auntie betty

Latest posts by auntie betty


Posted: 01/09/2012 at 19:24

I'm in North Yorkshire unfortunately Jat. Thanks for the thought, though - much appreciated! Not too worried about getting rid of stems - this is for the top of my (disused) railway embankment - the back of which is so steep and covered in scrub and hawthorns that we only use it to dump all our green waste down, where it happily composts over a period of years! In the meantime, its good rummaging ground for hedgehogs and toads and not much else. I'm wondering if I should put up some horizontal wires, starting very low to the ground to try to accomodate its hugeness? The soil is good for the first 6inches or so, but then you're into the limestone from which the embankment was built... I can whack out a decent hole but would prefer to plant a bare rooted plant so I don't have to. Any thoughts on whether its really necessary, or will a tougher getaway just limit quantity of the plant rather than quality, d'you think? Does anyone grow these successfully in containers? If they do, then i'm thinking i'd probably get away with a smaller hole! Tough rooted plants do get down to decent depth, its just a bit of a struggle for them initially I think. Whaddya'll reckon - worth a punt?

storm damage

Posted: 01/09/2012 at 09:33

Yeah, you can maintain the shape by chopping out dead stems and then pruning by hand to just past a leaf or bud. You can also go at it with a hedge trimmer to get the rough shape and then just tidy up the tips by hand pruning if that's easier - depends how dense it is.  After the first spring flowering and when there's no risk of frosts (wherever you are!) is fine. You'll lose the 2nd flush, but it'll have time to grow next year's flowering wood through the summer. x


Posted: 01/09/2012 at 09:21

I fancy growing my own hops - for decoration in the house, rather than brewing (though what's the betting my OH can't resist th homebrew urge). Has anybody grown them with any success? The area I have in mind is a sunny willlow-screen covered fence, 8ft tall, 35ft long and the soil is very well drained and limy. I could add some drip irrigation if necessary. Any advice on cultvation, buying the right (female) plants and how best to support them would be gratefully received. Cheers dears! Bx

why don't people bother to read post before answering them.

Posted: 28/08/2012 at 16:53


Hedge Ideas

Posted: 28/08/2012 at 16:51

Can I suggest investing in a leaf blower if you don't already have one..? Whenever I clip my yew hedge (next to a gravel drive - eek) I find its all very well raking up the large bits, but the teeny bits are a pain, so I blow them under the hedge and forget about them! Having thought about it some more, I think I'd plump for the lonicera.  xx

Summer and Winter Planting Advice

Posted: 27/08/2012 at 20:07

i'd go for an early daff, white muscari bulbs, allium 'purple sensation' bulbs, maybe some drumstick alliums or chives, add a heuchera in for permanent foliage (you can plant em in the garden if they get too big after a few years) and then plant an empty pot or two in the top - this you can fill with tender bedding such as pelargoniums or petunias for summer and then replace them with violas and maybe a teensy skimmia come autumn/winter. any major gaps can be filled with houseleeks. I'd advise watering on some vine weevil killer after planting and again come May.

Flowers for July?

Posted: 26/08/2012 at 11:58

Hey all, my garden has suffered this year from its usual lack of flower in the 'dead zone' after all my cottage hardies have finished but before my later stuff begins. Just wondered what y'all used, other than annuals, to keep the interest going when the geraniums pack up....

Climbers for wet areas

Posted: 25/08/2012 at 07:12

Yeah, pyracantha might tolerate it ok. As might euonymous fortuneii or lonicera nitida. All are shrubs rather than climbers but can be tied in to clothe walls/trelis etc and then clipped to keep them flat. You migt consider planting whatever yu use on a bit of a mound to reduce waterlogging at the roots.

Hedge Ideas

Posted: 24/08/2012 at 19:30

Yep, I'd say beech or hornbeam would be the way to go. Or a mixture to get a tapestry effect - very pretty.You could also mix in some hazel. In an ideal world, you'd mix in some hawthorn too, but if you don't want thorns... If you want to keep it formally clipped and tight, you'd be best with yew or lonicera nitida (golden or dark green, or mixed). Yew takes forever, but the shrubby honeysuckles are fast but don't want to get massive either, I've got a mixed hornbeam/beech that I also grow some of the smaller climbing honeysuckles through for colour. Have a look at traditional hedging techniques to get some ideas on best way to plant.

Anyone know what shrub/tree/bush this is?????

Posted: 24/08/2012 at 19:18

Could also be aucuba japonica (known as spotted laurel, though isnt a laurel) - some varieties more pointed leaves than others... I'd suggest searching google images for both and see wot comes up...

Discussions started by auntie betty

topiary ideas

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Flowers for July?

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