Latest posts by chrissieB

Garden shape

Posted: 16/07/2017 at 09:13

We had a shallow, wide garden and your right it's much easier finding suggestions for long and narrow. I suppose we effectively took those ideas and turned them on their side : )

I didn't like been able to see all the garden at once so we divided it into separate areas using planting so that it encouraged you to walk into the garden and you couldnt see across the whole width from every window. The patio ran across the back of the house and then we extended and shaped the borders so that they seperated the patio from the lawn except for an entrance at each end opposite our French doors and split the lawn into two separate areas using planting and an arch. We positioned the arch so that the two main windows looked onto different garden areas - this meant the areas were different sizes but I felt  this gave it more interest. We used similar planting in the border between the two areas but the main planting within each area was different.

You can create more depth in a garden by using shapea on the diagonal and placing a focal point in the far corners - this draws the eye along a longer line and tricks the brain into thinking the space isn't deeper than it really is. We put a second small seating area in one corner. 

if you want a naturalistic style you could use trees to create the divide and screen areas from the house Instead or an arch or trellis.

John Brookes design books are very good - maybe you could get one from your local library or cheap on Amazon. He has two I have used a lot "Garden Design" and one on designs for small gardens - very easy to read and understand, but expert tips and advice.

Last edited: 16 July 2017 09:15:05

Rose killed by gardener!

Posted: 16/07/2017 at 08:55

Keep them well watered and they may well be ok. Although it is the wrong time of year for pruning that shouldn't matter if they were reasonably healthy to start with. But it may take a while before anything regrows.

We completely cut down a rose we moved recently to try and reduce the stress and shock from being moved. It was reduced to just a few cut stems and no leaves at all. It's taken ages and I thought we had lost it but it has sent out some lovely strong new growth just in the last few days - must be 6 weeks or more since it was moved so I think it's just a matter of being patient.

PS - Am not suggesting you move yours - there's no need to, that will just give them another shock - but ours has recovered from a similarly severe pruning.

Mysterious plant

Posted: 15/07/2017 at 07:54

If using as a green manure you don't let it flower but dig it in long before.

The flowers are lovely and the bees absolutely love it, flowers all summer and very pretty. It does re-seed but very easy to recognise and whip out if it's  in the wrong place.

Selling your own plants

Posted: 13/07/2017 at 09:30

Try this site - some plants are offered free or as swaps but some are for sale

GW Magazine

Posted: 12/07/2017 at 08:39

I don't think the free gifts are worth more than the discount you get for paying up front through a subscription. Often you have to pay more than the usual price for any larger gifts so they are not strictly free and the seeds are usually the same each year - they seem to always give away lettuce and tomato seeds - and these are only of value to you if they are the plant and variety you want or can use.

You don't need to be a subscriber to use the discount codes, you just need to find out what they are. My sister and I each subscribe to a different gardening mag which we then swap - so we get to use all or any code and we both use the same sign-on for the secret club. I also have a group of freinds who always check with each other before ordering plants to see if anyone has a code through their mag/club etc...

Its worth looking at all the garden mag websites as many all list lots of their discount codes on their site so you can pick and choose which gives you the best offer/discount Or use that to decide if a subscription is worth having.

i must admit I also always let my magazine subscription lapse and then wait for an offer I like to sign up again - they come round very regularly so only ever miss a month maybe - so for example often sign up with the first 3 issues for £5. 

Tatton Garden show

Posted: 12/07/2017 at 08:19

I went for the first time last year and was really disappointed. There were no real nursery sellers - all the plant stalls were selling the same things and nothing that you couldn't buy at any local garden centre. It wasn't very busy which was nice re seeing things but there was no buzz or atmosphere. There seemed to be more food stalls than anything else. Some of the show Gardens were quite good but there were'nt very many - I think we stayed about 90 minutes, less time than it took us to get there.

i wasn't feeling brilliant that day as had been ill just before so that might have affected my enthusiasm but don't think it coloured my impression. Maybe I went with too high expectations....

Screening tree

Posted: 11/07/2017 at 07:36

Ballerina is usually reasonably spreading although it can vary, RHS says 4-8m spread - it may be because its quite young but is the growth at the top upright in habit? If so I wonder if you were actually sold Obelisk as that is columnar in habit and only has a spread of around 1-1.5m - in fact I would describe it as never 'spreading" as all the branches point upwards

If the branches of yours are beginning to shape themselves outwards toward the tops than it may well start to spread as it matures.


Posted: 11/07/2017 at 07:25

That's great news josusa as I want to put some raspberries in and was wondering if I would need to net them - hopefully my birds will be similarly picky and ignore them.

our birds haven't disappeared and we can hardly keep up with the feeders. We have loads of fledging tits and goldfinches eating their way through everything we put out. I do remember that it suddenly went quiet for a few weeks in the summer last year but hasn't happened yet.

I do find the comments on magpies interesting - we have magpies who frequently visit the garden and are nesting nearby in a huge sycamore, along with at least two pairs of blackbirds. The magpies are often in our garden and yet we have loads of little birds as well. Maybe it's something about numbers - our run of gardens has a flock of resident goldfinches - at least twenty - so maybe they feel safer in numbers. Think we must have quite a few great tits but they don't fly around together to be sure but we have had four or five nests in the eaves between us and our immediate neighbour as well as in a nest box, the second batches have just fledged.

I quite enjoy watching the antics of our magpies - one has quite a bath time ritual in our pond. They are such talkative birds and real characters. We also have quite a few jackdaws locally and they also visit our garden to hoover up the seed that's fallen from the feeders - love their chattering.

Last edited: 11 July 2017 07:26:26

Apple tree

Posted: 11/07/2017 at 07:09


Apple tree

Posted: 11/07/2017 at 07:08

It's  very difficult to ID apples from photos - even when we can see them : ) There seems to be a photo glitch at the moment.

re harvesting - apples are ready when they come away from the tree very easily with the slightest twist. If you have to put any effort into pulling then they aren't ready. Cookers are usually much bigger than dessert apples but the best test is trying to eat one. It's too early yet, I think even early apples aren't usually ready until August - but I may be wrong.

The Brogdale institute will ID apples for a fee And sometimes you see Autumn apple fairs which may have someone who can id varieties.

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