What to do with the overgrown garden

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.


  1. Now the triffids have gone, all the potential is revealed. How lovely to start with such a canvas.
    p.s. hope you are keeping a catalogue of the changes ?camera!! your writing is worthy of a book

  2. b-a-g says:

    Interesting post. I gave up weeding generally a while ago. I only remove weeds to make room for new plants. I’ll have to go and check for those undercover thugs before it’s too late!

  3. Susan ITPH says:

    A scouring! Exciting to start from a clean slate. I’m in a perpetual state of the under-grown garden, so I’m envious of all the potential.

  4. Josa Young says:

    Cannot believe the amount of space you have found there. Enormous! When I pulled everything out of my squalid front garden, planted a border and put down gravel, I found space I didn’t know I had. Got to do the border over again now the sun has come out.

  5. Malc Mollart says:

    Great opportunity for new plantings.

  6. Carolyn says:

    Nothing like rolling up your sleeves and getting to work… possibilities abound!

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