Please help the new gardener!
I have recently bought my first house, which comes with a small but very overgrown garden(its not been lived in for 20years) The house has a 30m2 terrace and then a 47m2 garden on a different level with steps down. In the garden so far (apart from all the weeds, vines and grass) is a very dead lemon tree, some manky chicken coops and a ginormous plant/tree right in the middle (someone told me it was a poinsettia but its at least 4/5m tall and looks more like the Audrey plant in the little shop of horrors to me!)
What I would like to accomplish is this:
1. Remove Audrey plant (preferably without getting eaten) by sawing down the branches and then some how getting rid of the stump which will be around 1.5m in diameter.
2. Remove the lemon tree also removing stump.
3. Build waist height raised beds around the outside in which to plant flowers and veg.
4. Deck the rest.
5. Build a compost bin
My questions are plentiful but some of the most pressing are as follows:
When I cut the tree stumps to the ground do I have to remove them before I can deck on top? Will they grow back? Is there a organic/natural way to kill the root?
After I have cut all the grass and other plants do I also have to treat this area before decking it, to stop unwanted growth underneath or is the lack of sunlight sufficient? If so what to treat it with, plastic matting or only some kind of spray?
In your opinion which is the best wood for building raised beds?
I want my raised beds to be around hip height but this will be a huge amount of soil to fill them up, can I fill the bottom of them with rocks or gravel and should there be a layer of something between the raised bed and the ground underneath?
As I will have a mammoth amount of plant waste from clearing the garden(the weeds now come up to my shoulder) I would like to put it to good use, can I compost it and then use it for the raised beds or will I then get weeds in the beds? Do I need to put anything in with it or will it just be fine if I leave it alone in a big pile?
Any advise would be very much appreciated, Thanks :D