Latest posts by ChapelGirl2

drunken Blue Atlas Cedar

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 12:20

We have inherited a Blue Atlas Cedar which has been planted below the house, at the foot of a steep bank.  The trunk is now 2 metres or so high, and with a pronounced lean outwards from the slope.  The arching branches add another couple of metres to the overall height, and it is somewhat wider than it is tall.  The previous owner had fashioned some 'crutches' from wooden poles, to prop up the main 2 lateral branches.  It has been a handsome plant but its angle and general appearance now give me an 'edgy' uncomfortable feeling which is difficult to describe.  The weeping branches overhang the grass strip at the base of the bank and make mowing difficult.

Is it possible to pollard these trees effectively?  It would need to be cut back quite hard, and even then, since the main trunk is leaning outwards I wonder if it wouldn't just grow back looking ugly?

Should I take it out and replace with something else, perhaps a lower-growing form of blue cypress?

Dying Thymes

Posted: 11/08/2012 at 22:15

Yes, check for pests.  Another thought is if your pots are in the 'glorious' sun they might have dried out just a little bit too much.  If they are actually brown and brittle all over they may be beyond recovery, but it might be worth moving them into a more sheltered spot and increasing the watering to see if they put on any new growth.  I've got some common thyme in a 12 inch pot on my patio and at the moment I am watering it well every evening.

home made plant supports

Posted: 11/08/2012 at 22:06

Steve, I think you'd need to use a plumber's pipe-bending spring to stop a copper pipe from folding when you bend it.

What is it please

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 22:45

Myrtle, a plant native to the Mediterranean, is cultivated primarily in Europe and is most commonly found in recipes from European cultures. It lends a slight bitterness and a citrus note to dishes and is perfect when paired with bacon or veal.  In the past, it was used commonly as a wrapping or stuffing for clay-baked or pit-roasted meats and it imparts an interesting flavour. Like many other aromatic leaves (bay, eucalyptus, allspice leaves, rosemary or thyme), myrtle branches (or even dried myrtle leaves) thrown on the hot coals of a barbecue impart a very interesting flavour to barbecued meats. Myrtle leaves also make an useful addition to the wood used in smokers.

Using vinegar to kill weeds

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 22:31

I have to agree with sotongeoff.  I am trying my best to be organic and have spent a lot of time hand-weeding our garden.  I have hand dug, sieved, applied cardboard mulch, you name it.

A local landscape gardener who is organic-friendly said that in his opinion there is NO alterative to spraying off the weeds on our gravel drive and under the fences etc. twice a year with glyphosphate.  Having spent a year NOT doing that, I'm afraid to say i have to agree with him.

As regards lawn weeds, I recently bought one of those Fiskears gizmos for pulling out plantains, dandelions etc. and they seem to work quite well, but you will end up with a few holes which you might have to fill in.

What is it please

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 22:21

I think it might be a myrtle bush.  It has shiny evergreen leaves which have a scent which I'd describe as a cross between bay leaves and caramel (just my opinion).  It has fluffy white flowers, followed by blue-black edible berries. The oil from the leaves is supposed to be good for sinus complaints.

Frugal gardening techniques

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 22:05

I haven't tried vinegar as a weedkiller but I doubt it is THAT effective or there simply wouldn't be a market for Roundup etc.  I am trying to be organic and have spent very many hours hand-weeding, but a local organic-friendly landscape gardener told me that if I wanted to weed my boundary fence and gravel drive there was simply no option but to spray them twice a year with glyphosate weedkiller.  

I have a gas canister weed flame wand.  This is definitely NOT a cheap option, but doesn't involve chemical sprays.  It works, but during hot weather if you are weeding around heathers, grasses etc. you can end up setting a fire which is difficult to control.  If you use one of those burners in dry conditions be sure to keep a hosepipe or several buckets of water handy!

Talkback: How to take lavender cuttings

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 21:51

I have grown quite a few lavender plants from seed this year.  I followed a propagation tip I read, which was to put the seeds onto a piece of wetted kitchen paper in a container (I used a small square plastic box from Lakeland but anything would do) and put them in a cold (almost freezing but not quite) part of your fridge for at least 2 weeks, checking to make sure they remain moist.  We have a second fridge in our cellar which is only opened about once a day, so this wasn't a problem.  After the chilling period you sow the seeds in a tray of compost as normal.  We had very good results from lavenders Munstead & Hidcote, but Elegance Sky had a lower germination rate and the seedlings seemed more susceptible to dieback etc.  I still haven't mastered the propagation from cuttings method, but I daresay I shall keep persevering.

I-Spy Carol Klein

Posted: 09/08/2012 at 22:27

Mine too.  She wasn't parlaying anything.  She was just smiling out from behind a wooden box full of pots of strawberry plants.  She was wearing a blue cambric shirt, so that probably appealed to the French magazine people as it reminded them of the blue overalls that everybody wears here for gardening etc.

what can i use instead of plastic pots

Posted: 09/08/2012 at 22:24

Hollie- Hock I have found that if you stab a hole in a plastic pot quite often it will crack across the base.  That might not matter, but if you want to preserve its strength and stability it's better to melt a hole.

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9 threads returned