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ridiculously large overgrown unloved garden- help!

(20 Posts)
dramaqueen72 Sun 23-Jan-05 23:51:38

well as its getting to the time of year i actually go outside () i was after any advice. we have a large (third of acre) garden, (we moved here last year) which once was loved but for the past ten years has been left ot run riot. last summer i cleared around the pond and decking area and created 'semi done' nice areas.....however we have huge patchy lawn, lots of nooks and crannies, a (tiny) falling apart airraid shelter/rockery, shrubs the size of the house....and i'm justa keen novice, this is beyond me. dh is no gardener, and not keen to part with large sums of cash (well, fair enough, we dont actually have any now, house was similar state to garden...) should i have a plan? tackle tiny bits at a time? try not to look at the awful bits...? any advice would be lovely

suedonim Mon 24-Jan-05 11:39:51

I'd tackle it in areas myself, Dramaqueen, but I guess it depends on how you like to work. I think I'd get rid of as much old growth/fallen leaves etc as possible so that at least it doesn't look like a jungle. I probably wouldn't be too fussy about taking out every last weed until I got round to planting new stuff, just making it look tidy would suit me for the time being.

Our garden was also neglected when we moved in, except it was incredibly boring - square, with grass/weeds and a tree in each corner!!! Tbh, we haven't done that much to it yet though had it leveled and new grass put down a few years ago and also a hedge planted. Last summer I really tried to do a lot, putting in lots of plants. But almost immediately I realised I had put them in the wrong place as they can't be seen from the house, so come spring I'm going to dig them all up and put them in new beds in the grassed area. I also bought a ton of bulbs last autumn, which I never got round to planting but I felt inspired on Saturday and filled loads of pots with a variety of bulbs, so at least they won't go to waste. Once they've bloomed I'll put them into the garden next autumn.

nutcracker Mon 24-Jan-05 11:44:34

Suedonim - I know you said it was years ago, but can you remember how much you paid to have the garden leveled and returfed ???

The last tennats had a bonfire on the lawn and it just hasn't regrown at all.

Mothernature Mon 24-Jan-05 11:47:23

ukstyle have a site/forum for this type of thing

suedonim Mon 24-Jan-05 12:23:08

It was around 1,000gbp, I think, Nutcracker, about 5yrs ago. That was to remove the old grass, rotavate and level it into three levels then seed it. It's about a fifth of an acre, I beleive. HTH!

suedonim Mon 24-Jan-05 12:23:39

Or 'believe' even!

dramaqueen72 Mon 24-Jan-05 16:51:58

bit nervous at tackling it alone , not always sure what to save and what to scrap.....

spod Mon 24-Jan-05 16:56:33

where abouts is this dreamy sounding garden? i'd love third of an acre!

flashingnose Mon 24-Jan-05 16:56:34

There was a series a good few years ago called Gardening from Scratch (BBC) with an accompanying book. It's written in a very basic way and also suggests a few good plants for different locations. We've used it for ideas for our new garden and so far, so good .

dramaqueen72 Mon 24-Jan-05 16:58:23

in not so rural hampshire and i'm sure it is dreamy,underneath five tons of dead leaves, rotting trees, piles of paving slabs and soggy mud!!

Merlin Mon 24-Jan-05 17:00:19

Agree with Suedonim - tackle it bit by bit so it's not so daunting. I'm in the same position having spent all our money on an extension, the garden is now a building site. We have removed most of the shrubs that I didn't want to keep ("old lady shrubs" I call them!) and had a huge bonfire in the middle of the lawn. My Dad has suggested raking that bit over, throw down some good soil, sprinkle grass seed and it should take. So at least we can then cut the grass later in the summer and DS will have somewhere to kick a ball about hopefully. Have you got a good garden centre near you? They usually are very helpful if you're not sure about what to plant/keep etc - you could even take a cutting in if you don't know what it is. The less commercial centres are usually more helpful in my experience. If we can scrape together a bit of money I would at least like to plant some new shrubs/trees just so they can get established and then the other bits can follow on as and when. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day!!!!!

spod Mon 24-Jan-05 17:02:06

turn it into a traditional cottage garden, where weeds are flowers and there is no order? i'd concentrate on small areas, once you have a few really nice places to sit and admire your work, it wont all seem so daunting... have a wild flower meadow/patch... can get seeds that you simply scatter on semi cleared land... will look nice in time for summer.... a large veg patch?... you could clear it and simly cover it with matting till you're ready to use it. You can hire rotovators for about 40quid a day... though Ive never used one so dont know how easy they are... but it would save you time.

trefusis Mon 24-Jan-05 17:05:13

Message withdrawn

nutcracker Mon 24-Jan-05 17:07:22

Thanks Suedonim. Can't really run to that much although our is smaller than your and all on one level. I think we'll have to do it ourselves.

Waited ages for a bloody garden and now we've got it i don't know what to do with it LOL

suedonim Mon 24-Jan-05 19:13:48

Lol, Nutcracker!! As Merlin says, you can reseed the bare bit.

Spending a bit of time (sans offspring!) in a garden centre can be useful as you see what is available and what can be done etc. Also, making sure you have decent basic equipment is a great help, plus lots of bags for the rubbish. If you're worried about throwing out the wrong things, prepare an out-of-the-way area to which you can transfer plants and then keep an eye on them. Over the months you'll be able to see if you want to keep or bin them. Places to get reasonable priced plants are National Trust properties and local garden/flower shows. They may not come with fancy instructions but as long as they're named you can look them up in a gardening book. Oooh, I'm feeling all enthusiatic - shame it's pitch back and at freezing point here atm!

Tessiebear Mon 24-Jan-05 19:18:11

We have a largish garden and we have a bloke who comes and mowes the lawn in the the summer. He comes once a fortnight and only charges us 15 quid - he is there a good hour and a half - 2 hours. Would it not be worth getting in a gardener who charges by the hour just for a couple of hours a week just to get you started and give you some pointers???

jangly Mon 24-Jan-05 19:27:12

I'd just go outside whenever you can, get the tools out, and start working somewhere - anywhere. Then just see what happens. Once you get started you'll be surprised how it comes together.
Nutcracker - wait until the weather warms up a bit and then get a small box of grass seed for patching from a garden centre. Cover the sown bit with some net to keep birds/cats off. Should germinate quite quickly about April time. And church/school sales and fetes can be good places to buy plants.

KBear Mon 24-Jan-05 19:33:12

Wait for some milder weather, invite all your friends and rellies over for a ground force day - rope them in for some help, provide the beers and a hearty lunch and let them help you. Our friends did this and we had a great day and they discovered their garden under the grass and rubble!

Lots of beers by the way!

suedonim Sat 29-Jan-05 01:01:40

Thought I'd just post about a magazine I've started to buy, which is great for people like me who are enthusiatic but need guidance. It's the BBC Easy Gardening mag and comes out 10 times a year. It's really easy to follow and full of lots of simple but effective ideas.

suedonim Sat 29-Jan-05 20:47:45


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