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I have recently moved house and inherited a garden full of very old and mature shrubs which have just been left to grow old. Also there is a large area of bamboo. There is a very dry area at the bottom of the garden caused by 3 tall conifers. Will I be able to grow anything under these trees and if so what do you suggest. I have cut off some dead branches to let some light in. Also would it be best to cut the old and knarled shrubs down and replace or if I cut them down will it revive them?

The soil is mostly clay-like.



Hello 6740 you really need to give us some idea of what the shrubs are, do you have any names and or photos?

17 Aug, 2010


Sounds like you have a job on in your new garden. Perhaps you could take some pictures of the shrubs for ID and get advice on what is best for them. We had conifers in our garden when we moved in and eventually had them all taken down. You can leave the stumps in, refresh the soil, and plant round the stumps. They won't regrow and will rot away quite quickly. Or have a garden trashing party like we did once or twice with friends and helpers and had a good old clear out and start over from scratch.....far more exciting!

17 Aug, 2010


Conifers tend to suck the nutrients out of the soil, so even with letting more light in, plants will struggle in that area - it'll be dry soil there, too.

Drc is right - we really need to know which shrubs you have, as some may well be lovely ones and could possibly regenerate with hard pruning.

You can ask a question and add three photos at a time - we'll have a go at ID-ing them!

17 Aug, 2010


Oh goody! The ID game - bring it on, we love it! First one with the right answer gets lots of kudos! :-)

17 Aug, 2010


What - no prizes?? lol.

17 Aug, 2010


Kudos is much easier to send! Very low postal rates...

17 Aug, 2010


How true. ;-)

17 Aug, 2010



28 Apr, 2011

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