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12/05/2012 at 20:54

Hi all, seems everyone has had a very productive day.

@Dean, congrats on the greenhouse, smashing job!

@GardeningFanatic, the bearded Iris looks beautiful, well worth waiting for

@Figrat youve been a busy bee today!

@Inkadog what an amazing lady your friend Zona is, hope Im as active at her age

@Wintersong, lovely pictures, the Euphorbia and Berberis compliment each other beautifully. If you hadnt written the name of the plants I would just be saying how lovely they looked. I actually sound as if I know what Im talking about now lol. Im so glad I joined this forum, have already learnt so much in just a few days. You definately 'have the eye' for it, well done.

Am now off to look at the video of Lilylouise's garden

12/05/2012 at 21:08

@Lilylouise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow your garden is stunning, it must have taken so much hard work, love and attention, I was actually gobsmacked.Beautifully designed, you clever lady, I could walk around it for hours. Blooming marvellous!

12/05/2012 at 21:53

Woo, I was gobsmacked too by LL's garden- truly a labor of love.

Wintersong, that is a lovely combo.

GF- lovely iris- still waiting for mine. Figrat, am also a fan of the little retculatas.

Wintersong, looks like a perfect combo----lovely contrast!

Dean, I am envious of your greenhouse--so worth the aggravation.

Just back from my friend's new house--5 acres fully fenced, complete orchard, Koi pond , deck,veranda and wonderful, if neglected plantings. I'm a bit envious! Lots of work to do there outside-but the inside is perfect. Guess I'm done for the day--just feel like sitting in the sun!

12/05/2012 at 23:46

Back from Malvern and the famous Wickwar comedy night, so a little p****d. Had a really great time at Malvern. Managed to get away with only spemding £60 plus about £15 on refreshments. Will update tomorrow with my views.

EB

13/05/2012 at 09:32

Morning all. Another lovely sunny day here in the west!

So, Malvern Spring Show. I've never been to a big gardening show before and it met my expectations in most regards, but differed in others.

First thing to mention is that I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get in and out. I was expecting queues on what are, after all, fairly small roads but there were none either in or out. (We arrived at 10am and left around 4:30pm). Masses of very well organised parking, which is good as the show was packed.

Admission price was £17 each (we had been given tickets by a stallholder). This is a lot, but overall I'd say is about right. There is no additional parking charge. Thursday price was £34. Not sure why, but someone else will explain I'm sure. I think if I was to go again I'd go on the Friday as it would be less busy.

Good points: You can buy just about anything at the show. Lots of plants, equipment, buildings, everything you can possibly imagine really. Lot of very knowledgable people too, but as it was so busy they did not always have time to chat. If you are considering a major purchase (a greenhouse, or garden furniture for example) then it is great to be able to see lots of different alternatives at the same venue. There are also some very keen deals to be had. This also applies to smaller items from plants to tools to clothing to jewelery (although quite what that has to do with gardening, lol)

My favourite bit of the day was the half hour we spent in the BBC/RHS show marquee where James Alexander-Sinclair chatted to Carol Klein and Joe Swift. Just brilliant. I have to say I am a massive fan of JAS - I think he is the next really big star in the gardening sphere. Carol was really funny and much less manic than she sometimes appears on TV. Seemed like a really lovely person. And Joe Swift was exactly like he is on telly - sort of guy you'd like to go for a pint with after a day in the garden.

Bad points:

Catering - very very expensive and mediocre quality.

Crowds - just couldn't move sometimes.

Show gardens - these were really good, but there weren't many of them. The ones shown on GW on Friday were about it. As I say I've never been before, but I thought there'd be lots more show gardens, so a little disappointing there.

Tips:

  1. Go on Friday and avoid the crowds.
  2. Take bottled water and a picnic.
  3. Wear hiking boots - it was lovely yesterday but had obviously been wet and muddy the day before. You also do a LOT of walking.
  4. Take lots and lots of money!! I was incredibly restrained but could easily have spent a fortune as there were so many lovely plants and useful pieces of kit!
  5. Make sure you catch at least one of the panel discussions/interviews.

EB

13/05/2012 at 11:04

Morning all!

@Wintersong, Take that as a no then! Lol! To be fair I have a generator n a spray gun, so should have that task licked in a breath, but in no rush.

@Steff37, Gardeningfantic, Woo2 & Inkadog, Thanks! n yeah! It proper did our heads in! as well as taking up much of the day. I hate to think what it would have been like to the complete novice!

@Excitable Boy, Sounds like you had a cracking day out!

Well, my trailer hooked up, I shall be going to my parents house, Who both sadly passed away recently, and shall be emptying the contents of their compost bins (They too were very keen gardeners) I'm sure they wouldn't mind me making use of it rather than letting it go to waste! and today we are going to have the pleasure of the fun part of gardening! Planting Out!!!!!! and to be perfectly honest, as a lot of you have expressed! I need some space in my greenhouse at home! Have a good day all!!

