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Jess is in the Garden

Latest posts by Jess is in the Garden

help with difficult planting conditions

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 19:30

Hellebores, ferns, pulmonaria, snowdrops, cyclamen coum & hederifolium, north facing rose like Mme Alfred de Carriere.

Great online nursery I use, also has shade-lovers grouped into dry/wet shade etc and a good starting point.

Garden Gallery 2014

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 19:26

Busy Lizzie, your garden is lovely but, in London, it's called a park, not a garden 

plant spacing rules in border, for different plants

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 09:51

Very true Verdun 

Gradually, over the years, I have learnt to accept the soil I have (also heavy clay) and work with it, rather than battling it.

The plants that do best in my beds are roses, hellebores, fritillaries, ferns, skimmias, heucheras...all the others which are essentially Mediterranean and love sun, dryness and poorer soil  go into pots or raised beds.

It works 

plant spacing rules in border, for different plants

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 18:53
Agree with fairygirl- the look you want depends on you.
Worth browsing gardening books and online sites, then downloading or earmarking photos of what you like.
I have a large metal planter about 46cm across, made of oxidised copper, with handles. Got it cheap in a garden Ctr. Bored some holes in it for drainage, filled it HALF FULL of broken crocks. Added compost mixed on with some grit and then packed in 1 purple sage, 1 rosemary, 1 marjoram, 1 thyme and some mini spring bulbs. They do well packed in together also because they like poor soil.
Another nice container could be an old enamelled pot or colander.
Most things can be used.
You can even get aged terracotta pots if you like that look.
Don't be afraid if packing small herb plants into a pot- they look fab.


Posted: 31/01/2014 at 17:54
My first few have just come out today! Wish I had space for 50, never mind 500!

eucalyptus illness

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 17:52
Thanks all- great advice

plant spacing rules in border, for different plants

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 13:09

The plants you are considering do like very well-drained soil, preferably not heavy clay. I have tried (and failed!) planting them in heavy clay, unless I raised my borders to improve drainage and added loads of grit, light topsoil and bark chips.

This seemed to the trick for me, soil-wise.

Apart from Verbena B., which can grow 6 ft in one season and acts as a brilliant annual filler, the others (bar echinacea, which I know little about), as slow-growing and can be well-contained by cutting back, so in other words are not plants that will invade or grow out of control.

It's good to leave some space in between, when planting, and you can always fill gaps with small annuals until your other plants have grown in.

Maybe stick some bulbs in there too - sternbergia crocuses (bright egg yolk yellow) look fab growing out in between perennials and love sun - they'll come out in Autumn and self-colonise.

be aware though - many of the plants you've selected hate being overly wet and cold over the Winter - I have lost many due to that, and due to planting at ground level in clay.

I find they do best in pots, where I can control the environment for them better.

have a think about adding height to your border too and possibly a feature.

Have a look at this for some planting ideas and above all, don't be afraid of moving things and making mistakes - we all do and it's part of the fun and the process

For photos:



Posted: 31/01/2014 at 12:56

Are they in the green landgirl?

If not, then apparently (I've been told by more experienced people on here!) that they dry out out very quickly and they may need soaking before planting out, unless you're doing it straightaway.

If I'm not 100% accurate, I'm sure someone will soon correct me 


Hope you get better soon!

eucalyptus illness

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 12:50

PS: is it a good time to cut it back now, do you think?

eucalyptus illness

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 12:49

Thanks, Verdun 

I shall do just that.

It had already been heavily pollarded the year before, so i was keen to let it grow back a bit, but what with this rust, I'll give it a good haircut now. Seems a shame, as the upper 2 thirds of leaves are unaffected and glorious and it had reached 7 feet! 

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