London (change)


Latest posts by Birdy13

Progress so far

Posted: 01/11/2014 at 13:35


Both sites look reborn. I expect you feel you can breathe again.

Enlarging a pond

Posted: 01/11/2014 at 13:27

If you want to keep the existing pond's water to transfer its present inhabitants and minerals into the new pond, those big flexi buckets hold masses.

Depending on how big the existing pond is a few of those might take it all.

Also saves having to dispose of too much water in other parts of the garden.

Cotoneaster, ferns and Cotswold stone

Posted: 31/10/2014 at 20:47

Thank you, snowathlete, for that encouragement. 

Cotoneaster, ferns and Cotswold stone

Posted: 31/10/2014 at 17:28

Pansyface said: What an extremely tidy and well-mannered garden you have there Birdy. Immaculate.

Only that corner I'm afraid - but thank you Nut, Pansy and Dove for the feedback - and the nice comments.

Cotoneaster, ferns and Cotswold stone

Posted: 31/10/2014 at 15:26

The background:

A rather difficult to access corner of my garden was a bit of a nightmare when it came to cutting one particular bit of hedge. Anything of value growing there would get damaged by my feet and the process of gathering up the hedge clippings.

This year I decided to do something about it and in the process make a positive feature of the rather dark, northfacing corner.

The plan:

I moved out plants ( which regularly became overwhelmed with weeds anyway) and cleared the ground.

I built a little curved one brick high wall (engineering bricks for durability) with a shallow foundation around my ferns.

I then covered the ground with weed suppressing membrane and a thick layer of Cotswold stone chippings. 

I can get to everything now and will be able to liven up the whole area with some colourful pots.



My qualms and query:

I'm wondering now whether the limestone content of the Cotswold stone will leach through to the ferns and cotoneaster and have a detrimental effect on them.

I know it is too late to backpedal but I might be able to rectify the pH artificially if it becomes a problem. 

Can someone please tell me what are the acid v alkali implications of Cotwold stone chippings?

The ground has always been fairly shaded and damp and the ferns always loved it, but I also wonder whether the hedge might need more water now the ground is covered with membrane and chippings.


Remember to wash your bird feeders

Posted: 24/10/2014 at 11:21

Probably better to leave them soaking for a few days in a bucket of water to loosen everything, maybe with the addition of a suitable anti-mould or disinfectant. Then hose off preferably with a pressure washer.


Posted: 22/10/2014 at 22:21

Thank you so much for that advice, artjak - I should have thought about the heat aspect although I know I must have heard the point made often enough on the gardening shows. Also I'd  not realised that the heat build up could vary that much according to the type of composter.

Just seen the Compost Stirrer on Amazon. Seems so simple and logical. Hopefully the designers will take on board the reviews which state the handle needs to be about a foot longer to facilitate the action of the tool - I think I'll still get one, though.

Hmm!  I wonder if I could modify it?

How Would You Over-Winter These?

Posted: 21/10/2014 at 22:45

I let mine die back naturally last year and lifted the corms quite late I seem to remember. There had just been a frost (not ideal I know) and most of the top growth had rotted back so I  tidied them up with scissors.

I then left the corms spaced out in trays in the greenhouse (unheated) to allow the great clods of earth they came up with to dry. Over the ensuing weeks I removed the surplus earth to let the corms dry off properly (not dry out!).

Then, around Feb/March, as spring approached, I covered them all shallowly with a good layer of compost which was kept only just damp (sprayed now and then).

After a few weeks new shoots began to appear. Once these were an inch or so high they were planted out again in troughs and pots and I was thrilled to find they all produced even better blooms than the previous year, (which had been only my first year's attempt at growing begonias, so I'm no expert!)


Note: some of the above are not trailing begonias. 


Posted: 21/10/2014 at 22:03

Thanks Hostafan - seems the operative word is 'if' - my compost never seems to rot down enough.

Now, it was a different matter when we had our wormery, years ago: the compost they produced was amazing!


Posted: 21/10/2014 at 19:27

Regarding using grass clippings in the compost bin:

1. Is there any risk of lawn weeds multiplying in next year's compost?

2. Do all weeds get killed off by the composting process?

(My bin is Dalek style so I can't turn the heap to help things along...)

Discussions started by Birdy13

Possible weeds ... And lilies!

Some weed identifications and advice on lilies needed 
Replies: 14    Views: 277
Last Post: 15/05/2016 at 20:03

Planting out hydrangeas

Why is my Hydrangea Hortensia not thriving? 
Replies: 12    Views: 740
Last Post: 18/06/2015 at 13:51

What is this plant please?

ID needed for plant I saved... 
Replies: 2    Views: 392
Last Post: 16/05/2015 at 21:56

Plant Identification please

Proliferating bulbs  
Replies: 29    Views: 1466
Last Post: 23/03/2015 at 07:57

Exotic plant or weed or triffid?

Just another plant ID request please. 
Replies: 11    Views: 873
Last Post: 17/12/2014 at 22:00

Do Bramleys get bitter pit?

What is this condition that has affected my Bramley apples this year? 
Replies: 5    Views: 541
Last Post: 20/11/2014 at 14:45

Weed or flower?

Plant identification please and advice on planting under an apple tree. 
Replies: 20    Views: 1161
Last Post: 14/11/2014 at 11:07

Cotoneaster, ferns and Cotswold stone

Effect on plants of the limestone 'mulch 
Replies: 7    Views: 589
Last Post: 31/10/2014 at 20:47

Is it too late to cut back lavender?

Pruning lavender 
Replies: 3    Views: 739
Last Post: 08/10/2014 at 20:03

Service 503 Unavailable

Can't post photos 
Replies: 4    Views: 591
Last Post: 25/09/2014 at 01:43

Propagating Stephanotis

Can I take cuttings from my Stephanotis house plant? 
Replies: 6    Views: 810
Last Post: 27/09/2014 at 21:39

Advice needed on Strawberry leaf disease

Appearance of what looks like rust on newly planted strawberries 
Replies: 1    Views: 448
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 22:08

Dianthus reborn?

ID needed for unexpected trough contents 
Replies: 3    Views: 521
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:29

Fern flourished through mild winter.

What should I do about fern whose foliage has not died down as normal? 
Replies: 13    Views: 785
Last Post: 02/03/2014 at 22:35

The Bully and the Policeman

Garden pests (human - but only just!) 
Replies: 33    Views: 2182
Last Post: 14/10/2013 at 20:54
1 to 15 of 17 threads