fionaluciani

Garden help pleas: how to make a maintenance free garden on a budget?

fionaluciani
5 years ago
Hi there,
I need help and your advice to find a cheap, maintenance free garden? The grass we currently have is always damp and grows moss.
We have a small house and two small kiddies so we need to use the garden for play space. But at the moment it's impossible to go outside - damp, water logged.
We've looked into digging out a drainage system but it's so expensive. We live in a terrace house so access to garden is only through the front door.
We've asked a few landscapers to pave the whole garden (this would be ideal) but it's just so dear.
Would anyone have any suggestions?
45 sq metres.
Slight slope.
Thanks as always

The photo attached was taken on a very rare good day!

Comments (16)

  • myperfectadvice
    5 years ago
    What about concreting it all.
    Or paving it yourself.
    Or pull out grass and put white pebbles down.
    fionaluciani thanked myperfectadvice
  • fionaluciani
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    I would love to have the confidence to pave it myself. How would concrete look I wonder? White pebbles are fab, but not suitable for the small babies. They'd eat them, or throw them! Thanks for your suggestions.
  • fionaluciani
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Thanks Patricia. I've heard that decking gets quite slippery when it's wet - it rains here all the time. It looks a lot nicer than concrete though. Any other nice ideas? Many thanks for your time.
  • Maureen
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago
    The new composite decks seem to be a bit slippery (according to a neighbour) but they are maintenance free. We had various wood decks and have never had any issue with it being slippery when wet. That would be my suggestion as well, but with all of your rain, you'll have to ensure you treat this type of deck every year to protect it.[houzz=
    Contemporary Deck · More Info
    ]
    fionaluciani thanked Maureen
  • apple_pie_order
    5 years ago
    Measure to see how much slope you have and where the drainage problem is. If you correct the drainage problem, you will have far more choice about what to do. You can get an estimate for correcting the problem from two or three local landscapers.

    It might also be useful to talk to the neighbors as they may have similar problems.
    fionaluciani thanked apple_pie_order
  • PRO
    Hoffman Landscapes Inc.
    5 years ago
    Consider using natural stone as opposed to concrete for a more organic look that addresses your problems as well.
    fionaluciani thanked Hoffman Landscapes Inc.
  • hayleydaniels
    5 years ago
    Put in a few French drains where you dig a ditch and fill it with crushed rock to help the water drain. In low spots put in some drains [ http://www.homedepot.com/p/Tuf-Tite-16-in-2-Hole-Drain-Sump-with-Grate-and-Seals-2HDS-4/203463511] with pipe running to the French drain.

    You might also need to bring in 10 yards of top soil along with some sand to raise your yard a bit as you're probably right at the water table level.

    We've had to do all this as we live in the Pacific Northwest in a reclaimed marsh [a nice word for a swamp] where we hit the water table if we dig down 3". We had to put down about 10 yards of top soil along with some sand to raise our back yard. We also dug a French drain along the back to connect to the associations drainage pipes through the neighborhood. My husband has put in at least 3 of the drains in strategic locations around the yard to help drain off the excess water. Our yard isn't perfect, but it isn't the swamp it was the first couple of years we were here.

    We have to apply moss killer every spring or it takes over the yard. My husband also puts down lime to soften the soil, and help the water drain easier. He and a friend rent an aerator every summer and do both our yards to help with the drainage as well.
    fionaluciani thanked hayleydaniels
  • PRO
    Kemora Landscapes
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago
    You could consider installing some artificial turf. Or half pavers and half artificial turf. We find that turf is being installed more and more each year. We have a lot of clients in the city with smaller yards and find that it may cost a bit more upfront, but in the long run, it saves time and way less maintenance! It's a great alternative for kids. I would definitely consider it. Good luck!
    fionaluciani thanked Kemora Landscapes
  • fionaluciani
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    thank you hayleydaniels. thats really useful. I think we need to sort out the drainage problem before we do anything else.
    Would you believe, Kemora Landscapes, I just rang a company about artificial grass today. I like the idea. They'll send me samples. Do you think I need to level the garden first?
  • PRO
    Kemora Landscapes
    5 years ago
    Great minds think alike fionaluciani! And yes, I would suggest leveling out the garden first. This will help prevent the opportunity of any puddles of rain collecting in certain areas. If the company you contacted installs it for you, they will level it out for you. Hope this works out for you!
    fionaluciani thanked Kemora Landscapes
  • beardedscienceguy
    5 years ago

    Here is a great top ten list. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhVAo9ZGL-8

    fionaluciani thanked beardedscienceguy
  • mzloolue
    5 years ago

    Kids need dirt and plants and butterflies.

    It is called nature.

    fionaluciani thanked mzloolue
  • Anne
    5 years ago
    You might look into alternative, low-maintenance lawn covers or seed types/mixes. Apparently there are some grasses that don't need as much mowing or watering, and many other types of ground cover that can be used for a lawn even some we think of as weeds (like clover). Just google it and you can learn a lot more than what I know. I've read a couple newspaper articles about people redoing their lawns that way.
    fionaluciani thanked Anne
  • PRO
    EasyTurf
    5 years ago

    Fiona - I'm curious about the company you chose and how they're working out for you -

    Cheers!
    George

  • fionaluciani
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    @EasyTurf - Thanks - I'll keep you posted once the job is done :)

    @mzloolue: thanks, I agree. Luckily the kiddies have plenty of nature around the area and in my parents house - so there are plenty of days where they go out in boots and rain gear and get lovely and dirty! If I can make life a tiny bit easier and keep the back garden clean, I'll be happy :)

    @Anne: Thanks for thinking outside the box. I'll do some googling.
Ireland
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