We want to make our garden a bit prettier. Key challenges are to:
1) Remove the shed (we have alternative storage space)
2) Replace the shed with an eating dining area
3) Hide the back brickwall
5) Find a way to hide or improve the cracked concrete that makes up the
path and the ground where the shed currently is
A few challenges to achieving this are that we don't want to undertake
heavy work such as removing the concrete because we don't have a side
access. We don't want to create any high levels as we are planning on
having children soon and want to make it safe.
Here is a link to see the garden.
'Garden | Garden | Pinterest' (http://tinyurl.com/lwpnuh6 )
Any help would be much appreciated.
You obviously haven't been watching the Chelsea Flower Show for the past
few years (is it shown on PBS in the USA?). Seems to me that most "sow
gardens" at Chelsea these days barely have a plant in them - they seem
to consist mostly of concrete, bricks, rusty iron, and glass. Anything
green is conspicuous by its absence.
#3: Plant an evergreen vine. Or, if the wall does not offend you too
much, try a deciduous flowering vine. Not knowing your climate, I
cannot suggest a vine. Visit a local plant nursery and ask there.
Visit a public garden and see what they have planted.
#4: This is missing.
#5: I would break the concrete more, leaving large, irregular pieces.
Then pry the pieces apart 1-2 inches, including where there are
pre-existing cracks; this will leave an irregular edge to the walk.
Plant an aromatic ground cover (e.g., creeping thyme) in the gaps and
around the edges. (Some people pay a lot of money to bring in broken
concrete for this.)
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
On Thursday, September 18, 2014 3:20:28 PM UTC-7, David E. Ross wrote:
I was also going to suggest a vine for the brick wall. A brick wall is a va
luable thing! Depending on your climate, even just plain ivy would do well
, if not too much sun exposure. But if you'd like a flowering vine --that
might grow quickly -- your local nursery is the best place to ask. Having
viewed your brick wall in pic, I'd strongly endorse the vine option.
If you don't have access to a nursery, go on-line, remembering that you MUS
specify climate, rainfall, sun exposure, quality of soil, etc. to get helpf
David's advice about broken concrete with low-growing ground cover in betwe
en is doable. I actually opted for dymondia to make a path to a gate, even
though it will take several years for it to blend into a sturdy, walkable
mat, temporarily interspersed w/left-over concrete bits. (If I had put in
more plants, it would have taken shorter time.)
Not sure I get it about "no side access". Pic doesn't show where the path
BEGINS, only where it butts into the brick walls. Where does it go?
Project need not disable "access" for more than a day or two, if you bring
in a crew, or even some sturdy teenagers to cut up the concrete. You can p
ile up the surplus concrete pieces somewhere out of the way while you adver
tise it for free pickup.
Meantime the ground cover will be growing among the pieces of the path you
Why can't you just walk on the grass while the path is being rebuilt?
If don't want to go for the broken concrete-cum-ground cover bit, you may h
ave to bring in a crew to cut up & remove. Then put in pavers that have ho
les to allow plants to go through. Or get hold of some old bricks and plan
t between them. Since this is only a footpath rather than a driveway, ther
e are many alternatives.
Replacing shed with casual dining area (and nice big umbrella or permanent
canopy) is a dynamite idea. Try not to skimp on quality if possible, as su
n deteriorates outdoor furniture fast (again, depending on how much sun you
If I might suggest: Taller plants against the fence to the L. in the pic.
I assume the OP is in the UK. That brick wall is not his property, and,
without the permission of the owner, he cannot do anything to it without
risking legal action. He might get away with planting ivy or, another
self-clinging plant at the base of the wall, and hope they grow up it,
but that's all. No hooks, wire, trellis, or even paint. In any case,
it would take years for any self-clinging climbing plant to cover a wall
of that size..
