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Where to start?

Hi everyone,

New to the forum but it looks just what I need!

We've not long moved into our house in the glorious Yorkshire Dales and have a huge garden. Got to admit it was the location and garden that drew us to the place.

We have too many problems to deal with, mainly moles who love our lawn, pheasants scratching in everything and a stream whose banks are collapsing in places, but it's a long term project.

But as a very keen, but amateur gardener I'm stuck for where to start. I'd love to keep to native planting that is wildlife friendly (also have red squirrels!????) but have taken on a very old and badly planted/thought out garden.

Any ideas gratefully received!imageimage


  • LynLyn Posts: 22,889

    It's beautiful, apart from those ornamental conifers which I don't like(you may well do though) I would leave it for a year and see what comes up, then you have a better idea of what you dont want.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • stella170stella170 Posts: 6


    couldnt agree more! Really hate the bloody things but trying to wait and see what grows during the summer. We've already managed to create 4 ton bags of compost and clippings and haven't even scratched the surface! I'd just like some ideas of where to start heading. I hate redoing work when it's not necessary. But rest assured the ornamentals are going!?

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,912

    Start from either your door or your favourite place to sit and work your way out. Get rid of things you don't like, add things to improve the balance and structure, take photos each week from the same points to note what's growing where (it's a big plot, you will forget image) so you know where the gaps are to fill if you're planting (say) spring bulbs in the autumn, or summer flowering shrubs in the winter.

    Design your strategic views. You can get around to the bits that are less prominent in a couple of years when you have the shape of it more clearly in your head and when you have got used to where it's always warm or cold, where the sun lingers latest in the evening, where the soil is particularly good or bad.

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • TomCranhamTomCranham Posts: 139

    What an amazing space, and red squirrels too, very jealous :)

  • stella170stella170 Posts: 6

    raisingirl, thanks. The problem is I have too many places I love! And far too many ideas of what would love to acheive! But I've got plenty of time?

    TomCranham, it is beautiful and I feel very lucky to be able to call it home. The reds are awesome to watch, but they do distract me from the hard work?

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Waiting and seeing what comes up during a whole year cycle is best. Your main aim for the first year is just keeping it weeded and tidying up. Having said that, personally I would get rid of the shrubs that are dotted singly in the lawn. A nightmare to mow round. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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