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Latest posts by blairs

Along The Eastern Border...!!

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 16:16

I would keep the existing bed and not extend the lawn. I have 2 little kids and they do not need lots of grass.

I would start by going over the whold bed with a garden fork to de-compact the soil, perhaps adding in bark and copost. It looks heavy at the moment and that will help drainage.

You can leave a bit for the kids to dig and sow seeds in: they will enjoy that!

I would plant some evergreen shrubs for interest. Bamboo, Phormium, coloured Cordylines (electric pink - google it!) will lift the area. If you like bulbs then they will be coming on the market now and they can be added after you decompact the soil. I would then cover the area with a mulch of bark to keep weeds from goring and to look nice. Add bedding plants next year with what you like.

What's been eating my shrubs?

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 15:45

The leaf on the left looks more like VIne Weevil damage. Leaf cutter Bee leave large round cuts, Vine weevil smaller notched damage. It could be Caterpiller damage, if you can see little poops on lower leaves or see Catterpillers then it is them, if not it is Vine Weevil and you need to treat for them.

Dumb Question Amnesty!

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 13:13

Get some decking planks and make a long custom made trough down the area where you want to create a barrier, it will look better than lots of troughs - you are creating a narrow raised bed. You can stain it any colour. 1-2 decking boards are around 12 inches deep each, so that is a decent planting debth.

Plants - Camilla, Phormium, Tamarisk all come to mind that will survive in soil on the dry side and are evergreen.

Get it off your chest

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 14:35

My wife has done literally nothing to our garden but likes to give her opinion. She is one that likes to 'see soil' and then compan about the weeds growing because of it. Her parents are the same (their garden is all patio and gravel and almost no plants!). I prefer the verdant look with lots of growth cramed in. They seem to moan about everthing, even the amount of time I spend on the garden (which is after work and the kids away to bed!).

Walls and Hedges

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 14:30

Ok, so it is a raised bed. 2-3 ft sounds fair. What type of hedge are you thinking of? Beech will do well in such a free draining soil in a raised bed and it keeps its brown leaves in winter - so good for screening.

Walls and Hedges

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 10:27

Am not sure what you mean by "how wide the wall should be for planting hedging plants". Do you need a wall and a hedge next to each other??


Posted: 30/08/2013 at 10:24

You can restrict roots in the ground by planting the Fig in an old washing machine cylinder - the big circle bit with holes in it. That allows the roots to be constrained by the water to drain and can be picked up for free/cheap.

Cotinus Coggyria grown as a standard

Posted: 29/08/2013 at 11:30

A neighbour has one (or had as they never watered it this summer!).

I would start shaping it now - pic in site below to give you an idea.


Posted: 29/08/2013 at 09:34

The 'best' heater would be an electric fan operated one with a thermostat set at 7C with a view of the whole greenhouse staying above 5C. There is no need ot set it above that as the plants do not need it with the amount and duration of light in winter. The fan helps spread the heat around the grenehouse and not at one spot. They are expensive to run but cheaper than buying new plants! Bubble wrap will also help keep the heat in.

I do not have electricity down in my greenhouse and use 2 paraffin heaters. It is a matter of switiching them on and hoping for the best tbh as there is no control.

I find a wooden floor 'warmer' than stone, but if the sun can get to a floor stone then it is possible that the heat is stored in them and released when dark.

If you want to be adventurous then you can try a heat sink system - you will need to google that as it is too complex to explain.

Talkback: Vine weevil

Posted: 28/08/2013 at 13:01

Provado is systemic and after watering it should get to the roots.

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