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Overgrown Front Garden

Hi All! I’m a complete gardening virgin (other than pushing a lawn mower around) so please be nice. I’m looking for some helpful advice on where to start on my overgrown garden! I have no idea about any of it really so I’m starting from stratch. I would just like to know where to start, what tools are best to use any weed killer? I have a kitten and she will be venturing out soon so don’t want to use anything that could harm her? 

Thankyou in advance for any ideas or help!



  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,744
    edited July 2018
    Your garden will be full of wildlife at the moment. Bees, hoverflies, butterflies, the lot. 

    If you can bear to, I’d leave it until about September when everything has grown up and moved on.

    Then, I’d get a good set of secateurs, a fork, a spade and a bucket and I’d gently work from one side to the other, clearing a space.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 632
    edited July 2018
    That woody shrub with red berries is cotoneaster, quite tough and a job to dig out. What is it you want from the garden? Get rid of it all and start from scratch? Do you want to keep anything? If not, then get someone to spray it off and get pulling things out in 4 weeks. The cat will be fine, you don't get toxic weedkillers any more! Just keep the cat off for an hour after it's sprayed. 

    You could do with a garden fork, a trug bucket, secateurs and a mattock. Then for planting a trowel, soil rake and spade. Then for maintenance a hoe (oscillating is my fave) and shears. 
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,744
    But why spray if you are going to pull anyway? Waste of money if nothing else.

    ”Give me spots on apples, but leave me the birds and the bees”, to quote Joni Mitchell.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Thankyou for all the helpful advice!! I was concerned about the wildlife but I think if there’s anywhere I can make a start then that’s would be great.. a lot of the weeds have been blown all over the place from high winds a few weeks ago. And yes I would like to clear the vast majority of it.. there is some lavender in there somewhere which I should like to keep though but other than that I’m not sure what else is under it all! And thankyou for clearing that up about the cat that’s a relief! 
  • FireFire Posts: 18,146
    I agree that it looks like a haven for wildlife.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    If you don't know what the plants are, post photos and we can probably identify them. We need to see the whole plant and a closeup of the leaves, and flowers if any.  That will help you decide which, if any, you want to keep.  If you need to keep costs down, try Freecycle for your gardening tools.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,006
    I agree with josusa ... post some pics ... we'll tell you what they are and whether they're worth saving ... it may be that all it needs is a bit of a tidy ... although the plants seem rampant at the moment, it may only be one season's growth and a bit of a tidy and some tlc may result in the basis of a lovely cottage garden.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 657
    It looks as though you have quite a few things in there that you could keep.  Don't be too hasty in digging it all out!  But there again, it depends what your tastes are.
    East Anglia
  • karen paulkaren paul Posts: 230
    I think this was a once loved garden and I can see a few different plants including a lupin (hard to spot but I can see the seed pods), heuchera I think (orangey leaves under another plant), aquilegia and one of the shrubs on the left looks like a fuschia maybe, plus a nice big fern at the back. So I think you could save yourself some money if you like those plants. It would be best to show us some close ups though so we can I.D them individually for you and then maybe you could just tidy around them for now while you make plans. Who knows, it could be absolutely beautiful under there with a bit of taming. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,857
    If your garden is bone dry I suggest you wait and just pull out any obvious weeds like creeping buttercup, dandelions, thistles, nettles but, to be honest, they will come up more easily and more thoroughly after a good rain.   At the moment it's full of nectar and pollen for insects and worth leaving a bit.

    As for tools, a ladies size garden fork, ditto spade, hand fork and trowel and then have a look at the Wolf tool system which lets you buy heads as and when you need or can afford them and attach them to different length handles for different jobs.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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