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Complete novice: where do I start?

(3 Posts)
MeeWhoo Sat 07-Jan-17 16:36:57

Hi everyone,

For the first time ever, I have moved to a house with a garden, so I am looking for some good guides/blogs/websites with the very basics.

The garden is around 10.000 square feet and (I think) pretty low maintenance: a lot of grass, with 3-4 apple trees and 3-4 cherry trees plus a few other bush type plants.

I have no idea when/how to prune what or what other maintenance it will need other than mowing the lawn.

I also have a couple of large window boxes that are empty at the moment.

Any advice would be great!

pithivier Sat 07-Jan-17 17:44:40

For the first year concentrate on keeping it tidy and free of disease.

At the moment you should be able see if any of your shrubs are too overgrown. Plants need air around them, so if branches are crossing or tangling this is something that can be tackled in the coming months. Don't prune anything unless it is I'm a really overgrown messy until you have established it flowering time.. As leaves and flowers emerge, if you post pictures on here, others will tell you what your plants are and how to care for them.

Good luck with your new garden, you will find the gardeners on here are a very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful bunch.

shovetheholly Mon 09-Jan-17 09:29:19

I always recommend this, to the point that I think everyone is sick of me saying it, but: get the DVDs of Alan Titchmarsh's 'How to be a Gardener'. It's a great guide to starting out, and you don't even have to get cold and wet watching it! smile

Maybe start with a couple of simple and defined projects that will build your confidence and sense of achievement! One could be filling those window boxes with plants that will give you a display in the spring. To get containers looking really spectacular often involves quite a lot of plant waste: you use things for a season or so and then either put them into the garden (if perennial) or bin them (if annual/knackered) You will be able to buy pots of daffs, crocuses, primroses, muscari etc. very soon, so you should be able to assemble something that looks great (keep an eye out for cheap plants in places like Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons). When the spring blooms are over, wait for the bulbs to die back and then plant them into the garden, and start again for a late summer/autumn display.

Pruning: as pithivier says, this is the ideal job to get on with now, but it can feel a bit tricky for beginners. There's something counter-intuitive about hacking bits off shrubs and trees, and it can feel quite anxiety-provoking when you feel like you don't know what you are doing! However, if you take a look on youtube, there are loads of videos to help you out! If in doubt, less is more at the start.

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