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Latest posts by jo4eyes

colour in a shady garden??

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 15:20

Now you see I lost all mine! There were loads along the verges as I drove to NWales t'other day- kept saying I must try again now have more light in the garden. J.

Fork Handles

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 15:17

Still havent phoned the Aunt- oops!

Think shall go & clean the bathroom first & quickly hoover where I need to, then shant be sooo ratty when do phone her back as promised. Tennis not grabbing me either match at the mo.

Have just wondered if BG were phoning to tell OH about the replacement gas meter we are overdue after the spectacular failure of the prototype smart meter that was replaced just before Christmas. Too late now, sorry..........J.

Talkback: Insulating a cold frame

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 15:12

Tracie, Kate lives a lot further south than you or me- am in Manchester. So we have colder & longer winters than she does.

Ordinary, low rise coldframes- wooden, plastic, aluminium framed- can be successfully insulated with sheets of polystyrene, such as comes with packaging, around the sides, with extra fleece sheets on top of any plants inside.

I would only tend to use a plastic greenhouse for over-wintering small hardy plants, usually grown from cuttings taken earlier in the year. By well wrapping the actual pots of bigger plants, plus using a couple of fleece sheets over them you should be able to keep some things. Dahlias, pelargoniums & other non-hardy plants I wouldnt personally risk.

I'd certainly search out the actual correct sized fleece cover for your greenhouse & get one, plus extra fleece & be prepared to really secure the whole to a wall/fence as securely as possible. J.

colour in a shady garden??

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 14:41

I agree with everyone else, except I just cant grow corydalis!

Accept that your garden will probably be best in the Spring, before the overhanging leaf canopy increases. It could also be quite dry beneath that canopy, plus from the tree roots, so for any planting you do do, make 'soil pockets' & add as much compost/leaf mould at planting time as you can. The plants will thank you for it.

A book I had on permanent loan from the libary, until I got my own copy is Green Tapestry by Beth Chatto. Also The Woodland Garden by her- but on a much bigger scale than most 'normal' size gardens. Lots of ideas though.

Absolutely inspirational to me when I was despairing of my part shade plot. J.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 14:32

And I was grumbling about the April shower type senario up here!

Friend in NWorcs has had an overflowing pond this morning- luckily they do live on a hill, so all the excess draining away from the house.

Muggy, breezy, some sun trying & about 24C in my bit Manchester at the mo. J.

Fork Handles

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 14:26


If I get one more cold caller...!! BG for OH & a right smart alec he was too! Doorbell- parcel for daughter. OH's Aunt phoning just as started to clean kitchen floor- at least an hour a call with her, so cut her short & will take a deep breath b4 phoning her back as promised. 3!! squirrels attacking the bird feeders, which have now been taken down!

Was going out to do some cutting back, but even that scuppered by the weather- short sharp showers.

Apart from all that- the 50p lupin still around & the 2 courgettes are growing & have the first set of toms in greenhous, so not all doom & gloom.

OH good, shall phone OH's Aunt now as AM on court & with TH commenting.....ARGH! J.

Talkback: Growing lupins

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 22:32

Well I'm not holding my breath in my slug heaven garden, but the one I got for 50p yesterday is now planted out with a copper strip collar. Nothing to lose. J.

Screening help

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 22:28

You can keep Escallonias pruned hedge-like. Just wish I'd thought to do that here!

I think it's only big/forest-type trees that have roots that spread a lot further than we realise. Could be wrong. Cherry a pest in that the roots are shallow, so pop up in lawns- easy to trim every time it's cut- & in my case a greenhouse bed!

If your soil is clay then I'd certainly find out as much as possible re the root habits/spread of anything being planted fairly close to property- yours & neighbours! Also the age of your property will dictate the probably depth of drains, foundations etc.

If there has been a tall hedge there previously then you may have an idea already of the root run it had. The soil there will also be depleted of nutrients too so try & get as much improvement into the area before you do fresh planting.

Sorry not being more specific. J.


Fork Handles

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 22:13

Well I hope Geoff has enjoyed himself.

Daughter & me had a great visit to Bodnant, NWales. Yes some rain, but not as much as predicted, or perhaps because we were under the big trees a lot of the time so it didnt reach us. There was certainly more water lying on the roads closer to home tonight.

The borders were good. I've previously been earlier in the year so it made a change to see them properly in flower. I bet they look really good later on in the season too. The subtle staking was noted- daughter did my peony after seeing the way they were staked at another NT garden.

Unfortunately my bright idea of popping into Ikea at Warrington, on the way back, via M6 backfired somewhat with major traffic probs with 2 lanes closed due to an accident. Loved (not) the fact that the overhead m/way signs didnt tell us of the problems until actually on the no-return access road to M6 from M56! Did mean that we could easily listen to Wimbledon on the radio though, whilst moving very slowly.

Anyway 2 more plants have come home with us. Very reasonably priced too.

Another busy day tomorrow, so shall be glad to flop on Thursday! Doesnt look as if it will be dry enough to do anything outside though. J.

Screening help

Posted: 26/06/2012 at 21:56

Hi Louise, laurel is a possibility, but not the fastest growing to that height. It also is best trimmed by shears/loppers, not a mechanical cutter, to save brown edges to the cut leaves, so to maintain in the future you may not want that.

There are Escallonias that grow pretty quickly, IME, are evergreen & also have flowers. Taller varieties of Mahonias are quick growers, prickly if needed for security & also flower in the winter. Pyracanthas too, flowers, berries & thorns- again can be pruned to 'hedge style'. Holly is slow but can become a good hedge in time.

You can use conifers, as long as you are prepared to keep them trimmed to the height allowed/wanted. Dont forget the width too, they dont just 'go up'. Any hedge will dry out the adjacent soil with its' roots.

Having a path next to the hedge will allow easier access for maintenance to it, so although it initially feels as if you are losing some garden, true, it does make life easier in the long run. Trying to trim a hedge whilst not damaging emerging/growing bulbs/plants isnt easy!

A mixed hedge eg different plants, evergreen & deciduous could also be a possibility- hawthorn for instance is wonderful for wildlife & again has thorns if needed. BTW thorns wont be ideal with young children in the garden.

Are you sure that you will be allowed a high hedge? Your council may insist on 2m/6' 6''. Also if the boundary adjacent to a public area eg footpath/road then thorns, although a security help, are a 'no no' in this day & age of compensation etc. J.

Discussions started by jo4eyes

Care & maintenance of elderly Bramley apple trees.

Replies: 2    Views: 2078
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 20:32

Suggestions for planting in a sunny, boggy site.

Replies: 5    Views: 1288
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 22:38
2 threads returned