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Keen novice and need advice on gardening

(4 Posts)
mummy2007 Fri 20-May-11 21:37:40

Hi,

I have a lovely garden that we love but I need some help to make it nice. On the right hand side I have a bed of soil with shrubs that the previous owner left. I've never really been big on shrubs (maybe I know little about them), but I would prefer some colour with some lovely flowers like roses. Can anyone advise a selection of flowers I can buy that I can plant? What do I look for? Ones that will grow each year and only really needs watering to be taken care of (I can do a bit of snipping too I guess!). Flowers which looks pretty and perhaps (only perhaps) do not attract too many bees smile

Also, in the bed of soil I can't beleive how many weeds there are, wild flowers and even grass! I know, I should of looked after it before (I was pregnant when I moved in and it was the last thing on my mind). What is the best way to get rid of them. They are surrounding the shrubs, and I want to see the soil again so I can plant some flowers. Also, should I pull any shrubs out?

And finally.. the lawn. I have these weeds, I'm not sure what they are called, but they are flat like green leafs in circles dotted around and I hated them. I pulled a couple out and it has left two holes sad Is there something I should be putting on my lawn that would kill them and perhaps nourish the grass at the same time? If so, I'd love to know! I do have a 3 year old and a 10 month old baby... so I guess something that is 'safe' for them too.

Thanks so much and I do look forward to your responses and input, no matter how small.

ellangirl Mon 23-May-11 20:59:42

WRT to type of plants for your bed, I recommend finding a local garden centre (a proper nursery really) and asking their advice. A good one will talk you through what to choose for your bed as it depends on how much sun you get, and how to look after and prune them. They should also be able to help you identify the ones you have if you take along some little branches or leaves off them. I would say shrubs are the lowest maintenance, and there are some really pretty flowering ones. You will prob have to water new plants quite a lot to start with until they're established.
There is only one way to get rid of the weeds- pull them out! Try to get all the roots. You'll have to weed frequently to start with, and then it should get better when you have got on top of it. When you have got all the weeds out you can dig over the beds around the shrubs to loosen up the soil ready for planting. Best dig in some fertiliser too- blood/bone meal for example.
Now, the lawn. If you weed the lawn with chemical lawn weedkiller, you will be left with patches. Fill them up and over seed them with some quick growing grass seed. You can look here to identify what the weeds are if you want to know weeds. You could maybe consider natural lawn fertiliser? I'm a recent convert. The best thing to make your lawn look neat is to edge it with a half moon edger- looks so much nicer immediately.
Hope this helps!

Lauracorin Mon 23-May-11 21:28:34

Just to add to what Ellangirl said: once you've weeded your bed and perhaps planted with some new shrubs/other plants, you could put down a mulch to reduce the number of weeds. Some people use things like bark chips, which deny the weeds light and so slow their growth down.

I was overwhelmed with weeds last year but am taking control this year. It's taken me two years in this garden to start to feel that I know what I'm doing.

mummy2007 Thu 09-Jun-11 09:25:06

Thank you to both of you... helpful and encoraging! My bed is looking so much nicer now already- its just the weeds on my lawn. Which natural lawn fertiliser do you use and does it kill weeds?

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