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Advice for novice?

Hi. I've recently moved in to a new (rented) house and would love any help with how to get started with the garden. Its really large and has, in the past, been well loved and planted. Half of the garden is given over to a veg plot that was recently dug over but now has some grasses (i think!) growing on it. I have no idea about the soil quality or when it was last used as a veg plot.

In the rest of the garden there are loads of things planted and growing but I dont recognise most of it as Ive only have VERY limited experience with growing anything (tried a few veg pots, potted some plants from the garden centre!). So I have no idea when or if to cut things back.

We dont have a lot of money so I would really like to make the most of what is already here but how do I do that when I dont know what anything is or what to do with it!

There is a greenhouse too and a little space out the front that has (i think) a fig bush and a couple of plants with lots of overgrowth

Any advice (apart from move) would be very welcome!

Thanks in advance image


  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    My advice would be do little at the moment, see what comes through the winter, there could be winter flowering bushes bulbs early spring plants which suddenly appear, in other words you could do more harm than good. Look through charity shops you will find many gardening books often never been opened RHS encyclopaedia of gardening would be ideal plus one on the identification of plants. You do not have to prune in Autumn unless a shrub is too top heavy and being battered by the wind Spring is quite normal for most things. You can identify Roses and take them down around a third then prune properly in Spring.

    The Veg Patch will be OK to over winter if it has been dug over then in spring weed and rake a bit at a time and sow the seed or plants you wish to grow, frost helps break down clods and you can take out any obvious weeds by hand now, consider grass a weed in a Veg plot. Take your time, little and often rather than a back breaking make over in one go and most of all enjoy learning and gardening, we all started from where you are, do not be afraid to come on here asking and telling us how it is going we love to keep up.


  • lily3lily3 Posts: 8

    I agree with Frank. Wait til spring and see what you have. Then you can think what you want to keep or move etc.

    If you want to grow veg next year I would suggest you get rid of the grass and any weeds, especially if they have flowers as they will self seed and you will have more work later. You could start planning what you will want to grow there next year, maybe there are some seeds you can start now.

    Lucky with the greenhouse! I have a little plasticky thing which is OK for my tom's and overwintering stuff. But oh how I'd love a proper one!! image

    If you're particularly curious about a plant you could take a picture and ask in the garden center. Or look in the books, you are likely to stumble upon some of yours. Charity shops are good, but don't forget a library too!


    Good luck! It will be great fun I'm sure image

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 30,893

    I'd just do a general tidying up - weeding etc -  and then see what comes through over the next few months as Frank says. They're could be some hidden gems.

    Take photos and post them here - you're far more likely to get an ID quickly and correctly from the many knowledgeable people on here image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Brilliant! Thanks everybody for taking time on a Sunday eve to respond. Patience it is then! image 

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