Steep bank and new to gardening!

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Sme83, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Sme83

    Sme83 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all, just to quickly introduce myself I am 22 years old and have just bought my first house and therefore have my first garden to look after. My family have never been keen gardeners so it is a new concept to me, but I am determined to learn and make the most of my new space! As well as reading this forum, I am also reading Alan Titchmarsh's 'How to be a gardener' for a few helpful tips!

    Anyway, I'm hoping for some friendly advice on a steep bank in my garden. My garden is a small and flat square laid to grass. On three sides it has a small border around the grass with a fence behind and on the fourth side (the end of the garden as you walk in) there is a steep bank with a field at the top which I can't see! The bank is the entire width of my garden, so approx 22ft wide and is 12ft tall. I would guess that it is about 2 meters deep. The bank is a real eye sore at the moment, full of weeds and rubble. My next door neighbours have the same bank running along the back of their garden but have made it into about 2/3 narrow terraces, so that they can walk up it to see the field.

    What is the best way to tidy the bank up and allow me to walk up it to see the field? Having just bought my first house, money is obviously a little tight, so without trying to ask too much (!) I'm looking for a fairly cost effective solution as well!

    Any ideas, photos or places to look for information gratefully received! :)
     
  2. Waco

    Waco Gardener

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    If your neighbours looks good and you like it could you copy what they have done.

    Terracing can be expensive a cheaper option may be to clear it and plant the bank up just cutting crude rustic steps up to the field.

    As for planting, you will need to know which way the bank faces and what type of soil you have.
     
  3. DAG

    DAG Gardener

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    Welcome Sme83, if I understand your description correctly (12ft high x 2m deep) then that bank has more than a 45 deg. slope!!!

    Very unstable, I would think that's why it's full of rubble, to hold it together?

    As Waco says, your neighbour seems to have the answer, or at least I would talk to them if pos., it may save you a lot of trouble to know what you are up against!

    Sounds as if there should be a solid retaining wall there.

    Also I would think that drainage would be a big issue with that field 12 ft higher! Hopefully the field slopes the other way?

    If the house has been there some years, then no worries!

    Sorry can't help with the planting, except that long term you probably have the potential to build a nice waterfall/rockery feature there that I can only envy as my ground is completely flat.
     
  4. Waco

    Waco Gardener

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    Been thinking about this a bit more, aspect and photo would be helpful, but with economy in mind and the fact that if its your first house you may move on soon, why not try to hold the bank together with planting - not best option, but as I said cheap one and may solve a drainage problem that DAG mentioned.
    Stuff like prostrate lonicera, grasses a few prostrate conifers, spiarea - what I would call "car park " planting, but would hold bank together and allow water through

    I have to hold my river bank together, I do this with willow and snowberry, I don't like it, but it works.

    If you are new to gardening, something simple may be a good idea. as to the field........AaAAhhh WEEDS! don't remind me!
     
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