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Jess is in the Garden

Latest posts by Jess is in the Garden

Acer advice needed

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 22:09

THIRTY acers Osaka???!!!! You should be in this weekends Open Gardens event!

Well, if you think my advice is ok, then I am honoured, as you are pretty much an expert

Acer advice needed

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 09:41

Hello DHC

I've got one planted in a pot and another in open soil. Both are dwrf varieties - is yours?

My potted one is green leaved and likes dappled shade.

I potted it up in 100% ericaceous, though acer growers have since told me that most acers will tolerate neutral soil too. Since I didn't know what pH my soil was, I played it safe and went for ericaceous.

Mine was in a 3L pot and I planted it 2 years ago into a round pot of about 40cm diameter.

Acer grower  lady I chatted to at a flower show advised me to lift it after 3 years, unfurl roots and cut them a bit shorter, then put back into same pot. Then pot onto its final pot after 5 years.

I added lots of grit and some broken crocks to the bottom of mine for good drainage - they like it moist, especially around the roots (no drying out), but free draining too.

I also put some bark chips over the surface to help with keeping moisture in.

I have mine in a sheltered bit of the garden alongside a shed - they do like protection from a very blustery site and the green ones like mine like dappled shade as they can become scorched in full sun. My purple leaved palmatum likes it sunny (leaf colour better) but it dried out too much west facing, so re-sited it to a more sheltered position and it doesn't dry out now.

Hope this helps.

tiny grub nestling in frothy saliva 'nest'!

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 19:16


I think I may squish them - almost impossible to water jet them off a sedum roof without drowning my neighbour and his garden in the process!



tiny grub nestling in frothy saliva 'nest'!

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 13:46

interesting - thanks for all you replies - not noticed many on my roses ans sedums and certainly no immediate damage, but they are unsightly, so I may hose them away yes.

tiny grub nestling in frothy saliva 'nest'!

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 09:56

aaah thanks Berghill - I had wondered...

tiny grub nestling in frothy saliva 'nest'!

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 22:06

oooooh! you're all so knowledgable!

so if they're harmless to the plants  (must be a first in my pest-ridden garden) should I be ecofriendly and leave them be?!

tiny grub nestling in frothy saliva 'nest'!

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 21:08

I've just found a few of these in my London garden - they are pale green/yellowish and about 2mm long. I think they are grubs or caterpillars...I only noticed them at all because they seem to exude a weird, frothy spit-like substance in which they sit, if that makes sense, usually in the join of two branches (noticed them in my shrub roses and sedum green roof mainly).

I propmptly squished them in disgust.

What are they?

dark leaved evergreen shrub needed

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 20:47

Oh wow Verdun - I'm off to do some serious googling! Thank you

Cotinus is amazing, but I'm worried that I may not be able to control it as I'm away for much of the Summer...may return to find a baobab tree in my garden.

Hadn't thought of hebes - good idea too.

I have some purple heucheras which I love...Tom Thumb is probably the best option as it's not too massive and I have another pittosphorum close by too. I love the fact it's evergreen - in such a tiny garden that's so important or things look a bit bleak come December.

Thanks again

dark leaved evergreen shrub needed

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 20:28

It's a verry shallow border, bordering plum slate. Raised flower bed one side, small buddleja the other and a dwarf apple tree.

Pretty good soil - heavy clay mixed in with lots of well-rotted stuff, so very free draining and rich. Just been mulched too. 

No idea what pH but roses love it.

Ideally looking for something that has a very striking deep plum/burgundy/maroon leaf, possibly evergreen, but not anything spikey like berberis as kids running about nearby. 

A gorgeous Cotinus (Smoke Bush) caught my eye today and that's just the colour I want, but grows up to 5m so that put me off a bit (my garden is only 6mx6m urban, so I need a bush that won't invade and will grow quite compact, perhaps no more than 1m or so)

Can a Cotinus be cut back a lot to keep it in check, or is there something even better out there I know nothing about?! (very likely, as my knowledge isn't vast!)

Exposure: bit of early east sun, then sun again from about midday to 2ish. Protected, against a fence in a walled garden.

Thank you


Identify plant

Posted: 08/06/2013 at 22:58

cow parsley, maybe??

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