Latest posts by Hortum-cretae

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tree ident and cutting back

Posted: 02/12/2016 at 10:58

Yep, sambucus nigra 'Black Lace', cracking little tree, whether cropped down to a woody framework, as said, each February, for lovely foliage, or tidied up a little less vigorously (same time), to allow it to produce flower, which is white, but flushed purple. Makes a good addition to elderflower cordial to colour it prettily.


Petrol Hedge trimmer

Posted: 28/11/2016 at 17:45

I suppose Stihl petrol ones come into the 'too expensive' bracket?  They are superb, though. The three I've got all perform well after nearly ten years, little maintenance having been required.  All I do is ensure they're cleaned out of fuel and protected from damp before putting them away for a few months (Feb - May) and clean filters, wipe blades over etc prior to starting them again for the new season. 


Climate Change?

Posted: 28/11/2016 at 09:51

NO punch-ups!


Can anybody tell me what this plant is?

Posted: 27/11/2016 at 16:28

Phormium tenax cultivar, New Zealander, ugly bloomin' things, but others may disagree!  The only one I'll consider using is the cultivar 'Yellow Wave'. It will look awful cut/pruned, it just won't work because the leaves all sprout from the base. To reduce it, you'd have to remove clumps/offsets at the base, but that won't alter the height 


Conflicting advice on drainage and soil

Posted: 27/11/2016 at 16:24

Firstly, water running towards the house always concerns me, because the onus is on you to keep the drainage channel clean. Still, not impossible.

I don't think the sand will matter, if it's the original subsoil, because it will aid drainage. Do make sure it's sharp sand and not the yellow stuff that builders use for cement, because the yellow much has salts in it which will kill plants. 

If the garden is prone to waterlogging, then a land drain/french drain might help, but properly cultivated soil under the grass will drain evenly anyway.  

Re compost, again, properly cultivated topsoil is fine.You can feed the lawn next spring once it's established. If it's to be done now, it won't need much food and the compost is unnecessary, to my mind.

Gravel boards will be easier to fix before the topsoil is brought in because the soil will bring up the levels and make it more difficult for the fencer to do his job, I'd have thought.

That's what I think.


Climate Change?

Posted: 27/11/2016 at 16:14

I don't think there's much argument about global warming if you see the facts re the arctic circle ice melt, but, we still get drizzle at Christmas across much of the country, despite the films we used to watch and we get cold weather as 'the days grow longer', which fact was spoken about a century ago. However, re 'Lucifer' and many other plants I can think of, I think that a combination of our knowledge of where to site them and the plants' natural ability to adapt has allowed many things to establish themselves quite successfully in gardens. The number of plants available to us now is hugely increased from what even one as young as I am can remember (!), particularly when it comes to perennials, I think.


Last edited: 27 November 2016 16:14:47

laylandi hedge

Posted: 27/11/2016 at 15:54

Oops! That's drastic and could potentially kill the hedge. Anyway, your task is to hide it, so I suggest (other than a fence, which may ultimately be your preferred option), an evergreen shrub, such as prunus lusitanica, in a neat row in front of it. However, I do recognise that there may not be the space for another hedge along the garden boundary.  Alternatively, a row of various upright shrubs, some deciduous, some evergreen might work, depending on space.  Pittosporum tenuifolium cultivars, osmanthus x burkwoodii, cotoneaster franchettii for evergreens and physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo', berberis thunbergii 'Orange Rocket' and perhaps a philadelphus such as P. 'Belle Etoile' for deciduous stuff.


Not bad for a London garden

Posted: 26/11/2016 at 13:12

Like a wildlife park. Parakeets get everywhere there, now, don't they?  At least the other birds are obviously still getting a look in.  Brilliant. I've just a seen a huge flock of redwings go over. Couldn't hear their calls - hearing fails me after a 'G' on the scale!


Tree ID

Posted: 26/11/2016 at 12:33

Definitely, by that new leaf. C. frigidus, I'd go with, it's less obviously 'veiny'. Good spot, Nut. 


potting and root growth

Posted: 26/11/2016 at 08:12

One of the best for the autumn colour and it's got larger leaves than some so seems to withstand wind a bit better. I've had one here for several years - makes a superb show every time. 


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