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Latest posts by DianaW

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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.

Bare Root Wallflowers

Posted: 08/11/2014 at 11:13

The local gardeners all buy their wallflowers bare-rooted from Columbia Road's Sunday plant market. They come crudely bundled together, with clay sticking to their roots, and thrive happily in any clay-based soil. The colours (which one can't tell when buying, obviously) vary from lemon yellow to rust red,with every intervening shade, and they smell wonderful.

I've never found them to self-seed, though. Must get better at not only harvesting but using the seed from my favourites....

Ivy, holly and cyclamen - everywhere!!!

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 18:41

Don't kill them, Bob21: you're lucky to have them! Just dig them out and use them elsewhere, or offer them to anyone nearby who's interested in plant swapping. I use Streetlife but your local gardening group will probably have plant 'bring and/or buy' sales, if that's easier for you. Or donate them to the nearest community garden.

State of Water in Water Butts

Posted: 09/08/2014 at 21:09

Seconded, nutcutlet.

State of Water in Water Butts

Posted: 08/08/2014 at 17:30

I'm principally using a 1500 underground rainwater tank, taking the entire rainfall flowing off slate roofs. It holds enough for about 3 weeks' watering of all my pots and veg patch (as long as I don't also water the lawn) in an entirely dry spell like last summer. The water is only a couple of feet under ground level but stays tepid all year round.

No problem with scum etc but I do have to clean leaf rubbish out of the tank's internal filter every so often. I'd skim scum off the top of water in an above-ground butt and then use the water on the earth around plants, not the leaves etc.

Relaying lawn

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 10:37

I've always gardened on clay too, in London. What works for me should work for you, too.

You need to soak the ground to soften it before you try to spike it, that's all.

Relaying lawn

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 13:47

Caz, You can do a couple of things to renovate your flattened lawn. A good lawn food, well watered in if it doesn't rain, will feed the grass and get it growing well again, which may be enough.

If that's not enough, then do part or all of the traditional lawn overhaul - more usual in spring or autumn but not impossible in summer, with sufficient care. (Just make sure you don't apply grass seed too soon after a weed-killing lawn food: check the instructions on the lawn food container.)

Soften the existing lawn by soaking it. A good summer storm will do the world of good; otherwise - if you can spare the water - soak it with a hosepipe or watering-can etc. (Use the bathwater, washing-up water etc etc. if you want to save tapwater.)

Then spike the lawn all over with a fork to open up the soil, which will make the ground much spongier-feeling.

Level it off, using extra topsoil to fill any dents etc, then top-dress the whole thing. If you need to reseed it or thicken the grass, use grass seed mixed into the mixture of sifted soil/sharp sand (to help drainage). Brush it into the holes with a yard broom etc. Then water gently but regularly to get the seed growing.

1 to 10 of 51

Discussions started by DianaW

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: 196
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: 731
Last Post: 07/10/2014 at 21:41

Weirdly withering plums

Replies: 15    Views: 1541
Last Post: 26/05/2014 at 10:38
3 threads returned