Latest posts by chrissieB

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.

Greenhouse recommendations please

Posted: 10/07/2017 at 06:44

I've never heard of simplicity - are they a new make?

we are enjoying our first season our rhino greenhouse -8x12 in silver sage. Very pleased with it and love the look and colour.

Do check prices carefully - rhino look dearer at first glance but as bob says once you add up everything there is often little difference. For example you get enough auto roof vents for the size of greenhouse whereas many charge these as extras.

Also on their online shop it gives the impression that the only colour for the internal accessories is green or aluminium, but you can get everything in the colour you want. Also worth ringing or visiting to order as and seeing if you can get any discounts. We visited and got a discount code for just having ordered the brochure, also one for been a GW reader plus some of the stagoing accessories thrown in as freebies. None of this was to induce us to buy more than we intended so was worth the visit - quite a drive for us but we went as part of a day out and because we were trying to decide between two colours.

I'm no gardener, and need help with suggestions, please!

Posted: 09/07/2017 at 09:54

Couple of questions so we can hopefully give useful answers Re possible shrubs and/or climbers

How much planting space have you got? It looks a very narrow border on the photo and from experience some of the space is also lost to the concrete patio and wall footings.

Are you willling to put in a support system for a climber - trellis or wires?

And/or are you happy for plants to be wider than the border so hand over the paving  do you like your plants to stay within the border?

Good plants for very narrow borders and which are semi evergreen or evergreen and give a good mix of foliage shapes are heuchera, libertia grandiflora, hebe buxufolia, epimediums - none will give you any real height but can help soften the base of a wall.

blue plumbago from seed

Posted: 09/07/2017 at 09:46

I think there are a few varieties that go by the name plumbago - do you know which you have?

Last edited: 09 July 2017 09:46:54

Mystery weed with huge tuberous root!

Posted: 09/07/2017 at 09:27

Definitely peonies. I guess if you though they were weeds they weren't ever flowering?

Replant the healthiest bits Ina sunny spot and you will hopefully get lovely flowers next year. Don't plant too deep as that's another reason for no-show flowers.

A word on sticklebacks.

Posted: 09/07/2017 at 09:21

Sticklebacks appeared in my sister's pond and have now been there for some time. They still have toads and newts so I guess if there are enough they all find their own balance - for some reason they have never had frogs only toads even before the fish appeared.

there pond is roughly round and probably about 5ft across so not particularly large.

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