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Amy Kelly

Latest posts by Amy Kelly

1 to 10 of 11

black opal tomato plant

Posted: Yesterday at 21:01

Mine has suddenly taken a turn for the worst... Drooping leaves and flower buds dropping off. Any suggestions? All other tomatoes have been treated the same way but are flourishing. I am at a loss.

Talkback: Plants for green roofs with soil depth 100mm

Posted: 06/09/2014 at 23:51
I don't have a green roof, but what I do have is a back garden that my partner had previously "landscaped" with nothing but gravel and paving stones, that I use the same way. By raking back the gravel and adding a small amount of potting compost mixed with gravel and sand, then re-covering with the clean gravel, I have created an extremely shallow bed. The gravel holds heat and a tiny bit of moisture, and although I can't plant it too thickly, we have had a great display of Livingstone Daisy (reared in the greenhouse and planted out as seedlings), and both Californian Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and normal field poppies scatter sown. Some self sown pansies and violas are also creeping in, and this year the real success story has been Lysimachia monelli/Anagallis monelli/Blue Pimpernel, also transplanted. You suggest that the Cal. Poppies flower May-June, but if you either leave some seedpods on your earliest plants to self sow, or scatter new seeds in July, they will keep going until it frosts. It is September and not only are some of mine sown in May still going after being cut back, but, but seeds self sown by the ones I didn't cut back have germinated and are starting to flower. The gravel keeps them warmer at night so I get a longer season, and they seem to come back very reliably, even after a hard winter.

I would offer 2 tips: (1) Don't assume "green" means to cover every scrap of space with a plant, and (2) scatter seeds and see what comes up. Your conditions are going to make more difference that what it says on the packet.

Need Help Identifying Poundland Tomatoes

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 22:30


I bought a multi-pack of seeds from Poundland last year because I wanted the different basil varieties in the pack. I ignored the tomatoes until I had extra room this year, when I decided to grow some in pots (following the "little soil, regular liquid feed" technique featured on the "Gardener's Wold" program). The packet gave no information other than "Tomato Cerise: The smallest variety", with a picture of a cherry tomatoes, which made me think they were going to be dwarf plants.

They are now about 4' tall and growing like crazy, clearly NOT dwarf! It is worth noting that I had a fantastic rate of germination, and that all of the seedlings have been strong and healthy from day one. Hooray for £1 seeds! I've been feeding at least once a week with tomato specific feed and have little green tomatoes starting to swell on the plants.

My problem is that I have no idea what sort they are. They do seem to be cherry tomatoes, but I don't know if they are vine/cordon, or bush. This is a problem because I had been treating them as cordon and pinching out the side shoots (per the instructions in June's magazine), but now I'm worried they might actually be bush plants and I might be killing off fruiting side shoots. I missed one shoot and it seems to have buds developing on it.

Please let me know what you think, and feel free to offer any advice. There are FOUR plants in this pot (I know that is crowded, but I thought they were going to be dwarf/basket plants). They started to teeter in the pot so I put up some supports, but I think they would be able to support themselves fairly well if not in pots.



Bringing back the Annual!

Posted: 22/12/2013 at 00:34

Ryan, maybe step one is working out your market, and step two is figuring out what they want to buy. What about doing a "grow it with your kids" type kit? So many children don't get a chance to garden anymore, I think parents and grandparents would like the fun/semi-educational gift, and there are great plants that you can grow on a windowsill. My first suggestion would be Eschscholzia as it grows so very quickly in next to no soil. Maybe that's not the best plant out there, but it's hard to beat for growing fast, looking good, and not resenting being neglected.

Maybe do a themed "fairy" garden with a sort of miniature wildflower mix, or a "dinosaur" garden with foliage plants?

Flowers on the Venus Fly Trap

Posted: 22/12/2013 at 00:24

We let ours flower all the time and it is very happy. It is inside, so it never got pollinated and threw up several flower spikes over about 5 months during this last, long summer. We did not notice any change in the behavior of the plant, the rate of growth and die back of the little chompy bits (I believe that is the technical name) has been the same. We also let another of our carnivorous plants flower, a sun dew, and it is also happy and healthy.

I suggest an internet image search and you'll see what the flowers look like. Our venus fly trap put up white flowers softly tinged with pink, and the sun dew put up small pink trumpets.


Posted: 20/08/2013 at 20:08

This is slightly off topic, but I tried to grow wild flowers this year with very little success, and plenty of money wasted on seed mix that I just wan't happy with (my fault for buying the cheap stuff). Then today I visited the Bangor Castle Walled Garden (Britain in Bloom finalist) and they had several absolutely amazing wildflower displays that I still can't get over, and similar displays in beds and roundabouts through the town. I was able to speak to the staff and they told me that the seeds are just scatter-rake-water and done. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to mention brands, but they told me they the used "Moles Seeds" "sow to grow mixes", but they also have mixes for specific planting conditions. I can't wait to try this next year, cheap and huge impact!


Posted: 18/08/2013 at 18:22

These are surprisingly easy to make. The trick was finding long, straight branches, then he made a tripod using garden twine and this knot technique:

It is basically putting three sticks next to each other, then weaving rope in and out around them, then you cross the two outer sticks over the middle one. Ta da!

Then he just added three more sticks in a triangle at the base to keep it steady. I am so impressed with them, we are thinking about different teirs and maybe hanging a basket down the middle as well next year.

I'm so proud of him! I'm not sure I could part with him for an hour, but jatnakapyar, here's a pic so you know what you're missing



Posted: 18/08/2013 at 10:23

Great Pallet Planter idea! I love that you could do it in so many colours and can use it to offset either vertical or horizontal lines. Good one! I hope you'll post pics when yours is done!


Posted: 17/08/2013 at 22:52

This year I got a bit carried away with my hanging baskets and ended up with two large baskets that I had no where to hang. I took the chains off and put them on thr ground, but the trailing plants looked a bit silly with nowhere to trail. My husband (former boy scout) suggested making tripods from wood scavanged from a local railway bank. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he came up with these amazing garden features that everyone who has seen them has fallen in love with.

 We are already talking about what we can do next year, and I would love to see what other clever ideas like this are out there.

Is it too late to improve drainage?

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 13:53

Dovefromabove and Nutcutlet, thank you for your replies and encouragement. You are right, the garden seems to be coming along well despite my mistakes. I've got loads of tulips in flower and the allium buds will soon be opening. The violas and pansys are not doing quite as well as those I have in pots, but they aren't dying either, so hopefully the other annuals will come on alright as well.

This is my first year in this garden so I'm going to take it as it comes and learn from anything that doesn't work.

Many thanks again for your encouragement and for taking the time to reply.

1 to 10 of 11

Discussions started by Amy Kelly

Talkback: Plants for green roofs with soil depth 100mm

I don't have a green roof, but what I do have is a back garden that my partner had previously "landscaped" with nothing but gravel and pavin... 
Replies: 0    Views: 160
Last Post: 06/09/2014 at 23:51

Need Help Identifying Poundland Tomatoes

Are "cerise tomato" seeds cordon or bush? 
Replies: 2    Views: 325
Last Post: 14/07/2014 at 07:47


Share DIY garden features and tricks 
Replies: 15    Views: 965
Last Post: 25/08/2013 at 12:41

Is it too late to improve drainage?

With bulbs already coming up and annuals ready to go in, I've realize my soil is not draining 
Replies: 3    Views: 569
Last Post: 18/05/2013 at 13:53
4 threads returned