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Latest posts by Dovefromabove


Posted: 18/01/2015 at 07:58

Good morning Wintersong - you're up early  - even for you!  I slept in a bit for a change

Temp in the back garden dropped to just below freezing overnight but I think it was lower at the front of the house where the road runs down to a frost pocket.  The road certainly looks icy. 

Height, dry shade, north-facing - I'd go for a holly or a fatsia japonica



Posted: 18/01/2015 at 07:39

Hi Thomas and welcome

The first thing I'd say is with vegetables, grow things you like to eat - it may be obvious but you'd be surprised how many people I've known who grow swedes or spinach for example, but hate the stuff.

If you like beans, dwarf french beans are ideal for growing in raised beds - you sow them in April/May time.  They're pretty straightforward to grow and will give you a good crop quite quickly, so they're encouraging for new gardeners

Runner beans are more tender (that means they will die if they get frosted) so you plant them out in late May/early June depending on whereabouts in the country you are and when you get your last frost.  However, you can start them off in pots in your greenhouse where they'll be protected from frost.  Runner beans need to climb so you'll need some tall bamboo canes (6-7ft) or similar to build a frame for them to climb up - the simplest way is to build a wigwam tied at the top and then plant two beans or bean plants at the bottom of each cane.

Do you like salads?  If so some lettuces would be easy to grow (but you will have to keep an eye out for slugs as they like them too).  I don't like to use slug pellets in my garden because they harm wildlife so I trap the slugs in yoghurt pots of beer - they die happy!

If  there's someone in your household who likes cooking, you'll be very popular if you grow some herbs - chives, mint, parsley, thyme are all good to start with and can be bought quite cheaply as small plants from the garden centre in the spring.

As for the flowers - are you wanting flowers to pick for the house?  

And as for roses, with the greatest respect to Perki I have to disagree about the soil - you don't need to buy ericaceous compost in for them, they're perfectly happy in most garden soils in the UK.

However there are some plants that do need acidic soil -  eg rhododendrons - so if you're buying plants it's best to check the label carefully or ask someone who knows.

At this time of year I would weed your raised beds and dig some well-rotted farmyard manure into the soil - you can buy it in bags from the garden centre.

Another useful thing to do now would be to get some pallets and make a couple of compost bins  That way you can turn garden and kitchen veg waste into compost and in the future you can use that to improve your soil rather than having to buy so much compost and manure in.

And yes, now's the time to get your greenhouse repaired and shipshape - I don't have a greenhouse in this garden, so I'll leave that for others to tell you about.

And one more thing - start to encourage birds into your garden - they're the gardener's friends and will help you to get rid of the slugs and aphids that can attack your plants - so hang up some peanuts and birdseed for them now and they'll start to regard your garden as their territory and a place where they can find food and in the summer they'll come and eat the aphids for you 

Do feel free to come and ask us questions - we like to help and nothing is too simple or straightforward - the only daft question is the one you didn't ask.

Good luck

Overwintering daffodil bulbs

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 20:19

If you don't plant them now they'll rot and die. They need to be growing - you can't make them stay dormant.

What would you do with this huge garden?

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 20:17

A chicken run, a veg patch, a greenhouse , an orchard and a walnut tree, a little stand of coppiced hazels with snowdrops and wild daffodils beneath them, a wigwam made of living willow, some island beds of perennials and shrubs, (and when little one is bigger, a wildlife pond) .... I could go on and on .... 



Posted: 17/01/2015 at 19:46

You've all been chatting away on here - and a visit from David K too - and I've been on the sofa with Columbo and my knitting

Mystery bulbs need identifying!

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 17:36

It's not gardening weather - we might take a bit longer when we can get out into our gardens

Rowan tree issue??

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 17:35

Did you get it from a reputable nursery/garden centre?  Most of them give guarantees on their plants.

Mystery bulbs need identifying!

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 16:58

Look like hemerocallis to me

Daily Bird Sightings 2015

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 15:40

So excited - we have a new bird for this garden - well since we've been here anyway. 

There's a very handsome Grey Wagtail busy searching out insects around the edge of our wildlife pond - poking amongst the shingle on the 'beach' and hopping from rock to rock  - the pond has ice on it but it's thawed at the edges and the wagtail is also walking across the ice and seeking out insects in the overhanging plants on the banks - I am very chuffed

Rowan tree issue??

Posted: 17/01/2015 at 15:16

It rotates when I click on it.

Sadly that doesn't look very hopeful to me - think that tree is nearly dead. 

Discussions started by Dovefromabove

Visit to Bressingham Gardens

Monday 27th July 
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Foxglove 'Illumination Pink'

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ID please

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Flower ID please

Spring flower in Northern Brittany  
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Sisyrinchium striatum

Aunt May 
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The reason I'm not weeding

And it's not laziness ...  
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Markings on hosta leaves

What can I do about this pest? 
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Last Post: 03/07/2015 at 12:41

Shock!!! Horror!!!

Whatever next??? 
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Last Post: 25/06/2015 at 19:10


Congratulations to you both ... 
Replies: 28    Views: 787
Last Post: 21/06/2015 at 19:25

ID please - is this Toothwort?

Can anyone confirm 
Replies: 19    Views: 510
Last Post: 15/06/2015 at 15:20

I was going to mow the lawn but ......................

Excuses, excuses, excuses .......... 
Replies: 12    Views: 387
Last Post: 14/06/2015 at 09:15

Hail storms in East Anglia tomorrow/Friday!?!?!?

Weather warning! 
Replies: 7    Views: 308
Last Post: 11/06/2015 at 19:34

Good intentions ...

Things I really must get around to doing ... one day ... 
Replies: 15    Views: 438
Last Post: 14/06/2015 at 09:09

Frost tonight!!!???

Check your local forecast ... 
Replies: 24    Views: 703
Last Post: 09/06/2015 at 10:01

Clematis cuttings

Where shall I put them? 
Replies: 10    Views: 403
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 17:45
1 to 15 of 128 threads