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Latest posts by blairs

Shrubs for the front garden wall

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 18:30
waterbutts wrote (see)

Hello Haisie,

Your planting scheme will be OK short term but you have a lot of big plants for a small area there! The Portuguese laurel grows into a small tree and yews grow pretty quickly and are enormous when they are fully grown.

Enjoy them while they are babies but be ready to say goodbye to them in the not too distant future!

You can of course prune both - Yew makes a damn good hedge plant and Portugese Laural is also a compact hedge plant.

frost in the east coast greenhouse

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 16:51

Ideal heating is an electric fan heater with set to come on at 7C with a view of the greenhouse staying at 5C. I have no leky near my greenhouse (25m from house and no outside supply) so use a paraffin heater (you can get covered ones that do not soot the whole place if the wick is too big - mine is by a German company Biogreen)

Shrubs for the front garden wall

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 16:44

Problem with most Hydrangea is that you are staring at brown sticks for 7- 8 months of the year as the leaves are late at regrowing in late spring and it defoliates after a hard frost. I would go for evergreen plants such as Portugese Laurel, Mahonia, Juniper, Azalea do fine with some ericacious feed in my pH neutral soil. It is also a good space to add loads of bulbs for changing colour over the year - Daffs, Crocus, Tulips, Crocosmia etc.

frost in the east coast greenhouse

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 09:41

I thought Tenby was in Pembrokshire, Wales? Anyway what Dovefromabove has said is totally true. I live near the coast and my wooden polycarbonate greenhouse is in a very sheltered spot. My 2 next door neighbours have both had their greenhouses blown over or the glass blow out as they put theirs in exposed sites. You still get frost and the low temps even being near the sea, it just tends to be less of it or a degree or so higher than inland, so investing in heating would be worthwhile.

Arum Lily Crowborough

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 09:32

I only got 2-3 flowers per plant this year. How damp is your soil? My Arum (I had forgotten they are called that and Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Crowborough' is a mouthfull!) are in heavy soil but free draining being near a west facing wall, so I am always needing to water them.

Moans about GW

Posted: 10/09/2013 at 21:15

I like all gardening programmes! Alan Titchmarch's ones on ITV, the ones on BBC and the odd one on SKY. My favourite programme is from the US on HGTV ( as the Americans really do know how to landscape well.

Lavender border in acid claggy soil - too big a battle?

Posted: 09/09/2013 at 22:10

Lavender do not need manure (unless you want it to grow lanky) and sand keeps moisture at the roots (bad idea). You are better to add in lots of large grit and bark and work that into the clay soil, adding in no compost (unless it is pure blue clay!). That will keep the soil light and drainage improved.

Lavender in slightly claggy acid soil, too big a battle?

Posted: 09/09/2013 at 22:02

Do not add sand or compost - just grit. Sand holds water and stays damp and so does compost and you are also feeding the soil. Just add in lots of grit (pea gravel is great). I have Lavender (Hidcote) on a south facing slope with really compacted clay soil and even with the very wet winter last year, they are totally fine.

Gooseberry & raspberry cane deaths!

Posted: 09/09/2013 at 14:36

"  They are well manured, fed (growmore slow release fertiliser) and watered.  The site is sheltered, free draining and in full sun."

Sounds perfect - so I am with Waterbutts - have a look at the roots and check for grubs or evidence of them.

Hi new to the forum and looking for design ideas

Posted: 09/09/2013 at 08:09

Looking great already! I would add a similar but smaller curving border on the other side - it will make the garden look bigger and kids do not need large expanses of lawn. If you are lucky to live in a mild part of Ireland then your options of plants are wide.

I would add Fargesia bamboo as an evergreen backbone for the back of the border and in between put tall perennials like Hollyhock, Delphinium, Eryngium etc between those (Artichoke is a member of the Sunflower family and is cheap to buy lots of 'bulbs' for and they have small yellow flowers - look out for them in shops). Smaller perennials like Rudbeckia, Primrose, Primula and bulbs like Tulips, Daffs, Crocosmia, Crocus etc all add to the cottage look and are all low maintainance. You can get all of those quite cheaply over the next few months as bare roots or bulbs.

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