Latest posts by chrissieB

Border along our long drive; What to do?

Posted: 27/06/2017 at 07:59

I obviously can't see how bad the border is but the gardener probably suggested machinery as most people won't be willing or able  to pay for  the amount of time it takes to clear weeds and brambles properly by manual labour. Its also very time consuming to work around existing planting if a border is very infested with weeds. If brambles have taken over then it may be more cost effective to use machinery to clear them and the border completely so you have a blank canvas or accept it will take several applications of glyphosate over several months.

We are restoring a neglected garden and out of interest I have been logging the time we spend in the garden on various jobs. We have been steadily clearing a border similar in size to yours where alkanet, couch grass and brambles had taken over. Our log shows we have spent over 100 hours clearing it and digging it over. we are not in the flush of youth but reasonably fit and able so get a resizable amount done in each session - weve had to clear each section several times and dig down a couple of feet to clear roots and like yours have also had to work around tree roots.  we were shocked when I totted up the hours. We are now on what I call maintenance weeding but still a higher level that I would hope for in a cared-for garden, partly because we can't afford dense planting so have lots of bare soil and we have been clearing organically i.e. by hand so still fighting stubborn pockets od perennials and years worth of alkanet seeds in the soil.

I'm not saying all this to depress you, but do be realistic about how much time (or money if labour is bought in) it will take to clear/restore a border where weeds have started to get the upper hand espevially if you aren't happy with a more relaxed/shaggy look (maybe the country look you describe it as been currently).

As other members have suggested there are lots of plants that will survive in shade and many that will act as reasonable weed suppressants. Some of the tough do-ers used in municipal planting may also be a good choice such as cotoneaster, hypericum, ivy (as ground cover).

How to deadhead Astrantia?

Posted: 26/06/2017 at 22:05

I usually leave mine as the flowers fade gradually and the seedheads are quite attractive.

Border plants in desert like conditions

Posted: 26/06/2017 at 08:38



Posted: 26/06/2017 at 08:37

You have ny sympathy Joususa, I have tried nasturtiums several times as they are supposed to be so easy but not for me I never seem to have much success. I am sure that there are some plants I'm just not meant to grow - I always struggle with sweet corn too.......

I tried again with both this year - 1 nasturtium out of 8 seeds germinated and none of the sweet corn. Everything else has, so not sure what the issue is. The one nasturtium is small but so far strong so am hoping for at least a few flowers.....

Exhausted soil

Posted: 26/06/2017 at 08:27

Adding any organic matter will help improve sandy soil - so probably worth setting up compost bins, if not already, and composting all your kitchen and garden waste.

we have gardened very successfully on sandy, free draining soil. It's just a matter of knowing which plants are better suited. Sandy soil isnt as good at retaining nutrients so always better to feed and mulch in spring before planting than (just) in Autumn. It's  also better to keep it covered during the winter months so that any goodness is less likely to be washed away, so might be worth using green manures over the winter months to dig in during spring, these will also help up the organic matter.

Border plants in desert like conditions

Posted: 26/06/2017 at 08:21

Maybe we should have a group trip - many hands and brains may light work 😊🏖

Rose help

Posted: 26/06/2017 at 08:12

Hi Chrissy, banksia is sometimes called he Lady Banks Rose so maybe as Yvie says the peeling is natural

Pond water

Posted: 26/06/2017 at 08:07

Using garden soil shouldn't have any effect. I've always used garden soil in our ponds with no problems. The only problem I've read that it can cause is a bloom of algae if it is particularly rich in nutrients but can't say I've ever experienced that problems either.

hope you get the issue sorted out soon

name fushia

Posted: 26/06/2017 at 08:01

Sorry of this seems a daft question but are you in the USA or is it a variety from the USA?

Border plants in desert like conditions

Posted: 26/06/2017 at 07:58

Hi Alex, most of the forum members are uk based so we might struggle to give any practical suggestions. We do have a few from hotter climes so hopefully they may have some useful suggestions. Have you had a look at what any of your neighbours use? 

Last edited: 26 June 2017 07:59:04

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