Latest posts by Fairygirl

alternatives to Box

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 18:22

I use Hebes MrsG. Some varieties are naturally rounded, so you get the ball shape without any effort. Ideal  

Add some grit or gravel to the clay for drainage and it'll be fine. I have some in pots which are Vernicosa. The bonus of  flowers for the bees as well.  They're a bit pale for me (lilac)  but not really white either, but I can forgive them as they give such good structure all year round.  Buxifolia is also ideal - as the name suggests, the foliage is almost identical to box. There are smaller ones too - Emerald something or other (Globe possibly?) which has smaller, finer foliage. 

Last edited: 16 August 2017 18:24:19

Penstemons Stopped flowering

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 18:05

That's great Emma - it really does depend on your own conditions.

Up here, the season's shorter, so I tend to divide plants in late spring/early summer - as the ground doesn't warm up quickly. I could split plants now and replant, which might mean forgoing any late flowers,  but any later and it would be best to pot up till next year as the ground's cold and wet. If you're in the south, the conditions are more favourable, so it means you have more choice for doing these jobs  

I know what you mean about cuttings - it can seem a good idea, but if you don't have the time or the facility, it's not always useful. I end up with lots of little plants tucked in the borders, or in a sheltered spot somewhere, and then I forget all about them. Usually nowhere to put them either!  

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 17:55

Re the flag Dove  - perhaps it was intentional - if that's the right way for distress  

Burgers for us tonight - have to use everything in the freezer by Sunday if I can. Might be burgers again tomorrow night  too!

Nice buns....

Stinker of a day here after the dry start. Forecast was right.  Hope it improves for my week off next week. No chance of that grass seed germinating. Far too cold. It's probably rotted by now anyway. I'll  have to redo it. 

Pooter's dreadfully slow - why does that happen every time  they' update' it - with loads of c**p I don't need or want.  Ludicrous. 

New lawn advice

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 17:42

Ooh err - I think you're right. Looks like two completely different types of turf there. 

Think I'd be forwarding some photos to the company you bought from. You can see the difference in the first pic too, but it's more noticeable in the second as it's grown a little.  It looks like you've done a lovely job of laying it too. What a pain. 

Penstemons Stopped flowering

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 17:37

Dividing perennials is necessary to keep them thriving. They're at the right sort of age now. You can do it when they're dormant - autumn, or in early spring when they start into growth. It depends on your own conditions as to which is more suitable. If you do it in autumn, you can end up with a lot of small plants, and if you're in a colder, wetter part of the country, they're a bit vulnerable if planted back out in those conditions. In spring, they stand a better chance of thriving. You can still do them in autumn, but keep them potted up to grow on for planting out next year. You can also take cuttings from them to give yourself more plants, should you want to do that.

The existing plants might have benefited from a bit of extra feeding if they've not been flowering terribly well. Perennials need a general feed - ideally in spring, and a good mulch of rotted manure or good compost is also beneficial. For heavy, prolific flowerers, you can give them an additional liquid feed later on to help prolong flowering. Something like tomato food is ideal. Deadheading regualrly also helps to encourage more flowers, if you have time to do that  

Concrete Planters - liners?

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 17:25

You could line with plastic (also with plenty of drainage holes cut in it) which will prevent the concrete soaking up too much moisture. It can be an issue with any raised beds as they tend to drain more easily than the ground. The proximity of the wall can also mean that the planters would be drier. 

You may need to think of a way of attaching the plastic though, as that might not be easy.

Alternatively, there might be a paint you could apply to help waterproof them a bit. I'm sure someone will have a recommendation for that - I've used Thompson's water seal on brickwork previously when I had a bed at the end of a deck which was in contact with a house wall. 

Compost alone will be fine for annuals, but you'll need something more substantial for long term planting. A soil based compost, ordinary topsoil, and/or well rotted manure would all be ideal depending on what you want to grow. 

Best hedging shrubs?

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 17:19

You need the hips from roses - not buds, R's Mum. The red fruits that form after the flowers are finished.  Is that what you meant? 

Not sure if it's only dog roses that you can use, but someone who's done it will advise   

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 08:13

Morning all/afties Pat. Sorry you both have a lurgy now. Take it easy and look after yourselves. x

Not been on here much and can't catch up so I won't try. Hope the results tomorrow are fine for chicklet - I'm sure they will be  

Clari - think we'reall getting deja vu. You're clearly being taken advantage of again. The willing horse etc. I sometimes think this country is retreating to Victorian standards, especially after seeing Hosta's post too. If staff aren't appreciated, they become so demoralised. The difficulty of finding other jobs makes it even worse for a lot  of people.How have we arrived at this in 21st century Britain?

Cool here again but it's dry for now. Ended up a nice day yesterday - we missed almost all the showers.Think I'll have to reseed all the patches of grass I did two or three weeks ago. Not warm enough for it to germinate  

Yet another chancer phoning yesterday with a huge order - show is on Sunday. 'Didn't you get my email of early last week?' No - because you didn't send one, you l**ing  **$@*  

Better go - will catch you all properly later. Have a good day - if possible...

Very tall flowers, could you name them please.

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 08:04

They do get big - and if they like your conditions they can be bigger than expected. It can come as  a shock if they don't make their full height the first season you have them too - as is often the case.

Make sure they're well staked if you haven't got other planting around them for support, or follow Bob's advice re chopping back. It can also be effective to chop the front part of the clump back and leave some taller sections at the back. 

Holes in iris leaves

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 19:07

Looks more like a Canna leaf to me. Something has had a bite out of it before the leaf has properly unfurled - creating the effect of a line of holes. It's still most likely to be slugs/snails anyway. 

Have you a photo of the whole plant? 

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