BISF House Garden Time Projects & Ideas

BISF House Garden Time Projects & Ideas 1

One of the benefits of owning a BISF house is that it will most likely come with a very good-sized garden. In fact many BISF houses have very large gardens which is typical of post war housing developments.

Having a good-sized garden though does have its own drawbacks such as maintenance issues and of course, what to do with all that space.

I thought I would share with you one of my recent projects involving a pretty neglected small to medium BISF garden.I hope if nothing else that it may give you some ideas or inspiration for your own garden and of course as always please share your own garden designs and ideas below as we love to see what you have done or plan to do.

The garden itself presented a number of problems. The first being that it was sloping from front to back as well as from left to right. The second was that almost every square foot was covered in pots, containers, sheds, greenhouses and years of accumulated junk and rubbish.

garden before

In this first image if you can see the incline as the garden rises away in the distance but it is also considerably higher on the right hand side than the left.

garden before

By this stage I have already removed about 80 or so pots and planters leaving just a few plants that I wanted to salvage.

garden 3

You can probably already guess by those fence panels that the hedge just has to go so my apologies to all our hedge lovers!

Now sadly, I didn’t take many photographs of the period in between my final design such as the hedge, shed or greenhouse removal and I think that’s a real shame looking back. I would urge anyone doing work on your home to take before and after pictures as it really is good to see what you have achieved.

Back to the project.

After several skips and lots of toil and tears, ok less tears but more toil, I finally had the ground as flat as I could get it. I had to drop in a couple of pretty ugly sheds that I needed for work although it’s a shame they didn’t match. I decided to paint the fence panels white!!!!  Edit: I should say, the Wife decided to and after she painted it using several coats over several long days the effect was pretty good…..bless her little cottons

OK I know…bear with me here.

I dug out a long narrow pond and lined it with those huge old council slabs that once formed the garden path. At this point it looked like I was digging a grave which certainly got the net curtains twitching. Also being a bit of a contemporary design fan, I concreted in a few incredibly heavy solid oak railway sleepers and fitted a few lights to create a little summer ambiance.

Now in the photograph below, you should get a pretty good idea of where I was at this point.

garden 5

I then decided that I needed a path but as I wanted to create texture in the garden I decided to go for a mix of gravels, slabs and sleepers. Laying the path was pretty easy thanks to my trusty cement mixer and after laying a hardcore base I cemented the slabs and edging stones into place before filling in between with gravel. I found that gravel was a good cost-effective way to cover pretty large areas but if you do use gravel always remember to use a good weed membrane underneath.

garden 6

I curved the path to create a level of interest but at this point I wasn’t really sure where it should finish or even what ground covering I was going to use around the pond. I did think of gravel but as I had already used a large amount of gravel in front of the new conservatory to the right I thought perhaps it might lead to overkill.

So, to cut a long story short I decided to do a little terracing where the path finished using some more railway sleepers. I turfed the area around the pond and decided to build a small decorative fence around the gravelled area in front of the conservatory. At this point I’m smiling to myself wishing it had been as easy to do as it has been to write!

I also added a few extras such as a garden sail and a few ornaments creating the overall effect below. The sleepers at the end of the path are now dark brown not red as seen in photograph and a few other additions have been made since this image was taken. I know contemporary isn’t every ones cup of tea but I hope that my project may offer you some thoughts and ideas.

BISF House Garden Time Projects & Ideas 2
BISF House Garden Time Projects & Ideas 4
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There’s still a way to go yet as the plants need to establish and I hope to screen the sheds from view but I hope you like the final result.
Remember that we really want to see your garden pictures, so why not share your creations , thoughts and ideas with us by uploading your images below. If you haven’t yet started or just want to share thoughts and ideas then you are in good company here at BISF House!


  1. How would you attach a bracket for a hanging basket or trellis etc (ie something not too heavy) onto the downstairs outside wall? Can you use a rawl plug as you would for a masonry wall or does the render on metal lath construction need a different sort of attachment?

  2. Thanks Marc, I missed having a garden since I moved out from my parents place. I don't think goldfish and koi are so hard to keep – my parents have some in a pond and I used to help look after them, they did not need so much attention. I know some people take their fish super-seriously though.

    Never had any babies though, so I think you should feel proud.

  3. The garden was one of the main things that attracted me to the house, backing onto fields.

    I haven't had a chance to do much to it yet (this is a before picture) apart from planting some fruit trees.

    I'm planning to remove the strangely-clipped conifer and build a small retaining wall where the bank is in order to level the area behind it and make a large square/rectangular koi carp pond there.

    1. What an amzing view Ed and a great space to work with too.

      I really like the way that conifer has been shaped in the foreground, it creates an almost tropical Mango Tree effect.

      I really wanted to create a Koi Pond but the upkeep and maintenance put me off. I hardly have a spare minute in the summer as my work takes me outside all day and almost every day.

      Being a bit of a novice too when it comes to fish, I was surprised to see last year in a pond I had created for someone else that the Goldfish had spawned and little fry were swimming everywhere.

      I felt kinda proud :)

  4. I love the garden design. We have a BISF house in sunbury-on-thames and are looking for ideas on the outside garden before the summer comes. Do you have more pictures of your garden? I am after well lit, water falls and contempary design.

    1. Hey Richard, Sorry I missed your reply there. I don't have any more images at the moment and the garden looks a little forlorn at the moment. I will See if I can add a few more.

      A water feature was one of my priorities but having constructed a few different ponds over the last few years I really wanted something low maintenance this time.

      I looked at hundreds of different water features and waterfall but found nothing that I really liked. I even thought of pipes coming out of the top of the sleepers and converging over the pond but in the end I chose simplicity.

      I have a few images of an old garden that was a total wreck when I started. I will see if I can dig them out.