Edit D

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What kind of situation would you call this?

Posted: 08/02/2015 at 07:01
Thank you everyone. The east bit is awful, i can't get a fork into it it is so dry and full of roots. I have read somewhere once that the trick to plant under trees is to create pockets of good soil among the roots. Do you think this would work or would any compost/manure I pile on there just feed the tree and shrubs?
Regarding the main bed, i do have one rose in there that's thriving, two other roses I had really struggled though and ended up on the compost heap after years or being disease-ridden and stunted despite my best efforts. There is one stunning azalea that I inherited from the previous owner, a struggling philadelphus, a euonimus fortunei that looks quite ok, and I have recently rescued a camellia from my mother-in-law's garden that appears to have settled in well. I guess the soil must be on the acid side? I have not thought of trying lupins and phlox, thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a go. But first it's soil improvement time

What kind of situation would you call this?

Posted: 05/02/2015 at 23:58

Hello everyone,

I need a bit of help in figuring out what I have on my hands. This is going to be a bit long, I apologize in advance.

My garden is heavy clay throughout, I suspect that most of it is subsoil dumped on when the house was built, with a token amount of topsoil on top. You dig down one spade depth, you can literally sell it to potters for throwing pots. I understand that heavy clay soil will need a lot of improving, but it will always remain clay soil, albeit improved. Here is where it gets confusing for me. The garden is on two levels, first area is level with the house, then a sloping flower bed across the entire width of the garden, then the upper level. Here's the question: would you call the sloping bit, with heavy clay soil, and facing north, but not shaded by walls or trees a north-facing aspect, or full sun? And would you call it well-drained because it's on a slope, or would you call it waterlogged because it is heavy clay? I find that in winter and wet weather it is sticky and wet, and in summer it is bone dry on the surface, but wet enough at a spade's depth. Same question goes for the east-facing sloping bit at the side of the garden? This one is backed by a garden wall which means it only gets sun in the morning, but does this make it a partially shaded wet area, or a partially shaded dry area? It already has a couple of large, mature shrubs and a tree in this bit, so I assume those roots are taking up a lot of the moisture because I struggle to grow anything in there at all. It is literally bare soil, with even couch grass only struggling in it here and there. I am finding it very difficult to know what types of plants I should try to grow in these bits, anything I have tried so far seems to struggle, regardless of whether it's meant for sun, shade, dry or wet situations. Help please?

Work in Progress

Posted: 19/10/2012 at 10:45

Wow! You're talent is an inspiration, I often wished I could build things like these, and you really inspire me to just give it a go.

Mr Haynes, any chance of seeing a feature about Eddie's work in the magazine? I think it is definitely worth it and a lot of people would be very interested to see what has been achieved.

Keep up the amazing work, I am really looking forward to seeing more pictures!

Inspiration and ideas needed

Posted: 28/09/2012 at 11:53

I'll play devil's advocate. I'd say paint the rest of the wood either the same colour or the same sort of colour just a few shades lighter. Then plant lots of plants with silver variegation - i.e. plants that have silver or white streaks / stripes / blotches in their leaves. And plants with white and light-coloured flowers. What you'll have is an extremely sophisticated black and white garden with plenty of green. Check out these photos I took at the Chelsea flower show a few years ago, this is the sort of effect I mean. Of course, it's not everyone's cup of tea, so just think about what sort of things you like and take it from there.

For the lawn, if you prefer to have one at all, make sure you choose a special seed mixture for shady areas. Geraniums, some roses that tolerate shade, japanese anemones are all great in my north-facing border, and my soil is good enough for pottery it's got so much clay. When in doubt, just check the label, if it says it tolerates shade, give it a go. Check out the plant search feature under the plants tab on the gardenersworld website where you can select plants based on the soil and light conditions, then you can pick the ones you like the look of.





Liriope muscari

Posted: 12/09/2012 at 09:25

Liriope muscari

Posted: 11/09/2012 at 17:09

I wonder if anyone has tried growing lilyturf in clay soil? I would really love to have it in my garden, but not sure if it will cope with the soil conditions. Has anyone had any experience with this?

Talkback: Where are the ladybirds?

Posted: 21/08/2012 at 12:41
I have also been wondering what happened to them. Last year I literally couldn't walk across the garden without accidentally stepping on one, this year I can't recall seeing any at all. I never clean up in the autum, preferring to tidy up in the spring, and parts of my garden still need clearing out so they are basically just wild grassy and shrubby bits, so in theory plenty of cover. I had been wondering whether the extremely wet conditions were to blame, it's been raining non-stop from April to July in Colchester where I garden. It's a shame the multitude of spiders in my garden don't seem partial to greenfly :(

Talkback: Growing honeysuckle

Posted: 14/08/2012 at 12:35
I wish my honeysuckle would be doing this well. I have inherited one on the east-facing wall in my garden. It's got two or three very long, bare stems growing all the way up to the top of the wall. Last year it had one flower on it, this year is a huge improvement on that, but still only a handful of clusters. Does anyone know whether it's ok to cut it hard back in the hope that it will bush out? I've not dared to do it in case I kill it, as I'd dearly love to keep it.

Talkback: Growing lupins

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 12:48

I would love to grow them but they seem to really dislike my heavy clay soil. Does anyone know if they do well in pots?

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What kind of situation would you call this?

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Liriope muscari

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