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New Gardener - Big Garden

Hi guys,

I am a complete amateur and have bought an house with quite a large mature garden, its clear the previous owners enjoyed their garden.

I simply don't know where to start, I am not looking for an award winning garden, just some guidance to keep it maintained.

The garden pretty much is bordered with small trees, bushes, flowers and weeds but it seems they have all merged together with no clear gaps, so I can't even see the soil.

1. Do I simply removed the weeds and what I think are weeds in order to see the soil so the plants are on show a little more.

2. The trees and bushes have buds on them, is it to late to 'cut them back'

I am being given multiple tips, people saying 'quick, cut it back before it overgrows' and 'leave it until after the summer so you can see what plants you have'

Any help would be great !



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    As my dear late mother would have said " act in haste: repent at leisure" 

    Don't rush at anything. 

    Post photos of those you think need cut back

  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    Ditto all hosta just said image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,168

    Hi Iceman

    Don't rush to cut back, you may be cutting off this year's flowers. Identify the trees and shrubs before you cut them. Post photos on here and someone will ID. Some shrubs sulk if you cut them, some are improved.

    Your weeds/flowers can also be IDd here.

    remove anything you're sure is a weed but be careful. Some things haven't appeared above ground yet and you don't want to damage the tips.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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  • Thanks guys, I honestly don't think I could post everything, there must be a hundred different things!

  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

    Some lovely plants there, I am envious. Can't see much in the way of weeds  either and definitely some of those shrubs do not want cutting back.  Where are you?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    the 1st one might well be forsythia which looks like it's coming into bloom. 

  • Leeds, Yorkshire. So you recommend just leaving for now?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,168

    I would leave it all alone. Forsythia is best pruned after flowering. I prefer not to do it as that one has been done (ie a trim up all round) a nicer shaped shrub is produced by cutting back some of the oldest stems and leaving the rest. But that's just my opinion. I think I see a fine mahonia near the forsythia as well.

    Look at it all for a season. If things are a bit crowded it might be better to remove a few of the ones you don't like so much rather than cutting them all to fit

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,012

    Join a local gardening club - they're not just for experts - I'm sure some of the members would be thrilled to come round and give a few pointers in exchange for a cuppa and piece of cake (or glass of beer or whatever) image

    Or even have a look at gardens around you and if you see any with plants that look similar to yours, try to engage the owner in conversation - ask questions and explain that you've just taken on a lovely garden and you don't want to spoil it - most gardeners are just as kind and helpful as us and love to help image

    Good luck and don't forget to keep coming back here with photos, queries and progress reports image

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

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