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Garden been so misused, how do i tackle this

I inherited a tatty house with an overgrown garden.I have got a contractor to repair and paint the house but the there's a huge area of flattened dead brambles in the back garden, the last people doused it in weedkiller and hacked it all down, its a thick dead mat of prickly wizened vines.   I'd like to create a lawn and flower area but the building contractor doesn't know how to get the land in a state to do this and nor do I. I'd be grateful for advice from anyone who has tamed a bit of wilderness and can suggest some first steps to rescuing this area if possible. Thank you. 


  • FireFire Posts: 18,975
    Welcome to the forum, Comps. If you are looking for contractors, maybe ask a garden landscaper to to take a look and get things into a certain shape for you.
  • It would be useful if you could include a picture to judge how far gone it is... thankfully finding someone competent to remove brambles is one of the easier jobs for a landscaper and something they do all the time. So don't worry too much about it. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • thanks for the welcome, Fire.,🙏 I got.some very high quotes from landscapers as it seems to be  a small awkward job for them but contractor is willing to do something simple just to get me started. Im hoping to do some of it myself sorry I didn't make that clear 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    Hi @comps 604- you may not necessarily need anyone particularly skilled to clear the site, depending on the size etc. 
    As @amancalledgeorge says, if you can add a photo or two, and also give your rough location, that will help. Not everyone lives where there are lots of handy, convenient landscapers to do the job.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,903
    If we can see a few photos of what there is to deal with we’ll have a much better idea of what needs to be done 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Yes that is a good idea. This picture shows about 1/3 the land area,the rest is now  taken over by brambles and scrub and rubbish.   is area by the house leads to the gate in the wall and all the brambles are dead.  The previous inhabitants left a massive bottle of Roundup chucked on the grass so looks like they just doused this part of it by the house so they could get to the gate.  YOu can see it's actually a mat of dead stems, you risk your life walking on it as it catches you at every step.  I don't know what to tell the contractor to do so I can make a start in transforming it into an area to sit in and enjoy.   

  • Oh and the house is a semi in an outer suburb of London, nobody around gets their gardens landscaped by the looks of it but they are on quite reasonable sized plots.    
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,837
    edited 12 February
    What is the green in the brambles? Is it weeds or bramble leaves? On my phone it looks as though the brambles are still alive in the top right corner.

    To me it looks as though it is just going to need a lot of hard work, a good pair of secateurs, anti thorn gloves, a rake, a fork and some strong bags to take all the rubbish to the tip. A local handyman who does gardening is probably the sort of chap you need, rather than an expensive landscaper. Your contractor may know what to do to get it cleared. 

    It there any way you could get a mini digger in? Then it would be easier to dig the bramble roots out.

    When it's cleared come back here to ask about design and laying turf and plants.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    I'd agree with @Busy-Lizzie. if you can get a mini digger in, that's probably the easiest method. It wouldn't necessarily need to be anybody skilled in gardening - just someone to clear everything out, although you would really need to be there to make sure they were doing what you want! 
    Perhaps one of those local sites would have recommendations for reliable workmen- InMyArea etc. 
    The only drawback of getting it done at this time of year is that any machinery will churn up and then compact the ground, and if it's wet /muddy, that makes it even worse, so you'd need to do a bit of restoration through spring and summer so that it's suitable for laying turf or planting anything. It looks as if the fence is a bit knackered too, so that's the kind of thing that will need addressing once the site's cleared.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,903
    edited 12 February
    Yes, @Busy-Lizzie has it spit on. 

    Cut the brambles as close to the ground as possible, chop the ‘branches’  up and put them in sturdy waste bags, then dig the roots out and bag them and take them all to the tip.  Try not to leave any roots in the soil. (Very fine brown ones are ok). 

    Then dig the whole lot over with a sturdy garden fork and spade, removing roots as you go  … don’t use a rotavator as they chop up the roots and each bit grows into a new plant. 

    It’ll be hard work but a good handyman/gardener should be ok with that …. 

    Then we’ll help you with your options for laying out what us potentially a lovely plot. 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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