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Advice needed for first time homeowner/gardener. What should I do before spring/summer comes?

Hi everyone,

I love plants and fell in love with everything plant related when I moved in to my first flat and how much joy my plants brought to me. 

I am moving in to my new house (omg can’t believe I’m saying this) in about 2 weeks and wanted to get some advice. 

I’ve already planned to seal/paint the fences and pressure wash the concrete. 

I wanted to get some advice on what the best thing to next in terms of planting. I was also thinking of planting a cherry blossom tree in the corner, loads of flowers and a few produce.

Would love to hear any suggestions and thoughts you all had. 

Thanks a lot! 


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,049
    Measure the garden and draw it to scale on paper. 
    Make a list of what you want , tree , veg area etc and note where the sunniest bit of the garden are.
    Mess about with the drawing marking out what might go where.
    Don't rush into it.
  • Buy a few packets of annual seeds and sow them (at the appropriate time) in the existing flower beds. This will give you something to make you smile in summer and autumn. Use the time to research, plan and get to know your garden. If you've decided by autumn, then this is a great time to plant, if not then next spring will be great too. Don't rush it!
  • You can also use sketch up or PowerPoint to make a serviceable to scale plan if paper isn't your jam.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,229
    edited February 2021
    Congratulations! I think it's wonderful that you are so excited about your garden - just like I was a few years ago when I bought my first house. I wouldn't rush into anything major like a tree (my sister's garden has many trees and shrubs which I bought then regretted in my first couple of years). There may also be plants lying dormant which will appear later in the year. And you'll get a better idea of the space and areas of shade/sun etc.

    If you are raring to fill your borders with colours and have something really fabulous this year, dahlias would be a great way to do that pretty cheaply. You can buy the tubers now, and you just need to start them off in pots on a windowsill for planting out in May. You can easily take cuttings from them as they sprout so you can multiply your stock rapidly. A limited number of varieties, with contrasting flower shapes and harmonious colours, would probably look best. I just bought some of these Dahlia 'Waltzing Matilda' today, how gorgeous do they look mass-planted? 

    See the source image
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I would go with pots for the first summer - and annuals, as mentioned above. Nothing major this year.
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,311
    I am usually against the usual advice of not rushing things and waiting a year. Time is too valuable to lose a year. On the other hand, making mistakes now and then redoing everything when you get to know the garden better can be expensive. If you are absolutely sure that you want a cherry tree, buy it now. If you are not sure or if you want to tackle the hard landscaping first, wait for the next year.
    Personally, I would focus on the hard landscaping before planting.
  • delskidelski Posts: 274
    Agree mostly with edhelka.
    I would also consider how long you're going to be there. Hardscaping can be expensive so I understand why you've said you're going to pressure wash and seal the concrete. Is that enough for you long term? It won't get rid of those cracks.
  • newprojectgardennewprojectgarden Posts: 107
    edited February 2021
    It's a nice space you have. You will find out a lot about sunny spots, shady areas this year. Next year you will feel more prepared and confident.

    After this cold spell you could start improving the soil/beds. Add some organic material, break it up ready for planting in spring. Then you can mulch in spring.

    Use this time to choose a suitable grass seed and buy that when it warms up, over seed the lawn and put some extra in the patchy areas. It will look great after a few weeks. I like giving it a seaweed spray too :)

    What colour fence paint have you gone for? I just bought silver copse for mine

    Just a couple ideas :)

  • At a previous house we had a long, thin concrete path that wasn't good. It was surprisingly easy for the next owners to remove it.
    Maybe think about a design without that righthand path "set in stone!".
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