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Inherited a garden but have no idea what to do??


I have recently become a proud owner of a house that was empty for over a year before we moved in.  Having never had my own garden I would describe myself as a bit of a novice, but am keen to learn.  The garden seems to be very established and looks to have once been someones pride and joy - however, it is now a bit of a jungle.

I am in need of some help - I have a beautiful Camellia bush (white flowers) and a large Hydrangea (no flowers yet!) that need to be moved due to building works.  Unfortunately this needs to be done in the next couple of weeks which I understand isn't the best time to be transplanting plants - unfortunately this can't be avoided, it's a move them or lose them situation.  Does anyone have any advice as to the best way to do this?

In regards to the other plants in the garden - whilst we attempt to tidy everything up would I do any harm if I just cut everything right back?

I am in SW London and my garden faces east.

Any words of wisdom much appreciated


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269

    Hi Ruth and welcome image

    Can you post some pics of the garden and the plants involved please?  To upload pics on here you need to click on the green tree icon on the toolbar above where you type your posts.  Sadly it doesn't work for phones - yet image

    Just cutting everything right back probably wouldn't causing any lasting damage, but it may mean that you lose some flowers this year and might even cause some difficulty with identification of plants.  

    If you can hold fire just a bit and let us have a look ............... 

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

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Hi Ruth welcome.

    When we moved here the house had been empty for nearly two years and like yours the previous owner had been a keen gardener. So many lovely plants appeared during the first 12 months, many got transplanted and some given away. I'm glad we waited to see what appeared. We also had to move some for building work but having the time to prepare an area for them they survived.

    As Dove says it would be good if we could have a look at some pictures, so we can best advise about cutting them back if needed.   

    I wish you happy days in your new home and garden. image

  • Chris 25Chris 25 Posts: 50

    Hi Ruth, 

    Normally i say to any person who has just moved property  is to leave it for a year just cut back and keep it tidy that way you can really see what you have what needs to go or get moved and where to put new additions,

    But it sounds as if you are starting a building project, so some plants need to move so

    a little tip get a bottle of organic liquid seaweed from any good garden centres approx £7.00 per bottle it will last all season you only use 1 inner cap full per gallon of water use on all plants and seedlings.

    Now if you need to uplift a plant dig well deep beyond the root and under work around the plant try not to damage roots, then make a whole larger than required where you would like it placed one hand full of blood fish and bone place in the bottom, lightly rake that in add a little organic matter or compost  than place the plant in the hole  fill it in a heal the plant in then give the plant a gallon of seaweed fertilizer/water water well for a few days  you should be fine so should the plants.

    They might show signs of wilt but they will pick up in a day or two , 1 tip do not move the plants in brilliant sun shine leave to an early morning of later in the day when the sun goes down, they prefer it .image

  • Ruth63Ruth63 Posts: 2

    wow - such quick replies, will get some photos taken and upload image

    Very grateful for your advice.  I am so excited to finally have my own garden - I have been renting for 10 years in city centers so looking forward to having a little patch I can call mine.

  • Is there a more recent thread or can I piggy back this one? 

    I have very, very recently had found myself in the same situation and would like to upkeep as best I can. Help would be much appreciated.
  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    Pop it on a new thread, Gavin.  We're still waiting for Ruth to upload here photo's on this one :D
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    If you don’t want to spend money on sea weed, use nettle tea as that works well too.  Nettles in bucket out of sun for a few days will give you a weak feed (the longer the stronger but also the stinkier!)

    And water the plants you want to move very well the day before.
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,015
    Hello @Gavin.cullen as Bob says,  best to start a new thread and post photos. Don't post too many, say 3 or 4 of any plants you need identifying (otherwise it can get a bit confusing).   :)
  • Thanks everyone. I’ll see if I can work out how to create a new post and hopefully get pictures up this evening or tomorrow. Plenty of plant species to identify or different variety’s / colours in some cases of similar plants, (Roses for example), so I’ll be glad of the help then I can look into how to care for them and have the garden looking as good or better next year.
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