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Neglected Garden

Ok prepare yourselves...... this is my garden:

As you can see it has been abandoned pretty much for the last 12 years. I now want to give it the love and attention it needs! My knowledge of gardening is very limited, my plan is to first clear the rubbish (and house!) out of the garden but after that i'm stumped. It seems so over whelming. 

Main problems I am facing are:

1. The garden is very uneven, it would be nice to have a flat grassed area but how hard is this to achieve? 

2. The grass is not a nice lawn, its wild patchy grass. What can be done about this?

3. The ivy and weeds! What is the best way of removing these. 

Help me please! 




  • It's not THAT bad - I have rampant brambles in my neglected garden, and it's a lot bigger!

    OK, nuimber 1, you might need to build a retaining wall and add topsoil to get a very flat lawn, I wouldn't recommend that, as you will get water running off towards your house, which may well lead to a damp problem.  Maybe a series of terraces so you can have flat strips of lawn?

    2, If the grass really is that bad, then maybe you'll need to dig it up and start again, either with seed or new turf.  You need to decide which PDQ, as I wouldn't recommend trying to start a new lawn after the end of April, as the weather tends to warm up and not be as wet, you'd spend a lot of time watering it to make sure it didn't dry out.  Do you have a lawnmower?  If so, make sure the blades are on the highest setting, and give it a once-over.  If it looks terrible, some bits down to bare mud, and other bits are long, I'd say dig it up, level the ground and put new lawn in.

    3  Ivy is a bugger to get rid of.  You need to bruise the leaves (try rubbing gently between your hands, without pulling the leaf off the plant), this gets rid of the waxy coating that's on an ivy leaf, which means that any weedkiller you spray on it will actually be absorbed by the plant.  Make sure it's not a plant that belongs to next door, and they are happy for you to get rid of it, next door has ivy that comes over the top of the wall, I just chop it off whenever it comes over,  the chap next door would have a hissy fit if I killed his Ivy!  I would use a glyphosate weedkiller to get rid of the weeds, including thistle, dandelion etc, and once they're dead, use a long   weeding knife or bulb trowel to get rid of the roots.  If they're in your lawn, fill the hole with a mixture of sharp sand and grass seeds, to fill the hole, improve drainage in your lawn (unless you've got sandy soil anyway, then I'd use compost & seed), and the seed should germinate in a few weeks so you can't see the hole where the weed used to be.

    Getting rid of weeds can be a slow process, I use a mixture of glyphosate, digging and bloody-minded stubbornness.

  • You can hire a rotavator or cultivator from any decent tool hire company, (Speedy Hire, Hire Station), This will level your garden. Take a weekend to do it though. Cost about £50

  • Make sure all of your weeds have gone before rotovating.  This is a great way to make a small weed problem into a HUGE weed problem.

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