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Latest posts by BrendaScott53

Knot for the faint-hearted

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 13:20

About 15 years ago I planted a small knot garden, using Buxus sempervirens, the plain green, and the variegated.  Sorry, I don't actually have any photos to download at the moment, the pc is playing up  

I suppose there are about 160 plants in total and although I maintained it assiduously for years, it has become neglected and weed-infested since 2011 when I had to have partial knee replacements ( arthritis! ) and was left unable to squat and advised NOT to kneel for prolonged periods!  That, plus working, meant there was never enough time in the week to devote to it.

Now I'm not working I can spend time trying to rejuvenate it....but where to start?  It's pretty parched, as it faces south and there's a beech hedge immediately behind it, as well as a greedy old Bramley apple tree.  The autumn leaf drop from nearby oak, ash, sycamore ( the latter now chopped down ), alder, lime and hazel clog up the understorey and creeping buttercup and bugle ( Ajuga reptans ) prance about in and out of the root run.  A few of the box plants seem to have died of drought ( I don't think it's box blight ) and the whole thing is overgrown, weed infested and very sorry for itself, even though the majority of the plants look healthy.

I've started clearing under and around it, which will take weeks, and am giving it a foliar feed of seaweed fortnightly before I even think about cutting it back into shape.

Advice would be greatly appreciated on what to feed it with, what to mulch it with, and when to give it a haircut.....I know not to do it in full sun, but various websites give a wide range of dates from April through to September, via Derby Day in June!  I used to trim it in mid May ( I'm in NE Scotland ) but can easily alter that plan if advice received suggests something else.

I really don't want to lose my knot........would appreciate input from any fellow enthusiasts!

What have I got

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 12:30

The tiny flowers remind me of pyracantha or cotoneaster, but they have red, orange or yellow berries ( fruits ) and their leaves ( which are MUCH smaller than these ) do go a lovely bright red in autumn.  Fascinating mystery!  Someone on the site will solve it for you!  All the best with it!

Ground Elder

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 08:31

I've commented on another post today, about the same's that time of year when good old ground elder makes itself known, isn't it?  'Bishop Weed', they call it up here in Scotland.

The Romans introduced it apparently.  Gee, thanks, guys.  They used it in salads, and pigs apparently enjoy rooting it up and feasting on the entire plant.  As most of us probably don't have access to a handy hungry and selective pig I suppose we either put up with it or hit it with the glyphosate.

I noticed myself actually TALKING to my ground elder the other day, as I was weeding it out of a flower bed.  I make no wonder the blasted thing keeps thriving!

Does anyone know what this is?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 08:21

Kill it before it spreads! HAS spread!  I've been killing this thug in the same garden for a quarter of a century.  Mind you, it's a biggish garden surrounded by farmer's fields and roadside verges and a riverbank, none of which belong to me, so it creeps in from the margins of those and nothing I can do about it. 

I've used glyphosate, and still do;  I've hand weeded out those long roots by hand; I've smothered it under carpet and weed suppressant;  I've done everything.  Glyphosate works really well if you just have a patch of ground elder by itself, with nothing you want to keep nearby, but once it's growing and spreading in hedge bottoms, in lawns, under and around trees and shrubs it's more of an issue, as glyphosate is a systemic weedkiller - it'll kill ANYTHING it touches.  It doesn't discriminate between a weed and your favourite plants!  Be careful!

There's a gel form which comes in a small container, looks a bit like a deodorant stick, which you apply to individual leaves, but if you have a LOT of ground elder you'd be on your hands and knees forever ( cursing, not praying! )

You can try tying bin-liners or some similar protection over any plants you want to keep and spraying the GE around them and remove the bags once the glyphosate has dried.  It needs to be applied in dry weather and if it rains within six hours of application you can forget it - it will have diluted and you'll have to apply it again.  Keep an eye on the local weather forecast, there's no point wasting your time or money - glyphosate is expensive!

Keep pets inside until it's dried on the leaves.

Good Luck!


weed id please

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 09:47

Well done TetleyT.


I bet you've got another pair of gardening gloves just like those, haven't you?

Plant Id Please

Posted: 18/04/2015 at 21:11

 I live in Aberdeenshire, not known for it's dry, mild climate!  I have noticed, though, that it seems to pop up under shady trees and shrubs, where it's less wet and boggy.  Maybe that's the answer, LesleyK.......I do hope you manage to get it established.  I've never planted one;  they were in the garden 25 years ago when we came here, and we now have rather more than required!!!!

Plant Id Please

Posted: 18/04/2015 at 17:17

Mine self-seed everywhere!  If you leave the light greeny brown seed pod covering on, it eventually drops off to reveal lovely silvery papery centres, just like Dovefromabove's photo.  Pick off the seeds, which are disc shaped, and scatter where you want them, and cut the stems to bring indoors and pop in a vase ( no water required! ) in Autumn.  Very easy plant to deal with.

Help identifying this little beauty

Posted: 16/04/2015 at 09:37

Many people seem to have difficulty in downloading photos into the body of their text.  It's such a shame as it puts people off starting new threads and asking for advice.  The 'Help' button is not very clear as to the best way to go about it.

We 'numpties' need clear, simple, step-by-step instructions, please! I did it years ago but I think it was more by good luck than good judgement that I managed to upload a photo from my computer's photo gallery.

This is the second time I have typed this email this morning - I typed it 10 minutes ago, then, just to see if uploading would work, I clicked on the Green Tree icon to the left of the blue " marks.  I was asked to select an image to download and when I clicked on this, my photo gallery appeared.  I went through my folders, quickly, and selected a photo to download....and the pc 'froze' so I lost the text I had just typed and had to exit the website and re-enter.

I'll not try it again, otherwise I'll be here all day when I could be outside....gardening!



Posted: 10/04/2015 at 08:53

I love my bats!  They usually reappear in late March up here in Aberdeenshire but I've not noticed them yet, this year.  They roost in the roof space.  Pipistrelles.  I'll have a look tonight, see if they're out and about.

Sorry, another ID please!

Posted: 10/04/2015 at 08:41

I think it's a verbascum....but it does have a look of Honesty about it too.....perhaps a foxglove leaf would be slightly furrier?

Discussions started by BrendaScott53

Knot for the faint-hearted

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