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Beginner gardener - limited supplies - halp!

I've recently been given my grandmother's house as she's got advanced dementia and I am going to live alone in it. It's a small terraced house but I love it. Outside is an overgrown paved area and an old coal bunker with overgrown beds round the outside. All the stones have waist high weedy growth a stone apart so I assume whoever paved it just put the stones directly on top of the earth underneath. I just want to turn the paved bit into grass and work on the beds to have some nice flowers round the outside to attract some bees. The bunker is a concrete basin where the lid has fallen in and it takes up space so I'll probably pay someone to come and take that away. 

I don't know how though. Should I go and pull up all the growth first? Or put down weedkiller and let the weeds die and then pull them up? Then am I okay to just lift the stones myself? If they're just paved on top, can I just buy earth and move it about a bit and then buy turf? Sorry but I don't really have anyone who knows this sort of stuff and I'll be in isolation for a few weeks so looking for things I can do myself but I don't really know how it works.  


  • B3B3 Posts: 26,444
    Some photos would be helpful. Also where are you?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,927
    Hello @bethanevelyn, welcome to the forum  :)
    As B3 says, some photos would be a great help, together with your location (just a general one will do).
    With regard to the coal bunker, it's possible that it may contain asbestos,  so l would definitely get a professional to remove it.
    If we have photos it will help to identify the weeds - some are easier to get rid of than others! 

    Do you have any gardening tools available,  fork, spade etc. ?
    It also depends how large the paving slabs are and how young and healthy you are when it comes to lifting . Take it steady, you have plenty of time to clear the plot. Better to do a bit at a time really thoroughly , because when it comes to gardening preparation is the key thing. 
    You're in the right place for advice. 

  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,903
    I'd have a good think about replacing paving with turf. Paving can look great in a small space if it's done right and is a lot more usable with less maintenance. It seems like there's a 50/50 mix of posts on here that are either 'I want to rip this grass out and pave it' or 'I want to rip this paving out and lay turf'.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    Photos always helpful, but I get the impression there is a lot of overgrown weeds everywhere.

    I would survey first to see if there are any plants you want to keep amongst the overgrown areas, then chop it all back so you can see better what you’ve got.

    You’ll want to think about how you’re going to dispose of garden waste too, have a regular council collection, taking things to the recycle unit and/or composting...I tend to hack things down, then think about what to do with it all which means I’ve always got a pile of Branches lying around somewhere :smile:

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,942
    Hi @bethanevelyn  I would agree with @wild edges. Don't rush things. I know - it's always a mix of daunting but exciting, and you want to get stuck in, but it's best to have a wee plan to work with initially  :)
    Photos to help us all with further advice are a must. The best advice with a plot that needs sorting is to do a bit at a time, and start near the house so that you see the improvements easily, and that gives you a bit of a boost when  you start flagging.

    I'd also agree with @AnniD re the coal bunker. Don't make extra trouble for yourself. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,098
    How about both? If the gaps are big enough you could seed the gaps, after dealing with weeds first, with mixed seed creating a carpet of green/ flowers that can creep over the slabs too. If small gaps just lift odd ones and seed those areas creating a patchwork.😁
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,586
    Oooh, hello, yes give us some pics, dont mention the 2 words "Weed Killer" on here haha
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