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Where to start???

Hi All,

I am brand new to having a garden and am moving to a new house this week which has a beautiful garden.....well its a green space so far with some flowers.  I have no idea what is growing there or how to look after it.

Please someone help me by telling me where to start...... what do i need to do now.... how do i look after it?  Whats the most important things.  I would love to learn how to grow and look after plants but it seems i should start off with the basics but i don't even know these... image 



  • cornellycornelly Posts: 901

    You will need a couple of months to see what there is in the garden, with the present weather, there isn't much to be done, I would suggest buying the Gardeners World magazine ands other gardening papers, they are full of advice and places to buy seeds and plants.

  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    They always say to do nothing to a garden for the first year to see what comes up where, where the sun is etc.  Take the time to enjoy seeing what appears, decide what you like, what you don't like, what you might want to change.  This is a great place for posting photo's of plants and the wonderful experts on here can name them for you, then you can look up how to look after them.

    In the meantime get reading those magazines.  I have a couple of gardening notebooks that I got from Paperchase, where I jot down what I have planted, when, and notes on what to do for the next year.

    Enjoy, its a new adventure, and you're always learning something new. imageimage

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Books Shirley. I know they aren't as fashionable these days but they last. Basic books, the Expert series are good basic books for beginner's and they're updated as techniques change, they are relatively cheap as well. The how too guides on here are a useful reference as is the what to do now guide. Oh and don't forget to ask questions on the forum, it must be the best overall forum on the web. No silly questions exist on here, people have heard it all. It's friendly, although there is the odd spat, but it's free and we'll meaning. Best of luck.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Shirley, first buy a nice comfortable chair place it in a sunny spot get note book and pencil then observe. write down what grows, sunny or shady places, think about fruit trees or bushes, is there room, can you grow them on fences walls or trellis, is there a place for vegetables to be grown. After awhile you will get a feel for the space and ideas for improving things. Once you have an idea of how you would like things then start only on one small area, trying to do a complete garden from scratch will break your will and back. Little and often is the way to go, we have all started big projects and failed. Take it in sections, complete that part before starting something else, keep sitting and giving it a good coat of looking at, things change so be ready to alter the plans in your head. As a very old gardener i have often had a change of mind during a project, not to worry a garden is never finished always ongoing. Best of luck.


  • Snow MaidenSnow Maiden South Coast UKPosts: 862

    I'm still very much in the early learning stage myself but have learnt a lot by

    (1) asking and posting ID photos on the forum

    (2) books, books and even more books........I always have a huge pile of library books at my side 

    (3) Google is also one of my best gardening buddies too!

    (4) always give things a way to learn

    (5) watch all gardening related progs.

    (6) don't be afraid to ask family and friends  ( neighbours too)  for seed heads or cuttings of plants they have that you fancy, but be willing to repay back.

    Stand back and just spend this 1st yr getting to know your new garden, take lots of pics to remind yourself of what grew and when and to use as a starting point for the 2nd yrs planning.

    Enjoy image

  • TooeyTooey Posts: 93

    I'm a relative newbie to gardening as well and what all the others have said is excellent advice. I spent most of my first year removing weeds and giant stinging nettles but I did find a couple of gems for all my hard work image 


    Most of it's been trial and error for me but I'm finding that's half the fun. I now can't imagine not gardening - I love it image

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165

    tooey, some of us have been gardening for many decades and we never stop learning, that is indeed " half the fun".

    Shirley,welcome, apart from the excellent advice always available here, look at other gardens, large and small and make notes, take photos of things you like, and dislike (to avoid them  in future) 

    If there's a plant you see , feel free to post a pic for identification ( click the little tree icon )

    We all started with no knowledge ,nobody will hold it against you. 

  • Thank you everyone for your tips and advice.....I'm just so keen to get started and learn......a chair is a great idea and just take time to watch....I have told the kids we can start to plant and grow so maybe a container each would be a good idea....any suggestions for us fruit or veg again I've never even planted a sunflower....and my basil always dies ???????????? I love books is there any you would recommend for an absolute beginner??? I will buy a notepad that's a great idea.

    1. Notepad (note what grows and where)

    2. Chair (see where the sun is and when)

    3. Book?????

    4. Subscribe to gardeners world

    ???? exciting start

    How do I know what type of soil I I notice a few packets and books mention this???

    Do you think the containers are a good idea to start?
  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    These are the Paperchase journals

    I love mine.

    Books - I love my Alan Titchmarsh - The gardeners Year, (currently £26.95 on Amazon),

    RHS Encyclopedia's are great,

    I got give the RHS encyclopedia of Garden Design and that covers every aspect from design, materials, plants, etc which is a fab all rounder if you are looking to change your garden in a big way, vs just tidying up what is there. 

    I buy Gardeners World and Garden Answers every month, both cover slightly different aspects and treat myself to English Garden every once in a while.

    You'll have Mothers Day, birthdays, christmas presents all sorted now imageimageimage

    I'm sure people with have lots of other ideas for you. Have fun and part of the joy is learning, moving plants to different places when they don't work.

    Oh the Crocus website on the inspiration page, down the bottom you can type in your postcode and it will tell you the type of soil you have.  Then you can also do a soil test which will tell you the acidity etc of the soil .



  • Subscription purchased and omg just got that book in eBay for ??2.81 xx
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