Posted: 18/03/2013 at 12:49
Thanks for all the replies. Below is a photo of the garden - well lawn - taken at 9am on 30th December.
I think I will keep things as they are for now and see how the lawn fairs this year. We have given ourselves a year to see what we want to do with the garden, but I think it will stay mostly as lawn. Might put a border down the left (and maybe the right. The bottom of the garden meets at a point, was considering squaring the main area of lawn, adding a small picket fence and having veggies and a greenhouse down there (is 37 too young for a greenhouse!?! ). The 3-4m closest to the house will likely be removed and replaced with either a patio or a deck, probably not the whole width but enough to get a decent table and maybe an outdoor sofa type thing. There is room for a shed to the left of the shot but down the side of the house.
Going to concentrate on lifting the low bits rather than lowering the high bits. There is some debris under there, although my wife was once looking round the place whilst they had a guy picking stones from the garden prior to lawn. We are told the builder scraped off the top soil and then replaced this before turfing, I doubt that very much. When I have walked on the lawn to date there have been a few grating sounds like stone on stone, so might have to get out there and lift those. When I get round to beds I will put some time/effort in getting the soil to a good condition, if it takes me a couple of years to get the lawn good then so be it.
Any manual work is going to have to produce as little waste as possible, there is no vehicular access to the front of the property and no way of getting a truck/van to the rear, Going to have to rely on rubble bags and trips to the tip.
Anyway, thanks again for your help, must make a point of having a nose around elsewhere now you have been so helpful.