The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Cardoon

Derbyshire, United Kingdom Gb

I am over the moon to have just found this site! I was so excited when I stumbled across it that I signed up straight away!

Right then, we have just acquired a house with a very large garden (approx 1/4 acre). We haven't moved in yet as there is some major work done in the house but we can start on the garden.
It has been looked after from the point of view of mowing the lawn but there are only a couple of beds and they are pretty full of weeds with the exception of some tulips, peonies and a hellebore!
I am very excited about the fact that there is a lovely greenhouse so I can grow seeds etc but I have no idea where to start or what to tackle first. Any good ideas?



Hi and a big welcome to the forum,
It really is a friendly site and a lot of happy people on it,

Now ref your new home and garden,
first things tell who ever is doing the major building work the outside area's are not for dumping anything on or using as a mixing area, (i mean it) builders have some funny ideas as to what an unkept peice of lawn is for.

Then i would cut the grass and let the summer show you whats going to pop up through the soil or what shrubs you have waiting to bloom,
This will save you a lot of time not knowing whats there,

ref the greenhouse, check it over now while the weathers good and see if any repairs are needed or any staging is needed to buy or build,
why the builders are there and if your greenhouse has'nt got any electrics in it ??? If not why not get it done while these people are on the house building work?

Once your in the house have a nice hanging basket hanging for all the world to see in the front of house area and a nice bird feeder,
then when you know your gardens offerings you can start to have the plants you like providing your soil's of the correct type needed.
You in the possition a lot of us have been in and its great for the future gardening hobby.

2 May, 2013


What I would do is work out where the views are as that is where you want to put focal point plants. So the view from your sofa in your sitting room, from the kitchen, chairs in dinning room, view from bedrooms etc as well as views from any planned sitting areas in the garden itself. I actually think it more important given our weather to focus on views from the house.

2 May, 2013


Hi Dungy & Kildermorie, many thanks for your responses.

My husband has already mowed the lawn a couple of times, we have invested in a petrol mower so he is having a great time with that!

With regards to the views, the garden goes around three sides of the house and it has big picture windows. Part of the building work is to build a big open plan kitchen diner with big windows and a conservatory across the back so the garden can be seen wherever you are in the house.

We would definitely like to make it a haven for birds, butterflies and bees and as there is 17 acres of allotments behind the house there is no shortage of wildlife.

There is already power in the greenhouse but the house needs a total rewire so that will form part of it and my dad is going to make some repairs to the greenhouse as there is a little bit of reglazing to do, it has been well looked after though so nothing to major to do.

It is all very exciting, if a little daunting :-)

2 May, 2013


When I have moved house in the past, I work out where the sun will be at various times of the day, take out anything that I know I will not want, i.e. brambles and nettles, then for the first year just wait and see what grows and move it around as necessary. Make a note of what you have so you don't dig it up by mistake. The following year you can remove everything else that you do not want and start planting according to sun/shade positions.

2 May, 2013


Have you checked with previous owners to see if they have any pictures of it in different seasons?

This could help give a better idea of it's potential and any hidden gems.

2 May, 2013


Hi Cardoon welcome to Goy

My advice is to make a cuppa then look at the blogs on here, and the members photo,s
Then if there is something specific you would likev to see use the alphabet below........

THEN your husband will come in and say
where have you been!
Why is the dinner burnt!
What have you been doing

And you will be addicted to Goy.....
Have fun. :0)

2 May, 2013


Well to Goy you have a wonderful challenge ahead and very knowledgeable people on here to help and advise you enjoy !!

2 May, 2013


Welcome from me too. I would plant up a couple of containers with bright bedding plants to give you some colour while you think. If you don't make them too big to move around you could put them in different places and test what they look like from different viewpoints, to give you an idea of where beds or shrubs might go.

Then have a walk round the neighbourhood several times through the seasons to see what is doing well in neighbours gardens. It is worth investing in a little soil testing kit (instructions on the pack) so you can see if you are acid, alkaline or neutral ( lots of alk. in Derbyshire) and if you are lacking any nutrients.

If you are good at visualisation you could try making plans on paper, or investing in one of the garden design tools (somebody on here will be able to recommend one)

If you can decide on a veg plot you could make a start on removing the turf and digging it over - even a small area would be big enough for perhaps some sprouting broccoli for next spring, of some quick salads stuff. for example.

2 May, 2013


Wow what a response! Thank you all for your welcome messages and sound words of advice.
Unfortunately the previous owner has passed away so we can't ask them but there are some photos from when the garden was in its heyday so that is a good place to start.
Full sun on the whole garden all day so I'm not sure how to go on with plants that like a bit if shade. I will take heed of the advice on here though and see what the seasons bring.
Thanks to you all again.

2 May, 2013


For shade plants you can plant some shrubs near together and plant your shade lovers on the shady side. Partial or dappled shade is fine for most things. Aim to protect from sun in the hottest part of the day.

3 May, 2013

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