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Latest posts by blairs

Ricinus Communis (Castor Oil Plant)

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 19:11

You should have all 3 till the first frosts late this year! They are hardier than people say and can grow to 7ft in good weather here in the UK.


Posted: 29/03/2013 at 19:09

I have 3 Azalea and the one from Morrisons has romped away while the garden centre ones are sulking and I gave them lots of expensive ericacious soil. My Japanese maple is also from Morrisons. It can be hit or miss but April should be a good time.

Tropical garden

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 10:43

Thats right Fairygirl: shelter and drainage are key. I have a mixed evergreen hedge around my garden to folter the prevailing wind. The musa, ensete, canna and strelitizia do fine in summer but are all put in the garage overwinter. I tried to overwinter palms outside but even with 2 tons of grit it was still too wet and I live in a microclimate where it rarely gets below freezing. Phormiums, Yucca and other hardy exotics like Fatsia do well.

I like discodaves idea of giant grasses. Miscanthus do well in the UK - Miscathus gigantica, for example, can grow jungle like in 12 months.

Tropical garden

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 08:38

The garden in question has now changed owners, the blog for it is


You can have a tropical garden in the North of Scotland but will need to bring most things indoors/greenhouse over winter. Some gardeners got away with leaving plants out to overwinter but that was a few years ago and even in Cornwall gardenres have to bring troipcals in as it is too wet over winter and this spring has been cold.


Also look at

Ricinus Communis (Castor Oil Plant)

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 19:43

You are a little early. I sow in mid April and the extra light and (normally) heat brings them on. Place them on your sunniest windowsill. Sowing too early can mean you have 3ft plants by end May...

Evergreen Bamboo

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 19:11

I will advise Amulree in Norfolk. They do deliveries and are really tall and heathy bambo

Moving Fatsia Japonica

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 16:29

Ziggy - join it is a specialist site for those interested in exotics. Mainly UK based bunch.

I would not cut it at all till frosts have stopped as that can cause rot.

begonia offer

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 20:10
discodave wrote (see)

I got one by email from them for 72 Begonia plants for 75pence (you pay postage and packaging). Its also a T&M offer. 



Would you really pay £5.67 for 72 small Begonia plug plants in a garden centre? (add in the £4.95 PP)

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.

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