How to revitalize along established but neglected garden around apt?


It is surrounded by mature cherry trees and planted with mostly male skimmia, and spindly 20 yr old roses, rhododrendrons, hydrangeaand a small dogwood and some sweet woodruff, mini daffodils, crocus. Very little has been done in the last 20 yrs, little fertilizer, occasional watering. Often shaded, surrounded by concrete. Recently trampled by construction workers....How to revitalize economically?

  4 answers
  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Mar 08, 2019

    Trim back all appropriate fall/winter dieback material; IF you can ID the plants, check to see which ones can be cut back to ground level; It's spring in a lot of areas, I'd wait until the spring bulbs have bloomed and died back, then dig, divide and replant.

    Remove over grown plants and put in a few new ones; pull all weeds as they begin to appear; mulch with cardboard / composted leaves, etc. to keep down weed growth and to improve the soil. NEVER 'feed' a 'sick' or 'weak' plant; But a LIGHT top dressing of Black Cow Composted manure would be good. Water as needed -- many parts of the country has had enough snow/rain to last a LONG time!

    • Kathy Kathy on Mar 08, 2019

      Thank you All!

      As soon as the snow grows I have and idea where to start!


  • As mentioned above, pruning will be the best first step. This will give the plants a "fresh start", and having those cherry trims trimmed back to let in more light would be a good idea as well.

    • See 1 previous
    • It is not that hard. You can rent the tools and watch a bunch of You Tube videos. Since the place has been neglected for 20 years anything you do will be an improvement. If the trees don't get pruned sooner or later, you might eventually lose them in a storm. I would chance it. Contact a local arborist or two. Explain your situation and they might offer free advice.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 08, 2019

    I agree with Landsharkinnc, find out when you can trim back the existing plants, weed out the ones that don't look like they are thriving. When you dig up and transplant or dig up and divide, mix in some potting soil in the soil you put the plants in. It should start looking better as they start getting healthy from proper care and trimming back when needed. See what it looks like after the initial trimming and garden cleanup and transplanting and perhaps adding a few perennials that like shade and are easy to care for, like hostas, can be added to fill in empty spots.

  • Kathy Kathy on Mar 08, 2019

    Thank you all for such good advice. I’ll start by cutting out the obvious dead and broken branches and clear the weeds, see what can be transplanted. Now we have a plan. Thank you!