Forum home The potting shed

Hello, I'm new here!

Hello all, Just thought I would introduce myself as I'm about to bombard the forums with, no doubt, stupid questions!

I love gardening and being at one with the soil and the outdoors. My mum was the gardener and took care of our gardens at the family home, the neighbours gardens, an allotment and even the councils verges outside the house! They were certainly the best kept verges around! She also helped with the garden in my first house and we got them looking great. Unfortunately, my mum passed away 3 years ago aged 59, from cancer. I miss her terribly. In honour of my mum I want to continue with my hobby of gardening but I no longer have her 'know how' and plant knowledge to call on, hence why I've joined this forum.

I'm hoping you will be able to assist me in transforming the current gardens in a home I share with my husband and 12 week old son. We've lived here nearly 10 months but haven't been able to tackle the gardens much due to being pregnant and suffering from a bad pelvis!

The previous owners of the house didn't enjoy gardening at all and allowed the conifers to overgrow and the weeds to run free.

I'm hoping you'll all be gentle on me with my very novice posts! Thanks in advance!



  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Hello Laura; welcome to the forum and to what, as I'm sure you're aware, is an all-consuming pastime.

    There's no such thing as a stupid question here (and you should read some of them!) as we were all beginners once!

    My first suggestions are:

    1. Get rid of the conifers immediately (unless they're interesting specimen ones of course) as they cast lots of shade, acidify and impoverish the soil and (especially if they're Cupressus x leylandii) look 'orrible.  If you need a hedge there, replant with something else.
    2. Cover the weed-ridden areas with thick cardboard (old boxes from the supermarket are good) weighted down with the logs from the conifers to supress the weeds.  Then you can tackle the area bit by bit without worrying that the bits you haven't got to are getting worse.
    3. Start a compost heap, without which no garden can function well.
    4. Plant something nice in the areas you've cleared.  I'd go for food, but you may prefer pretty things.
    5. Ask Father Christmas/good fairy/relatives for books to tell you what to do.  My favourite is The Complete Manual of Organic Gardening edited by Basil Caplan, but there are many more.


    Good luck, and enjoy it!

    (Edit, having seen Verdun's cross-post: Ignore most of what he says, except about gardening....image)

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087
    How Laura


    It sounds as if you have a big project for the garden. Obviously, the best thing to do is look at what type of garden you want and what will fit in to your garden space in relation to plants and shrubs. Also what type if soul you have. Possibly, check your neighbours garden to see what grows well and select them plants to go in to your garden. Conifers will need to be cut back or reduced to,pissibly allow more light in to your garden. Depending on thier height, you may need to get a professional tree surgeon in for this work. Check what plants you have in your garden at present and decide to keep or move to another part of the garden,Check the RHS plant index to find out about plants and shrubs and the care and soul requirements. But most of your questions can be answered on this site

    Best of luck and remember that a garden will reward but you need to put in the time and have patience to get there
  • Hi, Laura...welcome to the forum. As someone who has recently lost a family member to cancer, please accept my sincere sympathy & good wishes.....apart from other factors, this must have left a huge hole in your life re gardening matters.

    We're a pretty diverse bunch here, but I can vouch for their outstanding knowledge & helpfulness.

    I seem to have assumed the mantle of being a bit of a sweet pea specialist, but to be honest I'm never happier than when I'm messing around with fruit 'n veg.

    Oh...I mess around with photography too.  


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    ...and he's too modest...

    Pics are a good idea.  Apart from anything else, we may be able to help with identification.

    Which way does your garden face? What's your soil like? How far north are you?  How high?  All these factors will influence choice of plants.  And most importantly, what sort of garden and plants do you want?

  • Thankyou all for a lovely warm welcome. image

    I cant wait to get asking you the hundreds of questions I have!! I'm just transferring my pictures from my phone to my laptop and then I shall add some pics..

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    Hi Laura welcome, sorry to hear about your loss, if I can help I willimage
  • Hi Laura, Im new too image a complete beginner to gardening so looking for more advice than you prob lol...and welcome xx

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,137


    Welcome to the newbies. X


    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

Sign In or Register to comment.