London (change)
Fri 17°C / 9°C
Tomorrow 14°C / 11°C


Latest posts by Fairygirl

Ask Alan

Posted: 07/03/2014 at 08:05

cotty- buy a few plastic pots the same size which will fit inside your urn. Plant them up for different times of year (you already have your spring bulbs) and then just swap them around. Use old pots, bricks etc inside to bring the inner pot up to the same level as the top of the urn. 

I'd like to see Alan present any other gardening programme - he's been away too long!

My question would be -  in the wake of the flooding, and extreme weather we've experienced in the last few years,what advice would he give gardeners when making changes or choices in their gardens?

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 06/03/2014 at 17:46

10 c - barely above 5 or 6 here during the day! I never sow in autumn Tracey - too much bother. I won't sow sweet peas for a while yet as it will be ages before there's any real warmth in the soil here so they'll just sit and sulk anyway. I often just sow direct later anyway and they usually catch up. We get better weather in late summer/autumn rather than spring so we get the colour at the other end of the season.

I have a little growhouse now so I might stick a few in there if I get all the other junk out of it! 


Posted: 06/03/2014 at 17:39

Could have been worse KEF - they could have been showing off their 'fruit and  veg'...


Posted: 06/03/2014 at 17:29

I hope the weather's  a bit kinder in the north east for you pd. Don't forget your waterproofs!


Posted: 06/03/2014 at 17:23

Laurels are pretty robust so it could be disease, can you see any obvious damage anywhere? Or chlorosis  - is there any discolouration of the foliage- is it yellowing for instance?  Nutrients may have been washed away in the soil so they may need a boost.  Can you post a pic Richard? It would give more info and help with other suggestions 



Posted: 06/03/2014 at 17:01

You've not got the best aspect for grass to be in it's glory but the advice so far is sound. The grass  just need a few more weeks and some better, warmer weather - like all of us!


Posted: 06/03/2014 at 16:54

Cake eating would be about the only activity available here smiler 

A really filthy day. It started badly and went downhill! Very misty and dull now. Small lake has appeared in back garden. Just waiting for the ducks to arrive 

Busy day at work so will catch up on all the posts now before I do the dinner.

Peter Beales

Posted: 06/03/2014 at 16:48

Blimey Jim- you're getting  carried away there! 

I like my Italian skies in person rather than in plants though. Actually I don't like 'blue' flowers at all unless they're purple -  and dark. More Van Gogh turbulent indigo than religious fresco...

After some help with colourful yellow shrubs for my garden...thank you :)

Posted: 06/03/2014 at 16:41

I'd agree with nut - it can be a very harsh colour so you need other things to stop it jarring. I use some of the yellowy Loniceras  (shrubby honeysuckle) as an evergreen foil for other planting and use creams, whites and softer shades of yellow to stop the brighter ones becoming too overpowering. The paler Potentillas that Verd mentions are very useful and easy to source and maintain. Lots of spring bulbs in softer shades are great for that too. You could also go in the other direction and introduce a few rusty orange colours as they can be more subtle. The Ligularias have an orangey tone to the flowers, and some of the Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia) have rust coloured flower heads. Irises are available in virtually every shade if you like them. If you like grasses, there are bronze forms of Carex which give a nice contrast to brighter planting.

If you don't want to use a completely different colour like blue or purple to get a balance, use the greatest shade of all in the garden - green. Goes with everything! 


Posted: 06/03/2014 at 16:27


The reds are beautiful. Hope you get a chance to see one 

I can send you some Blackthorn whips  to keep 'em out nut 

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