A garden from scratch


A recurring issue with new build homes these days is the back garden. Developers think along the lines that new home owners may want to design their own gardens. This is fair enough but does that mean their responsibility ends at the back door ?

At present this would appear to be the case.

Would it not be better for developers to provide their customers with at least a serviceable grassed area that can be utilised in the mean time.

At least then new home owners would have time to settle into their new environment before the weeds reach their doors. Sorry, rant over and on with the job.

This customer, faced with a barren view, decided on a semi-circle patio surrounded by grass. This picture shows the garden after excavation to level the soil ( clay and rocks, sorry couldn't resist ) and dig out an area for the patio. This area has now been filled with crushed stone and a thin layer of sand.

After excavation the garden is lower so two steps are required to access the double doors. A concrete foundation has been poured for this purpose.

With the steps in place the surrounding slabs can be laid. These are "riven" slabs which means they have a slightly rippled surface to mimic real stone and generally come with a rounded edge. This type of slab requires a gap between each slab which is pointed with mortar.

With all the slabs laid and pointed the area is finished off with a border of block paving.

The remaining area to be turfed is then covered with a thin layer of ash soil. This is, as it sounds a mix of ash and soil which is a good medium for turf as it does not compact and is free draining. In this case it also helps by filling any undulations in the underlying material.

The turf has been laid and watered, a lot as it has been a hot summer. When you are turfing in dry periods it is essential to keep the grass well watered but this can make the surface soft due to the dry soil absorbing water and swelling up. It is advisable to keep off new turf for as long as possible in these conditions and use a board or other flat object to walk on if necessary. Footprints are easily repaired by lifting the turf and filling underneath with soil.

So, the garden is completed and the sun is still shining. There's a turn up for the books. Hmmm must remember to pick up that hosepipe.