Latest posts by Busy-Lizzie

Growing Sweet Peas and Runner Beans together

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 15:24

I've grown sweet peas and runner beans, just as you said, but I always grow 2 beans per cane. The sweet peas don't do that well here, South West France, so I put them on the shadier side because it can be too hot for them in summer. Now I just do beans, but it used to work as you said when I lived in England. I put rotted manure in the bottom. It doesn't have to be homemade compost, you can buy a bag of something water retaining and soil improving like compost or rotted manure. You can do a 9 pole wigwam, I had a neighbour who used to do a 12 pole one, it depends how much room you have.

Plant ID please

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 15:16

I was looking at syringas too and found Josikaea and Josiflexa, but they weren't quite right. I think you've got it Silver surfer - Syringa persica. Most of the daphnes aren't really deciduous and have tougher glossier leaves.


Posted: 14/05/2013 at 15:12

Tina, I'm sure you are as pretty as my plant. It hasn't flowered yet, looking forward to seeing if it's like the internet one.

What did you do in your garden today?

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 10:54

What super labels, I've been looking for black ones for ages and even asked about them in one of these threads. They are so much more discreet and all the garden open to the public use them. I live in France and most of the labels here are yellow.


Posted: 14/05/2013 at 10:48

They are both perennial, but may not flower so well the next time. Either leave them where they are or move to a corner out of the way once they've finished flowering. The violas can be cut right down, given a feed and they should grow back and will probably produce more flowers later this summer. They are usually treated like annuals and discarde because people want to make room for summer bedding.

Will this work for a new part lawn?

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 10:42

I gather that the reason you want to add soil to the border is in order to reduce the size of the border and turn it into lawn, the same level as the existing lawn.

It seems a shame to kill off the plants, couldn't you give them away or sell them for charity.

If you really need the front garden to be easier to maintain and you want to reduces the size of the beds then you will need to remove the plants, either how I've said above or by using glyphosate weed killer which inactivates in the ground so you can replant afterwards. Then you need topsoil, which your GC may sell, but you will probably need it delivered as it will be very heavy. Not just compost, too light.

The reduced in size border will need digging over, fertiliser, compost or manure added. Then cover with a permeable fabric. Cut holes in it and plant low growing bushy shrubs, such as lavender, spirea Anthony Waterer or one of the golden ones, choisya Aztec Pearl, caryopteris (blue flowers, gold or green leaves), santolina. Then cover it all with a thick mulch of bark chippings. I have done it myself with a shrub bed that I did about 6 years ago and I have hardly had to weed at all and the bark has stayed put. There haven't been any pests and the shrubs are healthy.

Once you have added the top soil and trodden it down and raked it (so it is the same level as the lawn, you may need professionel help or a son, nephew, friend), then scatter grass seed and rake in a bit and keep damp until established. Grass seed normally grows pretty well.

Verdun is a really good gardener with a high maintenance garden, but I think, from what you say you need a real solution as you will not be able to cope with a lot of maintenance.

Acer Palmatum “Bloodgood”

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 10:24

The RHS says it will take 10 - 20 years to grow to 2 1/2m to 4m. If that's too big could you take it back to the garden centre?

Runner Beans

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 10:17

As soon as you feel pretty sure there won't be another frost then plant them out. But first harden them off by putting them outside in their pots and giving them some night time protection or bringing them in again if there is a frost forecast. I fear you have sown them a little too soon. Runner beans are tall and skinny anyway.


Posted: 14/05/2013 at 10:12

Oh dear Tina, hope it's not a bad cold, keep warm, lemon and honey.

All Verdun's plants sound exciting. I have some of them but not the same varieties, not so much choice here in France. Though he said he had an echinacea Papaya the other day and I've just bought an echinacea Guava Ice, which is similar, a bit paler. Here's a google photo as I thought it looked rather pretty and unusual.




star jasmine

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 10:02

I have a Star Jasmine which turned brown last winter and most of the leaves fell off, but during the summer it made a lot of new growth. At the moment it's old leaves are going brown, but it's making new green ones. I live in France so it's probably warmer here, but the winter of 2011/12 was very cold down to -17°. So I think it is probably the weather which is affecting yours and it will buck up if and when it gets warmer.

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