auntie betty

Latest posts by auntie betty

Tall shrubs in shade

Posted: 24/05/2013 at 08:39

Fatsia japonica. I have one in a big pot under a huge conifer and it does GREAT. Like similar conditions as ivy. Very much a shady woodland guy, but looks tropical  think glossy evergreen castor-oil plant. That's be my choice.

Easy care plants

Posted: 24/05/2013 at 08:32

For a special plant, why not a 'family' apple tree - the ones where several varieties grow on the one tree? Verbena bonariensis great too - cheap, easy, good for wildlife and with those tall triangular-section stems, fascinating to kids. Honesty's good too - can use the seed pods for autumn craft projects. Sunflowers a must... mix up seeds of different varieties and see whose is tallest when u break up for summer, and again come Sep term.

Border design help please??!!

Posted: 24/05/2013 at 08:19

Is it sunny or shady, soggy, dry or average soil, and how big do you want the plants to be? You could use pyracantha to break up the fence - grow it like a climber. And euonymous fortunei is good too. Both are tough and unfussy as to conditions. Hard to go further without answers to the above...

getting rid of ground elder

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 18:17

I agree bookertoo. Not the worst weed by a long way. That said, I've managed to eradicate mine completely (TOUCH WOOD) with a combination of digging it out, waiting for it to reappear and then BRAMBLE KILLER. Had to do that 2 years running, but haven't seen any in 5 years now. I personally find bindweed and brambles harder to get rid of, and more unsightly too.

ideas for ground cover plants

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 18:13

I do find many heucheras flower on and on if you snip the spent flower stems off promptly. And there's so many fab ones to try! Great plants - rude not to have a few, surely?


Posted: 18/05/2013 at 05:47

Yep, u can use a broom to brush the dead bits out. Just 'sweep' the surface. It'll kind of rain conifer crud, so u might wanna put a tarp down. This'll allow air and light to circulate. You mite be able to let it grow this year and then pull some nearby long bits through the damaged sections to green them up. They're definitely not shade patches, are they? Where something's planted close to the hedge and has shaded out behind it? Conifer hedges do not take at all kindly to being planted against, which is why people tend to use yew for that... Anyway, give it a sweep (maybe after dark or the neighbours may send for the padded van) keep it really well watered this year, maybe give it a liquid feed every few weeks and see wot happens. That'll give it best chance of recovery anyway. xx

Moving laurel bushes

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 05:37

Yep, prune the top growth right now or u'll lose them for sure. They used to have the right amount of root to support the to growth, but not anymore! Don't worry - if they live, they'll grow back fine (and fast) next year. And get them out of the bucket or you'll drown them. Air round roots is just as crucial as water. Get them pruned and planted immediately (though I struggle to keep just one laurel to a 5ft 'ball'). Dont over water, or you'll rot off new roots. Just give em a soak if soill dry from about a finger-depth below surface. Good luck.

ideas for ground cover plants

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 05:28

Geranium macrorrhizum is great low ground cover for sun or shade. Flowers on and off all summer, especially it u shear it back a bit after first flush. Flowers aren't scented, but foliage smells lovely. Good but not invasive spreader and easy to propagate - literally almost anything with some stem wil root - so cheap way to fill space too. I've got white, pale pink and deep pink versions. Its my go-to guy for colourful ground cover, especially in difficult conditions.

How to create base of bog garden?

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 06:53

lovely! Yeah, dont worry about 'poor' soil. Just any spent compost u've got plus topsoil. I also wouldnt worry too much about holes - hit it with a lump hammer afew times and you're away. Cracks are better than holes provided they do go right thru. U cud also bung any bits of polystyrene (plant trays, packaging) in the bottom to encourage water to sit low, rather than right at the surface where freezing/stagnation a possible issue. I can recommend getting some darmera peltata btw. Does the job of a gunnera, but much hardier and smaller enough to be of better scale. Love it. Got loads spare actually if you're Yorkshire area! Ooh, and I'd do astilbes too. Yum.

what makes a good window box / Basket

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 08:55

Either all one thing (ok, maybe two) or cram em with zillons of different things! More is more, for me. Lavenders with purple bacopa underneath is nice. I've also underplanted summer bedding with little daffs, iris retic, white muscari, and smaller alliums. All did well. I do like heuchera in trough-shaped planters, though vine weevils are a menace. I'm considering red pelargoniums with golden creeping jenny this year...

Discussions started by auntie betty

topiary ideas

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best annuals for shade / partial shade

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Flowers for July?

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