Garden advice please!

Hi All,
New to the forum, just joined! Hoping some of you could help me out with tips and ideas for sorting my garden. Seems like a good opportunity to do it seen as we can’t go out anywhere at the moment! I will attach a few photos. Some are from last year and some are from today. (Ones where the grass is short And mostly dead are last years) Basically when I moved in last June the garden was overgrown and wild, hadn’t been touched for years. Loads of junk and wood just dumped or left by previous tenant. I’ve got rid of some of it and hoping to get rid of some more tomoz so it should be a clear space with just my sons trampoline and play house. I think the main trouble is how uneven and bumpy it is. The garden seems to run downwards in a slope and doesn’t really have anywhere that is flat enough for our table and chairs. Also the left side is completely overrun with spring onions!! Absolutely hundreds of them and smells so strong. Dug our hundreds of the bulbs last year but they seem to have multiplied! Just at a bit of a loss as to what I can do with it a) on a small budget and b) with limited resources/ skills. I will turn my hand at anything though to be honest so any suggestions welcome! :) Many thanks in advance and hope you’re all staying safe in these crazy times.


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,429
    Hello @lenagarner and welcome  :)
    I think the first thing l would ask you, is what do you want from your garden.
    A lawn, flower beds, veg patch ?
    A seating area (or 2 if the sunnier area is away from the house).
    There are many ways of approaching it, and you will get a lot of advice on here as to how to go about it. 
    Obviously the situation we're in makes my usual suggestion of finding paving stones and that kind of thing on Freecycle a bit difficult at the moment, but there are things you can be doing. 
    I know those bulbs you're referring to, the problem is they do go down really deep and it's a pain to get them out. Do not despair though, there are ways and means. 

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,564
    Hallo Lena and welcome to the forum.  You did well clearing all that scrub, did any of it go in the compost bin?  You can also compost the onion foliage, but not the bulbs in case they come back to haunt you.  Basic things you need to know are: the compass orientation of your garden.  This will determine how much sunshine you get, and what time of day you get it, which will in turn determine which plants are most likely to succeed.  What type of soil you have:  sandy and free-draining, clay which retains water, or inbetween?  And whether your soil is acid, neutral or alkaline: you can buy a testing kit for about £10, or ask your neighbours.  And, as @AnniD says, think about what you want from your garden.  We know you have a young child, do you also have pets who will use the garden?  And we can advise you better about choice of plants if we know where you are:  UK?  what part?

    Freecycle, Nextdoor and Ebay are great for cheap and free equipment and sometimes plants, when there are no viruses on the rampage.  And this forum has a seed and plant swap thread.
  • lenagarnerlenagarner Posts: 4
    Hi, thank you both for your warm welcome and advice!

    i know my garden is east facing and we usually have sun for most of the day. We were out today and last bit of sun disappeared at about 4pm ish. The garden was a lot more over grown when I first moved in back in June, grass was thigh high all round but me and my mum managed to clear it all in a day somehow! (That’s from the pic where you can see my little boy bent down).  As you said AnniD those onions are a bit of nightmare it would seem! Very overpowering whiff of onion in the garden at the moment 🙈 my other half said he will strim it all back tomorrow but what would you suggest the best course of action is to get rid of them? As I mentioned I did pull hundreds of bulbs out last year but clearly they’re like gremlins when you get them wet 😂 

    josusa47 as for soil type - I’ll have to get back to you, I’m 99% sure it’s not sandy, not sure if it’s helpful but  it’s quite dark and seems to retain water quite well as far as I can gather. We are Portsmouth down on the south coast and we have the big chalk Portsdown hill so I’m sure I’ve heard that our soil is chalky? May have been made up though! Haha. I do have a little one, he is keen on watering flowers and planting seeds etc. We did have a lovely garden in our old house and he loved watering the plants each evening. But for here I would like it to be as low maintenance as poss as we don’t have an outside tap and although I’ve got a tap adapter from the kitchen it’s not the easiest thing to manoeuvre all the way to the garden!

    we don’t have any pets, however, most of our neighbours feed the foxes every night so we do have nightly visitors - can see them in our garden most nights and often find lots of bones that they’ve left! Not sure if that counts as pets! 🤣

    I do have a few basic gardening tools already that I seem to have managed with so far. I would like a space to put the table and chairs but as I side, it’s quite uneven and lumpy so struggling to find somewhere to go. 

    Also, The compost bins were left by previous owner - I have a green waste club bin which I use for garden waste but I’m afraid I opened the compost bin to be greeted by a tarantula sized spider (not a fan!) and a python sized slow worm - so they’re being taken to the school I work in for our gardening club instead (where I won’t have to deal with the creepy crawlies 😆)

    Thanks again for reading! 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,429
    Hi Lena  :)
    First of all. I know it's tempting,  but make sure you and your OH pace yourselves and don't try and do everything in one go (l'm very impressed by your mum's efforts,  but let's face it,  none of us are going anywhere soon !).
    Those onion weeds are a real PITA to get rid of unfortunately,  as you've discovered. I found a really old thread on here that might be of some help, but really l think it's a question of keep digging them out and over time, they will weaken. Good exercise though!

    Once you've got the site as clear as you can, that's when you can start planning what goes where. As l said before,  don't assume that any seating area has to be outside the back door, site it (or them), in the sunniest location where you'd like your morning cup of coffee and/or evening glass of wine  ;)
    Practical things such as the location of the washing line, recycling bins etc also need to be thought about. You can use canes, bits of hosepipe etc to mark things out.
    Don't forget to look down from the upstairs windows to see what it looks like !

    When it comes to levelling the site, there is loads of advice on the internet and YouTube and other people on here can help with the practicalities. 
    I know you want to get as much of it done ASAP, but time taken in the clearance and planning is worth it in the long run.
  • lenagarnerlenagarner Posts: 4
    Thanks again Anni for your response and advice! We had a day off from
    it today but hoping to get out tomorrow and do a bit more. Will take a look at the thread you suggested re the onion problem, thank you. I’m thinking realistically of just levelling one small area where the seating area could be and just leaving the rest unlevel - in my previous house we levelled the whole lawn and turfed it and it was a big job. As long as I have somewhere to put a table where there’s no danger of spilling my wine I’ll be happy 😆 was thinking of maybe getting some of those decking squares that lock together and using that as a patio type area but not sure if they are any good.

    but yes will defo be doing the clearing and then into the planning stage! Thanks again x
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,508
    One good point is that those oniony bulbs are Allium triquetrum... the Three-cornered Leek ... and edible ... we had some in a stirfry for our supper yesterday.

    Enjoy 😋 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 5,429
    I did wonder @Dovefromabove , but didn't want to say for sure in case l poisoned Lena and her family 😯
    At least they won't starve !
    @lenagarner , looking forward to some photos maybe as work progresses? 
    Hope it goes well.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,508
    @AnniD  😊 I can’t think of anything else they might be ... and the link gives clear ID info ... I’d be happy to eat them. 👍 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • lenagarnerlenagarner Posts: 4
    Morning guys,

    I checked out the link you posted and I’m pretty sure it is the Allium triquetrum as it looks exactly like the photo and has the little white flowers.  I did assume they were edible as my initial thought was they’re some form of spring onion - however, as I mentioned in a previous post, we have lots of foxes in our garden each night and a lot of the bones I have found (from our neighbours feeding them) have been found in and amongst the onions so I’m a bit dubious about how clean they are 🙈 

    will defo post some picture updates! 😁

    thanks again! Have a good day x
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,508
    Maybe the foxes like garlic chicken 🍗  🍴 🦊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

Sign In or Register to comment.