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New garden owner - almost completely overgrown

Hi all,

I am quite new to gardening - or perhaps new to maintaining a large garden. I've moved into a lovely new place with a large garden. I neglected it over winter and now it's completely overgrown. 

There is a general lawn area with a rose bed which is pretty managable, however at the back I have a 'secret garden' - a secluded area canopied by several trees and bordered by bushes of some sort. The whole area is overgrown with ivy and weeds and I have no idea where to start. 

The whole floor is intertwining roots and sprouting weeds.

Where should I begin with such a task?
Any direction appreciated.

- Bob
Despite what it may seem, my username is not LSD related 😂


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,036
    Hello Bob 😊 

    if if you post some photos of your garden there’ll be lots of folk on here with suggestions about how to tame it 😊 

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

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,588
    Do you want to use weedkillers or would you prefer to dig?
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,919
    Hello @acid_freedom, welcome to the forum. :)
    Do you want to keep it as a "secret garden" or open the area up? 
    As Dove says, photos will be a help, and if you can give some idea of what you would like to do with it,  that would help as well.
    I agree with Hazel, it's best to tackle it a bit at a time, you may have hidden treasures in there plant wise.
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 331
    start with some gloves and garden loppers to remove all the ivy. Trample the weeds down and get and idea of whats left.

    Eventually the weeds will have to be dug up but like others have said I'd focus on seeing what you have in this garden. It's best to see each plant perform throughout a whole season of summer to spring to see what work needs doing.

    So remove the ivy and anything else that might restrict growth. Gl
  • Sorry for the wait.
    Here are some pictures:

    A view from the house with the rose bed ahead:

    A path along the right hand side of the rose bed:

    Which leads to this space:

    Despite what it may seem, my username is not LSD related 😂
  • The lawn itself just needs a bit of maintenance.

    I want to clear the path alongside the rise bed and define the borders of the bed. I thought about clearing raising part of the bed, by removing the rose bush furthest from the house

    Here is another angle of it:

    You can't see in the picture but it's actually two separate beds (so it is like two rectangles spanning the width with a path between them) there is a crudely paved path around and in-between the beds.

    In the back I'm quite lost. I love the space, but not sure what to do in terms of practicality. I want to clear all the weeds from the floor and maybe define the space on the left in the last picture because it raises up a bit.  Not sure what would grow because it gets very little light.

    Any advice appreciated!
    Despite what it may seem, my username is not LSD related 😂
  • B3B3 Posts: 26,433
    edited May 2019
    Horse chestnut  the blue circle
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,919
    Apologies @ImpatientGardener can't help with the id I'm afraid, but I bet someone knows what it is.
    @acid_freedom , you have the makings of a nice garden there. The secret is not to go mad, and tackle it one bit at a time. I usually say start with the bit nearest to the house, because that's the area you see most often,going out to the bins, washing line etc. Tidying the path is a good start, that will improve things visually straight away. With regard to the bed on the right hand side take out anything that you know for sure is a weed, anything you are not sure of,post a photo and someone will know. Also exposing the path between the beds will redefine that area. it's likely that you will probably want to redesign the whole thing eventually, but if you can take it back to what was originally there, that is a good start.
    As regards the shady area right at the back,I would leave that for now, maybe just weed it if you feel the need. There are lots of plants that will grow happily in an area like that,but as I say, better to start with the areas nearest the house, that way you can see progress being made.  :)
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