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Latest posts by blairs

terracotta greek/roman wine urn planter

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 11:20

You can easily buy new ones in most garden centres for less than £20. Original Roman/Greek ones can be bought but they cost a few hundred quid plus. Victorian ones will be less than £100.

moving to scotland

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 10:33

If by the sea in Ayrshire then you will have the milding affect of salt air and the Gulf Stream but that will only extend a mile or so inland. Summer light is longer (up to 21 hours of potential sunshine in late June) but converse only 6 hours sunlight in winter. As far as I know inland Ayrshire is quite hilly and gets bad snow at times. West coast is also very wet and rainy and prone to cloud, further east you go the drier and sunnier it is. Further north and higher you go the colder it is - Aberdeenshire gets snow most years.

Metoffice has some stats on Scotland:

The driest place in Scotland is around the Firth of Forth (Fife and Lothians) which is close to the driest place in England - so it is not all wet and doom and gloom.

What to plant

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 13:52

Strawberries are easy but the fruit period is small and they are very cheap in the shops. Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries (nice varieties), Kiwi are quite expensive to buy in shops, so are worth growing in the garden.

Fig can grow in the UK and the leaves are attractive in their own right.

Mango and Papaya, unless you have a large heated greenhouse are not going to work in the UK.


Gunnera manicata

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 13:46

I also wonder if you have Gunnera tinctoria not manicata now I see the stalk...

Gunnera manicata

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 20:01


That is the flower stalk - you may even get some seeds from it if the flower stalk makes it through winter.


acer care

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 08:24

I would also move it now - as Verdun has said the roots will not have expanded much and the soil is still warm and the wind damage will only increase and that can kill them.

Dumb Question Amnesty!

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 16:35

The OP did say "I want to create a natural barrier of sorts between the two driveways without entering into any border disputes", so we should assume that the troughs will be on his property.

What's been eating my shrubs?

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 16:18

Provado is good - takes a month to work but kills Vine Weevil. I have lost plants to the blighters!

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.

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