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New to gardening- massive garden and no clue!

(25 Posts)
Queenfreak Sun 14-Apr-19 17:46:17

Hi, we bought a house a couple of years ago, totally run down and the garden was out of control.
Now weve taken care of the house, were moving on to the garden I've done what I can, taming the wild- and I LOVE it! I cant believe how happy I am working in the garden. However I haven't got a scoobie about what should be done or when in the garden. I'm looking for recommendations for books especially, but websites would be good too, to help me. There seem to be so many on the market it's a bit overwhelming!

Queenfreak Sun 14-Apr-19 17:47:37

Punctuation was great in that post wasn't it?
Sorry blush

Beebumble2 Sun 14-Apr-19 17:53:16

Alan Titchmarsh did a series of beginners gardening books for the BBC a few years ago. I think there were 3 in the series. I bought the first for my DS who had just got his first garden, it was very useful.
You could probably get them cheap on eBay or in a charity book shop.

Callmecordelia Mon 15-Apr-19 20:45:43

It's old, but I love it - Geoff Hamilton's Practical Gardening Course. I also have enjoyed a couple of rhs titles - Grow your own Crops in Pots and How to Garden. Good luck!

rslsys Mon 15-Apr-19 22:31:04

We moved to this house 23 years ago. Garden isp around 3.5 Acres!
Have been just maintaining it until our retirement last December. Now making wholesale changes.
Made every mistake in the book during the preceding years , according to the ‘experts’. Pruned stuff at the wrong times and in the wrong way. Moved roses when the books say they can’t be moved. Planted in the ‘wrong areas’.

Basically stuff wants to grow, you may lose a season of flowers but if it thrives, fine! If it doesn’t thrive, move it. If it dies, it’s an opportunity to plant something else.

We have now learned to plant anything we are unsure of in a pot, put it where we would like it to be and see what happens, if it’s happy - put it in the ground next year. If it sulks, try it somewhere else.

AventaRizon Thu 18-Apr-19 18:07:58

The 'Expert' series is good, and there seems to be one for every topic. Lawn Expert, Flower Expert, you name it, there must be about a dozen titles. You often see them in charity shops.

Imicola Thu 18-Apr-19 18:23:53

Is recommend getting a subscription to gardeners World. I've found it really useful to gradually build up my knowledge over time, particularly as I am rubbish at reading instructive books! Nice balance of what to do when and inspiration on plants and designs.

VictoriaBun Thu 18-Apr-19 18:36:45

Get a pen and paper, and write down all the things you imagine make a perfect garden. It might be a patio area, veggie plot , wildlife area, pond, arbor etc. Write the lot down. Then measure out your space and plot it out on paper taking into consideration where the sun comes up/ goes down, shady spots. Try to visit a few places such as RHS gardens or National trust gardens to look at gardening styles. Depending on the area you live go to a few garden shows, Chelsea, Malvern or Tatton to see what's about. Let your imagination run wild. Then get some gardening books, spades,trowels, etc and off you go !

Sleepingstarsmommy Fri 19-Apr-19 09:54:53

In a similar position. Mom has recently passed away and I'm left with a huge garden that was once her pride and joy. Really want to maintain it in her honour but have not got a clue. Also have a very tight budget. Guess I will have to do what she did and learn as I go. She did have a keen gardener as a neighbour at the time who helped and guided her. I dont have that luxury.

bilbodog Fri 19-Apr-19 10:21:15

Watch monty don every week on bbc2

ppeatfruit Fri 19-Apr-19 12:28:32

Yes Monty Don is briliant. The problem with the "Expert" books is that the are very keen to spray insecticide on anything that moves (and on some that don't) and herbicides it's old fashioned and bad for the natural world.

ChardonnaysPrettySister Fri 19-Apr-19 12:31:07

I’ve been dipping in the old Gardening World issues.

It’s very expensive to buy now!

gairytoes Fri 19-Apr-19 12:47:59

Start a planting list. Just a notebook with plants you like. You can then research on RHS where they should be planted.

Remove anything that isn't what you want where you want it. No point planning and working around something you don't like.

SeaRabbit Sat 20-Apr-19 07:18:21

I recommend that you also watch The Beechgrove Garden, on BBC iPlayer. It's more practical than Gardeners World, and less aspirational. If you don't like Monty's style, or have his huge garden, GW is impractical (though sometimes inspirational), whereas Beechgrove has lots of tips for everyone.

Mind, being based and shot in Scotland it means they feature things that don't grow well where it's dryer, and don't mention it - like the beautiful blue Himalayan poppies.

daffodilbrain Sat 20-Apr-19 10:28:10

My advice would be to spend some cash On a garden designer and go from that plan

redexpat Sat 20-Apr-19 10:29:44

I second the suggestion for a garden designer. Think about how you want to use your garden.

Tonightstheteriyakichicken Sat 20-Apr-19 10:38:01

It's great you are getting so much out of your garden already. smile
I find it inspiring seeing what other gardeners do. If you fancy a break from digging, people open their gardens (big or small) a day or two a year to raise money for charity in the National Garden Scheme, (also known as the Yellow Book) It can give you ideas and usually strangers are happy to share knowledge.

ppeatfruit Sat 20-Apr-19 13:57:25

They often don't mention growing conditions in Gardener's World; Monty Don's programme too , last night, in the visited gardens they forgot to. I 2nd the Geoff Hamilton book, it's helpful in every way. Bob Flowerdew books are too.

ppeatfruit Sat 20-Apr-19 14:00:30

I had a garden designer once, it was a waste of money, he recommended plants that died!

ChardonnaysPrettySister Sat 20-Apr-19 14:08:13

One way of choosing plants you know will survive is to have a good nosy round your neighbours’ gardens. If a plant thrives there it ought to do well in your garden too. A drawback is that it can be a bit boring to have the same plants, so you can look up a slightly different variety.

GarethSouthgatesWaistcoat Sat 20-Apr-19 15:15:20

Alan Titchmarsh 'How to be a Gardener'. There's a 7 part series (30min programmes) free on YouTube as well as accompanying books.

The RHS website is invaluable and I google a lot for individual plants' requirements, pruning times etc.

I believe there are some good plant ID apps whereby you can upload a photo. Or ask on here! It's easier to identify plants in flower.

Don't bite off more than you can chew. I tend to freshen up/replant one area at a time.

GarethSouthgatesWaistcoat Sat 20-Apr-19 15:17:19

If you have inherited bulbs and perennials coming up this year that you like - make sure you label the flowerbed so you don't accidentally dig them up by accident in future if you're making changes.

daffodilbrain Sat 20-Apr-19 19:28:20

My mum taught me if you just do half an hour a day the time soon adds up and as before tackle on section/job at a time otherwise you can get over whelmed x

ppeatfruit Mon 22-Apr-19 09:44:06

Yes daffodil That's good advice, I go out very early when it's hot too. It's easy to over do things however old you are!

BeetrootBonanza Mon 22-Apr-19 09:57:43

If you want to grow vegetables, I can recommend the YouTube channel of Charles Dowding. I have done a lot of gardening since we bought our house 6 years ago - not always successfully, and found his channel and have followed it to enjoy learning to grow lots of salads and vegetables over the last few years.

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