13/05/2012 at 15:00

It's been sunny all day and I started gardening early morning, watching the black bird forage for his chicks and the curious amount of wasps using my huge Laurel bush as the local supermarket.

Beneath the Laurel, I am still finishing off my main shade border, planting some Alchemilla Mollis seedlings along the back of the raised bed and having some nice gaps for a few more ferns -as and when- as well as something else, possibly medium sized shrubby that could sit nicely in a North facing corner (any suggestions?)

Afterwards, I sorted another compost bin, adding three bags of horse manure to it and giving it a damn good stir. I can't wait to see this mature in the spring. I get so excited about poo

Hubby came out to join me and together we finished laying the step he built me the other day, adding border edging and generally sweeping up the debris.  I know its not as luxurious as some gardens, we've used basic materials hanging around the garden, but it looks great and its a proper working step, honest

I have a small pile of household rubbish that I need to tip when I can arrange transport which would open up another six by ten foot space in my existing veg plot either for another bed next year or perhaps some planting, since the area is rather barren.

I haven't planted down this end for many many years after some beloved shrubs got smothered by weeds that I just couldn't control. My lovely Juniperus died and In the end we double dug the entire area and put in retaining walls to level it properly before thinking about the fuzzy stuff of planting. 

After lunch, I trimmed my variegated Cedar into something close to topiary. It's quite easy really just so long as you keep checking how much green you can chop into without leaving horrible brown patches. I'm gaining confidence in Topiary, although I certainly need more practice, the shape resembling something more pokemon than stately.

13/05/2012 at 18:41

@dean.. taht is vey impressive work.. loveling the tunnels..wish i had room for them.. but do is ee the greenhose door opening in the poly tunnel.. or am i looking at it wrong.

figrat.. well if you would like some then let me know.. when i split them i will send you some.. i am lucky to have one side of garden in full constant sun, which they like and other half in constant shade..

her eit is today even more spectacular

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7571.bmp?width=329&height=247&mode=max

13/05/2012 at 18:43

exicitable boy.. sounds like you had great time out.. the weather this weekend hs been good to us all.. out today weeding and just pondering..

@lilylouise.. showed hubby your video.. and he bluntly said" dont go getting and ideas will ya" i have watche dit 3 times now.. love walking round it.

13/05/2012 at 19:20

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7572.jpg?width=640&height=350&mode=max

13/05/2012 at 19:21

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7573.jpg?width=480&height=350&mode=max

13/05/2012 at 19:21

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7574.jpg?width=480&height=350&mode=max

13/05/2012 at 19:26

how the garden looked on the day i got home. sobering but comforting that the garden does so well in my absence. of course the sweet friends who watered and watched while i was gone are beyond praise. the weather here in reno was wonderful and it looks as though things improved in the u.k. hostas absolutely flawless even sieboldiana and jade cascade.

13/05/2012 at 19:47

@david.. is that alum globes i can see.. they are open much earlier than mine.. where are you in the country. impressive garden..

love you paths.. i am trying to decide what ot do for my garden path up front.. the feel is cottage i am going for.. but god i cant decide on the paving.. the longer i take to decide the longer it is before i get it. 

13/05/2012 at 20:16

David, your garden looks wonderful--lush and green. It has a very serene feeling to it--wonderful textures.

It's the hottest day here so far-and tomorrow will be even warmer. Must water for the first time later on. Still stuck into construction--everything takes longer than you think it will, doesn't it?

13/05/2012 at 20:24

@David, I love your garden!  Simply beautiful.

@gardeningfantic, David lives in Reno Navada, USA where the sun shines apparently!

@Inkadog, indeed it does! Enjoy the sunshine!

@Excitable Boy, thanks for the informed critique of Malvern! It's always best straight from the horse's mouth...not that you look anything like a horse

13/05/2012 at 20:26

What a brilliant weekend we've all had, lovely and sunny without being too hot to work. Have done more 'clearing', still loads to go lol and have planted out alot of my new shrubs etc, my 'post building work' front garden is starting to take shape at last.

I collected some summer plants and herbs from Excitable Boy.....lovely to meet you and again a huge thank you! The hostas have been given a new home and look very nice indeed . I just wish I didnt have to go back to work tomorrow, would love to spend even more time in the garden......dream on Woo!

13/05/2012 at 20:32

@David Spikes, thinking about it...we want to see your garden in glorious technicolour! or should that be technicolor?

Can you make us a video pretty pleeeeeease?

13/05/2012 at 20:53

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7575.jpg?width=480&height=350&mode=max

13/05/2012 at 20:58

gardenfantic-the main paths are pea gravel on top of 6 inches of sand-plants love seeding in that-the other paths are manufactured stone in various shapes which allow for curves-and yes the sun ordinarily shines every day all day from april until october