Gardening help please!!!

Hi,
I need some help regarding my garden project I've taken on board which is huge specially my knowledge in the area is limited. All answer/suggestions welcome.
I've got a decent size back and side garden in triangle shape. It has been neglected by the previous owner to extreme and had got plenty of weeds. At the moment it looks more like jungle in some areas as I've started clearing it bit by bit. Once cleared i'll put in a new lawn (seeding is preferred due to cost), plant some fast growing shrubs on border.
The reason for growing shrubs is that my garden border is just adjacent to school's playground, and children tend to come in the garden to collect their ball by lifting the fence up. Appreciate advice on which shrubs to go for and best time to put them, as its going to be next to fence, it gets some sunlight during the day and the soil is really good, well drained. Plenty of weeds growing in the area at the moment.
Also what will be the best way to kill the weeds so that they don't come back again / grow too fast. Some of them have got deep roots.
Currently the garden is uneven so planning to get topsoil to put on top of the current surface (approx 15cm layer of topsoil). Most of the topsoil will cover the are where new lawn will come. The shrubs side is even and only need weeds removed.
While clearing and digging I noticed few Spiders (small black kind) in the garden, is this common or are they of any threat to us or my child and whats the best possible way to get rid of them.
Just a recap here again.
1. how to kill weeds which are in bulk, throughout the garden.
2. when and Which Shrubs to grow once weeds killed / removed.
3. Lawn seeding best time and when it most likely to be ready for use.
4. Spiders in soil specially clay.
5. Child friendly garden.
Thanks again in advance of all help.
As I've mentioned already I'm not an experienced gardener so will really appreciate as much help as possible.
Cheers RK
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RK77


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On Fri, 1 May 2009 00:12:11 +0100, against all advice, something

Roses. Find a variety with big pointy thorns.
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Real men don't text.



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RK77 wrote:

Pull the big'ns and smother the littl'ns with mulch or topsoil or both. Hot compost or drown any debris that has seeds.

Don't know as I have no idea of your climate or soil. You say some soil is well drained but some is clay, I am confused.

Pass
Don't know if your spiders are harmful not knowing what they might be. I don't know why being in soil specially clay is important. You need local knowledge here.
A general comment: eradicating spiders is very difficult (unless you want to use toxic chemicals and even then they will come back) and probably not warranted, they are part of the life system of your garden and do good work eating bugs that eat your plants. A healthy garden has many spiders. My part of the world is flush with some very dangerous spiders but I don't kill them unless they get into the house and most of the ones I meet in the garden are not the dangerous sort. Wear gloves picking up rubbish.

Avoid toxic plants (there are lists on the web) and those with thorns etc. Avoid toxic sprays. Fence/cover all ponds. Lock away all tools and chemicals. Unless you remove all trees over 5ft high supervise the kids as they _will_ climb and fall.
A general comment. Plan ahead, take your time and think about all factors (light, climate, water, soil, aspect, proposed use etc) before you act. Read some books from the library of garden design and planning.
David
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