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Latest posts by blairs

Advice required for low maintenance raised beds?

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 08:41

I like all the above ideas. I would keep the planting to one plant type only. It will make a statement and look good and be low maintenance. The raised bed sounds well draining so a large bed of English Lavender would look and smell wonderfull, esp in summer.


Posted: 12/04/2013 at 14:05

They do not do well in pots - they are found by stream banks in nature, so well draining but moist soil. In summer pots are far too dry for them, although a few did well in a pot for me last year, but that was a wet summer!


Get them in the ground and they will grow like mad.

Bare root plants

Posted: 12/04/2013 at 11:46

Canna Lillies need at least 20C to start growth. Pot them up, water  and put them in the airing cupboard for a few days to spur growth.

black bamboo

Posted: 12/04/2013 at 11:45

Black Bamboo need full sun (to go black), moist soil and to be kept out of strong wind. I have mine without a barrier and have no signs of running yet. Heavier the soil the less likely they are to run.

old greenhouse uses??

Posted: 12/04/2013 at 09:21

It will cost about £50 to reglaze it with strong polycarbonate.

Plant advice needed : damp shade

Posted: 10/04/2013 at 15:09

Are you sure the area is damp and shade all year? I have damp shade half the year then the other it gets a good dose of sun and can get very dry.

It makes a difference to plants.

Windy roof garden destroying everything

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 13:22

A hedge in large pots of hardy trees like Scots Pine (keep them pruned to keep them a hedge) would give you a wind break.


Gladioli die over winter and come back every late spring/early summer.

Heating the greenhouse

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 15:27

Re drainage, you would need to site it somewhere where it does not flood and water naturally flows away. Bottom of a slope is no good!

I found this link:

Heating the greenhouse

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 09:54
LorraineP wrote (see)
blairs wrote (see)

Using the sun is the best way but no use during winter. Having the greenhouse in full sun and dug about 1 metre into the ground surrounded by stone chippings, having the floor tiled all retain heat and use the earths heat. A thermostatic fan heater will then keep the heat around the greenhouse.

Blairs, could you give a little more info 'dug about 1m into the ground surrounded by stone chippings'.  At the moment I'm visulising a sunken greenhouse!  Can't think thats what you mean.  Only ask as I am getting a greenhouse this year and am trying to gather as much info as pos so I get the right base laid.  Thanks.

Until recently all greenhouses were built into the ground - at least 1 metre with a trench around them. You only really had a top few feet of glass. Frost only penetrates  the top 3 inches and the earth naturally keeps plants above freezing point. If you put stone chippings around the greenhouse (they were built with brick foundations) then that is a heat sink as the stones retain heat. You could make the greenhouse warmer by using hot beds - grass clippings as blackest has said. It takes a bit of work though!

The bog standard glass greenhouses loose heat as it escapes out very easily. Have a brick foundation and it looses less heat and the brick retains heat. I would also always have a stone/paved floor in a greenhouse. Earth is no use.

drainage for tropical style garden

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 20:03

Bamboo and fern do not really need drainage but certainly the palms and Cordies will if you want to see them over winter. Lots of grit - you buy them in large packets for a few quid in GCs. Mix the grist with the soil and mix. Simple as adnd does work. I also add in bark and rough compost.

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