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Paralysed but excited

LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,318

I've waited nearly ten years to redo my garden and have spent the last year laying the groundwork (getting fences replaced, digging out ivy, getting patio redone, cutting back overgrown everything, resiting shed, etc etc). There's lots still to do but this year I can finally grow things because there are beds in the right places, not much trampling risk... and I'm paralysed!

I think I've become fixated on everything being perfect and in its right place and I can't decide on ANYTHING. Every time I think of planting anything there are loads of comtingencies. I also know there have been plants I've been desperate to grow for ages but can I remember a single one? Can I heck. I'm loving getting out in the garden when it's dry, but I just move things around / organise the shed / stir the compost heap. It all helps, but I'm worried I'll end up with a bare garden again this year if I don't pull my finger out. I've also grown rather disturbingly fond of bare soil having weeded and weeded all year!

Any tips for eating this elephant?

'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
- Cicero
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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,238

    One bite at a time?

    It's far too early to plant anything except bare root plants and even then I'd pot them up first and nurture them out of bad weather.    Far too early to sow most plants as there isn't enough daylight to maintain seedlings and prevent them getting leggy, assuming you have somewhere cosy to keep them.

    Hoe your beds to decapitate any weed seedlings, add compost and manure if you haven't already and keep hoeing till planting time in March.

    That gives you about 6 to 8 weeks to research/remember the plants you did want and work out what will go where.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,626

    Arrange them alphabetically around the garden in a clockwise direction. Then wait and see how they look. If friends come round and express a certain reserve and lack of enthusiasm for your "look" you can assure them that everything is in exactly the correct place.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • a1154a1154 Posts: 859

    If you want trees, hedges, anything that comes bare root, now is an excellent time to get them in.  

    i would look at some books, and visit other gardens and copy what you like.  If its local to you, similar conditons, it should work. 

    I stole my first plan from the local garden centre which had a fantastic display.  I have done some of my own beds since then, but they arent as good. 

    Dont be too hard on yourself, you can put things in the wrong place, move it later and learn from it. 

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    What a wonderful place to be image If I could do my garden over the first thing I'd do would be to really work on the evergreen winter structure and get that just right before moving onto flowers, shrubs etc.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,456

    Take your time LG. A blank canvas can be quite daunting - no matter how much you think you know exactly what you want to do. image

    Sketches and plans, and some thought about what you want and need from your space. Decide on the colours and shapes you like and dislike, and then see what will work for the site, aspect and soil. Play about with ideas on paper and get the structural planting in first. It's early days yet with weather conditions, so you have plenty of time before you hit the GC or nursery  image

    I'd agree - you'll move stuff around no matter how definite you think you are! image

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


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    All good suggestions, however the best advice I can give you is to walk away from it for a week or two. Stop yourself from thinking about it and do something else. You're typically suffering from an overload! Go away if you can and don't think about it. When you get back, you'll have a new perspective. Works for me.

  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,318

    Thanks - you're all right, of course. I *know* I can move things, I *know* it'll be a journey of discovery, but I think I'm just overwhelmed (possibly with excitement!) and all the ideas that have been milling around my head for the last few years have gone awol.

    Thanks for the tip about the herbaceous perennials, Verdun. I'm a herbaceous perennial kinda gal and having some things that I can try in different positions while still in their pots would be helpful. I don't have a greenhouse though, will they be alright outside? 

    [Incidentally, Verdun, the last chapter in a book I'm reading about kitchen technology mentioned Pierre Verdun and his invention of the Robot Coupe food processor... and I thought of you].

    I do need to do some sketches and plans. Dave Morgan, I can't go away (kids, school, job etc) but maybe I need to look afresh.

    And Pansyface, were you alluding to my screen name with your suggestion?image I already get odd looks when friends see my bookshelves and jokingly ask if the books are in Dewey Decimal order, and I say, "Ummmm....."

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 16,789

    Make a list of the plants you like as they pop into your head. I have an exercise book where I note down things to do with the garden. Then, if you can, go to a garden centre when plants are growing, too soon now, and see what they have that looks nice on your list. Look plants up on Google to check things like their heights and growing conditions. Note that in your book too, so that you will be forearmed when it's time to buy.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
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