Posted: 15/02/2015 at 19:08
Hi there, the best advice I was given when tackling a newly acquired garden was to leave well alone for twelve months and take note of what you like an what you don't like. This gives you chance to get to know your garden and reduces the temptation to act too impulsively.
Bind weed - and I have all the pesky things you mention! - I find is easier to control by unwinding the plant and sticking it in a polythene bag then spraying it in the bag. It reduces the risk of spray going elsewhere. The bags can be tucked behind another plant out of sight until it's done its job.
Brambles, eight years on we're still doing battle, seem to do best if you are able to dig them up. Failing that wait until the growing season, cut them down to the new growth and spray with a strong solution of Round up. My bottle has a pull down label - not obvious at first glance - that gives different concentrations. Brambles need the strongest solution. Be prepared to wage a long war though.
Ivy is a fabulous plant for the wildlife so I'd think hard before eliminating it.
Most of all, enjoy your garden. Joan Bakewell said, when she tried to put gardening into 'Room 10' that it is 'housework out of doors'. I think it's important that it doesn't become a chore.