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Garden out of control

Hello everyone and thanks in advance.

I have just moved into a property where the garden has been left for what looks like a lifetime. I'm new to gardening properly and not sure about where to start. 

I would love some help and advice on what things to do to try and retrieve a garden back. I'm unsure what weeds are growing through like I say I'm a real novice.

I have attached some pictures hopefully this will help  



  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    That's a nice sized garden Shaun. There's plenty of experienced folk on here who will be along to give some good advice as I too am a novice like yourself.

    Looks like you have a decent amount of grass there so a lawn might not be out of the question with some work. Personally I would start by pulling up the Docks (i.e. like the one at the rear of the fire remains) by loosening with a fork and pulling all the roots out. I'd clear the debris and then strim everything over to see what you have and then make a plan for moving forwards with your new layout / design.

    When strimming keep an eye out for small animals (hedgehogs, slow worms, frogs etc) as I think plenty will have made home in your suburban jungle.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks Dave 

    Great help thank you, and yeah it's a lovely size garden which is going to take a long time to get right but I want to make sure I do it right and not slow the process down. 

    I got a gardener to come round for advice really than actually getting the work done and he said he would Strim it and put industrial weed killer down which would kill everything (including the grass I guess) but he did say it wasn't good grass that was there. This really sent me a bit as I didn't expect to have to do it to that extreme. I have seen pictures of the garden in it's former glory and there is some lovely flower beds hiding around the edges of the garden so will be nice when I can get that far. 

    I know the grass is the time consuming part of this project I was unsure of the best way to go about taking the weeds out, if I should use chemicals or cut them out. The size of some of the docks at the base is quite large so I will end up with a patch work quilt (still an improvement) should I just seed from there and keep on top of it? 

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    it looks like you might have Japanese knotweed near the fire site in the second picture that has been treated with weed killer, if it is Japanese knotweed you must make sure its dead before you start digging in that area or you could spread it.

    I would carefully strim the plot (avoiding local wildlife) and then keep it under control using a lawnmower this year, keep an eye out for potential hiding shrubs and anything lese salvageable. Start planning what you want to do and only start something new when you've finished the previous job (know this from experience of trying to build a green house and lay a patio at the same time.

  • Agree on the Japweed conclusion. It certainly looks like the seller has tried to hide something.

    Could be a serious problem if not addressed properly. How close is it to the house?

  • EilaEila Posts: 63

    Think it's illegal to sell a property that has Japanese Knotweed without informing the buyer.

    Can't tell myself need a close up pic. If it is you need to be extra careful or you could spread it all round your garden.

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,038

    If that is Japanese Knotweed you need to get onto your solicitor immediately.  As Eila says it's likely that the vendor should have informed you about it, but the solicitor can tell you for certain.  They will also be able to tell you what action can be taken against the vendor to get the problem addressed.

  • Hi thanks for all help. I have attached some pictures hopefully might help I treated the bits you can see but didn't want to go near the grass just incase nothing grew back for a while imageimage

  • The seller is liable to pay for the full cost of treatment, court fees etc but it's a complicated process and like KT53 says, you'd best contact your conveyancy solicitor. 

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    From Warner Solicitors website:

    A landowner can be liable for allowing nuisance to continue even if he did not create it and came after it was established. Therefore a purchaser of land should always have the land properly surveyed before buying because although he would not be responsible for past damage he will be responsible for continuing damage and given the likely claim against him for an injunction, the cost of its treatment.

    Equally a seller could remain liable for damage caused prior to the date of sale and further, guilty of a misrepresentation to a buyer if he has not responded correctly to any pre-contract enquiries concerning the presence of nuisance.

    Conversely, a buyer can seek remedies for nuisance caused prior to his purchase if the nuisance is continuing which is in the case of Knotweed is likely.

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