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12 messages
15/06/2012 at 20:46

I have a garden I think is approx 30' by 20 to 25' (sorry can't get hang of metric). It is unfortunately in a very bad way, we have a dog and its become very overgrown (all my fault) had large weeds I think are dock type my borders are all taken over (Iused to sit on my pergola on sundays with coffee and a book early sunday mornings, now I have a hard time finding it.  I just don't know where to start.

Do I kill the whole lot and rotivate it all in dog doos included (you cant really pick the dog doo out) then returf?

Would any landscape gardener touch it in the condition its in? and what would the cost be (scary)?

It used to be a nice garden but illness, long working hours took its toll.  I want it back.

I also have four raised beds I used to grow veg in but its buried under weeds.....................HELP anyone with some positive suggestions to reclaim my once lovely garden.

I would like to grow veg again, keep chickens and have a garden that bees and birds and other wildlife cannot resist................oh and somwhere peaceful to come home to after a stressful day. Not a tall order at all????

15/06/2012 at 21:34

Hi Caron,

I inherited something similar when we moved. I also seem to spend more time with my workmates than with the much beloved. however, I know it seems like a daunting task but it can be done, I'd say we're at 25% of where I'd like to be but I have to keep pinching myself and reminding myself that it's not going to happen overnight, although the weeds do seem to happen overnight!  

The best thing I personally can advise is section it off, ours seems to naturally fall into 4 sections, front, back left and right! The house and hedges are covered in Ivy which might appeal to some people but it's taken over everything. The people before us just cut the grass and that was it, we've bushes and hedges running ferral!

So the 1st weekend we could we hacked back (and I mean right back to stumps) the bushes to the right and back of the house. We also took out the lower branches of a lydani (spelling?) which is bigger than the house. We didnt go any further than I could reach because it soon became obvious we had LOADS of bird nesting. We've decided to wait until after summer before we take out the trees we want to, to let in the light to let the chicks do their thing.

We also took a chunk out of the bases of the Ivies in the hope of slowing them down.... which it seems to have done.

What this has done has opened up the garden, it would seem we have 6ft boarders we didn't know where there... I kid you not! I've not done anything with them yet.

Once we can take out the big trees, there are 5 possibly 6 to come out and got the Ivies and Laurel under control a bit we can start on the boarders etc.

It's going to be a long haul but we aren't planning on moving for a long old time, if ever!

So I suggest the best and cheapest way would be to find a willing nephew or other child labour... sorry, willing volenteer who will help you out and let them loose with a strimmer to get the lawn under control.

After that you can maybe organise a bbq with friends and family where the all take a section and clear out their bit you can feed them for payment, we used to do it at my Grans, it was great to get everyone together for reasons other than wedding funeral or christening.

Once all the rubbish has gone you can see what you've got left. don't worry about hacking something thats a plant, if it's worthy of your garden it will come back again when it get some light through!

I also suggest once your clear you take some time to decide what you do want and where you want it. We had a poop corner for the Pooches at Grans so when any of us had our dogs with us they all went in the corner to leave any little parcels, easier to clear up and we didn't have to worry about the kids playing on the grass.

But the main thing is just remember you cant do it over night and if you take a section at a time you get there before you know it, maybe clear your reading area 1st so you can have at least one bit you can use?

Wow you can tell the footies on... I'll stop rambling now!

15/06/2012 at 21:38

There's only one way to approach this, and that's right at front. Put your marigolds on, get several buckets for different uses such as weeds, rubbish, poo, etc. Measure out your first square metre and get stuck in. After your done clearing it, have a break and admire your hard work. You never know, you may be inspired to do another.

Little and often is the key here, it's surprising how fast the weeds will go even if you spend 30 - 1hr a day, everyday for a month.

Take a deep breath and get ready to do battle with a smile on your chops. I remember those feelings, when faced with a similar problem many moons ago. You can do it, I did !!

15/06/2012 at 22:34

Hello,

Think the above advice is great, just do a bit at a time & get anybody to help you. I wouldn't pay any so called landscapers to do it, my feelings is that they would cost you a fortune and rip you off. It won't happenn overnight but anything good doesn't.

15/06/2012 at 23:07

You coud strim all the weeds to the ground, spray with weedkiller and cover your garden with weed membrane for a few weeks. Then, start planning/sketching ideas of how you want the garden to look. After a few weeks uncover a section at a time and dig it over.

15/06/2012 at 23:25
I agree with all above when I moved into my house it was empty for 2 years before me, so the so called garden was a mess ( that's putting it mildly). It is now a good few years later and I am tackling the last patch. I started closest to the house, gloves on just clearing the mess working down the garden gradually. It's amazing what I found and a path I never knew existed it was covered up that much. I never got a contractor in they cost too much, and like said above went out after work for a couple of hours. In fact after a stressful its quite relaxing pulling up the weeds, letting your mind wander to what you could plant there. Throughout it all my mantra was don't look at what you have to do, look at what you have done. It will work, good luck.
16/06/2012 at 08:18

Caron, I'm in a similar position to you but not quite as badly overgrown. Advice above is great. Take before, during and after pictures to remind yourself of all your achievements little and big. Post some here so we can cheer you on! Save your pennies to get someone in for a difficult or specialist job. My work in progress is very slow - I thought when I retired a year ago it would all be done in no time - but when I look out and see the chickens (who trash their section of the garden, by the way) the fruit bushes, the veg plot, I can ignore  the bits that are still waiting to be done.

16/06/2012 at 10:28

Hi Caron why not see if you can borrow a goat for a while it will do all the work for you! ha ha! But seriously you need to think how you want your garden to look when its cleared. If you dont have much time you need it to be low maininence.

16/06/2012 at 10:46

Caron, if you post a photo of your garden as it is now (mess and all) then we could perhpas give some ideas of how to clear it and how it could possibly end up looking.

16/06/2012 at 17:41

Wow! what a response, thankyou guys and girls.  Your advice is sound, I had thought of a goat but that would just add more poo.  On reading all your comments you are all right, I should just section it off and do a bit at a time, my mom said everyone would muck in and help (muck being 'the word'), one should always listen to your mum. LeadFarmer you suggest a photo, thats a good idea, I will do that and put photo online, when it stops raining in Lancashire for more than a few minutes.  If you wonderful people could make suggestions that would be fabulous.

  Thankyou Moonlit, Marshmello, hollyhock LeadFarmer, Pavery, Flobear & Aliesh you have all cheered me up and started the positive vibes about my once beloved garden.

16/06/2012 at 17:44

Flobear, you have chickens?  when my space is ready could I pick your brains for chicken advice?

Also any of you other wonderful people who may have chickens, advice for a newby would be appreciated, just want them for eggs.

16/06/2012 at 17:59
Agree with all that's been said! Tackling it bit by bit is the way to go, and clearing the bit nearest your house is the place to start. I've left my place for months on end (when I've gone on long sailing trips) and have also felt overwhelmed when I've come back to a jungle. You sound as though you've got a lot of willing helpers...use 'em!
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