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B&Q Unloved Gardens feedback thread. Non-testers: add your unloved garden comments - £150 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(587 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Jul-13 12:20:13

This thread is for the 20 Mumsnetters who have been chosen by B&Q to revamp their unloved garden.

Those selected have been sent a B&Q giftcard to buy the things they need to give their unloved garden a makeover. They're working to complete the makeover by the 28th, and will be keeping us up-to-date on how their revamps are going on this thread as well as posting photos.

Please do follow their stories and add your own comments if you want to show some support!

Below are the questions we'd like testers to answer but please feel free to add your own comments too. Please give us a bit of info about the garden you're revamping and what you plan to do with it in your response.

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?
- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?
- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?
- How did you find your shopping experience at B&Q? Were the staff helpful? Did you find anything in store you maybe didn't expect to beforehand?
- Did you use any of the help and advice that B&Q offer? This includes their videos on YouTube, leaflets and classes in store etc. If so, how useful was that help and advice?
- If B&Q could do anything more to help you next time you visit, what would it be?
- Have you had any feedback on what you've done with the garden from family/friends? Has the transformation had a big impact on you and/or your family?

If you're not an official tester but would like to be in with a chance of winning a £150 B&Q giftcard, please post on this thread to tell us about your own garden revamp successes (or failures!) - we'd love to hear from all MNers who have a garden makeover story to share!

Thanks very much
MNHQ

Cremolafoam Wed 10-Jul-13 23:05:18

Evening all. Just had a 'planning meeting' with dh and also made a bit of a shopping list. here is a couple of photos of our patch. Grim isnt it?blush
Ophelia yours looks like an After Picture already.

Cremolafoam Wed 10-Jul-13 23:06:55

with cat. who is obviously raging as I am going to be taking away her personal bathroom. angry

Cremolafoam Wed 10-Jul-13 23:14:42

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?

we simply have not had time. Dh has been unwell and dd has been doing exams . I have only managed to look after the back garden which is where we sit. Also we had major snow this year and then flodding so lost a lot of plants in the front garden.
- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?

As its a cottage bungalow, I like the idea of cottage plants. Lots of lavender and natives if possible. We need a bit of kerb appeal!. At the moment it looks as if no-one lives here. I like a mix of blousy flowers mixed in with herbs and even veg.

and- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?

Will be relying on DH to hep with much of the manual labour. I have also roped dd into painting( for cash mind) Dm ttok one look and thinks we are mad, but brought me a Geoff Hamilton book for inspiration

I will save the last three questions for later on.Heres a picture of the kind of thing Im looking at for inspiration. Off to B&Q on Friday!

Babieseverywhere Wed 10-Jul-13 23:44:38

Do B&Q's shut for lunch ? I have been trying for three days to reserve a certain playhouse at the St Helens branch of B&Q...as it is out of stock in nearer locations.

I did manage to get the phone picked up and was transferred to 'gardens department' several times but no one picked up, then my line was dropped. Sometimes when I called, I couldn't get anyone to pick up the main line at all. Lunch time is my phone around time (as my toddler and baby are busy eating and can't join in the conversation), I wonder if there is less staff on at that time ?

Will try again tomorrow...

babies maybe worthwhile phoning head office and explaining the deadline situation, perhaps they would be able to get one delivered?

I'm going to have very little left to spend on plants.

Any suggestions as to which ones will make the most impact and make what little I have go as far as possible?

I'm begging cuttings from everyone I know smile

Roma2013 Thu 11-Jul-13 07:11:52

Trying to upload my 'before' pic of concrete base floor, breeze block walls and garage door (hope it works)... See post above for impossible fantasy hopes and dreams of a lush courtyard garden.

Roma2013 Thu 11-Jul-13 07:14:35

oops..please turn head on one side to 'right' photo. It was uploaded the correct way up so mo idea why it did that*

Roma2013 Thu 11-Jul-13 09:16:42

Babies.. There s a branch in Prescot isn t there? Have you tried this?

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:32:46

hello garden makerovereers. i've ditched the kids, the sun is shing, time to get started!

- Why is your unloved garden unloved? What do you want to change about it? What has stopped you until now?

we moved in two years ago, i was heavily pregnant and we had a toddler and no money. we've actually done quite a lot, taking out LOADS of weeds and planting a continuation of the beech hedge that goes along the front, taking it up the side, where there is a rickety old fence. but now i'm back at work, and studying and there is still no money and even less time.

at the moment there is no path to our main entrace, just stepping stones across the sparse, weedy lawn. an ugly, concrete weedy drive area and a no mans land at the side of the house.

we want a proper path and some nice edging to the side of the drive, continued up the side of the house to seperate the path, from the weedy, rubbly bit and to make this small area a pretty rockery type bit, which i tried to do but failed.

essentially we need to out in a bot of structure and definition, and i think the rest should follow (i hope)

- Where did you get your inspiration for doing up the garden from? What sort of style are you going for etc?

i read gadening books and watch Monty Don and dream, but my reality is so far removed from where they're at i get daunted and nothing gets done. i am also a ointerest addict and my garden board has over 100 photos of manicured, designed beautiful spaces, without a weed in sight

- Have you had much help along the way with the revamp? If so, who from? And what sort of help - practical or ideas-based?

i'm roping in a friend to do the paving, we (DP & I) will do all the preparation and digging out but i think we need someone who knows waht they're doing to do the finishing touches, or it risks looking, much as it does now, as a valiant attenpot that has sadly failed

- How did you find your shopping experience at B&Q? Were the staff helpful? Did you find anything in store you maybe didn't expect to beforehand?

haven't been to a shop yet, but i've been perusing the website. i could spend teh £300 twenty times over (as i'm sure we all could) but am concentrating on teh biog, expensive purchases that we need so badly but would never otherwise have afforded

- Did you use any of the help and advice that B&Q offer? This includes their videos on YouTube, leaflets and classes in store etc. If so, how useful was that help and advice?

i've got a 'how to do paving' leaflet that i picked up ages ago. reading thsi i'm confident we can do the ground work, just so long as ther isn;t bedrock under the grass!

