Gardening Grandma

Latest posts by Gardening Grandma

Side of House

Posted: 05/02/2013 at 06:34

You have a really exciting prospect ahead of you in creating a garden. Over the last ten years, I've done the same, making lots of mistakes but learning a lot. I have a long, narow area along the side of my bungalow. My husband used strong wood to put in a narrow raised bed along the boundary wall which I planted with perennials and the rest was covered with membrane and chippings to create a narrow path. At the end there is a gate which we don't use, but which creates a focal point and suggests flow into a further part of the garden. The area looks good as a frame for the bungalow and is now transformed from a depressing a bit of wasted space into a place we like to go and admire the flowers. It gets a surprising amount of sun (when it shines) and is low-maintenance because, after the initial preparation, we just allowed the plants to fill the space. I weed there once a year and occasionally enjoy myself moving things around or pinching bits for the rest of the garden because it makes a useful plant nursery.  

Please fill this in!

Posted: 05/02/2013 at 06:07

Dovefromabove, you were not rude and I should not have generalised. However, I can (just) remember what it was like to be 20 and a new graduate, and I'd have been mystified by your comment. He or she communicated the way most students communicate, with a 'please' and 'grateful' and a casual approach. But since my impulsive response was no better than other people's, I should probably shut up.

Please fill this in!

Posted: 04/02/2013 at 21:50

Joslow, I just happened on the discussion - and you are right, I did revive it and probably was foolish to do so. I am no relation to the student, as far as I know.( I suppose it could be some second cousin twice removed.)However, I used to be a teacher and have sympathy for young students who are struggling to make their way and don't have much life experience. I guess I reacted - and then spent a couple of hours regretting it.  

Please fill this in!

Posted: 04/02/2013 at 18:08

These are rather ungracious responses. The poor kid was just asking for a bit of help and the request seems perfectly polite to me. He (or she) didn't ask to be humiliated. Sorry- don't think much of this. No, I'm not sorry.These responses are rude and unnecessary.

too scared to prune

Posted: 04/02/2013 at 17:53

I agree that pruning is very satisfying and, as you say Verdun, most plants are the better for it. However, some shrubs and trees are ruined forever by wrong pruning and it is a good idea to find out all one can about the way your plant grows before cutting into the branches of woody shrubs.It had a neighbour who cut back his camellia every year into the shape of a pincushion, making a beautiful and healthy small tree into a hideous travesty of itself.Who hasn't seen trees pruned back until they are a mass of sad, spindly twigs sprouting from stunted branches? But once you understand your plant, you can cut it back drastically and make room for other plants to grow, and at the same time regenerate the plant.  

Problem with uploading pics

Posted: 04/02/2013 at 17:39

I find the uploading process very slow, and sometimes nothing at all happens. However, if I reduce the size of the picture before trying to upload it then it uploads faster.I have waited five minutes or more for a picture to upload.


Posted: 04/02/2013 at 07:57

Good comment, Verdun. I'll remember your advice.  My buddleia is a common-or-garden blue one that I grew from seed. I planted several seeds and they all germinated and grew fast so that I ended up having to throw some away. I have done most things on the cheap but am realising that it is better to invest a bit more and get quality varieties.  

Whats your plans for the garden this year?

Posted: 04/02/2013 at 07:44

We have a large trough beside the drive filled with honeysuckle and other plants, but there is no room for veg. My obsession is herbacious perennials and the beauty of plant colour and form. I'm a muddle-through gardener who knows it is time to learn to be a better one, able to have a picture in my head of how the complete garden should look in every month of the year and able to care for plants properly. There isn't a grerat deal of money to spare for this but I have also realised that it is better to buy one really good acquisiton for the garden each year than to fritter the money on bits and pieces as I love to do. I have an arch at one end of the front garden (meant to create a focal point)  that is made of cheap metal and is rusting and I'd like to replace that with a good one before the plants get too big to be able to get at it.

Early flowering white rose

Posted: 03/02/2013 at 18:47

Full marks for persistence and kindness, but it is neither of them. I think the rose I have is a close relative of rosa banksiae but was bred in the 50s, maybe by Fry's roses. I have lookoed under climbers and ramblers and have tried quite hard. Asking the question here is a last resort since I'm no expert but love learning and am hoping for greater wisdom from a wiser gardener than me.

B******* Magpies

Posted: 03/02/2013 at 18:42

Thanks for all this excellent advice. I have largely stopped throwing food onto the garage roof and if the magpies land on the lawn, my two small dogs have a lot of excitement driving them off. However, there is a colony of them on a nearby common and I know I won't get rid of them. Similarly, seagulls come inland when the weather is bad (pretty often, then). They have always done this but in previous houses, we have not been without smaller birds. This area seems blighted of them. I do know that magpies raid the nests of smaller birds.

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