best find of all was a gas cooker I was double digging a patch and struck something that felt quite substantial when I excavated a little more I found the cooker. Now bear in mind I was double digging so it was quite deep so I'm afraid I covered it up and we've lawned over that area. Who knows at some time in the future someone else may have the dubious pleasure of digging it out I know I havn't got the energy so good luck and enjoy


Amazing what people bury isn't it !

Well done Bill and James-so satisfying when you start to see some return for all your hard work. It's a huge benefit if or when you sell your house as well. An attractive mature garden is a real bonus.

e1lise wrote (see)

........... when I excavated a little more I found the cooker. .....................

Did you open the oven door?  Was there a Sunday roast inside? 


No Dove-probably a cake...


Someone mention cake?


My neighbour tells me there's a Reliant Robin in my garden somewhere. No sign yet. A lot of other rubbish has been dumped since then. He has no doubt about the Reliant though. He dumped it there. 

Highland Jeannie wrote (see)

Do you live next door to Del-boy??

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