Latest posts by CornishCris

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Talkback: How to lift and store dahlias

Posted: 16/10/2012 at 23:15

When I first speak to a client about redesigning their garden I always ask them to be honest about how much time and money they wish to spend in their garden,

Dahlias are on my high maintenance list and I would not recommend them to any client who is not willing to put in the time. The combination of staking/feeding and dead heading plus the pests that they attract requires some effort. 

Although I am based in Cornwall which is milder than most areas, the above average rainfall that we experience means that dahlias are prone to rotting if left in the ground over winter, so I prefer to lift them and store them in the greenhouse, this also means that they get a head start in spring.

Some of my clients who are more affluent seem quite happy to use them as disposable bedding and they are willing for the local nursery to do all the hard work, which is another option.

Anyway I wish you all good luck with them next year.

Oh yea, oh yea,oh yea, an amazing announcement

Posted: 16/10/2012 at 23:00

I have just logged in and I am deeply mortified by my faux pas, what can I do to make amends? Is it easy to change my username.

Christopher2/Verdun I am deeply sorry if I have caused any distress .

New home - Blank plot

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 16:19

The secret to the good design of a large space is to break it into a series of rooms. You can then theme these rooms and develop each one individually as you have time and cash. Even by introducing a number of paths on your garden will make the task appear much smaller and more manageable. 

If you know the plants that you like that will help too. I would buy a cheap soil test kit to make sure that you are  buying plants that suit your soil type. You will also need to consider your location and weather conditions.

One technique is to take a photo and print it out on normal paper and then draw your designs on top of the photo. This way you can have several goes at designing.

Does your husband have a preferred style? If so you will be able to find good examples on the Internet for inspiration.


Posted: 15/10/2012 at 16:11

I have had a couple of Rosemary plants for 7 years, they stay out side all winter with no problem at all.

Can an architectural graduate move into garden design?

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 16:10

Hi Christopher I am in Lanivet, what a coincidence, where are you based?

Can an architectural graduate move into garden design?

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 12:41

I would contact a local garden design company and ask for their help with work experience and qualifications.

I did the RHS Certificate in Horticulture at Bicton College and it gave me a lot of the skills you are looking for but I would still need to do a garden design course for any official recognition.

I would also love to be a garden designer but the work seems very slim on the ground at the moment . I have also done quite a bit of work with family and friends and like you received plaudits but this seems to count for nothing with any of my local firms. 

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

lemon trees

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 11:03

In Feb I reshape my plants by the removing overcrowded branches. They can be pruned back by up to two-thirds at this time. Make sure that they have plenty of light over winter. You have done very well to get so many lemons

Weeping Rose

Posted: 15/10/2012 at 10:18

I grow lots of roses in pots and do not have any trouble over wintering them. I prefer to keep mine on the dry side.

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