Third year challenges or, What do you mean, overcrowded?
I muddled through the first couple of years, but I have hit some snags that I'd really appreciate any advice on.
Setting: Classic long skinny garden behind a mid-terrace house, west-facing. Decent, if not spectacular soil.
Goal: vaguely cottagey-style garden.
Rookie mistakes: tried to fill in quickly and now some parts are definitely overcrowded; cranesbill, croscosmia, columbine and forget-me-nots are threatening to take over; buying one(!) of every plant that I like, mostly perennials.
1. How do I move plants out of crowded spaces without harming it and those close to it?
2. If there's one thing to be said about overcrowding, it's that it keeps the weeds down. Any bit of dirt that does not have a huge cranesbill flopping over it has weeds- I'm pulling out Herb Bennet like crazy. I know weeding is never "done", but any tips in keeping it under control?
3. I'd like to be able to feed the plants by putting down a layer of compost a few times a year. However, if I'm to avoid putting it directly on the crowns of plants, this seems to be nearly impossible if I take into account succession planting, etc.- i.e., nearly every bit of soil is the crown of some plant or other, even if it's not growing yet.
It's our first house, so it's the first garden I can do anything I want with and it's coming along well, plus I love spending time in the garden. So I'd like to make sure I'm going in the right direction.
Thanks for any help.