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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Whats the difference,Fresh or green.

Posted: 12/09/2013 at 12:31
Diddydoit4u wrote (see)

  • Urine (diluted with water 20:1)


So it's okay to pee on the compost heap rather than coming inside to use the toilet, then, as long as I live somewhere that gets rain?

Talkback: How to take lavender cuttings

Posted: 12/09/2013 at 12:20

It's not made clear in the article, but was pointed out in another article about taking cuttings of another plant elsewhere, that the plastic bag shouldn't touch the leaves. This would trap water between leaf and bag and that leaf would rot, and the rot would spread. With the slender leaves of lavender this may not be as much of an issue, and with them being tiny cuttings a sandwich bag may well stand over them without touching anyway, but I was taking cuttings of "Late Dutch" honeysuckle and they were a bit bigger than that, so I added five half-length canes around the pot to tent the bag and keep it off the leaves.

There's a balancing act with cuttings and water: they need to stay moist, and they're losing water through their leaves, but if they're in wet soil their bases rot. The plastic bag is there to trap moisture in the air around them, increasing humidity and reducing evaporation, so they don't dry out despite being in dry enough soil to inhibit rotting. I added a little plastic dish (the lid off a Nutella jar, actually) of water on top of the soil to raise humidity without wetting the soil.

You could, if you're not the organic gardening type, treat the cuttings with fungicide before inserting them in the soil. One of those ones that claims to protect for a few weeks ought to buy them time to set roots or die trying before they have to fight.

Which fast growing plant would you recommend? Help!

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 10:40

There's a fairly good "narrow it down" facility on the crocus website.

That should be "fairly quick-growing" hedging plants on 2 pages, and this should be "yes they are quick-growing" hedging plants, of which there are 2:

Then again, they could have some session-specific thing going on with the URLs.

Anyway, the 2 are field maple and oval leaf privet. I don't know the maple but we've got Japanese privet here and it grows like a weed. Fast, yes. Low-maintenance, no. That's the balance you're going to have to strike. The faster it grows the more work you have to do to keep it down once it's as big as you want it. Incidental tip: prune it back every year even before it's up to height so it bushes out and grows dense. Otherwise you get a line of bare trunks.

There was a thread about something similar to this earlier. Someone wanted a front wall to be livelier and provide some privacy. It was a rather longer wall than the one shown, in front of a larger garden, so the ideas may not translate well from there to here, but I think I suggested either one or two wisteria (on a really sturdy trellis) for a neat semi-formal style or a mixture of all the climbing honeysuckles and akebias he could find for a more casual style. This ... may be a bit overwhelming if grown that close to the front window.

If you want something prettier and less daunting, you could try mixing "climbing" roses, which don't actually climb in my experience but will provide a lovely feature. I got two dozen blooms from one stem this year, but I'd suggest planting several. I never went for the Alice in Wonderland gardens myself (every single one of them the same shade of red) but it's an option. I'd go for ...

 Feel free to crowd them together a little, as long as you're going t

Need vines to cover my house

Posted: 11/09/2013 at 10:15

Well, if it can handle a Yorkshire winter it can handle a London winter, so my father's ivy and ... what's the thing called? Looks like poison ivy ... Virginia creeper. That. They should do well. I have Hydrangea petiolaris here, which is rather prettier than plain old ivy, imo. According to the website, it grows up to 15m tall. Unless you're trying to cover a 5th floor or higher flat, that should be enough ... eventually.

It doesn't have to grow that high. You can prune anything, and it'll regrow from behind where you pruned it. With his ivy, he's got an annual job taking it down to 50cm from the gutters, and it's still in the attic again next year. It fills with bird nests every winter and spring, as it's elbow-deep on the wall.

Those are the clinging options that spring to mind. Hydrangea will happily grow as a bush in the open, but given a tree or wall it grows centipede legs and gets hold, then climbs up the surface.

