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Plant detective needed

itsueyitsuey Posts: 42
I have a lot of stray and very unruly plants from the previous tenant who lived in my house (or maybe 5 back from the size of some of them), and some I can identify easily, but others I have no idea.

This was occupying a full 2x4m space (I've removed 90% of it, it wasn't naturally floating), restricted only by obstacles like a fence and a conservatory, but most of what was in the middle of it was dead. It's swallowed and killed a fairly substantial bramble and is slowly making its way up the drainpipe, piggybacking off the ivy. 

Side note; in the far right of the photo there's a very tall and skinny elder tree which was supporting itself on this anonymous bush thing, anyone know what I can do to help it, as it's now fallen over.

This is infinitely more pleasant, and at least has flowers but again, still not sure what it is, other than in need of a prune.

And finally, is this mint? It smells like mint, it won't go away no matter how much I dig it up, but as I didn't plant it I'm somewhat wary of eating it. If it isn't mint, how do I get rid of it?


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    edited May 2018
    Need a closer picture of the first photo, but it looks like a Griselinia Littoralis coming from somewhere. Second and third photo looks like a Weigela shrub possibly. 
  • The_herpetologistThe_herpetologist Posts: 481
    edited May 2018
    Pink flowers look like Dipladenia?
    And yes, looks like mint. It gets everywhere. Very invasive, so either dig it up or learn to love. It's always best grown in pots. 
  • itsueyitsuey Posts: 42
    I did take a closer photo, I'm not sure why I didn't upload it; 

  • ThankthecatThankthecat Posts: 421
    No idea on 1, 2 is weigela and three definitely looks like mint. If it looks like mint and smells like mint I'd say it probably IS mint :)
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Thanks for that. Still not sure, but if the leaves feel thick and around 5-8cms in length, possibly a Griselinia Littoralis, and if so, must have flopped over from somewhere else, and very neglected. If the leaves are smaller in size, no idea at the moment.

    If your other tall shrub is Weigela, it needs pruning down quite a bit after flowering. That will make the shrub much more compact and flowers more abundant.

  • turmericturmeric Posts: 825
    Is no. 1 not honeysuckle?  I know the leaves look rounded in the photo but the stem and the habit seem like honeysuckle.  No. 2 weigela definitely (prune after flowers fade, can be as late as late Summer to do this), no. 3 is mint.  As mentioned before it's best in a pot that's also kept off of the soil (otherwise it simply travels out of the hole in the pot and into the open ground again).
  • itsueyitsuey Posts: 42
    I think the original plant was about 2m to the left of that bit, that's where it's most dense, I didn't think to take a photo until I'd removed about 90% of it and started pulling it off the drainpipe.

    The garden is incredibly neglected, everything needs pruning! When I asked our estate agent if the landlady would let me dig up the kitchen garden to re-plant it she said I could do pretty much whatever I like with the whole garden, no one's touched it for years. 

    Not sure on leaf thickness, I've pulled them all down now but griselinia certainly sounds probable. 

    Weigela looks right, although I think mine have aspirations to be trees rather than bushes. Internet says not to prune more than a third a year, will I be ok to chop the tops off once they've come to the end of the season?

    I'll continue my battle with the mint then, and continue cursing whoever planted it not in a pot.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    It could be a Honeysuckle as suggested by Jekylandhide, based on what you have just said about removing it off a drainpipe. There does seem to be another plant also in that jumble, but not totally clear as there seems to be two types of leaves.

    The Weigela is very over grown, you can prune back by one third, but I recommend that on that shrub, prune a few of the branches a lot lower than that, to help create more dense growth further down. The issue is, if you don't do that, leaves and new growth will start from where it was last pruned, which will mean you have quite a lot of bare branches at mid-height.
  • itsueyitsuey Posts: 42
    Ah, I didn't see the honeysuckle post before I posted.

    There's ivy in there as well which I'm trying valiantly to kill, and possibly an elder leaf or two. I don't remember seeing any flowers on it across the past 18 months and it doesn't seem to twirl like a honeysuckle, more just sort of engulfs things, much like the ivy. 

    Do I prune off the ends to make it more shrub-like, or cut it right back to the stalk to encourage more branching?

    I'm going to find a nice ceramic pot for the mint and put it on one of the paving slabs in the middle of the herb garden, which is what I presume they were originally put there for, I can't think of another reason for them.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Can you trace this large plant back to a root/trunk? If so, it's worth getting another photograph of the area. If not, you will just have to prune it back to the way you want it to grow if you want to keep it. A plant that mature will be fine with a hard cut back.

    If it is a Greselinia shrub, you can just cut it back to how you want it to grow, so if you like it tall, then a light prune, or if you want it a lot shorter, prune it back harder. In most shrubs, pruning back hard will encourage strong new growth with more dense branching.
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