Latest posts by DianaW

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Porous weed-suppressant membrane

Posted: 04/11/2017 at 09:53

Better not to get into an argument over the necessity - or otherwise - of using plastic materials, especially new plastic, I think.

Thanks for your time.

Porous weed-suppressant membrane

Posted: 03/11/2017 at 21:19


I wasn't expecting to use anything overtly biodegradable, although - unlike a drive or patio edge - this trench won't have any footfall on it which could make the membrane prone to disintegrate faster.

If it has to be some kind of plastic material, I did hope to find that this might be one of those products made of recycled plastic - but it seems hard to find that out.

Porous weed-suppressant membrane

Posted: 03/11/2017 at 13:19

I need to line the outer side and bottom of a deep trench alongside the house wall (which is helping the damp wall and subfloor to breathe and eventually dry out) with a porous membrane. The plan is to prevent weeds from growing among the stones with which the trench is to be backfilled and (by also turning it under the top layer of pebbles) to limit the amount of leaf mould that will otherwise silt up the drainage trench.

Can anyone suggest what, in their experience, would be the right weed control fabric to use for this job (or warn me against anything they've found to be NDG)? I really want something that's environmentally friendly and/or made from recycled materials.

Talkback: Garden foxes

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 19:53

Thanks, but I'm not convinced. I accidentally encountered one of those fences (intended to keep in sheep) once, while out walking in the Highlands, and the "pinch" was unnerving even for an adult human.

While I've no objection to annoying the fox - although it's apparently illegal to cause the creatures suffering, as opposed to just killing them cleanly - I'd be bothered about hurting anything else that kind of size, which is just as likely to be my own, already beleaguered, cat as an intruding animal.

Talkback: Garden foxes

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 19:15

I'm trying chilli powder on the worst-affected areas first, because the worst of this invasion is having ever more bits of the recently-cut lawn grubbed up and fouled. (Avoiding that is clearly another reason for letting the grass grow long in a drought, but it looked SO messy...!) Buying it by the kilo is reasonably cheap in the local Turkish supermarket.

As I don't own the relevant fence and haven't any easy way to get electric power down to that end of the garden, an electric fence would be much harder to achieve - and it would hurt far more cats than foxes. I very much doubt that electrified fences are allowed in inner-city areas anyway; I've never heard of anyone installing one around a London garden.

Talkback: Garden foxes

Posted: 13/07/2015 at 23:26

Urban foxes in the street aren't so bad but they're a menace in back-to-back terraces of houses, which are normally a safe place for cats.

Silly neighbours had neglected their back garden for years, so a fox made its den there. Now they're trying to sell their house, so they're doing more to make the garden look better and evidently disturbing the fox so much that it's constantly jumping through the gap (which I'd plugged with thorny branches) between our common wall and the trellis above it, to invade my garden.

My poor cat is now terrified of going into her beloved garden unless I'm there to protect her. She tried marking her territory at first but the fox is now so bold that it comes right up to the back windows until I chase it away.

I really need to get this particular fox out of the area but they were protected, last time I looked. Any brilliant ideas - apart from improving the thorny barricade?

Pond Plants with a fountain

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 18:19

You want waterlilies, not the regular kind of lily.

But, if you yearn for lilies with your pond, why not plant them in the ground nearby or even in large containers that you can put nearby when they're in season?

Talkback: How to grow dahlias from seed

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 17:57
I did this two years ago, with hugely satisfying results and managed to grow much better plants than I got from simultaneously-bought dahlia tubers.
None of them survived in the ground the following winter, however, so I'm having to start again from scratch. And the garden centre is no longer selling the seeds I liked so much - Bishop's Children - so I'm having to find those elsewhere, too.

Talkback: How to make willow plant supports

Posted: 01/01/2015 at 14:48
Great use for ivy, too - and more gardeners will have ivy than willow to spare. I suspect that the tiresomely long and tough, thinner stems of Virginia creeper could be used instead, too.

Let's all aim to reuse what we already grow in our gardens, rather than meekly buying something because it's the traditional material for the job - even when we have a perfectly good, homegrown alternative

Talkback: How to make a Christmas wreath

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 13:57
A wreath won't stay circular as well if it depends on wire to hold its shape. It's best to twine longer (at least four feet long, to make a wreath about a foot in diameter) stems into a circle and keep twining the ends around the circle until they're all twined into it.

The easiest form of wreath to make is entirely made of ivy, used in this way. It takes up to a dozen layers of well-leaved ivy to make a full wreath that holds its shape well. I reckon it should take no more than 20 minutes to make, once you're used to the technique.

The wreath will last for several weeks if it's fixed to the outside of the house. When its leaves eventually dry up and fall, keep the stem wreath as a base for future years' use with fresh greenery.
1 to 10 of 57

Discussions started by DianaW

Porous weed-suppressant membrane

Slightly unusual use for this material 
Replies: 4    Views: 690
Last Post: 04/11/2017 at 09:53

Talkback: Fruit crops for shade

It's not true to say that morello cherries don't need sun to sweeten them. I've grown them for many years and they're only any good in a sun... 
Replies: 1    Views: 634
Last Post: 30/05/2014 at 12:49

Talkback: Give borders an autumn boost

Don't forget to include ceratostigma for their wonderful combination of red autumn foliage and brilliant blue flowers. Good grown in pots, ... 
Replies: 18    Views: 1389
Last Post: 07/10/2014 at 21:41

Weirdly withering plums

Replies: 15    Views: 4136
Last Post: 26/05/2014 at 10:38
4 threads returned