Latest posts by Bookertoo

Talkback: Where are the ladybirds?

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 20:20

In my garden?  We were almost overun with them earlier this year, and there are stilfl - gladly - a good number about.  Timmed off some branches of spring/summer flowering things and had to tap them carefully near the flower beds so as not to put ladybirds in the council garden bin.  I am in the east Midlands, and can only speak for our garden, but they are plentiful here. 

Cobea plants

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 20:18

Mine are horrible too, have just assumed cold dark weather earlier in the year was the cause - it has done nasty things to many plants - my morning glory has just decided to honour us with a few flowers this week!

'Blood Red' acer

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 11:12

Also, many red acers get a bit greener as the year goes on, then develop the stunning red leaves of autumn as they get ready to fall later on.  Mine certainly do not have ericaceous compost, though once in a rare while I do give them an iron feed.  Have bought a new coral leafed one this year, still quite green but developing the coral colour as it grows up - very young yet. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 11:10

So sad to see the mornings and evenings getting darker I agree. Yesterday evening with cloud and thick muggy heat it was darkish before 8pm., when a few short weeks ago I was out there doing things.  Still, it brings us on to the next growing season, which will of course be totally wonderful, with warmth, rain and sun in exactly the right proportions throughout the whole country and we will have nothing to grumble about at all!!!  

Help with ericacious compost

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 11:05

We grow lilies of all sorts from one end of the garden to the other.  Many are in pots, others in the ground - all do prettty well.  I've never used ericaceous compost for them, and looking out of the window just now cannot se how they could be any better than they are at present - up to 20 heads per pot and plot, with a perfume to knock you down if you brought it indoors.   They get pelleted organic chicken manure in the spring along with everything else, and an occasional top dressing if I remember and have enough compost.  They have been known to freeze solid in their pots, and get waterlogged at times, but nothing seems to hold them back. 

Planting along a garden path

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 11:01

Sedums and small hebes also make good path edgers, as do some smaller hostas - unless you have a great number of slugs and snails. 

conker tree bonsi style

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 11:00

A horsechestnut wants to be a 60 - 70 foot tall tree, and is always going to do its best to be just that.  They seem to me to be unlikely subjects for keeping as small as you would like.  Bonsai are not usually six foot high!  We do have an oak tree in a pot, about 10 foot tall, but I would not do it again, it is totally against its nature - but having set off along this path I would not just get rid of it.  I suggest you offer them to a local broad leaf plant scheme in your area, you can still see and enjoy them, and so can everyone else. 

yew trees

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 10:56

Many yew trees do this, some of ours we have left in situ to grow on, others have been potted up into small pots to give to a friend who would like to have them.  I find that you really need to move them when they are very small, use a loam based compost - I keep mine outside where they get rained on (almost to excess earlier this year) and so far all is well.  Good luck.

The best multi purpose compost this year

Posted: 19/08/2012 at 14:16

Trouble with Asda is that it is now wholly owned by the huge American company, Wallmart - who treat their emplyees and suppliers dreadfully - so they went with Nestle and Dole into my little black book of no-no's.  However, this is not rthe forum for that rant.  Regarding composts, all have been far poorer than of old, some B&Q rather better than some - I got some of last years stuff and that was OK.  Their version of John Innes was OK, but their specialised orchid compost is nothing like any orchod compost I have seen before - just dark dusty stuff, none of the lumps and bumps orchid compost usually has.   For weight in pots and baskets this year I have used JI No1 half half with multi purpose - worked well so far.  Mind, with all the rain we had earlier,  watering ifn the earlier stages was much easier!  Have noticed some lightweight composts about, not tried yet but maybe will for some pots, mixed with loam based - must be better to carry home at any rate. 

Snowdrops in a Lawn

Posted: 19/08/2012 at 14:09

I wouldn't bet on it, but good luck with the trying.  Maybe leave it and all the other flowers alone and have a flower filled lawn?  We leave everything, ( except dandelions) including ranunculus,clover, daisies, vioas, creeping geranium, speedwell  etc. in ours, cut it as usual - not very frequently or dreadfully short - more to do with the poor condition of the soil rather than the flowers - the result is gorgeous.  The poor condition is due to large and very numerous tree roots about which nothing can be done. Everyone loves it.  However, if a green sward is your dream, then just be aware that ranunculus can be the devils own job to get rid of. 

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