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Hi guys and girls.

I have a bit of a problem with the mothers garden which looks very daunting tbh.

As you can see by the picture, its slightly overgrown.

 There's actually 2 sheds on the left hand side of the garden too.

I want to try and gut this garden out over the next 2 weeks so what would be the best course of action???

I have a Ryobi multi purpose petrol garden tool which im trying to fix atm, it has a long reach stimmer/cutter so was thinking of using that, but its not looking likely to be up and running for some reason.

This garden gets like this around every 2 years so ideally, I want to kill everything in the garden.

Any ideas ?? I have no idea what is growing in that garden

How much would a local (Warwickshire) gardener charge on average to do it??

Cheers guys and girls.



Higher res picture


Looks like it's overrun by brambles, a very tough thing to deal with.  You can either cut them back to about a foot long, then completely dig out the roots, or use a very strong weedkiller, like SBK Brushwood Killer.  I'd advise the latter unless you have a few weeks to spare to properly dig everything out.

I think bob is right....weedkill everything.

I would then dig it over....I know it's hard work but its thorough....and remove roots and debris.  Then level.  After that you could sow grass seed to cover the whole area and just keep it mown until ??ou decide what you want to do with it.

Options then include making flower/shrub beds by cutting Imto the lawn, creating a veg patch, fruit bushes, anything ??ou like.  From a level grassed area you can plan something.  

So, grass for summer and plans for the autumn


Golly! Good luck with it. Perhaps once it is converted to lawn, then you could pay someone to mow it and keep an eye out for weeds so that it doesn't get like this again.



Wasn't there a scheme whereby people with gardens they can't look after are matched with people who want a garden?  it might need nuking first though.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

How long would the weed killer take to do its job you reckon??

And how far would I have to dig down? I assume how ever far the roots go?

Thanks again guys.

How would that scheme work Anne just out of curosity?


I suffered this type of garden for ten years until my neighbours were evicted and the council sent in a JCB to level the garden and gut the house.

There is no excuse for it in my opinion since it attracts rats and whilst I do not judge the owners who may be disabled or just lazy like my neighbours, the council should enforce able-bodied maintenance or else send in their own gardeners to help those who can't do it themselves.

Of course that doesn't happen in this day and age, even the roadsides and verges are left in a state of disrepair. Last year our road was strimmed once in the spring and then just left to grow wild, yet they are quick enough to take bedroom tax from tenants.

As a garden lover, I spent many years in tears living next door to the exact image you show,my efforts constantly marred by bramble overspill and invasions of bindweed and what little funds we had only managed a few fence panels to shut it all out, hence why my 100ft garden is only mature for the first 30ft.

A new family and several skips of garden rubbish later, the brambles were expunged and life became more tolerable. We even got the rest of the fencing done since the council could see we had made efforts in the face of adversity.

I am now enjoying the expansion of my garden and the family next door are happy with theirs, but such waste does make me hurt and upset for those who would dearly love a garden but haven't got one, or those who have to suffer such a terrible unsightly wilderness living next door.

I wish you luck but it won't be easy work.


If I was you & you have the time, I would get some decent gloves or put 2 pairs on! then I would dig/pull out as many as possible, then cut the rest to about a foot off the ground, leave if a couple of weeks til it's got good leaf coverage then spray it. If you can/are allowed just get a good fire going & burn the stuff as you clear it, could always stick some sasuages in for lunch too! 

If you just spray straight away they are really really prickley to pull out when they're dead! 


Hi Fat Tony,

I seem to remember Hugh Fernley  Whatsit  promoting a scheme. There are a lot of old people who have a garden but cannot look after it any more, they let someone without a garden cultivate it, and they share the veg etc,   See for details This has sample legal agreements and attempts to pair people up. Like online dating only matching people with land  to people wanting land.

So old or disabled people don't have to lose their home and garden because they can't look after it any more.

Don't Wintersong, I have budding none-gardeners next to me and I recently cut down a 6ft branch of bramble as far as my loppers would reach over the hedge. I have nightmares about their garden reaching that state

I already asked the council if I could turn the strip between us into an insect-friendly plot. They said as it was council land and as my neighbours are council tennants it was their responsibility. 

Anyway, after that response last year I stopped mowing it, but the dandelions etc. are driving me nuts so yet again I'll start mowing it unless they do. Oooh I just saw a pig flying past!

Thanks guys for the responses, even the non-constructive ones.

Wintersong, If you must know, my mother is far too weak (illnesses) to even attempt any type of gardening, and I have had far more important concerns than her garden.

