Latest posts by Gold1locks

gravel on lawn

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 18:56

I have done the same. Use a lawn rake, one with thin, splayed out flexible tines. It takes time but saves on damage to your mower blades. 

20ft screen/conifer ideas please

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 18:53

Pittosporums are lovely but many varieties are not reliably hardy in many areas of the country. I lost two in a reasonably sheltered garden in Nottinghamshire a few years ago. Not so bad if it's just one specimen, but if they are used as a permanent screen then in the wrong location a really cold spell could kill them all off sometime over the next 10 years or so. So choose a hardier variety and talk to an expert in your garden centre. 

Taking up turf by hand

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 18:41

I use a heavy  mattock. I cut into the lawn with a spade, parallel lines around 12" wide, and then swing the mattock between my legs. It results in a small carpet of turf being lifted up with an even layer of about 2 inches of soil, without having to bend down as you would have to using a spade. 

20ft screen/conifer ideas please

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 07:35

Any conifer that grows to 20 feet in five to ten years isn't going to stop growing. They are uninteresting as hedging, and starve the soil  of nutrients.

Think about a shrub / tree (or several) such as Cotoneaster 'waterii' that is an attractive evergreen, grows to 15 - 20 ft in around 7 years, and produces lovely flowers,  superb berries - birds love it. It is a lax grower, which is why it flops a bit and grows out rather than up after that - It won't get any taller. You can buy them as shrubs for £7 - I bought one for my MIL last week for exactly the same reason as you. 


All year plants

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 07:28

Erysimum Bowles Mauve is a terific doer. It flowers for 10 - 12 months of the year, is cheap to buy and propagates very easily from cuttings taken any time other than mid winter. It flowers so much it exhausts itself after two or three years - going woody and flopping over, but by then you could have lots of propagated replacements. 

Cornus Midwinter Fire looks fantastic from November till April, with stems that make it look as if it really is on fire. It propagates easily from suckers - I have given away six in the last three years. It costs around £7 to buy - I saw a large one at a garden centre last week reduced from £40 to £20 - mine was bigger and better looking within two years of planting. 


Posted: 07/04/2013 at 18:17

English lavender is hardier than French lavender, and some English lavender are a lot hardier than others. My English lavender 'Sawyers' is a sliver leaved variety and more tender tha most. It has not survived this winter in a reasonably sheltered spot although Imperial gem, a much hardier one, survived in an exposed spot, in a pot (which gives less portection than open ground.

In the winter of 2011 all my bay laurels appeared to have been killed, all the leaves went brown, the stems went black, and I could see no new growth until JUNE! I nearly dug them up in May!! Now they are back up to 4 ft tall and looking really healthy. 

Rooting Rose cuttings?

Posted: 05/04/2013 at 13:23

I have successfully propagated roses two years running, using Dovefromabove's method, which Monty demonstrated 18 months ago. I took  10" pencil thick cuttings in early October and  placed them in a 6" trench with an inch or two of sharp sand, and just left them to it. I panicked autumn before last because we had several days of warm sunny weather immediately afterwards, and the cuttings still had leaves, and I worried that they might dry out, as I didn't cover them. They didn't.  I got around 50% success, some varieties more successful than others so for safety take three cuttings for each one you need. This year i have several New Dawn, Shropshire Lad, All that Jazz  and Emma Hamilton - MIL has some spares coming her way. 

verbena bonariensis

Posted: 05/04/2013 at 13:13

My Lincolnshire garden is exposed to cold easterly winds  and last year the temperature dropped to -10C on several occasions, and we had lots of snow. My verbena bonariensis got cut back to ground level but then regenerated (as well as lots of new seedlings). It is a lot hardier than some older gardening books suggest. 

Cosmos problems!

Posted: 05/04/2013 at 12:56

I grew Cosmos from seed last year and ended up with 6 ft tall plants that looked more like shrubs than annuals, with no flowers until October, and then only a few. I read somewhere that they need a lot of sunshine to flower well. I am trying again this year. 

May In Your Garden

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 18:53

Inkadog, propagating Sambucus Black lace is easy - take hardwood cuttings, just like you woudl with buddlejas. 

Black Lace is 'patent protected' but that only matters if you were intending to sell the plants under the 'Black lace' name. 

Discussions started by Gold1locks


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