auntie betty

Latest posts by auntie betty

If you could have any plant / tree in your garden

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 06:42

Yep, I'll second the cedar of lebanon and the cornus kousa. And HUGE shrub roses with other flowering climbers through them. In my grounds, you understand... And espaliered fruit all along the limestone walls of my kitchen garden... And the aforementioned monster wisteria. Mine would be white though... And some enormous topiarised yew... possibly to match the peacocks...  Bum - I liked my garden this morning until I started this...

Weeds, what to do?[Complete beginner]

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 06:34

Depends on the weeds... Do a bit of research on the difference between annual and perennial weeds and try to identify what you've got. Annuals can be hoed off and forgotten about, though tend to be more widespread and can sprout overnight, perennials need to be poisoned (but only when you've no crops in there), dug out fully (ie. the roots too) or just regularly chopped off to weaken them. Typical perennials include dandelion, bindweed, nettle, ground elder but you could have all sorts in there. The trouble with veggie plot weeds is that the best thing to sort annual weeds is to hoe off weed seedlings and mulch the surface to stop more germinating - but you also want to create perfect conditions for YOUR seedlings! Kind of can't have one without the other. Sow in rows and hoe between is really all u can do about these. In sunny weather, you can leave the hoed off ones one the surface and they'll shrivel and die. Dont leave bits of perennial root, or you'll just be propagating them nicely. Bx

Help needed to ID plant

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 06:23

Sorry, can't tell from pic. Need close-up. You may just have to wait and see what it does come Aug/Sep - traditionally when grassy things show their hand and flower.

Raised bed over Leylandii stumps

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 06:21

Its great in windy exposed spots because it lets a bit filter through, so not as likely to blow down. The Gardman stuff is best. Comes in all sorts of sizes - also easy to cut down if buying tall and getting 2 lengths out of each roll works out cheaper... I used it as an excuse to buy the heavy-duty staple-gun I've always wanted. Getting the stumps sufficiently out may be less difficult than you think tho - I've done several over the years and they tend to be very soft. As I said, a mattock or pick axe works well. Churns up the ground so you can get the matted roots out easily too. Depending on how physically able (and keen) you are (I'm obviously a girl, but quite a big strong one) it may be easier than building the bed.. Good luck anyway - post us a pic when you've finished - I always like a nosey. Bx

Raised bed over Leylandii stumps

Posted: 02/06/2013 at 05:43

They wont regrow, but they will rot. I'd saw the off as low as you canso they arent rotting into your raised soil, filling it with woodlice and, potentially, fungal infections, and then go for it. I'm getting rid of my leylandii hedge this autumn and replacing with fence. I'm gonna saw them off low and then plant between the stumps so they vanish. My bed wont be raised tho, so I'm also gonna use a mattock to remove what roots I can. Only planting a couple of climbers and some low ground cover, so should be ok. Can I recommend willow screening for covering the fence? I used a dark brown one to hide a scruffy view somewhere where proper fence was unneccesary and it works a treat, just disappearing into the background. And ladybirds love it!

Advice on replanting young unknown tree

Posted: 02/06/2013 at 05:33

Yeah, looks like prunus nigra. Dont prune it unless it looks like its struggling to support its top-growth (ie. leaves dropping off severely). Though you can remove some lower branches if you don't want them - no point it wasting resources growing bits that aren't useful. Mix some well-rotted manure into the soil you're going to backfill the hole with (70:30 soil to manure is plenty) and tread the soil down afterwards so its sitting in a little dip, which'll help it collect plenty of water while its getting its roots out. And you're done! I only stake trees in windy spots for the first year to stop the rootball rocking and damaging new roots. After that, unless they're at risk of being snapped in gales, I remove the stakes, as a bit of blowing around helps the trunk thicken up (kind of the way weightlifting strains and slightly damages human muscles to build them), Lovely tree, especially if it gets sun behind it, so it glows.

Need a climber for a pergola in full shade, ideally fragrant! Any ideas?

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 05:03

If you can find an evergreen climber that smells gorgeous, and grows in the dark out of a pot of dried-out dust you'll be as rich as Croesus. I would think your best bet might be ivy (not the 'weedy' one tho! - google hedera 'clotted cream' or 'buttercup' and see what I mean) with one of the smaller, more shade-tolerant honeysuckles thru it. Neither should mind life in a pot (so long as its decent sized - square ones are good) and the honeysuckle will be somewhat restrained by the ivy. If it flowers, you'll get your scent, if it doesn't, whip it out and you've still got the pretty ivy established in the meantime while you think about what to try next.

Tall shrubs in shade

Posted: 26/05/2013 at 20:05

My fatsia is 8ft tall and that's in a pot! Golden bamboo (phyllostachys aureum)? I suspect red robin wouldn't be very red in that much shade - in which case u may as well use laurel! Aucuba (spotted laurel) might be nice...

Pond Edging

Posted: 26/05/2013 at 20:02

I've used bergenia cordifolia, various heucheras, various ajugas, hebes, prostrate conifers, ivies, carex pendula (any carex really), cotoneasters, geranium macrorrhizum, saxifraga urbium, stachys byzantina, euonymous fortunei, epimediums... to name a few! I'd suggest having each plant in a clump at least 24-30 inches across and choose 3 or 4 favourites to repeat in amongst the one-offs, to keep it unified.

Waterlogged plant

Posted: 24/05/2013 at 08:41

You can't do anything other than let them dry out and give them time. Whether they recover or not is out of your hands apart from that. Good luck to them! xx

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