Latest posts by Hortum-cretae

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Artificial Grass- Flat!

Posted: 20/02/2017 at 17:58

That sounds like it's as it should be. There are several products on the market, some very 'real', and the grass does 'stick up', unaided.  Artificial grass needs no water, it won't change, except looking wet.  With respect, was it a value product? 


Does Valerian respond to the 'chelsea chop'

Posted: 20/02/2017 at 17:51

I agree, centranthus only reaches a couple of feet. I think you have the real valerian, which has a scented flower. It dies down in winter, though, so is easy to manage


trailing evergreen perennial plants

Posted: 20/02/2017 at 17:48

Consider periwinkle, particularly vinca minor in its various forms. Needs managing late in the year, or early in spring, to remove untidy trails before the flowers emerge. Cotoneaster congestus is worth trying to find. Aubrieta, valuable for its spring cheer, will clump over a wall edge quite effectively, as will saponaria ocymoides. If it's in a sunny spot, origanum vulgare 'Aureum' will mound up and over, too.  It's tough as anything, has lovely flowers in mid- late summer and can be used in cooking, of course. Maintenance - just cut off the old flower stems in late winter.


Last edited: 20 February 2017 17:49:20

Black lady birds,red spots

Posted: 20/02/2017 at 17:42

Harlequins, the 'baddies', usually have four orange blotches, evenly placed on the black background.  The problem with them is that they not only eat the greenfly, but move on to any native ladybird larvae nearby.


Compost heaps and rats

Posted: 20/02/2017 at 10:46

I've had great success this year, by accident, really, when my ferret disturbed a number of rats under the shed at work.  They've not been back and it's three weeks plus now.  (Ferrets hate rats, but I never deliberately use mine against them, because it makes the ferrets nasty and can be dangerous for them, too).  Anyway, I tested the use of ferret bedding in a couple of locations. One, a roof space where squirrels were causing a nuisance. Sorted, they've not been back.  Second test was again in a roof space, where rats had got in via an ivy clad wall.  Again, it seems to have worked because there's been no rat activity at all since.  I know the use of predator dung and bedding isn't an unknown thing, but I was a little surprised by the result and the length of time the effect's lasted.


Plants in pots

Posted: 18/02/2017 at 17:21

1. No difference, although I'd prefer clay because, as long as a correct watering and feeding regime is in place, clay breathes, allowing a bit of excess moisture to escape.

2. In theory, yes, but it's often a fight to try to contain a plant that wants to be much bigger

3. Yes, if the plant is not fed the correct amount of food and water, but many plants will stand being crammed for years in a pot if they're getting everything they need. 


Please , what type of tree is this

Posted: 14/02/2017 at 14:51

It's prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel) and no, it's not dying, but it's starved of food and water, so part of it has suffered. In a few weeks' time, give it a good organic mulch or a feed of a good quality fertiliser and, if the weather's dry, a couple of buckets of water. Check for damage low on the side where it's yellowed, just in case something has broken. The good green bit will probably take over. Mine was 12 ft tall in just a few years, so it's a vigorous enough shrub. Consider cutting out the yellowed bit, about late March time. Can't see if it's in a pot. If it is, then that would seriously inhibit its growth potential 


Which tree??

Posted: 14/02/2017 at 14:46

Have a look at eucryphia nymansensis Nymansay. Mine was almost columnar, in the shade of two trees on heavy clay soil and was magnificent. Pic attached


Identification please

Posted: 14/02/2017 at 13:47

Yes, agree, scarlet elf cup. The other one might be faded turkey tail. The plant, hmm, possibly opposite-leafed golden saxifrage, which will flower in March to April, when the tiny flowers and leaves at the ends of the stems turn acid yellow green


What is it called

Posted: 14/02/2017 at 13:38



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