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My garden looks like a run down play park and I am rubbish at keeping it nice .

(7 Posts)
travellingwilbury Mon 06-Jun-11 14:50:50

I just don't know where to start , I have tried but I tend to go all guns blazing and spend a load of money on plants that I have no idea about which then just die or get chocked with weeds . The lawn is rubbish as well .

How do I make a start without getting bored and fed up with it ?
Are you really just a green fingered person or can it be a learnt thing ?

I also have to young boys who churn all lawn into mud in the winter playing football and spend the summer running riot building obstacle courses .

Anybody fancy helping a beginner ?

GypsyMoth Mon 06-Jun-11 14:52:12

sounds like mine.....i'll sit here on the [broken] fence with you til help comes along!!

travellingwilbury Mon 06-Jun-11 14:57:51

Thanks ILT , glad I am not the only one , it is just a bit boring isn't it ?

I suppose I have to start looking at it in the same way as I do housework , don't like doing that much either .

Maybe I am just bloody lazy .

I do however need a plan , if I could afford a landscape gardener to come round and sort it out for us I think I would keep on top of it then . I just don't know where to start with it all .

petaluma Mon 06-Jun-11 15:00:56

I'm no expert but have recently overhauled our mud patch - and it looks semi ok now. Here's what we did:

Put 24 hour weed killer down on each side where the beds are (and stopped ds playing for a day), then laid membrane over the top and then shit loads of bark chips. That stopped the weeds.

We then invested in a variety of pots (including a colour ceramic umbrella stand) and cheap colourful plants and shrubs (lavender, fuschia, decorative leilandi etc), dotted them about on the bark chip beds. To add a bit more interest, we also bought some lantern poles and hooks, cheap Moroccan lanterns from TK Maxx, and a variety of solar lights.

Our grass is very soggy and easily churned up so haven't quite cracked that one yet but it's been improved by spreading some sand on it and dh walking up and down aerating it with his football boot spikes!

travellingwilbury Mon 06-Jun-11 16:06:10

Thank you petal , I think my biggest problem is a lack of a plan .

It is 100ft long with a pond and a shed at the end , a lovely magnolia and a tree house .

A trampoline that I would gladly skip if I thought I would get away with it . That is without the slide that only gets used in obstacle courses and a tiny see saw that fits noone but is the favourite thing ever apparently .

I think I need to start with a plan but my vision is lacking .

Well done you though on getting it sorted , I love the image of your DH wandering around in his spikes sorting out the lawn .

chixinthestix Tue 07-Jun-11 00:26:49

I think you need to decide what you want from the garden vs what amount of time and effort you have to put into it. Pretty tidy gardens are a lot of work so its easy to be discouraged if your early efforts havent wored well.

The quickest thing which has an instant effect in my garden is to keep the lawn cut really regularly and trim off the long bits round the edges. My lawn is awful, more weeds than grass but because I cut it once a week you can't tell and it sets off the rest which is pretty but very riotous and always in desperate need of pruning etc so it looks much better.

Our garden has lots of different areas to it which seems to work really well. There's a bare patch the dcs are allowed to dig up and do what they like and an area where they can play ball games and not hurt anything and they have a den behind the shed but my precious flower borders and the part near the house where we sit out which are the bits I see the most from the house are where they know to be more careful. I try and use big plants to screen some of the less attactive bits like the greenhouse and hen pen. The veg plot is fenced off at the bottom so also separate. My gardens about the same size as yours I think. Mind you I do spend an awful lot of time out there and I have alot of plants.....

I would say start slowly with a really small area first that you know you will have time to weed or deal with and plant small things that the dc can help with. You can expand it once you have gained a bit of confidence and if you plant seeds or small plants it won't cost much. Something edible is always good for starters and a couple of pots with some nice bright bedding in whichyou can move around. I'd always do the bit you look at from the kitchen/living room window first because then you'll feel chuffed each time you look out.
Oh, and talk to neighbours, friends, family - there's usually someone who'll give you spare seedlings or a bit of this or that plant that you've admired and i started pretty much all of my garden that way.
Hope you find it as theraputic as I do! good luck

travellingwilbury Tue 07-Jun-11 18:19:34

Thanks chix , I have sorted out the front this week .
It is tiny , but it is now weed free and has a couple of nice plants in the brick pillars so that is looking better .

Someone gave me some tomato plants today so I am going to plant them tomorrow but instead of just getting a grow bag and foget to put stakes in and pinch them , I am actually going to dig a wee patch and find stakes and some feed and do it properly . That will be my start on the rest of it .

We also have a huge patch which used to be grass but is now just mud as we have had a blow up pool over it for weeks and it hadn't recovered from last year . So that may be my next project .

We also don't have a lawnmower . We did have a push one but it is now officially knackered and as much as moving the guinea pigs round the garden does keep the grass down it is not really the best option is it ? blush

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