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Latest posts by blairs


Posted: 27/08/2013 at 19:29
Stacey Docherty wrote (see)

. This one looks like a very invasive type that I see in people's gardens it grows very very tall and is extremely invasive.. Make sure you get it all dig deep!!

It looks similar but is not Sasa is just Common Reed - best not to alarm people Stacey.


Posted: 27/08/2013 at 18:01

Does not look like Bamboo to me with the way the leaves are growing up the stem and the way it is fanning out from the centre. It reminds me more of a type of Water Reed or some native.


Posted: 27/08/2013 at 13:11
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

Never known the corkscrews to straighten out - can't see how that's possible 

What can happen is that suckers from the rootstock grow and are not removed, these grow straight as in the ordinary hazel, and they will then 'take over' the shru and dominate.  They should be pruned off or better still pulled down and away from the stock at their base as this will remove the growing point. 

Fresh growth is more convulated than the older stems, which thicken and naturally  get less twisted. The colour also fades.


Posted: 27/08/2013 at 09:47

Twisted Hazel (corylus avellana Contorta) is normally sold grafted, so make sure that you do not bury above the join. As the roots are grafted onto a less rigourous Hazel species and you do need to prune the tree to keep the twists fresh and not turn into straight branches, the roots are fine and should not damage foundations.


Posted: 27/08/2013 at 09:39

Sand and clay sounds a good prep base for laying turf. I would add compost and feed as SD has said though manure needs to be well rooted as it will make the grass die back otherwise. i would also fork over the whole area to aerate it and stop the lawn from flooding. Should be an easy job.


Posted: 26/08/2013 at 15:46

Beechgrove Garden is from Aberdeen and they have a website with free information and factsheets. It is shown across the K and Europe (including Erewash on BBC)

You can sign your friend up to the monthly factsheet:

Gardenersworld magazine is centred around England tbh - but that is where most people in the UK live.


Posted: 26/08/2013 at 15:44

I started with those Madge and still have it. Perfect to keep plants dry over winter - only weakness is the zip and insects can easily get into it.


Posted: 26/08/2013 at 12:34

Wooden frames do seem to heatup and store heat better, esp in winter as the metal stays cold. I have polycarbonate and wood and am totally happy with it - most greenhouses in Germany and Netherlands are polycarbonate and they have far worse winters than us. A neighbour has a metal and polycarbonate lean to that the plastic blows out of all the time (he never maintained it and it is very exposed and cheap tbh).

For an absolute beginer try a large coldframe and if it works for you then invest in a larger greenhouse.


Posted: 26/08/2013 at 11:59

I use a paraffin heater - does work a treat if tricky to get the wick size right, not too big to produce lots of black soot or too small that it burns out.

Solar lights are cheap, a shed one costs about £10 on amazon. Works even in winter.

The cloth is a good idea as the glass gets dirty all the time and it is suprising what a difference a clean pane makes in spring.

If you have anything tender then collect bubble wrap to place inside the greenhouse to keep the temperature level over the worst of winter. Remove in spring. I reuse the stuff found in packaging, though am sure the bubble wrap sold in shops might be different.

You could also try a greenhouse in a greenhouse - those cheap £10 plastic greenhouses (cheap staging!). That should give an additional 1-2C difference to plants in there in winter and is the difference to freezing and not!


Posted: 26/08/2013 at 11:50

I bought a 3 tier cold frame from Robert Dyas (less than £31.99 with 20% off right now). Worked a treat to over winter plants - not good for non-hardy plants but great to keep plants dry and that crucial bit warmer. Small and fits in any garden. Would recommend totally.


Argos also has a 3 by 6 ft polycarbonate greenhouse for £180.

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