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Lawn and border issues

I have a house where the garden used to be beautiful but has been neglected as the property was empty for 10 yrs before I moved in.  
When I first got the keys the house was the first priority so a friend maintained the garden.  
I am now doing the garden myself but I have very little knowledge.  It can seem overwhelming at times. I have three questions.

1. Until I got involved the lawn was edged with a strimmer.  I'm now doing it with shears but as you can see in picture  1 the edges are dreadfully uneven.  How can I straighten these to be perfect?  Do I have to dig out a piece of turf and turn it around to make a neat edge or can I somehow build up the soil?  All the edges , however hard I try, look like they have just been hacked with the strimmer.

2. I have crocisimo all over the garden swamping all the other plants.  It's like  a bulb and i can't dig it up as it is inbetween all the plants.  I have been pulling up by hand a bit at a time but sometimes it snaps and I don't get the bulb itself out.  If it's rained a few days before it's easier.  I've got visions of having to do this for years to come until I get rid of it as it's out of control.  Is there any other way?

3. My friend dug up quite a few plants eg. phlox last Autumn.  See pictures 3 and 4.  However, where she has dug up these plants they sit on top of the soil in a mound and so you get flat soil and then a mound sticking up and this is all over the garden.  Is this as they should have been spit properly , dug over and put neatly back in?  I think she has just placed them on top of the soil and luckily the roots went back to the ground.  What can I do about this.  Again this is all over the garden.  I'm worried it will be a huge task .  Picture 2 shows some phlox that look ok but picture 3 and 4 (4 is crocismo that has been treated the same in a clump) show they are sat on top of the soil surface - this looks worse before the plants actually start to grow.  It looks like plants have just been plonked on the soil all over the garden.

Thank you   I love the garden but I feel overwhelmed and I'm trying to do this with not enough knowledge.  Ive started an online garden course but I'm only at the beginning and I need help now really.


  • I'll assume Crocismo is an autocorrect for Crocosmia. I think you need to be less hard on yourself, that edge doesn't look particularly offensive by anyone's measure. You're only starting and only by mucking about trying things you will ever get better at gardening. None of us were born with some amazing natural gift, it's all experience and getting to know your patch intimately. 

    The easy solution to a neat edge is to get some everdedge installed ant it keeps it nice and neat with no effort whatsoever, but frankly you could also plant near to the edge and blur the boundary to make it look less prominent. It all depends on the aesthetic you're after and if you want to keep the ultra formal look for ever more.

    As for Crocosmia...keep pulling but do your best to remove the bulbs as otherwise as you know they keep coming back and multiplying.

    But above all, be kind to yourself and keep doing things without judging it against some strict level of competence you can't currently live up to. It's your garden and you will eventually find a happy place where it will be a pleasure to look after. We all grow into our gardens and it takes a bit of time. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,459
    Stop knocking yourself, you're doing a great job!
    The lawn looks lovely and what you need for the edges is a halfmoon cutter and a very long piece of string with 2 pegs to get your straight edge. You can get both at a garden centre.
    You're right about the plants too, they should have been replanted properly after being split, preferably after adding some well rotted manure* to the planting hole to improve the soil fertility. *Also available from GC.
    The crocosmia are a recognised pest plant and you have the right idea.There are some nicer varieties that are much less invasive, but the common orange one is a pain. Dig out the bigger clumps with a fork and continue to target individual ones or small clumps as you have been doing, but dispose of them carefully, as it is an offence to let them escape into the wild. I've got the same job to do in my own garden, they weren't too bad at first, but seem to have increased exponentially with the warmth and wet of the last few years!
  • karenktekarenkte Posts: 46
    Thanks for all the advice.
    On the edge if I use the half moon edger I would have to take more lawn away to get the straight line.
    I don't really want the lawn even smaller.  Is there a way to extend the edge out maybe by using compacted soil?  Or would everedge sort that if I installed it and back filled with soil then grass seed?
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,459
    You'd only be making it smaller where it is wider - line up your string with the longest, straightest bits and just cut off the bulges.
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    If you are open to some DIY (or paying someone to do it) and if you want the border where it is more or less permanently, you could instal a mowing strip - a permanent edge to the border. It can be bricks or blocks cemented in or just laid on sand or it can be 10-15cm wide wooden edge. Then you won't need to worry about the edging ever again.
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