These tips reveal how an overgrown garden can be transformed into a cozy oasis

An overgrown garden can be redesigned yourself or by professionals

Have you fulfilled your dream of having your own garden, but are now standing in front of an overgrown property that you first have to repair? It is easy to despair at this sight. You don’t really know where to start. You can also approach the matter positively, because what is already growing there can help you for future planting. Today we will explain to you how exactly an overgrown garden can be prepared and laid out with the help of a few tips. Find out how and where to start and what you can actually plant. Take it step by step and soon you will not recognize your garden at all. Even if it doesn’t look like it right now, you can be sure that you will successfully remodel the property.

Overgrown garden – where do I start?

Overgrown garden - tips for preparation and redesign

Most people would probably start right away by clearing the garden and removing anything that doesn’t look good at first glance, that bothers you, or that you don’t know. The dream of a neat and beautiful garden seems much more realistic if you can just start with a bare area. And that may be true, but you should also look at the existing plants as helpers. An overgrown garden is therefore a kind of source of information that you can use for the choice of future plants.

Prepare an overgrown garden with these steps for a cozy oasis

So before you remove everything, take a close look at everything the new garden has to offer. The plants that are present in an overgrown garden give you information about the nature of the soil and all other properties of the site that are not immediately apparent (or otherwise). This, in turn, can help you choose your new plants. If, for example, drought-loving plant species grow in a corner, this means that the new plants and flowers must also have such needs. The soil is then probably more permeable and less loamy. And vice versa: You will only find shade-loving plants in overgrown gardens where there is really only shade. The plants also provide information on the nutrients and minerals present. If necessary, write down all of these things. Because once everything is gone and the time has come to buy the new plants, you could have forgotten everything.

What should stay?

Overgrown garden with grass, dandelions and a fruit tree with a ladder

You may also have found some jewelry that you are dying to keep. An overgrown garden can certainly have something like this to offer. This is also something to look out for before you start cutting and removing anything. Especially if the garden was originally cared for, the probability that you will find great bushes, shrubs, trees and even flowers is very high. And the best part is that these plants have already adapted wonderfully to the environment. And as long as you do not radically change the location (e.g. by cutting down a tree that previously provided shade and without which a sunny location is created), these plants will continue to feel comfortable there in the future.

That sounds a lot better than the many expenses in the nursery and the jittering about whether she really catches the purchased plant, doesn’t it? If necessary, you can also transplant an existing plant that is disturbing its location. But then you should find a location that is as similar as possible.

Prepare an overgrown garden – What do I need?

Use a lawnmower to shorten and maintain existing lawns

An overgrown garden will no doubt take a lot of time and effort. You can be prepared for that. And depending on whether you also feel like doing all this work, you can either hire specialists, which is not particularly cheap, or you can lend a hand yourself. To do this, first of all equip yourself with the right tools for the garden. Such are a sickle (better and more reliable than grass trimmers), spade and shovel, as well as various tools for removing branches, trunks and the like: saw, ax and branch cutter. A rake, a hoe and of course the garden tiller are also very useful when redesigning an overgrown garden. With a wheelbarrow you can easily transport larger amounts of plant waste away.

Overgrown garden – what to do to prepare?

Meadow flowers and wild plants in an overgrown vegetable patch

After these first steps, you can finally get started and remove anything you don’t want there. Be careful not to harm the plants you plan to keep. Wear protective clothing such as gloves, suitable shoes and protective glasses to avoid possible injury. And here is what you do when an overgrown garden is soon to be a thing of the past:

Clear the garden

Cut branches from unwanted trees and bushes and only then cut them down

Take the branch cutter, saw and ax and get to work cutting down unwanted shrubs, bushes and trees. Instead of starting straight away with the thickest trunks and branches of larger plants, start from the outside and slowly work your way up to the trunks. In this way, the plant parts can also be collected and transported away better afterwards than if you cut off larger plant parts. Everything should be cut down to the bottom.

Loosen the earth with a spade, hoe or garden tiller and supply it with nitrogen

The same applies to all other, smaller plants. Many resort to the trimmer, but it will not be very reliable when an overgrown garden with mature wild plants is the challenge. In addition, you do not know what else is lying around in the garden. Stones, roots, boards or even pieces of metal would only tear the trimmer’s cord every few minutes. A sickle is therefore a better choice. Start at one end and gradually work your way out to the other instead of crisscrossing.

