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Latest posts by chrissieB

Ive been told,

Posted: 30/10/2012 at 16:00

Re the rooting gel - it can get dirty/infected if you dip stems etc directly into the pot - you should always pour some into a separate container to use and then thrwo away any residue otherwise you risk infecting the gel with any diseases/moulds and muck/sap etc on your cutting (should also do the same with rooting powder).

Can't think of any other reason why it would smell - unless it always does! I don't use anything as most of the plants I tend to propagate will root ok under their own steam - although I haven't got room to do very many or anything very exciting.


front door shade

Posted: 30/10/2012 at 15:52

Ooh yes I forgot about Nelly Moser - my sister had that in a very shady spot and it always did very well with lots of gorgeous flowers

front door shade

Posted: 30/10/2012 at 15:23

What about Skimmia 'Kew Green' - evergreen, glossy green leaves, pale scented flowers in late winter and bright red berries (there are lots of other varieties but this one is very nice).

Mahonias are happy in full shade - but you will need to check the variety as some grow huge. The leaves are quite architectural and evergreen and they have bright yellow scented flowers in winter.

Garrya Elliptica is an attractive wall shrub - not colourful but male plants has lovely long catkins which start off pale green and turn silver lasting for ages.

Or this wiegelia - link below is ok in full shade.

Colourful is more difficult but Japanese Anemones grow happily in shade and they come in white, bright and pale pink.

Virginia Creeper or Boston Ivy are both climbers that grow in shade and have good autumn colour

Other plants that are happy in shade are hostas, bergenia cordifolia (can be very bright pink flowers), lilly of the valley, liriope muscari (bright blue flowers)

We had a shady woodland garden and the back of our house faced north and it does feel daunting at first as you hear so much negative about having deep shade.

But quite a lot of plants will survive but they may flower less than in a sunny spot  - I learnt the hard way not to be tempted by anything that says full sun.


How do I treat a wound in the trunk of my acacia tree

Posted: 30/10/2012 at 10:23

Acacia gum (sap) is harvested for varius uses and the sap is produced naturally by the tree to heal any wounds so production is perfectly natural - it may be that the wound under the concrete is not perfectly healed or the seal is occasionally broken when the tree moves/grows triggering the tree to produce sap.

Presumably if the tree can survive being regularly deliberately wounded to harvest the sap you don;t need to worry too much, assuming it looks healthy otherwise?

I would be worried about removing the concrete as you may case more damage and expose a wider area to potential infection - you could look in your local yellow pages for a tree surgeon and ask them to come and advise you on the best course of action. They will usually do this free of charge but make sure you get someone professionally qualified - the RHS will also answer individual queries.


clay soil

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 02:04

Please don't give up and turf it - best time to dig is the autumn/winter (if not too wet- difficult this year) and no need to dig to any sort of tilth as frosts will break it down for you. But guessing you already know all this if you've been battling it for 10 years. We had clay in one of our garden and you do have my sympathy (I remember the aches and pains). If you do decide veg is too much work make the most of its fertility and plant some shrubs and perennials - much more colourful, interesting wildlife and environmentally friendly and no mowing!

Cutting back ferns

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 01:59

You can do them now if they look a mess but if you are happy to leave them then the old fronds will protect the crowns and provide cover for insects.

fruit trees

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 01:58

Autumn/winter are a good time to plant any trees just dont do it when the ground is frozen. Not sure why you would expect 'an order' to plant them in?

If they are bare rooted or even in small pots general rule is the sooner you get them properly planted with a good root run the better.

Moss on vegetablepatch

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 01:54

Moss is definitely a sign of poor drainage (and maybe some shade as well?) so as the others have said you should be able to resolve or at least reduce this by improving the level of organic matter in the soil by adding lots of compost/manure - even just muching and leaving overwonter will help and the worms will do all the work for you. You can if it is really heavy add grit. We get moss on one part of our allotment plot so just hoe it in and are adding lots of compost each year to graudally improve the soil structure. Looking on the bright side you will probably find that you get better crops now you are no longer using sulphate of iron or can grow crops that haven't previously done very well as it makes the soil acidic - most veg prefer neutral or for brassicas slightly alkaline soils.

olives and strawbs

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 01:44

I would have thought that your olive tree should be ok as they can cope down to about minus 10. If you have a sunny spot against a warm wall that should be fine. I think you can just leave the fruit on and it will drop itself - you will only get a crop in the UK if we get a warm summer , sometimes plants are forced so that they have fruit which makes them more attractive to buyers - I'm afraid that the fruit you have won't ripen now .

Are Bramley Seedlings good as Cordons?

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 01:36

You need spur- bearing varieties to train as cordons as you need to be able to keep side shoots trimmed short. The RHS recommend you grow Bramley Seedling as a bush or spindlebush (basicallya  pyramid shape). You will need to have two other varieties nearby (dont need to be in your garden could be in neighbouring area) as it needs these to ensure pollination - its a good cropper though so even if pollination isn't 100% you may get enough of a crop for your own use. If you have several maybe you could try one as a cordon anyway, just be prepared that it may not crop very well.

Discussions started by chrissieB

Living Walls

Any advice/ideas on how to create one 
Replies: 12    Views: 838
Last Post: 01/10/2013 at 19:44

Protecting broad beans?

Advice please 
Replies: 10    Views: 917
Last Post: 26/11/2012 at 16:20
2 threads returned