I must be mad!

With the various things I have going on around my home at the moment, you’d think the last thing I needed was a new project. I’d be mad to consider taking on something else?

However, my garden has really been getting me down. For various reasons – both time and emotional related – I have let it go this year, and it is currently a jungle. I was contemplating when I would next have time to sort it out, and then thought how hard would it be to really sort it out – i.e. give me a garden I really want.

Some of this is also resulting from frustrations and prevarications on where to put things like BBQs and telescopes. Currently both are put away when not in use, which means they don’t get a lot of casual use.

So I have engaged a garden designer (who has just been, measured and gone) to see what can be done, and roughly how much it will cost. It isn’t going to cost me a lot for his draft plan, and then I can decide if I want to go ahead.

Meanwhile, in the “have a dog and wag my own tail” area, I decided yesterday that I should at least write up some notes for the guy when he came today. My notes turned into a scruffy diagram, and then because I can’t draw, I went looking for a simple online garden design webpage. The result is below, and really helped in today’s discussion with the designer.


Whereas at present, my garden is roughly split into two width-ways – with the vegetable beds at the bottom of the garden, and the “me area” at the top; the new plan splits it length-ways. The advantage of this is that it moves all of the vegetable beds out of the shadow of the fence/garage, and into the sunshine.

It also moves my original raised bed away from the area behind my garage. At present that area is accessed through a single path-width gap between the bed and the garage, which is often overgrown with nettles. Opening it up will give me access to an area very suitable for siting a permanently covered BBQ area.

Around the raised beds will be either gravel, woodbark or similar, with pavers forming a path. The social area shown as paved may actually turn out to be decked, which allows for better water drainage.

Now to wait to see what the designer comes up with!


  1. November 22, 2010

    I love garden design:-) Mine changes all the time according to how I’m feeling!

    Word of warning (although you’ve probably already factored this in) – decking can be very slippery in the damp. I don’t know if it’s possible now to treat it with something that counteracts that, but be cautious about normal decking if you might use it when less than 100% dry.

    Having said that, the last time I had much experience with decking was a while back, so it’s entirely possible that the technology has moved on a bit.

    You are on for having a BBQ party garden with Pick Your Own salad, aren’t you? It’s going to be fab!

    • chris
      November 22, 2010

      Yep – my understanding is that slippery decking is largely due to the stuff B&Q sell with those slots running down them. It is dirt and moss that grows in them that makes it slippy. The more expensive decking suffers less from this problem.

      However, this is something that I do need to look into. The advantage of using this guy is that he is only going to design the garden and come up with ideas and (if I wish) make recommendations for companies to actually do the work. Therefore he hasn’t got a secret agenda to move me one way or another, apart from he has eco-leanings and likes recycled materials (which is fine by me!).

  2. November 22, 2010

    It’s going to be fab 🙂 I was sure that *somebody* had solved the ‘slippery decking’ problem – if we can get a man to the moon, then surely we can figure out a way to walk safely on slightly damp wood…

    The nice thing about your design is that you can put your most used crops nearest to the house in a permaculture-stylee 🙂 It’s something I regretted last year when I figured out that I’d stuck all my salad and culinary herbs at the back of my allotment – as far away from the kitchen as possible :-/ I shall be changing that this year!

    It looks very practical, and nice space to spend time in as well. Looking forwards to seeing if/how it progresses. 🙂

    • chris
      November 22, 2010

      Thanks – no matter how much you think something is a good idea, it’s really nice to get feedback!

      At the moment, I have an extremely healthy herb garden – rosemary, flat parsley, thyme, mint and chives – at the end of my garden, with no non-muddy way to get there. As a result, more often than not, I don’t bother to go down there, and use dried herbs instead.

      The other thing is that because I am rearranging the beds and also getting rid of a couple of things that came with the garden, that I don’t care about (a big overgrown laurel bush), I should actually end up with more growing space – approximately 8m2 instead of the current 5-6m2; and that doesn’t include freestanding tubs and stuff.

  3. November 22, 2010

    looks good, let us know when it is ready for testing.

  4. chris
    November 23, 2010

    I must say, I quite like these. The one illustrated isn’t that deep, but they also come in 16 inch depth, which would be fine for most of the things I am growing.


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