Latest posts by Fairygirl

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 16:35

Hi Liri - weather's looking a bit more promising for the next few days, but that can change in an instant as you know! I'll just have to keep everything crossed for next weekend.

The downpours we've had have been almost like hail - I couldn't make my mind up whether they were rain or hail. Today has been just lots of rain with the odd blink of sun. Not too warm - it was 11 degrees when I got home at 2 ish. April was far better. In fact - January was far better ...  

I bought some more food today too - the sparrows, young and old,  have been stuffing their fat faces. Lots of coal tits and dunnocks too. Not sure if any are having second clutches. I pity the poor things if it stays this cold!

Canna and hydrangea leaves being eaten

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 15:54

The usual culprits on Cannas are slugs/snails. If you go out at night - you might see some on them then. They often attack large flower buds like those on lilies and clematis too, which can be infuriating as it can prevent the flower opening at all if it's badly damaged. 

Healthy hydrangeas usually shrug off any minor attacks from pests and diseases - they don't have many enemies - scale and greenfly are the main two.  Scale is probably the most damaging, but you would probably see the insects quite clearly on the stems etc - they're little grey 'blobs'. Is the damage different on each type of plant?  Both of those are sap sucking - as opposed to eating holes in the plants like slugs.

A photo would help get a better ID of the problem(s). Click on the camera icon, top right of the posting woindow, and follow the instructions. If it doesn't upload, you may need to resize the pic. 

Outdoor garden sticks

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 15:34

Dunno really, nut....

I've heard people round here mention my garden as being 'big', but I think it's very small.  I expect for the size and type of houses, it probably is quite big.  Last garden was about an acre and a half, but a lot of that was grass, ponds, and rough, bramble laden scrub. Planted areas were 'smallish' - rabbits ate it all   

I'd say - stately home size is huge. Less than quarter of an acre is small. Anything in between is 'average'....  

Ok, expert lawn people, please advise

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 15:28

For now - I'd just cut that - don't take too much off the first time as it's quite long.  A week later cut again a little lower to get it to the best sort of height. Depending on where you are and what weather you're getting, you could either dig out the dandelions (which seem to be the main weed you have there) or use a bit of spot weedkiller on them.  Ideally you need a bit of growth on the weeds for it to be effective, but be careful of getting any on surrounding planting  or the grass. Wait for a calm day, and preferably till later in the evening when there are fewer pollinating insects around. 

Since it's newly seeded, it's probably best to leave anything else till spring.  You can then start a programme of scarifying, aerating, feeding etc. Just keep cutting regularly, only taking a little off at a time to keep it healthy, until growth slows up for the winter. I'd agree with the others that it'll be difficult to keep grass thriving under the tree. If you don't want anything too high maintenence, you could simply clear a circular area round the tree and dress it with bark. An edging strip of some kind will help prevent the bark 'travelling' onto the grass, and make mowing easier too. Some spring bulbs would be attractive in there, and that's something you can do in the next month or so. I'm not keen on serious underplanting of a mature tree like that,  as there's even more competition for water and nutrients, and it can just look messy, but that's a personal opinion. 

If you can/are allowed , remove all the excess stuff on the main trunk of the tree - that'll make a big difference to it.  You might be allowed to raise the canopy as well. That just means removing some lower branches, which would allow a lot of extra light into the garden. That will benefit your grass. I expect a shade mix of seed has been sown, and that's the best type for your conditions. You'll just have to play it by ear a little.

Hopefully you can maintain a nice green space with the tree as an attractive focal point. It will take a bit of work, and you'll probably need to keep the grass slightly longer than the ideal because it will grow less well in the shade you have. Good luck with it anyway. 

japanese acer

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 15:00

Do you mean the shed is blocking sun to the Acer? It will possibly be the better for it - the majority prefer some shade to do their best  


Outdoor garden sticks

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 14:57

I only label seedlings and cutting, and I use pencil. For long term planting, there are those metal labels which you can have permanently engraved, or some people use those labelling machines and attach the names, but, like nutcutlet, I'm not keen on labels on my plants.

I don't keep a record of plants in the garden as such, but I do have photos of everything, so that's quite useful. You could photograph each  individual border or planted area  at different times of year so that you can see what plants are flowering at what time. A printout of that with the names written on and kept in a file could be useful.  

I'm not that bothered if there's something I don't know the exact name of, as long as I know what it is and how to look after it, although there's very little here I haven't planted myself. It would be different if the garden was huge I expect. 


Posted: 18/08/2017 at 14:21

The problem with decorative pots is that they don't tend to have drainage holes, so it's best to use the same method as you're already using - a plastic pot inside the pretty one.

It looks like it's been a bit too wet.  It might benefit from repotting into a bigger pot, but even if not, and it's staying in the one it's in, make sure there's a little layer of gravel in the base of the white one to avoid having the plant sitting in water. I'd use some fine gravel (same as you would put in the base) to finish it off on the surface, rather than the big pebbles. 

If it needs moving into a bigger pot, you'll probably have to buy a bigger version of the white one too, as that one wouldn't accomodate a bigger plastic pot. 

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 14:10

That's great news for you Yvie. Glad it's a good outcome for you all - what a relief. Try and relax and enjoy everything now   

Love crab too BL - but rarely have it  

Hopefully a hill or two chicky, and I may walk on Tuesday as it looks promising, instead of this weekend, as I'm now off for a week. Going away next weekend up north - and beautiful Suilven is one target, but possibly a couple of Munros as well. Too far to do in a day as it's around five/six  hours driving to get up there, and longish days as well. Treating myself as the girls are also going away together  for a weekend 

Wonder how Hostie is getting on.....

Still raining here too - sorry Obelixx.  Must have been loads last night as the pond is completely toppped up. Been pretty miserable all morning although it's meant to be a bit better this afternoon. Not holding my breath. 

Do plant pots with a hole in the very bottom side provide enough drainage? (PHOTOS)

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 08:09

Hogweed's advice is spot on. I often use a bit of landscape fabric to cover holes as  well as a bit of rock or a broken crock at the base. That also helps  prevent any soil/compost washing out the hole.

Good gritty, free draining soil for your succulent and a bit more moisture retentive for the mint. That will keep them happy  

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 18/08/2017 at 07:59

Morning all/afties Pat. Just have to ride it out  

Hope you perk up a bit soon. Keep cosy and don't feel remotely guilty about doing nothing!

Hopefully Hosta will get a bit of a boost today. Very wearing when you can't get any decent sleep. Wonder how Yvie is. Thinking of you if you look in Yvie. 

Difficult for farmers to plan with harvests Obelixx, isn't it. If it's too wet or too dry at the wrong time. We still haven't cut the haylage at work - can't get four dr, in a row. 

I think the rain might have gone off - for now.  Not to last, but at least I have a week off to look forward to - hurrah! 

I hearthe Spanish police have possibly prevented more attacks. It's pretty grim - but perhaps could have been even worse. 

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