Novice gardener with an overgrown gardener

Hi all!

Ive recently moved to the scottish countryside after 15 years of london and lots of container gardening on my roof terrace i now have a new house and an overgrown garden and would really like your help and gudance.

The garden was overgrown with ground elder and brambles, im beginning to clear them and have tackled the ground elder non stop for 3 months ( i even dream about weeds!!) 

Now i'm at a stage that some of the beds are clear, when is best to plant in these newly clear beds? i have lots of plants in containers ready to go, rhodies, hydrangeas, geums, roses etc.. do i need to wait till next year? whats best?

any help will be amazing!!




  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    Autumn is the best time to plants those you have listed, from the end of september

  • I'm in North Northumberland in the Scottish borders.  We get some serious winter weather here.

    I would plant now rather than wait till next year.    I often buy things and have people tell me to plant at the turn of the year or the spring but it's just not practical or possible!

    If you're anything like here you could have VERY severe ground frost at least and even be under a load of snow until April.   I wouldn't even be able to get a fork into the ground till April though.

    Plant now and at least your perennials and shrubs will get chance to get rooted and established before the weather gets bad.

    The ones you've mentioned are all best planted now but even if you get stuff or read about ones to plant in the New year, if you're where you get a proper winter, forget it!

    I've just joined today and done an introduction with some photos so you can see what my garden is like and particularly I've got a rhododendron and azalea garden.

    I planted everything in August / September and it all vanished under 2 foot of snow the first year!  It all survived.

  • PomponsPompons Posts: 5

    thanks both, i live near Jedburgh so not far Northernlass2.. I would like to get things moving and like you say it will give the shrubs time to get established. 

    When i get a bit further on i will start adding more pics, i am renovating house as well so its all go!

  • Not far at all.  Just about half an hour away from me. 

    I don't know if you've ever been to the garden centre at Floors Castle in Kelso.  It's inside one of the old wall gardens and it's beautiful.   You can walk around the garden and be inspired and also see what grows well in our climate and the manager is REALLY helpful and honest.   He'll tell you if something isn't hardy enough to survive up here and he'll suggest what to do as alternatives if necessary.


    Their plants aren't necessarily the cheapest but being reared in the north, they tend to survive better and don't die of shock when you stick them in the garden.

  • LesleyKLesleyK Posts: 4,030

    We visited Floors Castle about a month ago NorthernLass2 and as you say the garden centre is really lovely.  It is great to be able to see what will grow well in our climate and save expensive mistakes. I live between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    Pompoms - good to hear you are beginning to win the battle with weeds and I'm sure that once you have a couple of beds planted up you will be full of enthusiasm to carry on.  Look forward to seeing your photosimage

  • PomponsPompons Posts: 5
    Thanks northern lass, I do love the garden centre there, my new favourite is woodside plant centre and cafe, in beautiful walled garden, the staff are amazingly helpful! And the evening meals are amazing!
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 3,486

    Hi Pompoms - well done on the weed battle! I garden down in Suffolk so defer to local knowledge when it comes to severity of the winter.

    If your plants have been in containers for some time you should be able to plant them at anytime the soil is workable - so starting sooner rather than later to establish them before winter seems like a plan.

    Just make sure you prepare the beds well with lots of organic matter as this will help to retain moisture through the summer as well as helping to support the plants in other ways. I would also suggest considering using a mycchorizal root fungus as I found this really got root systems going when I was planting a load of shrubs last year. A bigger, deeper root system should mean they're better protected against ground frosts. I would also use a thick mulch after you've given everything a really good watering - again to help conserve moisture over the summer months.

    After that it's a case of keeping everything well watered (unless you're getting lots of rain) - but that shouldn't be anymore work than watering all those containers!

    Good luck.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • PomponsPompons Posts: 5
    It's by harestanes visitor centre if you wanted to visit!
  • PomponsPompons Posts: 5
    Thanks Topbird, not heard of the root fungus addition, googled it after your advice and I will get some before I plant, thanks!
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