Cremolafoam Thu 11-Jul-13 10:33:13

I think when the switchboard put you through to gardens it just rings out until someone in that dept answers. If its busy and the assistants are all with customers then it'll not be answered. I've heard the phone ringing endlessly when I've been wandering in the garden dept before . Often there is only one guy out there.
Bit crap really.
Maybe try just after lunch rush at 2.30?

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:45:59

the 'rockery'
this area is at the side of the house. it was just a pile of stones and weeds.

i recyled some wood as edging, but it's rotting and falling apart and the stones fall all over the path

there are some nice plants in here, a rhododendron, an acer, some bay trees, a fern thing and i've bunged some pots of geraniums around to try and brighten it up, it's a dark and shady area

we want to put proper edging along here

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:47:12

the 'flower bed'

again there are some nice things, peonies, lavender (somewhere underneath) but the bindweed and couch grass think they've won this particular battle

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:49:07

our horrid drive

i think once it has some nice edging under the conifers, to stop the soil and debris spilling onto the concrete, and it has been weeded it'll look 1000 times better. eventually we will gravel it when funds allow

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:50:20

the drive! the bins! the weeds! the abandoned toys!

we need help

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:54:42

this will be our main project

we need a proper path, so visitors know where to come (every other house on the street has their entrace at the side) and so we don't have pools of mud trapsed into the house, and just so it looks better

this has been a huge bugbear for me since we moved in, and is something i've been desperate to do, but funds haven't allowed

this is why i am so THRILLED to have been chosen. it sounds a bit silly and melodramatic but this will make a real difference for us and the house will look so much better and not a bit odd and botched, like it does at present

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 10:56:26

lordy, i've just watched my first video back, i sound like i'm doing a comedy voice. it is my actual voice, just ridiculous blush

i'm not looking forward to subsequent ones where you can actually see me shock

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 11:01:03

and at the risk of hogging the thread, i'd love some advice if i could have some?

the paving....

i had visions of pretty cobbles with cottagy plants spliing over, but the reality is our house is an ugly, concrete semi, and the budget, although generous and lovely and fab to have been given, i do want to strtech it as far as possible.

the porch area has fake stone pavers, head says match with these, budget agrees, heart says something more exotic....and pretty

so now i'm thinking fake stone pavers, edged with box which will evantually make a little hedge each side, less effort than a flower bed, fewer plants needed, easier to maintain right?? and perhpas a bit 'structural' and 'designery'? but not ott for my ugly house?

Openyourheart Thu 11-Jul-13 12:03:16

Smells Go for the fake ones. Keep to the budget and I'm sure that the hedge either side will make it look fab. It is hard, but I'm trying to be strict with the budge too.

I want to make some raised planters but the sleepers from B&Q are not exactly cheap. I wish they did some of the slot together planter kits like this
www.railwaysleeper.co.uk/index.php/softwood-slot-together-raised-bed-kits-c-95

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 12:13:10

Thanks open

Have you seem these:

cheaper ones

We'll probs use these, although they don't say how wide they are. It's annoying [whispers] our local sawmill does sleepers that are longer, deeper and not as expensive, but we don't have cash to buy them from there, whereas we do have this voucher

I'm going to see of I can see these rustic ones in real life tomorrow. I'll report back

I think I did see slot together kits on the b&q website but they were £££

Cremolafoam Thu 11-Jul-13 12:29:29

what about loose gravel? i think thats what im going for. A layer of weed suppressing fabric and some pale pebbels/gravel. def cheaper than pavers.

Openyourheart Thu 11-Jul-13 13:07:44

Thanks, I saw those, Smells and I will probably use them but if you are going to stack them up, like on the picture, it works out V £££

SmellsLikeWeenSpirits Thu 11-Jul-13 13:55:17

Gravel had been plan a before we were fortunate enough to get this voucher. Thing is the door opens into our dining room which has got a wooden floor and I think the stones will migrate in and scratch it. It does look nice though

Babieseverywhere Thu 11-Jul-13 16:23:20

Right, I spoke to two lovely ladies (Jackie and Hannah) at St Helens who were really helpful and I can go on the 22nd July and pick up my reserved playhouse with my DH. Brilliant just have to get the rest of the garden done by then.

We have taken before photos, spent days taking stuff to the local tip.

Yesterday we bought a pressure washer from B&Q and I have discovered the outside flags in the garden are creamy yellow not gray !

Looking much better already and I find myself spending more time in the garden now it is a bit clearer smile

Managed to get all the junk cleared from the shed and garden last night, was at it until 10pm.

Here is a better photo, ignore the pile of junk in the foreground, that will soon be going to the tip.

Putting the fence and gate up over the weekend and trying to dismantle the shed and move it over to the other side of the garden.

Anyone successfully moved a shed? We only have the two of us so would have to do it in sections.

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