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Overgrown garden in new house

Hi all, I have not long purchased my first home and the garden is somewhat overgrown. I am not very green fingered and do not know where or even how to start?

The first picture is looking straight and there is a wall behind all the overgrowth looking straight and to the left. The second picture is the same area but taken from the right hand side.

I basically wish to clear the whole area and start with blank canvas so to speak. I do not have a great deal of money, but not afraid of hard work and getting my hands dirty.

All help and ideas would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance 


  • UffUff Posts: 3,199
    Welcome to the forum markbagot. You will find that there are a lot of very knowledgeable gardeners on here who are willing to share what they have learned over the years. 
    That's a wonderful project you have there and when you have cleared the plot you can see exactly what you have and exactly what you would like from the garden.

    I'm sure we would all enjoy your progress with you. 
    SW SCOTLAND but born in Derbyshire
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,835
    It will be like eating an elephant, one bite at a time. The common advice is not to rush into it but give it a year to see what you have growing there already. If you find plants you want to keep but re-use elsewhere then that is a bonus especially with a small budget.
    You can start now by removing any debris such as litter and broken fencing then tackle obvious weeds like bramble. Take lots of photos of anything you can't identify and we will try to help. Just cutting the grass neatly can have a big impact on reducing the wilderness factor but wait until Spring for that.
  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,528
    What an exciting journey you are about to embark on!  It looks as if you have a lot of bramble there and that will take a while to clear.  Yes the usual advice is to wait and see what's there but I would be getting in there with loppers and secateurs right now and clearing away all the top growth.  Then you can see where the bramble is coming from and make a start on getting out the roots - which will cover a wide area.  Lucky you don't mind a bit of hard work!
    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,680
    edited January 2022
    I would not bother with waiting to see what might be there; I’d get stuck in at once clearing the brambles and the obvious debris. If you give yourself four months to do that by mid May you’ll be able to see any garden-worthy plants that might be emerging from dormancy, photograph them, get them identified and be given advice on how to deal with them.

    If they’re robust enough to cope with your jungle, they’ll probably be robust enough to be lifted, divided and replanted. In truth, lifting and division is best done earlier in Spring or in early Autumn so try to take I.D. photos sooner if you can.

    To get you underway on your project you’ll need thorn proof gloves, loppers and, I suggest, a mattock. A fork, spade, secateurs can come later. As you’re on a tight budget you could even put a cheeky request on, Freecycle etc explaining your mission and asking if people have suitable tools they might donate.

    Without doubt, take photos every step of the way. When the project is completed it is so satisfying to look back to see what a mess it was and how you have transformed it. Why not formalise the photography and, once a week for a full year, take a full photo of the garden from the same spot?

    An early task in your garden will be to create compost bins. This is best done by utilising wooden pallets so, when/if you ask for donated tools, ask for seven pallets as well. I’m sure there are loads of YouTube videos advising how to construct compost bins this way. Where to put the compost bins depends on your garden plan, a design best drawn up once the brambles and detritus are moved. Return to the forum at that point with photos and a sketch plan of the garden showing dimensions, orientation, levels, trees and shrubs, features to keep, features to obscure and a list of features to build and your planting preferences. Several people on this forum are adept at garden planning.

    Good luck. You’ll soon be proud of what you have achieved.
    Rutland, England
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145
    Be mindful of wildlife that will no doubt have made their home(s) there. Especially hibernating hedgehogs for example. Strimmers and fury animals are not a great combination.

    It looks like it will be an amazing space for you. Good luck with the project.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,456
    Good point about the wildlife, there could be a fair few insects etc and maybe even hedgehogs at this time of year. 
    I would suggest carefully clearing as much of the top growth as you can by hand, (watch out for flailing brambles near your eyes)., and piling it up for a day or two.
    That will give any wildlife a chance to escape. 
    Should you come across any hibernating hedgehogs, contact a local hedgehog or wildlife rescue for advice.

    Once that's gone you can then start digging or mattocking out the roots. You may possibly find a few treasures hidden in amongst it all, any queries take a photo and hopefully it can be identified on here.
    It may well be that once the top growth is cleared and light gets in, all sorts of plants may start to appear !
  • mac12mac12 Posts: 209
    You have 2 choices you start digging everything out but every bit of root you leave will go back and in a few weeks you will be so fed up with it you'll give in or wait until things get some new growth and then spray it off.
  • Paul060Paul060 Posts: 33
    Good luck, what an amazing space.
  • I love how the space at the end of your garden is bigger than my entire garden @Pete.8  :D Lucky you!
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