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Gardening dullard seeks lots of help!

(6 Posts)
fleacircus Sun 31-Aug-08 07:53:56

For my 30th birthday my mother planted up our tiny scrubby back yard with some lovely plants. Sadly I have no idea what I am supposed to do with them. I'm 32 now and have had a baby since, and the garden is down a spiral staircase from our flat, so I can't pretend I have been exactly proactive. I've asked my mum a couple of times to give me instructions on maintaining it all but she just keeps saying that we need to go down and have a proper look at it, which of course we never get round to doing when she's visiting.

If I tell you what I've got, is there any chance anyone could give me an idiot's guide to keeping it alive?

TheDuchessOfNork Sun 31-Aug-08 09:06:11

Oh go on then. Do your list and what I don't know someone else will. smile

PavlovtheCat Sun 31-Aug-08 09:11:47

flea sounds just like our garden yard apart from not a spiral staircase, but a straight at side one!

I might be able to help, as it took us a few years to figure out what to do with garden. But am no expert...

mumblechum Sun 31-Aug-08 09:20:06

Do you know the names of the plants? If so, the best thing to do is google eg, "dahlia Bishop of Landaf care" & it'll tell you all you need to know.

In general, though, water plenty (I'm assuming it's all in containers). Even if it rains quite a bit, containers still need regular watering. If you can't be bothered to do that, then buy an irrigation system from the garden centre. It's a thin black hose with lots of little capillary hoses going off it to water each pot. We have these on timers (we counted our pots & hanging baskets yesterday and have 85!)

Be careful with feeding, overfeeding is just as bad as underfeeding for some plants.

If you put some furniture in your yard, you'll spend more time there and will get to know your garden better.

If you need help identifying any plants, put them on your profile & I'll get dh to identify them for you, he's an ace gardener.

fleacircus Wed 03-Sep-08 13:54:49

Not pots, a couple of small beds and a border. I don't know all the names but there's definitely fuchscia, it's flowering now and I usually deadhead them but that's all. They're getting quite leggy and straggly rather than bushy, should I prune them? And when and how?

I've also got a climbing rose that flowers in early summer, it's taking over but not flowering very well. They're small, white compact flowers.

The other stuff I recognise is a honeysuckle, a couple of lavender plants, a winter jasmine. I'll see if I can find out what the rest is.

Tilia Wed 03-Sep-08 21:24:18

First, get a decent pair of secateurs and perhaps shears as well. Pruning is really fun when you can slice through stuff like butter. With thicker stems (say thicker than a pencil) always cut diagonally, it's much easier (dunno why exactly). As others have said, googling the individual plants will give you specific advice, as most of those you mentioned have lots of different varieties which sometimes need radically different care. But if everything's been growing madly for two years, a good chop will be probably needed either soon or in the spring (hence my advice on tools). Lavender is easy. Cut off the flowering stems now, and give it a little trim to tidy it up. Not too much; it doesn't like it. (If you don't prune it at all, it'll go leggy and ugly very quickly.) And give your rose a good mulch - they really, really like (well-rotted) manure - a couple of inches deep all around the base. You'll be amazed how much bigger your garden will look once you get hacking. Good luck!

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