Anyhow guys and girls, ill be having a go at it next week with the petrol power tool with bush cutter attachment, cut it down to about a foot, spray with weed killer after a week, then dig or pull out??

Again, if I may ask :

How long would the weed killer take to do its job you reckon??

And how far would I have to dig down?

Thanks again guys




Burn the cut bits - Our garden was like that and the bonfire lasted 4 days. make sure the neighbours know though.

Spray and leave for about 2 weeks then spray again, you should then begin to see a difference. then dig pile up the roots and then burn again. Remember bramble roots keep coming unless dug up/killed.


Glyphosate takes about three weeks.

Ryton Gardens near Coventry have perfected various techniques in ground clearance.

Once its clear you could cover it in black plastic. not pretty but it keeps it under control.


OK, Tony, I understand where you're coming from, mine looked like that when I started last summer.  I have ME/CFS, so what I can do is limited.  How I tackle it is:

1 Buy decent gloves.  Mine are the gold leaf tough touch ones, and, apart from the seams are bramble-proof.  You will need them as brambles, even when dead, are bloody lethal.

2. Doesn't really matter what you use to chop it down, I have trusty loppers and secatuers for chopping up the brambles, green bits go in the council green bin, dead woody bits go in dustbin incinerator type thing (aldi, £20 ish).  Chop down all stuff to about 6 ins/1ft.

3.  Dig out brambles.  They only go down a spade and a half, so aren't difficult to do.  If you have any other weeds, like bindweed, these are a different matter.

4.  Anything that dares poke it's head up after a week, use roundup or something similar.  Keep spraying, it will eventually get the message and turn it's roots up and die.

5.  For both yours and your Mums' sake, once that's done, put down weed supressing membrane, and cover with something like pea gravel.  It will look a lot nicer, I'm sure I'd be depressed looking out at that lot, and pea gravel might not be every one's choice, it's better, far better than what's there now.  The council can and do fine people (even if you own the house) for letting their gardens get out of hand, it only takes the next door neighbour one phone call to the council/councillor and they can get stroppy with your Mum - I wouldn't want that for anyone, especially not my Mum.

To answer your question, weedkiller takes between 4 and 6 weeks, and it needs to be dry for at least 4 hours after you spray it on, maybe more.  If you want instant improvement, go the gloves and loppers route, if you're lazy and/or have the time and money, then go down the weedkillers route.

Brambles only go down a spade and a half, so are quite easy to dig out, BUT, the tiniest bit of root will re-grow.

Once you've done it, please use the weed membrane and pea gravel, and then you won't have to do it again in a couple of years.  And a couple of years after that.

Your Mum should also be a lot happier and won't be nagging you to do something about that wilderness.  Very depressing.

big ed

There's some very good advice from our wise friends above, another thought, but not necessarily a better one! Once youv'e got it down to ground level and sprayed it again with sbk or the like.cover with builders black membrane for season.This will cause the millions of dormant seeds to germinate and suffocate and save you years of weeding them out.It doesn't mean that because you,ve "eradicated" the big visible stuff, perhaps with their roots, that the soil is now sterile and lifeless.Remember as an example that Poppy seeds found in 3 thousand year old Egyptian tombs burst into life when given the chance! The black polythene trick I've found also appeals to worms which proliferate under its embrace and bring with them all their benefits, whilst some strategically placed small mounds of slug pellets, about 5 or six feet apart stay protected for some time under its cover and will help eradicate the problems you will otherwise have with them!...........Oooooogh the joys of gardening! good luck.By the way when youv'e finished this lot!!!! you may have to reconsider the smiley name we know you by!  

Excellent advice guys and girls. Very grateful for your time.

I've now ordered some loppers and gloves just incase I cant get the petrol garden tool to work, which is very much looking that way. I'm sure they will come in handy anyway

Ill def get some membrane for the garden, and more than likely, cover with cover with pea gravel as Mummy Muddy Paws has mentioned.

Ill post updated pictures as I go a long.

Thanks again guys. Very grateful.

Hi fat tony,

all this advice is good,   but why do you wait for two years to pass

before you tend your mothers garden?

If you are to busy, pay a gardener to do it.

and your mum will get some company.

And as big ed said, a bit of regular toil is good  for the figure

 and the soul.


Hi Patty,  That's one of the main reasons I've choose to do it myself.

I fully expect to be at least a stone light in the next couple of weeks.

As for your first question, it probably hasnt been as long as 2 years, I have no idea when it was done last as I didnt do it.