auntie betty

Latest posts by auntie betty

Ground cover plants through a fabric mulch

Posted: 12/06/2012 at 03:08

Yep, if you want ground cover, you need to remove the membrane where you want anything to grow - it's job, after all, is stopping things from growing. Whip the relevant bits off, wait a couple of weeks to see if weeds spring up, spray them off or dig them up when they do, and then you can plant. I'd suggest you tackle an area at a time and go steady - you'll get an idea of how things are doing then before you commit yourself. If you can see whether its sunny/shady, wet/dry soil, and preferably acid/alkaline I could give you a list of plants to consider. I'm big on ground cover myself, particularly under trees.

coverup climber wanted

Posted: 12/06/2012 at 02:56

Sollya heterophylla likes sun and only goes about 10ft. Well mannered twiner, so likes a drainpipe. Evergreen too, which may be a bonus. Jasmine's much the same sort of size if grown in a pot and shouldn't mind baking. Might get a waft in your window too!

Crazy paving

Posted: 12/06/2012 at 02:47

Cheapest easiest option would be some sort of aggregate - stone chips are less skiddy than gravel cos they're not smooth so don't slide - hence good on driveways. Also less likely to fall off the edge. Then some nice rough real stone slabs here and there. I wouldn't think you'd need membrane unless the paving is already very badly damaged and weedy. Have to say, I'm not a crazy paving fan, but my mum has loads in her garden. Its been done really well, though, so she couldn't justify ripping it out.  A builder friend suggested edging it with properly mortared in driveway setts in a slightly darker grey-brown - which she did - and its amazing what a difference that little border made. Its actually nice now! Never thought I'd EVER say that. Didn't cost her much either.


Posted: 12/06/2012 at 02:37

Oh, I did work out how many bricks would need to be split in half and got the builder's merchant guy to do it for me before I chucked em in the boot! I ended up with 2 planters about 4ft wide, and 2ft front to back and high. You could grow bamboo in that, especially as theres soil underneath too. Put plenty of manure in with soil based compost (like John Innes) and you're good.


Posted: 12/06/2012 at 02:29

Nope, sorry, the safe clump-forming ones (like phyllostachys) would need much more depth, and the not-safe running ones would go straight under your patio and come up through. Don't go near them. You could get more depth by building a raised bed along there, or you could plant them in ENORMOUS pots. I'm talking several FEET diameter. Raised brick/block bed is cheapest and best - more room to grow in a footprint you can keep tighter to the boundary. And you really don't need to be a master bricklayer as you can't go too wobbly with 3 or 4 courses of bricks or 2 breezeblocks. Did it myself at my last house along the side of the garage. And I'm a GIRL!

North east facing wall

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 09:41

I'd go for the hydrangea if you want a fairly densely-covered green wall - its a lovely fresh green and the white flowers are long-lasting and beautiful. Thats the way to go if you want simple, clean and fresh. Its a low-maintenance option too as it'll self-cling after a bit of initial encourgagement with a few temporary wires and only needs to be pruned if you want to.

If you want more flower than foliage and don't mind giving it all a bit more attention in terms of pruning and tying-in, I'd have one of the above-named roses plus a clematis (or even two!) through it. Most clems and all roses want some sunshine on their heads, but by no means would want it all day long - their petals are delicate and will frazzle in baking heat. Both would prefer cool, moist, rich conditions at their feet. The hydrangea likes the same, but would tolerate drier, poorer conditions.

Honeysuckle may also be worth a look if you're a particular fan and don't mind keeping it under control.

Spoilt for choice! x

unwanted ivy

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 09:28

Bramble killer usually works for me where ordinary weedkillers don't, including ancient ivies, brambles and bindweed. It can sometimes help to bruise some of the ivy leaves a bit, just by whacking with a rake or something - their surface is fairly waxy, making it hard for topical herbicides to penetrate. I also recommend taping a cardboard cone over the spray nozzle if there are plants around that you want to keep. It just limits how much poison can get blown onto stuff it wasn't intended for.

what to plant

Posted: 10/06/2012 at 13:32

Mine push up through just about any herbaceous perennial, but are particularly nice through alchemilla mollis as they flower lime green under the purple alliums, or through persicaria 'dimity' as that flowers well after the alliums are gone, extending the flower power in that spot. I also like them with large ferns, and find they tolerate a bit of shade so long as the ground isn't soggy. Pretty with paeonies and also roses. The world's your oyster really.

Plant suggestions please

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 10:49

Wow. PLENTY to think about there. Thanks all!

Plant suggestions please

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 06:04

Oh thank God - a reply! Thought I'd been shunned! I'll have to look into that one Jenny, not something I've grown before. Thanks a lot. x

Discussions started by auntie betty

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