Help - Garden total restoration

secretagent412(9)June 30, 2010

Hi all-

I'm a very new gardener, and I've just moved into a house that has a somewhat neglected back garden. I'm in the San Francisco Bay area (8 or 9 zone?). It's a little overwhelming, so I have the urge to rip it all out and start over, but I've decided to seek some help first and see if I can't salvage most of it. I know next-to-nothing about gardening - so whatever assistance, however basic, would be of use. I've got a few ideas and also a few photos, but I'd really appreciate help on how to get this mess back under control, and figuring out what it is I have here!

Thanks,

Christina

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden photos

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msdeed

Hi Christina,
I've been in the same boat for the last 3 years. I've asked co-workers,family and friends for advice and with their help I can identify some of the plants in my garden. I finally just cleaned out one of my bigger flower beds today and started moving plants around.

Do you like any of the flowers in your garden? If there are some you don't like just take them up and offer them to someone you know. I didn't really feel attached a lot of the flowers in my garden probably because I didn't plant them. I dug up everything I recognized as a flower and tilled everything else so I can start fresh. I looked around my property and so far have moved two plants into their new home.

Once I get everything where I want it I'll lay down some mulch and have a new garden.

My advice... decide what you want to keep then start planing around them, bhg.com has garden plans you can download and use as a reference.
Good Luck :-)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 11:16PM
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anna_starr(5)

This can help. :)

Anna

Here is a link that might be useful: Renovate your garden

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 5:17AM
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north_tx_gardener

1-weed? ans: ? 2-overwhelmed ans: verbena, maybe 3-petunias?
8-lavender ans: prune 9-some kind of perennial? 10-gerbera, yyes 15-rose, dianthus on the left?, iberis on right with wwhite flowers, little bit of sedum in the middle 16-maybe peony? Take a few leaves of several different plants, maybe 3-5 different plants, go to a good LOCAL garden center, not a chain, not a big box store, and ask a few questions. Ask for a recommendation of a good basic gardening book. Google for gardening websites for your area. Looks like someone has planted lots of different things. Take it slow the first year, give yourself some time to get a feel for the garden & what you like. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 5:20PM
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mosswitch

I agree with north tx gardener, go to a big nursery where there is a good selection and get familiar w/ the plants. Annie's Annuals in Richmond, CA is one of the best in your area. They do have lots of perennials also.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:09PM
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beautifulboy(6-Coastal MA)

Hi
In some ways it's so exciting to work in a new garden! Those unknown plants can surprise you. I am in a similar situation, this is my third season working on my mom's garden which was somewhat neglected and completely overrun with weeds when we got here in 2008. We've been working hard and are finally seeing great results! One thing I'm finding is that we have a lot of mature plants to work with in this garden and so we do a lot of moving and dividing, and of course we bought some new plants along the way.

I have to admit that before I looked at your pictures I expected a lot worse! I don't know all of them by name like north_tx_gardener but I do see a lot of great things in there that you can work with. So I wouldn't rip it all out, just weed and cut back and move some stuff and maybe give some away or trade?). Good luck! Post some pics along the way.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 8:02AM
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randeeki

Hi! Plants aside, structurally you seem to have a nice framework to work with. I would suggest cleaning the entire space up, deciding what plants you want to keep - based on your feelings about them, their condition, etc - and then assessing what you have.

Then, come back in and add any additional structure and perennials/shrubs for which are native to your area.

It's a very lovely space, rather secret-gardenish. I would take the time to reflect over it, don't rush to pull out plants, and remember when you start stirring up the dirt, you never know what may spring up next season.

Have fun! and good luck!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 3:04PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

How old is the house you recently purchased? When did you move there? Moving into a new home whether it was brand new or a resale can be so overwhelming and when you inherited flowerbeds that look like they haven't been maintained for a while is frustrating. You don't know where to start first..inside or outside. Snapdragons will reseed themselves but maybe you might want to dig them up, divide and replant. Keep them watered after transplanting them. Looks like your rose has blackspot. There are sprays out there for that, but me, I'd prune that rose bush back to the ground; and let it regenerate. When it starts showing regrowth..start feeding it. Bayer Rose plant food is what I use. I also use a mixture of Baking soda, dish soap and something else, will have to look it up for you to be sure of ingredients and recipe. Go to library and check out Jerry Baker's books..it'll have plant remedys that work, mostly with what you have around the house already. Go to the rose forum here and you may find a lot of advice there.
I'd concentrate on the beds that can be seen from the street first. How many flowerbeds do you think you have overall? Concentrate on the beds that are truly visable to the public eye first. Take one day and pull what you know for sure is weeds. Just doing that will make you feel better plus make the property look more attractive. Let's face it, August is creeping up fast, so a lot of plants are struggling because of such hot temperatures. If it makes you feel better, go to the local garden center and buy a few annuals and plant them. They'll bloom until the first frost kills them. We will introduce you to wintersowing later to show you how you can start your own flowers by seed. It is inexpensive, satisfying and you'll meet a lot of really nice friends from here and other garden websites even if you don't meet them in person. Serious gardeners are always willing to lend a helping hand, even if it's advice, helpful tips, sharing seeds or actual plants with you.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 9:37AM
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paulah_gardener(6)

If I wre you I would call your local home extension office and see if they can give you a name of a local master gardener. Call that person,maby they will know someone who could look at your garden,identafy plants,and give you some Ideas. Master gardeners are obliged to do comunity serve. Or stop and talk to a gardener who has a lovely yard. She might help you out. Gardeners are very friendly. I see really great plants in your garden I would keep them all. Paula

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 8:54AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

Google "Garden Coach" and I'm sure you'll find one in your area. Call and ask for a consultation. They will come out, ID the existing plants and make other suggestions. I think Paul's idea about the Master Gardener is also a good suggestion. Look through garden magazines, garden websites like this and when you see something you like, write it down in a notebook or composition book. I myself would be tempted to yank all that stuff out and start all over from scratch. Just my two cent's worth! Please check out Annie's Annuals website. You'll find lots of inspiration there. Wished we had a garden center like hers here in our area. The weather in your part of Calif. seems perfect for flowers.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 6:41AM
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