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I feel the need to be challenged. Any question to test us?
joyce mannell

I have a 1 foot wide  2ft long bit of ground by the front door next to the shed it has slate covering the gravel at the moment there must be soil as im getting weeds growing  I would like to grow low growing plants there any ideas welcomed 

If sunny how about santolina or artemisia Powys castle? Both silvery aromatic shrubs. Such a small space so one plant would be sufficient. Lavender too?
Meconopsis betonicifolia seedlings are not really growing. Should they be inside an unheated greenhouse or in the house or outside? Is growth slow? Never grown before!
Fairygirl

What kind of aspect Joyce? 

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chicky

Another question for you Verdun - reading a book about propagation at the moment (don't laugh!) and some of the plant names are followed with "spp." - so, for example, it describes coneflowers as echinacea spp.

What does that mean ??

nutcutlet

sub species Chicky. A sort of variation of a species without being a totally different species

punkdoc

Verdun. Why does it allways rain on me?

nutcutlet

And why is it still so cold?

Punkdoc k.it's those angry trousers, of course
Nutcutlet because it's British summer time
nutcutlet

Is that what it is. The sun is good but that fierce North wind is too much.

Could you assist a complete beginner amateur gardening enthusiast with the query below please?

I am growing basil, mint, chives, parsley, rockets and rosemary from the beginning again. I want to put them outside for the summer but when I did this last year with the same set of herbs they got infested with annoying little flies.  When it turned late October, I brought them in doors and they died (I think, there was just stalks left, nothing was growing), slugs were hiding in them on the soil and my poor flat was full of the buzzing flies. 

I wondered if I could have left those plants outside all winter and would they grow back (bearing in mind our winters in the UK are freezing sub zero)?

I am considering getting one of those four tier greenhouse frame and cover type things for our small balcony to put them in but if the cold will kill them it'll be a waste of money.

They are growing on my window sill atm but I'm noticing low production of leaves and my mint leaves are growing about 1cm diameter before it turns brown and dies.

Thanks for any advice!

Woodgreen wonderboy

Joyce,...Plants in gravel drive. Without any effort on my part the following plants seed and germinate in my gravel drive. Agapanthus (easy to pull and pot on), verbena bonariensis, Erigeron daisy, muscari,welsh poppies (yellow)hardy geraniums, pulmonarias (move to shady border),lavender ( I pot on), aquilegias (lots that gradually spread along the drive year by year), and the usual crop of weeds of course.

I think that if I tried to deliberately grow these in the same location I would probably fail. But if you let nature decide what and where you get successes.

chicky

Nutcutlet - many thanks on the ssp. - it was getting on my nerves that I didn't know what it meant.  Can now concentrate on the rest of the book....

 

Gardening Grandma
Verdun wrote (see)
Punkdoc k.it's those angry trousers, of course
Nutcutlet because it's British summer time

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Dovefromabove
Mizzli wrote (see)

Could you assist a complete beginner amateur gardening enthusiast with the query below please?

I am growing basil, mint, chives, parsley, rockets and rosemary from the beginning again. I want to put them outside for the summer but when I did this last year with the same set of herbs they got infested with annoying little flies.  When it turned late October, I brought them in doors and they died (I think, there was just stalks left, nothing was growing), slugs were hiding in them on the soil and my poor flat was full of the buzzing flies. 

I wondered if I could have left those plants outside all winter and would they grow back (bearing in mind our winters in the UK are freezing sub zero)?

........

Thanks for any advice!

I grow all those herbs  in my garden herb bed and leave them (with the exception of basil) out there - they survive - if you've only got a balcony to grow things on then I'd make sure that the pots are a decent size so they can grow good roots and also it will help to protect them from the frost.  I prefer soil-based compost as it doesn't attract those annoying little fungus flies.

Chives disappear over the winter and regrow in the spring - mine are looking great now and I had a chive omelette for supper on Tuesday.

I cut mint down low in the autumn - it's shooting up again now.

I grow rocket in a row in the veg patch each year.

Parsley will die down over winter and regrow in the spring, but as it's a biennial it will flower and seed this summer and then be unproductive, so it's useful to get pickings from early on, but you really need to sow a new crop each year.

Rosemary is a mediterranean shrub and can stay outside in a decent sized pot.  It will happily put up with the cold as long as it's feet don't get too wet - my herb bed got flooded this winter so I'm expecting my rosemary to be a bit unhappy - I'll probably lift it and plant it an a big terracotta tub so I can be in more control of it's drainage - but I'll have to move it into a sheltered corner and bubble wrap the pot in the winter as things in pots are just a little more tender.

So yes, leave most of them outside and in the winter put them in a sheltered corner, bubble-wrapping the pots only to give the roots some protection and don't let them get too wet and most of them should come through the winter absolutely fine.

Basil is frost tender so that needs to be indoors - but I sow a fresh lot each spring anyway as I use a lot of it - one pot on a windowsill wouldn't be enough.

Atilla

I have the wood from 3 pallets and unused 8ft fence panels. I have an area of ground at the bottom of my garden 2 metres by 3metres that needs something. I will stain/paint to make it look appropraite. Any ideas on what I can make. Am thinking something with shelter as it is over looked for now perhaps a winter shelter for some plant pots. It is almost full sun but right next to my neighbours fence and 5 metres from their convervatory.

discodave

Does anyone know an easy way to spot the difference between foxgloves and comfrey?


 This photo is one I took this morning (before it started snowing). One is a foxglove and the other is a comfrey. I know which one of these is which (foxglove was removed from my coldframe for this picture) but in the garden I can't tell the difference. 

nutcutlet

Very easy Dave. Comphey is big and deep rooted and disappears in winter. Foxglove stays as a rosette of leaves all winter and isn't deep rooted. The plant on the right looks more like green alkanet than comphrey. Also deep rooted and perennial.

Thanks nut. Couldn't tell myself. Even checking online I couldn't tell. I,would have to wait few weeks to see how it grows