Reclaim Corner – How to manage bindweed the beautiful way

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I feel like bind weed is my specialist subject, our garden is or should that be was full of it. It snaked up trees, tangled itself in bushes and generally eclipsed any plant that got in its way. For a couple of years whilst we dealt with the house it roamed free but over the last two summers I really got stuck in to tackling it and have started to see some great improvements. As soon as we got the house I started researching ‘how to get rid of bind weed’ results were limited to using weed killer (a definite no) and digging it out (time consuming with two little ones). My problem was there was so much of it that digging the whole garden felt like a huge task, our garden is backed by so many houses that I’d never be able to fully control it. After watching a great episode of Gardeners’ World I learnt about suppressing bind weed, that coupled with some digging is how I began to get my bind weed under control. This whole area has cost just over £100 to improve. I’ve reused and recycled anything that was left around house and garden, painting wooden palettes to create tables, recycling bins to make flower pots and used branches to make simple boarders for cutting beds. This area is one of my favourite spots in the garden, its such a treat as you turn the corner to see a flower filled wonderland, this year is set to look even better with the addition of some new roses and a wild flower bed, let’s scroll and I’ll take you through it.

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The back corner of the garden was the worst area effected with weed so that is where I/we started. I began by cutting any weeds back to ground level and pulling out as many from the roots as possible. I then laid a combination of weed suppressant membrane and woven plastic sacking that a soil and stone delivery came in – making sure there were no gaps. Using wood and bricks left around the garden to create an edge to hold the membrane down and keep stones in. Once everything was in place, Dan filled the area with pea shingle. We used half a bag left over from some steps he built and then ordered a second bag from Wickes. It really didn’t take long perhaps two – two and a half days max and it just transformed the area. This was two summers ago and it still remains really effective with only the odd escapee which is easy to deal with.

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This has been a two step plan, last summer I tackled the second stage. There were five ugly conifers that flanked the back fence. Doing nothing for the garden except suck out light and take up space we finally made the decision to take the trees out. Getting rid of the trees meant I could get to the other back corner where I was able to dig out ten green bags of weed clear piles of rubble left by past habitants. I extended the original reclaim corner to suppress another weed filled area and then created a cut flower bed along the back fence. I had no expectation for these beds, I dug out as much weed as I could and then dug in a mix of well rotted manure and garden compost to create beds.

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Getting rid of those trees was the best decision we made. Last summer the new cutting beds were full of towering cosmos and sunflowers – they were so beautiful. I treated the area as an experiment with absolutely no expectations and I was blown away with what grew. This year I have already set about making changes to these beds, The left side is now daffodils and dahlias with a few self seeded plants that I am excited to see flower. The right side is currently home to honesty, snap dragons and a rose, later in the year I’ll add more cosmos and sunflowers.

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As a final touch to this spot, I used an outdoor garden rug to cover the bald area of grass where the compost bin had been. Not only did it make the area feel more like a room it worked as a much prettier weed suppressant than membrane or nothing at all. I also added a recycled garden bench, that was once my coffee table, then a fabric covered bench and now moved again and sits under our lilac tree and some strands of floral bunting that I made years ago for our engagement party.

Gardens can feel so daunting when they are full of weeds and ugly stuff that tackling the area becomes a real job. I hope this post shows you what you can achieve with some hardwork, imagination and a few bags of compost.

how I dealt with bindweed in my english garden

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