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Garden Makeover- absolute beginner


 
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Skipperjen
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 21 Mar 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Wicklow

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:03 am    Post subject: Garden Makeover- absolute beginner Reply with quote

Hey Guys, I've taken a brief look through the previous posts but can't find anything too specific to help.
We have a medium sized garden (9.5m x 7.1m) and we've had a few quotes for landscaping works, but they are quite far from our budget. WE're considering doing some/ all of the works ourselves and would love your thoughts.
We have a significant drainage issue with our garden, in that when it rains, even for just a small period of time the water doesn't drain off anywhere and we're left with soggy grass that you can't really walk on. It's also really quite uneven so mowing and keeping it neat is a nightmare for us.
We're planning on paving a portion of the back and one side and then using artificial grass on the remaining portion.

My main query is, how far down should we dig out in order to assist with our drainage? We intend on taking out a portion of the soil, infilling with stone and putting a top layer of soil or sand on top of this before paving or grass.

Thanks in advance for any responses/ advice.
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4592
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Skipperjen and welcome.
First thoughts are that you have underlying marl or rock. Dig a trial hole and report back again. A few photos would be good too.

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

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Sue Deacon
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 31 Dec 2014
Posts: 1673
Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Skipperjen and welcome to IG.

Ooooh I love a challenge. First of all, I agree with tagwex, photos would help and I'd try a couple of holes in different parts of the garden.

I'm working on a similar project at the moment. A lady I know loves her new house but despairs at the fact she has to put her wellies on to hang out the washing! With hindsight perhaps she should not have bought a house built on the site of a known spring-fed pond, but there you go.

There is rough, boggy land running down the back of her property and she loves wildlife and wild flowers. We have decided to work WITH the land, not against it. We are planning a fan of land drains leading to the lowest part of the garden near the fence. Then we will lay a path of paving on a base of stone to the washing line. The resulting boggy area is to be planted up with plants that love wet conditions - of which there are many beautiful examples, most of which are low maintenance.

That's the solution to her problem. You have to decide just what you want and how much time (and money) you want to spend. Bear in mind it will cost to do the job properly, but it is so worthwhile to get it right first time and not cut corners.

Do you really want artificial grass? I agree in the right situation it can look great, but even that needs a great deal of care to lay properly and is not entirely maintenance free.

Having said all that, there is no reason you can't do the job. We all have to start somewhere and there is a wealth of knowledge among the members of IG, all ready and waiting to help.

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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2181
Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Skipper Jen. You're obviously the boss! Smile Smile

Pics would be great.

To eliminate drainage problem consider some of these ideas.

Maybe consider not having grass at all but pave one half and on the other half put a rockery. Maybe put the paving in the middle and have a rockery on either side?

If you don't have children, maybe put a pond in the middle and paving either side.

Or pave the whole lot and then put alpines in troughs sympathetically placed around.

Another idea: put a folly/gazebo/pagoda in the middle raised up a bit, a circle of grass or plants around it and pave the remainder.

With drainage it's normally better to drain to the lowest spot and try and pipe it away instead of hoping it'll drain down vertically in the garden.

Just a few thoughts. Many more if you want them. Smile Smile

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A little garden in Co. Limerick.Some non-gardening photographs.
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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Posts: 4592
Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds very reminiscent of a little garden I know of out in west Limerick KS. I think it is called Coolwater.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 920
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you could construct "French Drains" essentially a 2' deep trench with the bottom half filled with roadstone chippings. You do a herringbone pattern of side trenches to feed the main channel. However, the water needs somewhere to go. you need to make sure that every channel slopes uniformly downhill to the end point. What's down there? Are you going to be flooding the neighbours? Paving will add to the water problem in the unpaved part, so you'd have to think about that too. You could always think of the water as an asset, rather than a problem. Ponds, solar powered pumps, bog garden, water loving plants etc.
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