Complete Newby to gardening, help me dream bigger!

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Lusterpeaks, May 4, 2020.

  1. Lusterpeaks

    Lusterpeaks Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello everyone! I hope you are all health and enjoying nature. Firstly, thanks for stopping by my thread let me tell you a bit more about me. I am a creative type by nature (and occupation) so this means I have BIG dreams/ideas for finished gardens but no real idea how to make them all a reality...yet!

    I have been researching, reading and watching YouTube, Gardeners World etc. Its fascinating but I am new so learning most on my feet. Thankfully though I'm good at DIY and not shy of heavy work.

    We moved from apartment to a house with garden last Oct. The garden is clay soil, the builders laid turf and landscaped the front (50/50 on plants: French lavender, hidcot lavender, chyosia, skimmia the rest was weird tentacle ground over like what you see in supermarket carpark). Anyway we dug it all out, got rid of the rubble/lumps of clay and added soil conditioner, compost and replanted the nice plants adding a box hedge cone and some phormium. Also planted daff bulbs in early Nov and they all seemed to bloom this spring yay!

    So now we are tackling back garden (NW facing). The patio is sloped so water runs off to left. However there are no drains in the back garden (these are at the side of house/bottom of driveway). We are mid point laying our base for shed at the top left of garden and need a pathway suggestion. Ideally one that aids the drainage and eliminates the need for lawn or expensive landscaping (it's a boggy/moss mess in that slither).

    My BIG idea is raised floating path with dry stream/pebbles underneath, hopefully I could plant some water/shade thriving plants etc here inbetween the rocks/pebbles? But my concern is laying hardcore base for path/stream and this preventing water from naturally draining down! I really don't want a unplanned pond or to flood the shed...or worse yet our neighbours gardens. Please help. All suggestions very much welcomed!

    You might need to know: the path will be on side of fence that we share with 2 neighbours. Our property is built on old industrial site so I assume alot of compacted soil. Photo shows how water logged it was in Nov during the heavy rain...but it does tend to drain away within 24-48 hours after rain stops.
     

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  2. Upsydaisy

    Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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  3. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    Welcome to Gardeners Corner Lusterpeaks. :)

    Perhaps you could dig a trench where the pathway would be and fill it with gravel to help the area drain - serving a double purpose.
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Total Gardener

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      Hi,

      Your 'flooding' is quiet normal for all the rain we had, so do not think you have any really bad drainage problem.

      As @Sheal says, make the paths hardcore quiet deep and use coarse gravel that will help remove the surface water from the lawn and drain away.

      Your plan looks really good , the only thing we might add is a large shrub or small tree by the rear fence between the shed and the seat, to give you a little more privacy from the houses opposite.
       
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      • Lusterpeaks

        Lusterpeaks Apprentice Gardener

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        @Sheal @ricky101
        Wonderful! Thank you for the suggestions. Will definately dig down deeper. This way I can remove compacted clay too. I do have follow up questions if you don't mind.

        Would I then backfill with hardcore to create a better base to walk etc on? Should I add sand too? Any suggestions for weed membrane that allows water drain quick and suitable for gravel? I know Yuzet and Mulch tex are what landscapers use and both have good reviews. I have recently built planter and lined it with something similar to Yuzet (woven) but I had to spike holes as it didn't let water through quick enough. I'm curious if anyone has experience using such products and how they found their performance?

        With regard to tree any suggestions? My simulation wasn't a representation of actual plants...not quite got to that part. The covenants state we can impact light of neighbours.

        Thanks so much for the advice!!
         
      • Sheal

        Sheal Total Gardener

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        I'd dig the trench/pathway a couple of spade depths down. Hardcore could be put in the bottom but my thoughts were too finish with gravel allowing drainage. I wouldn't use sand as that will eventually wash through into the soil below.

        A couple of internet pictures to give you an idea.
        [​IMG]

        [​IMG]

        I wouldn't use membrane anywhere in the garden as it will restrict drainage.

        I have a gravel drive and pathways around my home. It's also good for security as it crunches under foot or wheels. The only drawback I find with a gravel path is keeping it off the lawns unless it's edged with blocks or something similar.

        107.JPG
         
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        • Lusterpeaks

          Lusterpeaks Apprentice Gardener

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          @Sheal you have a stunning garden thank you for sharing your knowledge. :spinning:

          I mentioned hardcore because the aggregates company said to me I shouldn't fill more than 15mm deep for the gravel path otherwise it's difficult to walk on e.g. you sink into it when walking/pushing wheelbarrow. I assumed they knew best and didn't question it at the time. It's so confusing for novice to find right info...this site has been wonderful for real life feedback!! I now have delivery of hardcore and sand coming next week to do shed base and pathway. Yikes! I may now have waay too much hardcore.

          2 spades deep is what I do for my flower beds then remove all clay...its quite deep! If all of that depth would be backfilled with gravel...that would be amazingly simple!

          If I am putting sleepers/planks into the gravel do you have any suggestions for how to prevent them moving around? Originally I expected to lay these on the hardcore base before filling in the gravel.

          I have some rocks the size of my hand to help line the edge. There is also the plastic edging/metal edging but that's not my preferred choice. However if it did a better job I'd use it and sit the rocks in front of it to hide the look. I could price up bricks but with current lockdown I am struggling to source materials so figured just could make do.

          Although, I don't want the finished look to be like the Flintstones film set so I am open to feedback one that idea! Haha. I've attached photo (planks were just to get idea of curve)

          Thanks!!
           

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        • Sheal

          Sheal Total Gardener

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          Thank you Lusterpeaks but don't let looks deceive you. :biggrin: What you see now is a great improvement on how it was when I moved in 2 1/2 years ago. There's still a lot of work to be done both there in the front garden and the back. :doh:

          Sorry, I have to convert being long in the tooth. 15mm is just over half an inch, that's roughly the size of a stone that makes up the gravel? Perhaps you meant centimetres? My gravel is about 10cms/4in deep. I would suggest filling the trench with hardcore allowing space for the correct depth of gravel. My gravel is directly onto soil so I don't have experience of a filled trench as a footpath, only as a soakaway.

          Wood is lighter than gravel so they will probably move and I haven't any idea on how to anchor them, sorry. Slabs would have been better, weighing heavier.

          They would look nice but difficult when it comes to mowing the lawn or strimming around them. Something with an even edge would be more practical.
           
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