auntie betty

Latest posts by auntie betty


Posted: 09/06/2012 at 06:00

Yeah, that day may never come for me - my boys are 3 and 4 and the elder has Asperger Syndrome - the relevant part of which is his habit of eating almost anything that ISN'T food! So the hostas are destined to stay in their pots. One is so huge it takes 3 of us to shift it about! Worth it tho. 

HELP !!!!!what about ground cover plants- does it work?

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 16:05

Again, it depends. I manure-mulch for feeding and moisture retention and tidiness. But it doesn't help my annual weeds - they just root in it. But thats because I have constant blow-in from my surrounds. Denying light through close planting and ground cover suits my situation better.


Posted: 08/06/2012 at 15:59

I'm always envious of anyone who can grow hostas in a border. I have to keep them in isolated pots - even so, they get eaten by September, as by them nearby plants are allowing them to abseil in. I cant use slug pellets because I have 2 preschool aged children who love to poke around in the undergrowth. I'm going to have another go with Hak.... May make a purchase this weekend in fact...


Posted: 07/06/2012 at 20:46

I've got some cheap little jingly bell xmas deckies that i bet would put them off - they sound off at the slightest movement. Quite a pretty sound by human standards but might well scare a pigeon... Bet you'd get em on a certain online auction site or south american book seller. Or maybe one of those horribly loud wind chimes the garden centre "granny tatt" sections sell (sorry grannies - but thats what my charming OH calls it). Thats it for ideas from me. Good luck. x

Clematis in pot.

Posted: 07/06/2012 at 11:13

I've got a couple of wide but shallow pots that I put a kind of hanging-baskety display into every summer. I sit them in the top of my clem pot both to cover its scruffy ankles up and keep its roots cool. Works really well. Saves the bedding competing with the clem for food and water, and avoids damaging its roots when you change the display too. You just have to make sure that when you water, you run the hose between the pots so the clem gets its own supply. You can even have a different display for winter, though I'd recommend leaving it naked once the clem starts with new shoots in the spring, though, so there's nowehere for slugs and snails to hide.


Posted: 07/06/2012 at 08:20

Grow a sacrificial malus? Get a gun and some pastry? Motion sensor attached to a sprinkler system? Or you could try hanging some cds/dvds in there to put them off...Celine Dion may have found her purpose in life after all.... They could well go back next door once your neighbours tree recovers so the cds could be a short-term thing.  Pesky varmints.

Garden gaffes

Posted: 07/06/2012 at 08:11

This is the most giblet-shrivelling garden gaffe I've ever witnessed...  About 10 years ago, a good friend of mine had a small shady town garden that had a difffcult patch of mixed creeping jenny, mint, and the taller lysimachia that he was sick of.  It was maybe 2m square. He wanted a lawn, so rotovated the whole garden (probably 8m square), including the dodgy bit, and then seeded. What he'd actually done, of course, was nicely propagate his problem and broadcast the cuttings all over the entire patch (along wih an astonishing amount of sticky clay subsoil - he wanted to do a 'proper job' after all). Unsurprisingly, the lawn seed didn't take but the 'cuttings' did and he moved within the year... Eek.

ideas for a container on a SW facing wall

Posted: 07/06/2012 at 07:42

My MIL has a lovely yellow azalea in a pot thats been thriving for years. We planted it in 50:50 ericaceous compost and john innes, and she only ever waters it with rainwater to keep the acidity up. She also feeds it with miracle grow every year both before and after flowering and occasionally gives the leaves a spritz with half-strength tomato food. It flowers forever. Cant remember what variety it is... I chose it for her because yellow was so unusual to find.  Its now about 1m height and spread.

Shadyish paving creepers

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 18:31

Anyone got any suggestions for plants that'll creep through the gaps between paving in slightly shady spots? Soil is average loam and limy. I've done your bugles, sedums, violets, tiny ivies and london pride, and whatever I use needs to be pretty tough.  I'm not fussed about flowering given the shade factor - just survival of the foliage (so many things end up slug-bait)! Any creeping toughies in your garden that you just can't get rid of? The pavers form rough access paths within deep borders and terraces, so gaps average about 2 inches wide. Doesn't matter if it spills over, just so long as the plant doesn't mind it. I'm really looking for some things that'll grow pretty flat - no more than 4 or 5 inches tall ideally. Any thought folks...?


Posted: 05/06/2012 at 23:19

I can recommend sitting in the sun watching somebody else carry out your every gardening whim as a tolerable way to recover from surgery - though mine was only a knee (which I wrecked whilst... you guessed it.... GARDENING). Hope your recovery is as swift, painless and lasting as possible. 

Whats the trick with hackonowotsit Obelixx? Mine went all brown and tatty in my last garden so I eventually got the huff and composted it.  Tears all round! I'd love to try again but have been reluctant as I have no idea what went wrong before... I've always wanted golden robinia too and did have a potential opening for one having removed a laburnum (we've got two small very grubby boys now, who like to dig for bugs to feed the fish right under that spot), but this latest sickness that's apparently killing them all off scared me too much. I'm with you on the whole purple -v- gold/lime thing. Or purple -v- minty variagated if my eyes need a rest. I just wish purple foliage was easier in a largely shady garden like mine. I tell you, one day soon there's gonna be a reckoning between me and my gazillion massive hawthorns... Its starting to feel like I'm gardening in a forest.

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Last Post: 06/06/2012 at 22:11
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