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How can I (hard) landscape my garden for no money?

(7 Posts)
MaryTheBookeeper Sun 16-Aug-20 17:38:37

I've inherited from the previous owner a garden that is on it's last legs & needs renewing. I'm comfortable with the digging/cutting back that's needed but the hard landscaping is the problem. The garden is on a slope and the curved flower beds have low retaining walls which are all cracked & broken due to tree roots. They need rebuilding but I have no funds for this. I'd also like to run a path to the back of the garden so I don't have to walk over a soggy lawn in winter. I'd also like to put a shed in the corner where there's currently an empty circular raised pond. Can you think of any crafty ways I can re-new the hard landscaping of this garden without paying £££ to a builder? I thought of those circular logs end-on to make retaining walls but they don't last long & the tree roots will be in the way..

SpringyChicken Sun 16-Aug-20 18:05:16

Do you have funds to buy some materials but not to pay for labour? A few photos would be helpful to better appreciate the problem.

Chewbacca Sun 16-Aug-20 18:13:33

Have a look on Freecycle or a local buy and sell Facebook page for scaffolders planks to build low beds. They're hard wearing and will last long enough to see you and me out! Ditto for unwanted paving slabs or used bricks that you can use to lay a herringbone path. The more random the bricks, the better it looks. I don't know whereabouts in the UK you are, but our local buy and sell Facebook has had several sheds to give away this summer, the caveat being that the person who had it, had to dismantle it.

Gaunt47 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:20:07

Hang around your local DIY stores - staff routinely sling broken slabs into a corner somewhere before sweeping the lot into bins.
Check your local freebie website - surplus items from all sorts of projects are advertised on those sites.
Drink a lot of wine (perhaps cheaper to sneak around and rummage in re-cycling receptacles) - bottles pushed down into earth make a path, bit slippery though, better pushed into bank of earth to make a retaining wall.

Grammaretto Sun 16-Aug-20 18:34:46

When we were making a patio we asked on gumtree for slabs and were inundated!
The problem was fetching them as they were heavy. Our wee trailer got a puncture etc. but I was amazed by the number of people who were upgrading their gardens by buying new monoblocks and were delighted to have us remove their old paving stones. We were offered bags of gravel too. The 2 x 2 ft stones we could manage but the 3 x 2 were enough to give you a hernia.

Old bricks are good too but our best investment, in pre-covid times, was hosting volunteers who worked tirelessly to help us. grin

FlexibleFriend Mon 17-Aug-20 19:27:19

Ask for broken paving stones, people are frequently happy to give them away rather than pay a fee at the tip. You might be lucky and they will deliver but other than that you'll have to arrange collection.
Stick an ad on you local neighbourhood site and facebook etc.

Hetty58 Mon 17-Aug-20 19:39:22

If you have transport, there's plenty of free used materials going. I've made a path from roof tiles!

Perhaps the raised beds could be repaired with wire mesh behind any cracks and stabilising plants? I've used violets and bell flowers to fix the soil on banks with their long roots.

Maybe think in terms of reusing as much as possible. The retaining walls could still have many good blocks that just need resetting with new cement.