If you have flattened everything down to the level of the floor, your property will already appear much clearer and tidier. But there are still some things you should do before you start redesigning. Because you can’t do anything with all the stumps and roots of the distant plants and the earth that has been flattened for years.

Prepare the soil

Practical aids and garden tools for the preparation of an overgrown garden

The next step is the final step, which is to prepare an overgrown garden for replanting. The aforementioned garden tiller proves to be extremely useful here, because the work can be done quickly and easily. However, it is only worth investing in a tiller if you will continue to use it in the future (e.g. if you create a vegetable patch every year and want to loosen up the soil for this purpose). Otherwise, you will also need a hoe and rake to loosen and dig up the earth on the overgrown property. Depending on the type of plant, a different tool is more advantageous, which you simply have to try.

Weathered garden bench in the middle of an overgrown garden with wild flowers and plants

The aim is to free the soil from all plants and roots and at the same time to loosen it up. If stones come to light, you can collect them and dispose of them right away (or possibly store them for a rock garden) so that you do not disturb later. Finally, the earth is smoothly drawn with the rake and a level surface is created.

Overgrown garden – create a new one

Rock garden idea with ground cover and alpine plants in yellow and purple

Now that all the clutter is gone and you have a good overview of the property, you can start planning and thinking about where beds should be made, where seating areas can be and where vegetable beds should best have their place. It is also the best time to eventually replant existing plants that you want to keep. But even if you do not yet know how you will divide the garden and how you would like to plant it in the near future, you should definitely plant something now. This prevents the former wild plants from regaining the upper hand. Because then you would have to repeat the whole procedure with which an overgrown garden is painstakingly prepared.

Pretty bed with green plants and bedding stones on the lawn

One variant is a simple lawn that will prevent an overgrown garden from forming again. If you sow this, you will have a beautiful green surface in just a few weeks. It is best to choose a tough and sturdy variety. This will also displace the former weeds at least to a large extent and over a longer period of time. However, the lawn then also needs regular maintenance because it has to be mowed. Alternatively, you can also use green manure plants or nitrogen suppliers. These grow freely in the garden and have the wonderful advantage that they supply the soil with important nitrogen. Thanks to them, the soil remains loose and ready to be planted at any time.

Redevelop and redesign overgrown gardens

Some plants in the overgrown garden can remain for future garden design

When planning, think about the following things in order to get a neat and beautiful system in the future garden. To do this, consider and write down:

  • where should sidewalks go (an overgrown garden may already have some that you may just need to spice up)
  • where beds for vegetables and flowers and other elements such as rock gardens or areas such as seating areas should be designed
  • where are sunny, where partially shaded and where shady locations
  • which buildings (shed, garden house, sauna, pool, pond, etc.) should be in the garden and where should they be located

Plan and design a seating area in the formerly overgrown garden

You then use this information to create a planting plan. On this you sketch:

  • the existing trees, shrubs and bushes
  • the location of the beds and their desired shape
  • all the other elements
  • mark sunny and shady areas on the sketch to make it easier to decide on suitable garden plants

Lay the water line for the garden hose and sink in the garden, as well as the power lines

Not to be missed are two other important things that should not be missing from yours as you will need them almost every day. This is the water and then the power line with sockets. You should think about where these should go. Where is the most convenient place for the tap that you will later use for the garden hose. After all, you will have to use this and water in general frequently. Would you like to have a sink available outside? Also plan this in advance before completely redesigning an overgrown garden.

Start designing your garden

Tips to make every neglected garden beautiful and cozy again

You can now separate the beds from the lawn, for example by using boundary stones. And once this is done, you can start to get flowers and plants. You are also welcome to take your sketch with you to the nursery. With their help, the experts there can give you the best advice and offer you a selection of suitable plants depending on your location and preference. And then you can gradually start designing your long-awaited garden and create your own personal oasis. At some point you will think: “And that is supposed to have been an overgrown garden?”.

Overgrown garden – before and after

Overgrown garden - an idea before and after

Nice cottage garden with gravel, hedge plants and potted plants

The children can also help with the new planting and receive their own bed

Idea for flower beds in the middle of a paved terrace for a lawnless garden