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Established Garden

The established garden can be the easiest type of garden to inherit, or the hardest. If you take over a property which has been occupied up to the moment you move in, it is more than likely that someone, possibly several previous occupants, will have had a go at planting up. You could be fortunate enough to take over from a knowledgeable gardener or plants man, or you could inherit the mistakes of a dozen previous residents. Unfortunately, until you become more experienced, it could be difficult to tell the difference between a potential paradise and a prospective disaster. And however inexperienced you are, you nearly always know what you like, and your predecessor’s ideas of Eden might not be yours.

This type of garden is a difficult one, because it is unlikely that nothing will be worth keeping, and it is far easier to clear the lot than to remove certain things and retain others. On the other hand, inheriting an established garden is more often an asset than a drawback because, assuming that some of the stock is worth keeping, the mature plants can give you a head start. It might mean that a bit more thought has to be given to the planning, but providing what you save is really worthwhile, i.e. suitable, healthy and a useful inclusion in a garden, you will get the benefit of not having everything small and new at once.

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