Ok… So in the last blog we got the main area opened up and got ourselves some space to actually work. Great… Lets move on.
Now we are going to take another look at the garden now that the floor is opened up and we can start having ideas of future projects.
Hedges can be clipped back but do take time to read up on when to cut them. Also note that some hedges really don’t like hard pruning.
You can often look inside an overgrown hedge and see where the old cutting point was. If you want to go back to this then fine. If you want to reduce it then you will need to get it under control first then reduce it. At most I would not recommend pruning a hedge by more than a third in one year, as a general rule, and avoid going back to hard wood if you can.
Look for any shrubs and perennial plants. If you want to keep any of these then they will probably need clipping back. If you are going to prune shrubs then you will want to Google them and find out just what shrubs you have and when they should be pruned. Not all plants can be pruned willy-nilly. If you cut at the wrong time of year you may damage them. Some will be fine, you just won’t get a good show next year, this is just something you will have to take on the chin and accept if you want to get on top of the garden now. If you don’t think it’s that bad then you can leave it and plan this small job for later.
Pull up unwanted plants. If you don’t want them then they need to be ripped out now. Shrubs should be cut down a bit and get any soft growth into the compost heap. Woody bits should be kept separate and either disposed of another way or burned (You may need to note any local by-laws on burning rubbish here).
Herbaceous plants, those that are not woody such as annual weeds, can be just lifted and dumped on the compost heap as they are.
If you have plants in there that you actually want to keep, but maybe in another place, then carefully dig out and lift the plant by keeping a good amount of soil around the plant and gently placing it in its new home. You should also check that the amount of sunlight the plant will get is good for it. Some plants don’t do well in full sun and vice versa. Google is your friend!
If you found a pond in your garden then you have a whole raft of ongoing issues here. Many ponds will sit by themselves without much input from you but you will still need to do ongoing jobs like cleaning the filter, feeding the fish and making sure the plants in the pond don’t choke everything else.
When clearing the garden at the start its kind of important that as little organic matter gets into the water as you can. If any gets in there you should fish it out as it will break down in the water and this can encourage algae.
If the pond needs water then you may have a bit of a problem. Ponds really need rain water and unless your new house came with a water butt then you will have no choice but to fill it with tap water, another thing that will encourage algae!
(Note to people in the US – I’m told that some states ban the collecting of rain water… This is insane but you should protect yourselves)
So now you should have a slightly bare but neat garden. Your hedges or fencing should be better formed and not unruly, shrubs should be reigned in and your open grass space should be short, if bare in places, but neat.
Now you want to nip out and buy some grass seed. Scatter it on the lawn area, especially in any bare patches, and get it watered in. This won’t make a huge difference for a week or so but your grassy area will need it!