Latest posts by blairs

Weed suppressing membranes for allotment paths

Posted: 27/08/2012 at 14:15

Bark chipping and membrane would be my first choice. Using pine needles works well. They are highly acidic and compact nicely, stopping weeds and can be free if you have a plantation near your house/just after Christmas.

Acer problems

Posted: 27/08/2012 at 14:09

I think it is just autumning, perhaps the top most ones because of wind damage.


creating a Japanese garden.

Posted: 24/08/2012 at 22:54

Paul47-Japanese syle gardens (not actually Japanese gardens as you are confusing the 2) need to have the gravel raked, that will stop weeds and keep it fresh. Zen gardens for example tend to have no plants in them in Japan: the stones are the garden. You create a landscape with rocks that have meaning, with families keep ingstones within families for generations. You also see moss gardens and landscape ones (they tend to be inspired by 'English style' gardens - so what most people in the west think as Japanes gardens are Japanese version of English gardens). Ornamental Cherry and trees which provide differing colours throughout the year are given priminent places. So Katsura, Acers and the like, mixed with Pines and other evergreens.

creating a Japanese garden.

Posted: 24/08/2012 at 14:18

The best Japanese style garden that I have seen is in Tallinn. It uses pea sized greyish stones over the whole garden and larger (say 5cm+) chippings to form curving rivers (about 30cm wide) in the same stone. Surrounding the pea sized gravel is various Bamboo, Aqualegia, prostrate Junipers that made the mountains The trick is to make the plants islands of mountains with rivers and oceans of stones in the same materials.


lawn brown ead and dying patches...

Posted: 23/08/2012 at 21:33

The pale looking strip in the photo next to the bed looks like the fertiliser was missed from that area rather than burn to me. My guess is a mix of fertiliser burn and areas that have no fertiliser so look like what all the lawn would wihtout the fertiliser!


Buying spring bulbs online

Posted: 23/08/2012 at 16:22

I cannot resist cheap bulbs either. As long as they are turgid they tend to grow! January is a great time to buy spring bulbs cheap.

Keeping cosmos

Posted: 22/08/2012 at 19:40

As mentioned Cosmos are annual. I have seen them grow in Africa and in their homeland, Mexico. They grow to large 6ft bushes over there, but die down every year. In the UK you collect the seed heads and get more to grow next year - they are pretty easy to germiniate. They also self seed though my ones this year are just about to flower.


Something for a windy corridor

Posted: 22/08/2012 at 11:36

I would not plant Bamboo - they hate wind, especially if not established, though they will tolerate more wind with time, a windy corrider will just not be optimal: you will end up with a few brown or pale leaves and lots of bald patches.

A trellis is a great idea, it will slow the wind on the other side and would be my first choice.

Seaside plants like Tamarisk make good wind filters and it tolerates the wind - can go a little yellow but recovers and has pink flowers in late spring. Others are Escallonia, Olearia, Gaultheria, Hippophae, Ilex, Kalmia and Leucothoe. Erica (Heathers) can make a low level wind break.

Buying spring bulbs online

Posted: 22/08/2012 at 11:12

Not had any problems with J Parkers bulbs - tend to do really well I found, though mainly the spring ones. The only bulbs that did not do well were the African Flag Lily that has done nothing this year - pretty sure they only produced leaf last year (looked like the leaves of Gladioli). I dug them up and they seem to be OK - dividing, so perhaps next year, sigh.

T&M are fine and there are offers all the time for Spalding. Tesco, Sainsbury and the likes of B&Q and Homebase do well as well - just make sure the bulbs look OK.

Just remember that bulbs need drainage, so add grit all around where you plant them with some bonemeal and they should be fine. Digigng a tiny hole and expecting them to grow can end in them rotting.

'Blood Red' acer

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 13:32

Good advice from Alina W and Bookerto. I find red acers need almost full sun. They do not like full shade. I would give it more sun and as long as the soil is moist and out of wind (more important then sun) then it will be fine.

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