What the OP means is that all the houses in the street are joined to
each other without any gaps at the side, so it is not possible to bring
in any earth-moving equipment or gardening materials by that route.The
path will end at the back door of the house; in the UK this is almost
invariably the door from the kitchen to the garden. So any materials for
the garden have to be brought through the front door, usually along a
hall, into the kitchen, and then out into the garden.
Remove and replace; hire a paving contractor or DIY.
Still has nothing to do with gardening... that's like redoing ones
Now you're being silly, there are lots of plants that grow in arid
climes... cacti and succulents for two... and even in a desert one can
bring in topsoil and irrigation and plant crops, etc. But replacing a
shed is not gardening.
If not the poster's wall I'd suggest doing nothing to it... attach
nothing without permission, not even a vine... find out if the
property line allows enough land to grow a hedge or a row of some sort
of conifers that would hide the wall... but I don't think a brick wall
is so visually offensive... besides it was probably there all along so
it it offends the poster he shouldn't have moved there. I would
simply accept it until such time as one can move elsewhere, the wall
ain't going anywhere anytime soon.
On Friday, September 19, 2014 4:51:05 PM UTC-7, Brooklyn1 wrote:
This whole megillah about UK wall/property/access is hardly comprehensible
to this Yank.
The only other contribution I could make to a situation which I cannot even
begin to visualize has to do with the aesthetics of the brick wall. If, a
s some here aver, you cannot make any changes to it, e.g. even attach a vin
e, you could still consider the following:
Construct or acquire a large redwood structure -- trellis-type thingie -- t
o harmonize with the wood fence (is fence redwood?), and place it so as to
mask the brick wall (which is not particularly attractive).
If you then construct a platform for your outdoor dining area out of the sa
me material, you could end up with a harmonious whole.
To plant anything to hide that wall we'd need to know what direction
it faces, if north facing no sun would strike that wall making choices
very limited... if south facing receiving direct sun will heat those
bricks to temperatures that no plants nearby can survive. Without
photos of the back yard showing all the pertinent features it's not
possible to offer advice other than wild speculation... for all we
know that brick wall is a six foot tall structure as a fence between
properties or the wall of a four story apartment building.
> even begin to visualize has to do with the aesthetics of the brick wall.
> If, as some here aver, you cannot make any changes to it, e.g. even
> attach a vine, you could still consider the following:
> -- to harmonize with the wood fence (is fence redwood?), and place it so
> as to mask the brick wall (which is not particularly attractive).
> same material, you could end up with a harmonious whole.
Thanks for all the replies. There's some very nice ideas - hadn't
considered breaking up the concrete and planting in the cracks, not sure
I've even seen that before so will look it up and investigate.
The posters above who confirmed that the wall isn't ours are right. For
the record, I didn't have a choice about it when I moved here, it is my
husband's property, he chose it before I married him! I'm not so keen on
it unfortunately. We are considering asking the homeowner's permission
to add a trellis, but perhaps if we can't do that, we are better off
putting in railway sleepers and planting high plants in them as they
shouldn't require building against the wall as such.
It's a northeast facing garden so there is some sun in the morning but
not in the afternoon. I am quite happy to investigate plants that we can
plant there (the plants in the borders were all planted by me, based on
the environment, soil etc). I'm no expert but they are still living
after two years!
It's the hard landscaping bits that I'm struggling with (sorry to the
poster who feels that this isn't gardening, but surely you need the
right structures in place such as trellises etc in order for the plants
you choose to thrive in your particular garden)? It's still part and
parcel of gardening in my opinion.
The poster who mentioned the side access is right, unfortunately we live
in a Victorian terrace house (or rather, fortunately, because it's a
lovely building, but unfortunately because it means all access to the
garden is via the house). I'm reluctant to do anything too messy but I
may just have to bite the bullet on that front I think.
Thanks again for all the great ideas.
A brick wall some 22 feet high is not anything one can cover up with
plantings in less than some 22 years... and never any gaurantees no
matter what you plant for it may die long before growing very high...
were it me that wall bothered I'd seriously consider moving elsewhere.
The wall was there when you decided to live there. Move somewhere
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