Novice Gardener - need some help!(10 Posts)
Hello, I've just bought my first home and now have a 95ft garden to care for and maintain. It's a total blank canvas, all lawn with just two fruit trees in it, no flowers or shrubs.
To be honest I feel a bit exposed, as it's so open, so I intend to create a privacy screen of pretty shrubs that will grow quickly on either side of the garden to give me some privacy from the neighbours. Any shrub recommendations?
Also, I currently have no gardening tools, except for a lawn mower. I want to create my own gardening tool kit, can you tell me what I am going to need please?
You want to watch this week's Autistic Gardener on catch up (channel 4). That was a 95' garden and they created lots of different areas on the garden, a bit like rooms. it was previously planted around the outside, but was badly overgrown.
The plants you use will largely depend on where you are and what your soil and local conditions are like. Your first port of call is to see what other people in your area are growing successfully. Then, if it's all bloody hydrangeas, try something else!
Basic tools would be spade, fork, hoe and rake, plus mini versions. Secateurs and shears for keeping bushes and shrubs in shape. Strimmer for the lawn edges (we have newly laid a lawn from slabs and are still looking for the perfect cordless strimmer - garden half the length of yours now we have a garage and rive in the space but it's across the road from our house!
We use several Wolf Garten tools, and different tool-heads clip onto two or three types of handle; so you can have less clutter, and they are very strong and versatile. Not the cheapest of tools, but reliable value.
Their soil-tilling tools can be useful, breaking up soil and making it more workable.
You can get plant ideas from other MNers, and "overwhelmedbymyacre" (if you can find it) is a super Cornish garden.
[I'll look back sometime, if I can help more.]
Its brilliant to have a garden, especially a nice long one!
I suppose you could need a potting shed, greenhouse, summer house, pond, vegetable raised beds, possibly fruit cage, flowers, sitting area (usually 2 sitting areas, one for morning one for afternoon), area for washing , area for children to play
Tools: Secateurs, shears, loppers, hand trowel, hand fork, weeding thingy, digging fork, spade, hoe. Possibly electric strimmer. Garden diary.
Place to hang up tools neatly. Potting bench. Compost heap. Outside tap. Garden hose which hangs neatly on the wall. Hozelock spray attachment for hose. Watering can.
Shrubs: Visit gardens and garden centres and see what you like. You can choose deciduous shrubs and evergreens. what you choose depends on what you like and your soil. 'Architectural plants' is a good nursery to visit, as well as the Hillier winter gardens and centre. Burncoose nursery is also good to visit if you can as they are brilliant at shrubs.
If damp, Gunnera is a must. If ericaceous, acers, azaleas rhodedendrons and pieris are the way to go. If clay, photinia, chosiya, deutzia and cornus are nice but there is a massive choice. Choose plants with lighter leaves for darker corners.
Fruit trees are nice to grow and give you flower and fruit and Autumn colour. If you buy a cherry tree buy an edible morello cherry tree. Figs are nice to grow if sunny. Berries like blueberries tayberries raspberries are great.
Bamboo gives good screening and makes a lovely sound.
Some people go down the pleached beech or Yew route for screening. This is not my thing as I like flowers and fruit but with time Yew makes for splendid topiary.
For quick growing border shrubs which are easy to care for I would recommend the following to start with.
Philadelphus, forsythia, wiegelia. The weiglia comes In White red and pink flowers, is easy to prune and will flower from May to August.
Philadelphia is white, I recommend the double variety it has amazing scent. 2 or 3 forsythia will give you a lovely burst of flowers in early spring. Plant clematis nearby and the clematis will grow up and use the forsythia for support in the summer.
Summer Jasmine, also has a lovely scent but needs pruning to stop it getting out of hand.
Fast growers are Russian vine, Boston Creeper and Virgina Creeper. Put these down the rear of the garden. They do need work (hard pruning) to stop them taking over.
Tools, secateurs, and long handled loppers, the best you can afford.
Also, don't be tempted to buy small plants. To provide screening for next summer., buy the biggest you can afford. Wait till Autumn before buying your shrubs. If you plant now they are likely to be tired and stressed by being over long in pots in the garden centre. If you plant in autumn they will get a nice long season to bed in. Buy some good quality garden compost. Dig a hole twice the size you need and half fill with compost before planting. Keep watered the first month, and check them weekly over the first winter.
Buy your tools from Implementations copper hand tools - you will never regret it. You need
For a 95' garden you need a really decent lawnmower, if you can avoid something with an electric cord do - go for a petrol or possibly something with a rechargeable lithium battery. If you do go for a petrol one make sure it's an easy starter. Also something for doing the edges with, there are numerous nifty tools for this, I use a Bosch cordless grass shear.
You also need a shed, and if at all feasible get electricity in it.
And finally you need a couple of compost bins, then you can chuck your grass (and paper shreddings and weeds) etc in there and get compost out eventually. Your council will sell you a compost bin cheap.
Thank you so much everyone! Such great advice
Sorry, I may be missing something obvious but Why would I need electricity in the shed?
Before you buy/do anything go and get yourself some/ many books and learn about plants, soil types etc. don't just go to a garden centre and fork out money for something you know nothing about. Do your research
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