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Newbie with a big garden

Hi everyone.  I used to be a member on the bbc boards back in 2004 just before they were shut down (known as TheConstantGardener). I have just moved out of London to a garden on about an acre. The garden has been looked after and landscaped in mostly perennials but not all is to taste.

What would be the best approach? To tackle a bed a year? To buy plants I like and dot them about?

I'm also facing a lot of unwanted grass clumps, that annoying climbing weed (forgotten it's name but not knotweed) and brambles, ivy and the like.

looking forward to getting to know you all.



  • PerkiPerki Posts: 2,420

    Hi TCGB welcome back to the new and improved forum image. Do you know whats in the beds? You can always replace the plants one by one to spread the cost / time out, unless you are having a totally revamp. It up to you how you tackle the garden

    It probably be best to spray bindweed with weedkiller train it around a stick so you can spray as many leaves as possible. You could spray brambles as well, i not sure weedkiller will be to effective on Ivy with the glossy leaves but I think it kill it eventually probably best to dig it out. 

  • Hi there, the best advice I was given when tackling a newly acquired garden was to leave well alone for twelve months and take note of what you like an what you don't like. This gives you chance to get to know your garden and reduces the temptation to act too impulsively.

    Bind weed - and I have all the pesky things you mention! - I find is easier to control by unwinding the plant and sticking it in a polythene bag then spraying it in the bag. It reduces the risk of spray going elsewhere. The bags can be tucked behind another plant out of sight until it's done its job.

    Brambles, eight years on we're still doing battle, seem to do best if you are able to dig them up. Failing that wait until the growing season, cut them down to the new growth and spray with a strong solution of Round up. My bottle has a pull down label - not obvious at first glance - that gives different concentrations. Brambles need the strongest solution. Be prepared to wage a long war though.

    Ivy is a fabulous plant for the wildlife so I'd think hard before eliminating it.

    Most of all, enjoy your garden. Joan Bakewell said, when she tried to put gardening into 'Room 10' that it is 'housework out of doors'. I think it's important that it doesn't become a chore.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,646

    I would deal with it bit by bit, far les daunting than to look at a whole acre and think "I've got to tackle that"! But also it's good to get to know your new garden and what it's like in summer, there may be more that you like than you thought. Deal with brambles and bindweed as soon as they appear, if you have time, as they can take over if not dealt with.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Thank you everyone.  Fab advice.  Hadn't even thought of winding the bindweed round a stick or putting it in a bag - so clever.  Presumably something like roundup or similar weed killer will suffice?

    i do need to stop panicking about needing to "tackle" the garden.  You are right about taking my time.  I do need a few more evergreen bushes dotted around. Very sparse this winter.  


    Thanks again.  Knew it was a food idea to join here.  image 

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