Are you finding it difficult getting a grip on a garden that is new to you and reverting to nature? One of the hardest things, I think, is to cut back savagely in to the froth of overgrown plants. A garden goes feral slowly – in the same way that a friend that you see everyday never gets any older. Leave it a decade and the shock of change will temper an encounter.
And so it starts like this: The couch grass weasels in, brambles parachute down, in and under cover of other shrubs, begin their covert invasion. The paras of the weed world have arrived and brought their mates with them. Ash and sycamore are crafty at getting a toehold and adding quick muscle to their trunks.
The stealthy takeover is on and still the garden looks quite charming. For the lovelies: amongst them peonies, dogs tooth violets and hellebores, strangling is a very quite death. And it will be happening, the weeds will coil their roots around shier plants, rob their nutrients, drain the water supplies.
So your garden is in this state. Where do you begin? The ground elder, couch grass, nettles and the bigger thugs that have launched themselves through the undergrowth and swamped it – they all have to go.
This calls for a clean sweep. Rescue what you can but there is no getting away from a scorched earth look. It is just like gutting a house to get it right. There will be some compensation for the rawness. The sky will be opened up and you might find an incredible view. The rout of the weeds is on.