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Jean Genie

That makes sense -  its in the back border with an acuba and an euonymus alatus on either side . I've noticed my ground cover isn't coming up as it should and that the ground around is difficult to work with . Lost some ajuga this year but the shrubs are fine . Could the birch tree cause them any problems in the future ? It would be a shame to remove the tree as the squirrels and birds have some great fun in there ( and so we watching them ) I do like it as it's quite open and makes a lovely sound when the wind blows . When we had the bad winter a few years ago it was colonised by a flock of waxwings . Got some great pics on other p.c. so going to post them on wildlife section when I find them. Will also take pic of tree to find out if I have identified it correctly. Thanks for your input.


With all that benefit, it would be a shame to lose it, I believe that Silver Birch supports more wildlife species than any other tree in this country apart from Oak. I think it will take a very long time to get as tall as has been stated. I have a small one that is growing very very slowly - there isn't room on its branches for a flock of anything yet! 


Well,  think it's very encouraging that we've all learnt from our gaffes! My worst one is probably thinking that drifts of Japanese anemones would be a good idea...yes, you can guess. Every year I think 'industrial amounts of glyphosate'...then they start flowering and my heart's not in it. But they are growing out of some of my dry stone walling, so I should really get mean with them. Oh, and planting a clematis montana. It grew like crazy and flowered beautifully on the other side of my garden wall. Looked ghastly in the winter, like a permanent bad hair day. Like Wintersong and Auntie Betty I do move plants around willy nilly, but as I basically garden in dust they don't seem to notice! Interested to read comments re heuchera Lime Ricky...I have a gap in my shady shrub border after daphne odorata turned up its toes, and would like a hit of a good 'doer' in there. Hellebores lovely in the late winter/early spring, but a bit dour for the rest of the year. 

My neighbour has a lovely magnolia tree, the first year we moved in, following it blooming we had a bar-be-cue right in front of the tree, everyone commented on how nice it looked in flower, it was one of my first bar-be-cues and quite a smokey  affair, within days of the bar-be-cue nearly all the flowers had dropped off it, convinced it was the bar-be-cue after friends said it was probably the smoke which killed the flowers, I didn't dare show my face in the garden when the neighbour was about for weeks after. It wasn't until the following year when it flowered again and the flowers did the same thing without a bar-be-cue did we realise that's what Magnolia's do  


Alina W

Jean, if the shrubs are well established they should be OK for quite a while, but I wouldn't hold out much hope for ground cover unless you live in a wet area.


After seeing red valerian flowering profusely on the 'wall hedges' during our first holiday in Cornwall I thought how lovely it would be to have some in the garden. A couple of years later I saw some growing at the foot of a wall in a street not far from our house and duly grubbed out a tiny plant from the pavement and brought it home. Oops. Anyone fancy visiting a tiny bit of Cornwall in Cheshire? Sorry neighbours. P.S. Nearly got rid or ours now!

This is the most giblet-shrivelling garden gaffe I've ever witnessed...  About 10 years ago, a good friend of mine had a small shady town garden that had a difffcult patch of mixed creeping jenny, mint, and the taller lysimachia that he was sick of.  It was maybe 2m square. He wanted a lawn, so rotovated the whole garden (probably 8m square), including the dodgy bit, and then seeded. What he'd actually done, of course, was nicely propagate his problem and broadcast the cuttings all over the entire patch (along wih an astonishing amount of sticky clay subsoil - he wanted to do a 'proper job' after all). Unsurprisingly, the lawn seed didn't take but the 'cuttings' did and he moved within the year... Eek.

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