The other way to do it is with trellises or wires. Some things will climb either, like some lonicera (honeysuckle) and akebia (chocolate vine) and some will only twine round fine stuff, like some other lonicera and jasmine (summer-flowering beesianum, that is, not winter-flowering nudiflorum). The drawback is that you'd have to drill into the exterior wall, hammer in wall plugs and either screw spacers to them and the trellis to the spacers or screw eye-bolts into them and tie wires all over the place. The advantage is that you could limit the vine's spread by simply not providing anything for it to climb. Just check out how far from support the vine you choose will reach. Jasmine's fairly tame that way, honeysuckle will droop flowering stems out maybe 60cm and chocolate vine will feel around for something else to climb up to a metre away. I really want to set one up indoors with a time-lapse camera on it and get video of that. It'll also grow as a low, loose bush if it can't find a support. 

GardenIng jokes

Posted: 10/09/2013 at 22:54

Now that last one reminds me of songs we used to sing on long coach journeys.


Lulu had a bicycle;
Its seat were mighty sharp,
An' every time she sat on it
It went right up 'er ... (interrupted by chorus)
Lulu had a boyfriend;
'is name were Tommy Tucker.
'e took 'er down the alleyway
To see if 'e could ... (interrupted by chorus)
I took her to the pictures;
We sat be'ind the stalls,
An' every time the lights wen' out
She grabbed me by the ... (interrupted by chorus)
Lulu 'ad two boyfriends;
They both were mighty rich,
One the son of a banker,
The other a son of a ... (interrupted by chorus)


They say that in the Army,
The boots are mighty fine.
I asked for size eleven
And got an eight or nine.
Oh Lord, I wanna go,
But they won't let me go!
They say that in the Army
The booze is mighty fine.
I asked for a pint of lager.
They served me turpentine.
Oh Lord, I wanna go,
But they won't let me go!
They say that in the Army
The food is mighty fine.
A pea rolled off the table
And killed a mate of mine.
Oh Lord, I wanna go,
But they won't let me go!
They say that in the Army
The beds are mighty fine.
Well, how the **** would they know?
They haven't slept in mine!

Apple tree with white leaves

Posted: 10/09/2013 at 18:34

Thanks. I think I should get some 1cm tubing to shove into the ground around some of my plants to I can pour food down to their deep roots rather than feeding the surface.


Posted: 10/09/2013 at 18:28

Alright. Thanks. I may have to just remove the seedheads then. Perhaps I'll give one to a mathematician friend.


Posted: 10/09/2013 at 18:21

The depth's a bit deceptive, as that surface is actually sloping down left to right. See that earth wall on the right side? The top of that is significantly lower than the lawn edge on the left. The deepest part is about a foot below the lawn level.

Done! Anemones, crocuses and glory of the snow all the way to the end.

 Here's hoping they're not too shallow now. Thanks to cats disturbing the surface and the rain eroding it, the lilies fell over this year. That's why they're propped up with sticks in the background there.


Apple tree with white leaves

Posted: 10/09/2013 at 13:12
Possibly I just got a weird hybrid here, and possibly it's in deficient soil or it caught a dose of something nasty sprayed on the other side of the fence. I don't know. It's just had white leaves on the new growth the whole time. By "the whole time," I mean years, so it's not dying of glyphosate right now. It's just ... white. Nothing else growing there has any trouble. It's between an elder running rampant and a winter honeysuckle that I grew by cutting off a two-foot stem, stripping the bark from the bottom 2 inches and shoving it a foot deep into the soil, so I don't think it's a soil problem.

 You can see the rich green of the lilies around it in both pictures for contrast.



Posted: 10/09/2013 at 13:09

The three-way symmetry was incredible. It's gone a bit shrubbier now, but it was beautiful before I had a camera.


Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 623
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 7    Views: 427
Last Post: 31/03/2014 at 17:26

When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

At least I didn't spend anything. 
Replies: 18    Views: 1705
Last Post: 26/10/2013 at 16:46

Apple tree with white leaves

It seems to be healthy enough, if slow-growing 
Replies: 2    Views: 369
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 538
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 935
Last Post: 07/05/2014 at 16:57

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 2330
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned