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Latest posts by blairs

Veg beds at front - how to make them attractive

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 20:06

Most houses after 1870 have covenants preventing veg being grown in front gardens. In Victorian times it was a sign of poverty to have to grow veg in your front garden and not be well off enough to have lawn. For some reaosn even new houses have such restrictions. Who would actually enforce such restrictions is another matter though and I doubt anyone would or could stop you planting veg, but thought it best to warn you.


With clay soil I would use raised beds. As it is the front garden good quality stone or hardwood would look smart.

TIPS ........

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 16:10

Soak seeds in Orange juice or Coke for 24-48 hrs. The acidity helps break down seed coats without scarification.

Not GWM getting advertised discount @ Crocus

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 13:28

Well that is weird. If I use then follow the link I automatically get the 20% discount. But if I just use the code in the magazine I only get 10%. Says nothing in the magazine that to get 20% you need to use the link in

Not GWM getting advertised discount @ Crocus

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 12:21

April's GWM (pg 33) says that we have 20% discount March to May at Crocus. I have used the code 9215 twice now and I was about to spend quite a lot yesterday and specifically wanted to use Crocus as I like the quality and 20% off makes the plants a deal. However the code is only for 10%, so I did not order. So either the code is wrongly published or GWM subsrcibers are not getting the correct advertised discount. Is everyone else getting the same wrong discount?

Van Meuwen

Posted: 20/03/2013 at 15:21
jatnikapyar wrote (see)

Hi Blairs, I do not EXPECT the plants to be large, or match the pictures taken in summer(as you informed us complainers) but surely £12.00p warrants the 7cm square pot to contain a common, easy growing plant, to contain a reasonable SIZE and HEALTHY plant . Not a scraggly one with ONE shoot and half a leaf.  Crocus is expensive but at least their plants match the price and EXCELLENT customer service.

Is that too much to ask?

I agree with healthy and I find a lot of websites never tell you what size to expect - J Parkers, T&M and Van Meuwen rarely if at all do - they tell you the size the plant might become when mature! But at this time of year you are going to get a scraggly shoot in a tiny multi-cell. They are grown in vast greenhouses, shipped to the Channel Islands then posted back to the UK to avoid VAT...naughty naughty but legal. It does mean that you get a lot of plants for your money, you just need to know what you are getting which is my gripe with such companies.

Small tree for front garden

Posted: 19/03/2013 at 12:45

I will second Amalanchier as it is a light tree. I have 3 now as I was so impressed with the first.

A Japanese Cherry tree is another option - various varities to choose from.

Japanese maples are also suitable front garden trees as are some varities of Sambucus.

Van Meuwen

Posted: 19/03/2013 at 12:44
Brumbull wrote (see)

Must say my initial reaction when i recently received some plants i had ordered from Van Meuwen (never ordered from there before) was total disgust ! i could not believe what they had sent me. I phoned them to complain and to express my disappointment especially as i was a first time buyer (do you think these companies take any notice if you are a first time purchaser ? well they should ?) well the guy i was chatting too put me on hold, when he returned he informed me that i would be totally refunded (new plants to be sent) and i would also receive a £25 gift voucher !? - mind you the gift voucher has to be spent at .......... VAN MEUWEN

What is the problem? Van Meuwen is a mail order shop, so all plants are small get what you pay for TBH. At this time of year a lot of perennials and annuals are just seedlings or roots in a multi-plug.

The pictures used by van Meuwen and their sister company Thompson and Morgan are mature plants in summer. You cannot expect to get 60 mature flowering plants for £3 in March for example.


New build house, new build lawn - help to start off the right way.

Posted: 18/03/2013 at 16:30

I fill the gaps between rolls of lawn with compost and by June the grass will have grown into that and you no longer see it. Using a lawn roller to flatten the lanw in May will help. It really looks fine.

can i cut

Posted: 15/03/2013 at 14:03

It is a Begonia and you can take cuttings in water.

box hedge health issue

Posted: 28/02/2013 at 20:41

Do not contact the supplier. Coppering of Buxus is natural in winter. A good feed and sunshine and it will be fine within a few weeks. Use a general feed and use bonemeal when planting.

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