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Garden gone to ruin!

Ok, so I have lived in my house for 13 years and in the first few years I worked part time and had plenty of time to plant and care for my garden.  I then became a headteacher and time was very limited.  Unfortunately I let the garden go. 
I  am now back in part time work.  I have some lovely shrubs (now very overgrown), some fruit trees in need of pruning, and a greenhouse (currently with some glass missing). I want to get the garden back to a place I can enjoy and in which I can relax.  I think I may have to get rid of some of the very overgrown shrubs and start again.  What do you think?


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,193
    If anybody “came to look” at my garden they would say that it was full of a lot of overgrown shrubs. But I like overgrown shrubs. They make happy homes for all sorts of things.

    Fortunately, the only people who visit are friends who know not to bother commenting on the state of the garden.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,324
    edited April 2018
    Prune and cut back and see what survives. Plants want to live and most will try. Unless you've now decided you don't like them I'd keep what you have, see if you can strike cuttings from the bits you prune to replace any that do turn up their toes and suck it and see.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,484
    If you have grass there then for me that would be the first place to start. Get that tidied up and removal of any obvious weeds. Then lastly cutting or trimming back any overgrown shrubs if it is the correct time to prune them. Then stand back and have a look at any changes you want to make. 
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  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,999
    Personally, l would start by pruning back the shrubs and just generally tidy up. As Freddie's dad says, just trimming the lawn edges can make a big difference. That way, you can study what you have and then make decisions,  rather than pulling stuff out and maybe having big gaps like missing teeth.
    If you want to keep the greenhouse, get the missing glass replaced, if not, places like Freecycle are good for finding it a new home.
    As you are still working part time, better to do a bit at a time rather than wear yourself out and turn it into a chore.
    If you'd like to post photos, I'm sure there would be more advice to follow !  :)
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Maybe get someone local in to help out for an afternoon to do a bit of a clear up - prune the trees and bushes, edge the lawn. If you have a small budget and no time. A one off spring tidy might give you the lift to work on it bit by bit over the summer.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,555
    Sounds great.  I would suggest pruning the shrubs to remove all dead, damaged and crossing branches which will allow you to see what framework is left and assess what can stay, what must go and what can be improved by formative pruning afterwards.  Give them all a good feed of pelleted chicken manure or BFB according to preference.

    Remove obvious weeds before they set seed and spread.

    As said above, just cutting the grass and making neat edges makes a world of difference and then you can sit back and look at it properly and see what, if anything, needs a major overhaul and what just needs tweaking ti improve shapes and also add or enhance contrast of colour and form to give a long season of interest.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    Oh jeez.  There’s no quick tips here.

    i was in a similar position when I started last summer.

    Sit down with a drink and the Internet.  

    Pick out a couple of things you need to do now for summer. Eg plant summer bulbs, plant bedding flowers.

    Pick a couple general maintenance. Eg sweep/rake out everything, prune things that aren’t flowers, start a heap.

    my list is about thirty items on it, countless hours, no way I’ll get it all done but this is about the journey not the destination

    have fun :)
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