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Hi All,

I moved home earlier this month and i have inherited a garden with lots of shrubs & bushes etc. You can likely tell from my opening sentence i don't have a clue what they are or how to care for them.

The last house i move to was well kept by a keen gardener. I pulled everything out and made it easier to maintain. I do regret that and dont want to repeat the same mistake through ignorance.

If i posted pics could someone identify them and point me in the right direction? i dont want to start trimming them if it isn't the right time of the year etc.

Thanks in advance


Please do -people will pile with advice

Moonlit Hare

ohh how exciting!  we where in the same boat 12 months ago, we have spent the time hacking stupidly neglected bushes and trees and taming the wild Ivy beast!

We've got to the point now where we have a blank canvas for the coming year and the green house is going up to boot!

I've had so much helpful advice from the lovelies on here, there always seems to be someone who has the answer, it's the 1st place I turn when I'm not sure or have no clue, there's years of advice logged away in peoples heads ready to share if only you ask. They also raise to the challenge of plant identification every time!

you also realise as you have now invited these wonderful people into your patch, it's only fair to share your progress as you go along. Make sure you take before and after pics... personally I love seeing the way each of us can create a wonderful individual space from either nothing or complete chaos!



Hi Spewy

Don't rush, as well as the shrubs and bushes there'll probably be plants still below soil that will appear as the year goes on.

It is always advisable to live in a garden new to you for at least 12 months before digging everything up. You may well find you own plants you really like, including bulbs etc. which can disappear and then reappeaer next year.

You also can watch how you use the garden as far as walkways are concerned, do you feel the paths are  right for you. They are the first job to install, before plant beds etc.

Everyone will be happy to look at any pics. and try to identify plants for you. When my daughter moved house I walked around her overgrown garden and wrote the names of all the shrubs etc. I recognised and tied the plant labels on the bushes. My son-in-law has an aversion to pruning shrubs etc. but I am slowly teaching him that it is a way of renewing old plants..

Good luck. I hope you find some lovely treasures.



Yes, patience is the key.  Wait and see what grows as the season progress.  Take regular photos to remind you later on and use easy annuals from the shops to fill in any obvious gaps or plant up pots for instant colour.

Make notes of plants and colours you like or hate.   Wait till autumn to remove shrubs and perennials yo dislike as that's the best time to plant new plants in the holes you create.

Come back here as often as you need to help with plant identification and care to help you decide what to do and when.      Enjoy your new garden.


Love the challenge of ID plants  Not always right though. best thing with an inherited garden is to take your tme. Who knows what will appear as the weather warms up and the year progresses.

Don't forget to note down,and tie a piece of coloured string,  on the plants you like and want to keep so when you come to sort out you know which is which 

I am glad you are going to wait and see what's already planted, so many people move into another house and strip the whole lot out just for the sake of putting their own stamp on it.
You haven't long to wait, things are shooting up fast and as soon as some leaves appear, someone here can identify for you.
Sounds like this will be a fun thread, thank you for posting.

Thank you for the messages of support so far. If weather permits i will get some pics taken tomorrow of what is visible.

I will post one picture at a time to avoid confusion, if someone could tell me how to trim and when that would be great.

Moonlit Hare

We've still got things popping up which now have a chance after the 1st "prune", we've a load of roses and fuchia (? spelling?) which where hiding under the bushes and just got swamped, oh and a blackcurrent bush which was a bit of a suprise given it's location, that might get moved at some point!

I'm always a bit wary about digging stuff up, and tend to give it a full 12 months before I make a dicision if it gets to stay or not... just because something has unimpressive flowers doesen't mean it's not worthy of a place in your garden, it may have been planted for the leaves in autumn...

But agian it's all down to your tastes, I think half of the fun of a new garden to make your own is finding out what you've already got!


You've really had your question answered, I would have answered like Joyce and Obelixx. I'm replying so I get sent the email because this is a subject that interests me and if this one continues I would like to see how you are getting on.


Okay, here we go first picture -

 I have a few of these at the side of the house. I need some of the space for a small shed. Is it safe to just dig up and move them back a few feet?

Other concern is how big will they grow and will the roots start to disturb the foundations of the house?

I have lots more taken, I will post one at a time to avoid confusion. I will take notes as/when you guys respond.

Below is a picture from the back windo so you get a feel for the layout etc.

 This one was taken a year ago so everything has grown since then. I would be happy to keep it neat and tidy like this pic, just now it looks too over crowded due to the growth.

Thanks again all


Sorry but I can't see the first picture and teh second is too small to get a clear idea.  Could you try again?


I hope it has grown bigger Spewy- it looks Lilliput in that picture

Another one perhaps- and I think the green plant is laurel



That is laurel, looks like last owner had thought to plant a laurel hedge. It can be pruned easily with secateurs, not a hedge cutter, but if not pruned it will grow very big and bushy. They are pretty tough and it's still early enough to move them, but don't move them any nearer the fence - they'll end up pushing it over!. The roots shouldn't damage the house. They are often used for fencing houses when you want total privacy.

Moonlit Hare

I'm going for Laurel too, as Lizzie says they can get REALLY big, ours at the back are as tall as the house but the ones at the front are trimmed into a lovely hedge, but they where planted up when the house was built 30 yrs ago, I used to walk past on the way to school when they were being built and remember them going up!

There's always loads of wild life in there, birds etc, but the back ones need to be tamed a bit, we've decided to leave them this year so the birds have a bit of shelter while other parts of the garden are being disturbed!

If you keep on top of it it will screen the fence really well.....

We all agree on the laurel, good true info there.
The layout is lovely, will you keep it like that?
So that's one down, how many to go?

Okay, so they are easily trimmed, do i just cut the branches back? or do i cut all the branches down to the ground? If i keep them trimmed will they stay short and skinny or tall and skinny?

( i did say i was a total novice)


Lots more to go, here is number 2 -

 On the layout pic, I will get a bigger one tomorrow and repost. I think i will leave the layout this year and see how we get on with it.