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the one at home has 30 tubes and about 20 holes drilled in a block of wood

10 of the bamboo tubes are sealed up with soil so I know that there will be new bees emerging at some point

Its my aim on my allotment to build one person a hotel if they promise to build one for someone else and so start achain reaction until we have 50 hotels

Beeee Happy !!


OL - I've seen some really easy looking net frames made with a hula-hoop cut in half and sunk into the ground so the bushes weren't getting tangled in the netting. Just thought I'd share that while I remembered.

I've learnt that having a bad back & fatigue issues is really not ideal when it comes to laying out a garden for a major redesign when your partner isn't interested enough to really help. What should have taken me an afternoon is taking me two weeks as I just can't move the huge amount of soil we need shifting from one side to the other. Next year I need to be more organised and plan things to factor in this extra delay.

I've learnt that its really important not just to write things down but to REMEMBER WHERE YOU WROTE THEM! I've had to rely on my Instragram account to work out planting / germination dates far too often! I did start my blog but when I was unwell I just didn't have the energy to update it and so now I'm all lost as to when things got planted.

Orchid Lady

Thanks Clari, I have made one similar for my brassicas, posted a pic on Forkers last night.  I think I may need to do the same for my fruit, I didn't realise my red-currants had been attacked until this morning 

Victoria Sponge

The year is yet young but so far I have learnt:

To allow perennials to grow a few years before judging them

To stake things and pref before they need staking

To not assume everything I don't recognise is an interesting weed

To be ruthless and chop things down even if they have impressed me with their will to grow

To have back-up plants in case of ruin

Over winter I made a list of all the plants I had a record of buying and where I thought they were in the garden. Now I need to keep that updated and start removing the ?'s before I forget again for next year...


Clarington; you can also use plumbers thin plastic pipe as a support for netting - very cheap


Not to grow potatoes in bags ever again

Stake tall plants

Allow plants to seed and not weed out seedlings!

Copper rings / coins seem to keep slugs at bay That I really dislike our wild 'lawn' - supposedly a wild flower meadow. Didn't quite work.

That I would be even more clueless without this forum!




I have learned this year that if I want to grow shrubs I need to prune them every year to some extent and not wait until they are far too big for their space. I am now reaping the fact that I have not pruned any of my shrubs for the previous 5 years! I know it is the wrong time to prune them but I cannot live with the disarray any longer!  The only two things escaping the chop this month is my hardy fuschia and a multi stemmed rowan tree.


I have read this post and been reminded of what I often think when on here and thats what a lovely lot you all are and however much the garden gets me down when it goes wrong it lifts me up by thrice as much or I just look on here for the little hope that gets me going again.

Patience will never learn that fiddling is to tempting I agree. keep trying even when you fail over and over yes thats another one of mine.

And a couple more learns this week for me always look in other peoples skips.

I asked a builder who was filling a skip at the local pub if he was really skipping the half oak barrels he was throwing in and he said do you want them. Yes I said, knowing the pub only got them last summer from the brewery.

I borrowed a trolly from Marks and wheeled them home all three for free. Another learn Marks Trollys are unstable with two Oak Barrels in: trolley tipped and i chased a rolling barrell down the road; reloaded and off I went.

Planted up and oh they look lovely, will paint the metal bands and put preservative on the wood come the end of the summer to keep in tip top condition. Wanted a barrel for ages but so expensive now I have three,


nin, isn't frustrating when a borrowed trolly is pants?

Outdoor girl, what problems have you been having with spuds in bags?

Hefting soil / compost and trying to keep them upright! And watering - they are beyond the reach of my hose so have to use watering cans. Then when it comes to harvesting, I need help to lift them onto a wheelbarrow. It's such a faff. I have decided to extend my veg patch to include a few rows of potatoes and will try the conventional way. That means making my rabbit fence bigger. Or I might not bother but I do love my own potatoes...


As a beginner gardener my lesson has been "just chuck the seeds in the bed and be done with the faffing". This winter I lovingly attempted to nurture verbena bonaris seeds.  I managed to plant out 8 of the seedlings which keep being nibbled.  They haven't really taken off.

I had some seeds left over so about a month ago I thought what the hey, I'll just scatter then in the bed next to the seedlings.  These produced many more plantlets that look stronger than mine and are catching up!


What have I learn't?

That I MUST label what I have planted where as soon as I do it otherwise I WILL forget
That freecycle is fabulous - have only really used it this year and had had 6 cloches, 2 water buts, Montbretia, irises, kniphofia, fruit netting and a watering can
Freecycle and the Gardeners World Forum can be addictive but there could be worse addictions.....
That I don't enjoy feeding slugs as much as feeding the birds - they are really testing my will to not use chemicals this year
That I have a previously hidden murderous streak, luckily focusing itself on said slugs : /

ah yes outdoor girl, must stake next year, also, sowing direct has not worked for me at all, every seed/ling disappeared


Chrissie B, I confess to going out some nights about 10.00pm with a bucket with 3 inches of very salty water, wearing rubber gloves, I pick up every snail and slug and CAST THEM onto the bucket where they DIE. I'm not normally a violent person, honestly.

Artjak - that sounds wonderfully therapeutic : )



I didn't know sunflowers basically face east and I planted them in a location where they're all standing with their backs to us, smiling cheerfully at our neighbors when they're out on their deck.

 I learned that pennyroyal does NOT make a good ground cover for a small area beside a border full of lovely pebbles... I have been out there every few days with my florist's shears snipping and snipping and snipping. And snipping and snipping and snipping. We paid waaaaay too much money for those pebbles to lose them to the pennyroyal. Now I have to dig it all up and plant it somewhere else.

 I learned that when a seed packet gives directions for planting it's probably a good idea to follow those directions rather than thinking I know better. Not one poppy came up, only one lavender plant made it out of 3 or 4 packets of seeds, I've been secretly hoping I would see some pyrethrum daisies, but I think I'm gonna have to give up the ghost. I will have to plant them all over again next spring, and this time when they say cover them with plastic wrap I'm going to do that!

 I learned that you can't plant seeds and expect to see flowers or pick veggies in a few days, not even a few weeks. It's been over 2 months now and I'm still waiting. When that wise man said "nature never hurries" he wasn't kidding!

 I could go on but it's probably best if I stop right here.


What have I learnt.. hmmmmm

If gonna let them self seed.. to weed out some..

To stake plants earlier

To allow things space to grow

A large cat litter tray filled with water.. and a smaller upturned same shaped item.. in the middle is good snail trap.. (with a big enough gap the snails cant reach across.. and believe me they can stretch a far bit) and enjoyed watchin the blackbirds coming and taking them.

Do not sow direct.

To harden some off for longer next year.

There are more.. but i will keep it short




Wow how many of us are turning into homicidal maniacs this year, slugs are really testing so many peoples will to not use pellets.

Zig zag if sowing direct it might not be your sowing but the slime monsters thats caused what seems like a lack of germination.


I think the warm winter has something to answer for regarding those little creatures of the guu Nin. Hopefully a good few inches of snow will stop them in their tracks this winter!


What have I learnt

Onions and leeks and carrots grown in lines next to each other in a cloche works

Peas are little tinkers to weed in between

My Himalayan Honeysuckle this year grew as much in two weeks as it did in 2 years !!

Not everyone who gives me advice knows what they are talking about !!!

Allotmenteers are more generous than people outside the Allotment

Horse Manure is Pure Magic !!