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Latest posts by blairs

Living fence

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 17:33

Willows roots are an issue near houses and drains but the living fence, with its root competition, constant pruning and juvenilsation, means that the roots are not an issue. The Willow is never allowed to grow full size, hence the roots are much smaller.

When Should I be planting my seeds?

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 14:21

I plant Garlic in September for harvest the next year. I soak the bulbs for a few days (roots should sprout rapidly) then place directly into their planting spot. Frost cause the bulbs to split. No reason for them not to be planted now.

Chives (from bulbs/roots) can also be planted out now. Mine are coming up now (raised south facing bed).

Raised bed with clay soil

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 10:53


"decent sharp sand is full of grit. with very little sand."

Well just buy you said above, sand is not "big enough to break the clay particles up, they just combine and can make things worse" Hence there is no reason to ever add sand to clay soil.

Sand is also good at keeping water, so terrible in winter when around roots - you can build sand castle with damp sand because of this property.

Gravel and bark and compost is best thing to break down clay soil.

Raised bed with clay soil

Posted: 03/02/2015 at 19:23

Sand and clay = cement in summer and root rot in winter. Never add sharp sand to clay soil!

Fork in compost, bark, twigs and cardboard (ripped up) to loosen up the soil then add some top soil and manure. I would put Lavender at the front of the raised bed: you are supposed to add rocks at the front next to the wood to add in drainage.

lemon grass

Posted: 03/02/2015 at 09:48

Lemongrass is easy to grow from seed and will root in water from supermarket stalks. It is tropical and will not appreciate frosts - cold greenhouses can be as low as the outside temps, esp at night, so I would also say to keep it indoors. I heat my greenhouse and have lost a few tropical plants like Iresine and some Agave (attenuata) as they need temps above 5C and it fell to almost zero a few times.

Freesia - how to get them to be more than an annual

Posted: 02/02/2015 at 13:40

I have tried Freesia bulbs a few times, getting their lovely scent in summer, but they never regrow. If I dig them up now they are still in one piece, some with new growth, but I get no shoots and never any new flowers. Is there a knack with Freesia?

They are in pots, free draining and rich, pretty much frost free conditions and warmest part of garden, so I would have thought ideal conditions.  Different suppliers of Freesia, so not same bulbs.

Bargain Buy of 2015

Posted: 02/02/2015 at 11:05

I bought 2 large palm trees (Brahea armata) for £10. They were £75 each. I kept my eye on them and I think most people think that they are less hardy than they are. I have underplanted with black grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens') and mixed pebbles. I think it looks good and a bargain.

Improve my soil

Posted: 01/02/2015 at 20:37

Am also suspicious that you say nothing grows. Plants need light, nutrients and water, so does the area have all of these? A raised bed might be the answer if you tell us more.

Willow trees

Posted: 31/01/2015 at 14:58

Willow roots go down deep and naturally droop, weep or bend. In fact the bend prevents them from wind damage. As per the above having them removed will probably cause more damage, so stop worrying and move on.

'mind your own business'

Posted: 31/01/2015 at 09:27

Crisis averted. I will not plant this stuff. I really do not want problem areas. Apart from Mint on one corner I have really got rid of all problem weeds in my garden last year after a long effort and much mulch.

Discussions started by blairs

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12 threads returned