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Just wanted to say Hi. I am new to this gardening stuff (or will be) and I am sure I will be coming back for lots of advice in the future

We are currently buying a new build so will have a completely blank slate and we got to see our first glimpse of what will be a garden at the weekend.



Hello rainbowfish.

I love a blank slate.


I am sure it will be a weedy slate by the time we move in


hello, how exciting to have a garden to design, i'm sure everyone here will be very helpful 


Hi Rainbowfish, Welcome to the forum. I'm a beginner too and have had lots of helpful advice on here.

You might want to find out where the sun comes in your garden and  for how long and think about what plants you like the look of.

I'm going to visit some gardens at the weekend to get ideas myself.

Enjoy working on your blank canvas!



Hi Rainbowfish, just watch out for any rubble buried under the soil. I'm afraid its a common occurrence. But what a great space.



I had a blank slate too 20+ yrs ago

It's very exciting but also very daunting and can be jolly expensive!  

Deciding what you don't want or like is a great place to start

Hard landscaping should be first and unless you have an enormous area, finished before you put in large plants that need moving several years later because you really need the path to go a different way 

Always do your research and try not to impulse buy. ..We all do it  well most of us

Take before and after shots, us lot love to see the graft 

Good luck 


hollie hock

Hello, how exciting to start off a new garden! Lots of ideas and advice here. Love the name, I used to keep Rainbow fish years ago, they were my favourite


It's not going to be our forever home so other that a few more paving slabs and a shed we probably won't be doing much hard landscaping and will be planting up a lot of containers. I am looking forwards to experimenting with plants. I am very much an informal cottage garden type. Colourschemes etc can come later when I have worked out if I can keep any plants alive. So far it is not looking great. I have some roses in containers outside my flat & they are full of aphids, black beetles and black spot.

I know the soil is quite heavy clay and the garden is south-west facing so will get lots of sun It should be sheltered as it is completely surrounded by other houses. Before they put the topsoil down it looked very stoney.

Can I leave the soil as it is and just plant in the topsoil or will I need to remove the top soil, dig out some of the stone and replace the topsoil before planting?

I have little pots of 'mixed perennial' seed sprouting on my window sills. It's quite exciting trying to work out what is coming up. I will probably need some help identifying what they are soon but I know atm they are too tiny to tell.


If you built raised beds, you wouldn't need to touch the soil. If this isn't something you are going to do, just dig out the stones as you plant in that area.


Hello Rainbowfish, very exciting starting a new garden Your site sounds a bit like mine 10yrs ago, my only advice can be summed up in two words, manure and grit! If you plant anything direct add lots of manure and grit to the hole, gradually all the holes will join up! 


Hi there Rainbowfish  welcome to the forum, new here myself and new to gardening, sort of had a blank slate also but had to clear rubble and ground elder to get it blank!  good luck with your project you will get lots of friendly advice from everyone here 

Welcome it might be a good idea to test your soil to see if it is alkaline of not.

Welcome rainbowfish.

A blank canvas is a wonderful thing. No concerns about ripping up someone else's pride and joy.

As my dear late mother would have said " act in haste , repent at leisure"

If you have no fixed ideas, live there for a while, sow grass seed rather than turf if money is a bit tight ( when  isn't it? )  , you can always remove parts of the grass later to add beds etc.



Great advice so far

The wait is the really frustrating part. Potted on some of my seedlings to help.

@Logan I suspect that the soil below is alkaline as the stones looked a bit chalky. I think I will need to look for a soil test kit.

@Hostafan1 We have been planning to seed rather than turf, but not wanting anything formal (or wanting to mow lawn on a regular basis) I have bought some mixed wild flower seeds (& have some country file seed ) to sow with some meadow grass seed rather than normal lawn

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