There are pics on my profile. Its getting rather big, so I need to find out how to treat it, but have no idea what it is. Recently moved here, and this is my first garden, so I am enthusiastic but clueless!
And whilst I'm on here, can anyone reccommend a good 'gardening for dummies' style book that I can educate myself with and hopefully maintain my garden in its current beauty.
Looks like lilac to me. Did it have flowers in the Spring, or was that before you moved in? If it is lilac it will have lovely-smelling flowers in long droopy clusters, either white or some shade of purple/lilac/pink. If you put some in a vase it will make your house smell gorgeous!
I am not a gardening expert though but from experience it can get very overgrown and straggly and also tries to sprout extra bits all over the place if you let it. I can't remember what time of year you are meant to prune it though (def not just before it flowers though!) but will check later if I get a chance.
Thanks. We moved in at the beginning of May, and (as far as I remember) it hasn't done anything since then. Does that fit in with Lilac? From looking at the rest of the garden, the previous owner did have a bit of a thing for purple!
Become a member of your local library if possible. Mine has lots of choice of gardening books so I can dip in and out of them and try before I buy. I really don't like the man or his style of gardening, but Alan Titchmarsh has a series of small books out on different areas of gardening that are quite novice-friendly. But as TheDailyWail says, if I were you I'd buy a good reference book that you can dip in and out of, I have the RHS encyclopedia of gardening.
Panacotta - I have both a lilac and a judas tree in my garden - it really does look a lot more like the lilac than the Judas tree - which is also very distinctive with the red stems to the leaves. If its not in a very sunny location a lilac won't necessarily have flowered - but my lilac tree is about 10' tall and at least 12' spread - as a tree, not a bush - big enough for ds (6) to climb (actually, I have been known to climb it to have a nose over the fence at what the commercial property at the bottom of the garden is doing)
It looks lilac to me. See here If it has been incorrectly pruned in previous years it won't flower - it flowers from the last year's growth. You prune after they've flowered (spring) and can cut them quite hard back as they will sprout from old wood. So you can prune from end May without losing the next year's flowers.