Hello to all of you!


I am new to this forum as I'm trying to pick up some tips to plant my brand new garden after rescuing it from being covered in 1ft of concrete since the 50s. I wanted to kindly ask you to give me some tips where to find good value plants in the local area, or further afield as we have a car. In addition, some of you may have too many plants or may want to split some and I hear now is the time of year to do it! We are a 26 year old couple from Belgium and without our family's advice at hand, I'm hoping to gain some knowledge through this way.


I live between Queen's Park and Kilburn High Road in Priory Park Road. I would love to hear from you!



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Hi Irene,

Probably not the best time of year to think of doing lots of planting (though there are always exceptions). I'd suggest it's a good time of year to do some preparations for next Spring and do lots of reading and research:

For food growing, I like this site http://www.allotment.org.uk/index.php and the book he wrote can be picked up cheap second hand on Amazon or the like. I find it helpful as a quick reference (but there are lots of good alternative publications out there too).

Other 'obvious' web sites to check out:



It's also the traditional time of year to do digging over and adding compost etc to improve the soil ready for next Spring and if you're working on ground previously concreted over, I'd think about that and about layout and design of the new space?

TTK2K organised a seed swap and a plant swap event this year just gone and I'm guessing these events may be repeated in 2012?

Generally for plants and seeds check out Garden Centres and with caution some of the big DIY/Home improvements places. I prefer garden centres and on the whole you get a better range and better advice than at B+Q etc.

Whatever you do good luck and happy gardening!

Hi Irene

My partner Paul and I did the same thing as you: removed 8 tonnes of concrete from our front garden and converted it into a lovely, secluded spot for relaxation with the morning cup of coffee.  I highly recommend it to anyone!

Simon is right: you need to put your energies into improving the soil in the first instance.  It is probably very compacted clay soil at this point so add builder's sand and compost/manure to it now - the worms will do most of the hard work for you if you can dig it in now and leave it until spring, especially if you cover it with a layer of wood chippings/mulch as well.  Sand and soil are pretty cheap if you can buy in bulk so it's worth investing a little now and it will only get cheaper: once your soil is sorted: you will be able to plant free cuttings from neighbours, grow from seed, etc.

Now is also the time to plant a hedge and trees whilst they are dormant and will not suffer shock due to transplanting.  I would highly recommend planting a native hedge beneficial to wildlife - you can buy packs reasonably priced at www.wigglywigglers.co.uk.

I recommend the book "The Thrifty Gardener" by Alys Fowler, who advocates and advises on thrifty, wildlife-friendly, organic gardening.  The book will casually guide you through all steps of creating a garden, without jargon and geared towards fun, urban gardening, making the most of free resources and providing great links.

Most importantly: enjoy the journey!

All the best


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