Jots Smythe

Latest posts by Jots Smythe

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Where is Nigel?

Posted: 12/11/2012 at 09:51

Great to see Nigel on the last programme of the series.   He did look slightly unwell (in his eyes) but I'm sure he'll have a good rest and make a great recovery for next year.     Monty, can I be Nigel's agent please?   I wonder how old Nigel is.  Does anyone have any idea?

Can't wait for the next series.

Outdoor Christmas lights

Posted: 12/11/2012 at 09:44

Yep - slightly!   but hey ho, it takes all sorts.  Try not to get bothered and carry on regardless eh?

I know this isn't the subject of lights, but I go to the £1 stores and buy a box of baubles to decorate some of the trees and can just throw them away after the new year.


Hi Newbie here

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 21:33

You are welcome.  Hope you do purchase Geoff.   Let's know how you get on with him!



FIR TREE PRUNING and shaping, or not???

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 15:59


Thanks for your response.   Yes, honeysuckle sounds a good idea.   We don't have any at the moment in the garden.   Excellent idea.   Thanks for the info re the re-growth for the leylandii.   Hoping it all works out ok.    Hoping too the man will call before not too long.

Hi Newbie here

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 12:38

Hi artjak,

I've just had a quick check and the BBC shop sells Geoff Hamiltons 40th celebration DVD  set for £10.  Amazon for £10.   On E -baby there's some for sale, and also some VIDEOS for 99p if you have a video recorder.   You would love him - such a gentle voice and person.



FIR TREE PRUNING and shaping, or not???

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 12:29

Hi Alina,

Yes, I think we will have to get the front leylandii topped.   Perhaps it doesn't matter too much what that looks like at the front side of the house - they do a good job.  It would be a massive job to have the trunks taken out -   unless we left pieces of branches, remove all the top and side green and sculpt them with ivy upwards?????  Very arty eh? 

Hopefully, new residents will get the huge thing cut down at the back.    It's higher than his second storey pitched roof -   it's a beast!!!


Hi Newbie here

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 12:24

Hi artjak,

When we visited Barnsdale we bought a set of his DVDs - called The Small cottage garden (or similar).   I wonder if Barnsdale have a web site where you can order some of his DVDs to watch?   I've never seen any of his progs on any of the 'other channels'.I wonder if E bay have any to sell??   He really was a lovely man and I was heartbroken when he was poorly after a heart attack.   On the road to recovery he was advised to buy a bike - apparently this was too much for his heart!   Wouldn't you think walking would have been the better recovery option?  Great, great, genuine, lovable man with plants first, viewers and somewhere down the line -   himself.

FIR TREE PRUNING and shaping, or not???

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 09:39

Hi all,

Many, many thanks for your responses -   very interesting.   I don't think I could bare to get rid of the blue coned fir as we bought him in a 6" pot whilst on hols in Norfolk many, many years ago and he's handsome.   Maybe he should keep his head!!!

 So..... if the 'tree surgeon' cuts the Leylandi it COULD be o.k. if he keeps to the healthy green branches and doesn't go in any deeper back????  The problem with getting rid of them  from the front is the extra cost as they are huge and big trunks -   they stop people cutting across the front of the corner of the garden (end corner plot) - which was the reason we planted them initially.  Does anyone think Laurel would be a good front garden alternative.?  It's the extra cost of bringing the 3 front Leylandiis down and the chap having to take it all away which is a concern.

Thank you all ever so much.    It's given us lots to think about.

Our neighbour at the back of us has a huge, huge Leylandi, part of which has bulked out and overshadows one of our borders, stopping the plants flowering!  That property is now for sale and empty!  We asked the tree surgeon when he came round to give a quote,  about cutting it back and I got the impression the job was too difficult and if he cut off overhanging branches then all we would see is dead brown wood??? He couldn't do anything about the height, which I suppose is understandable.   We have trimmed back as far as we can reach from our side.  The tree must be higher than his roof!!!   Any suggestions are welcome?? 

Thanks once again

FIR TREE PRUNING and shaping, or not???

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 08:41


We have a few fir trees in the back garden and the front which are too tall and stopping light.  We had a 'tree surgeon' call to give an estimate for cutting these trees. (ouch)!   Anyway, I was concerned that the trees would end up looking ugly, like a crows nest and asked if they could be shaped, but sadly not.  I am worried after paying out the money that they look horrendous -  but on the positive side I will have more light in the garden!    Does anyone have any advice.  The front trees are Leylandii x 3.    One of the back garden trees is a tall blue fir with lovely small blue cones - he's handsome and I'm concerned about his future look.

Many thanks

Hi Newbie here

Posted: 05/11/2012 at 08:36

Hi artjak,

Yes, I perfectly understand where your coming from.   We are all wanting to learn about gardening issues and to be inspired.  I used to love the way Geoff Hamilton had projects for the small garden.   He seemed to understand that most of the viewers had an average sized garden to enjoy and he did average sized projects for people to try or to take something from.    I always thought him to be a very genuine man whose love of the garden came before anything else.  I remember the story of him buying his wife a bunch of carnations, he took them home to her but before giving them, he took cuttings from the sides of the stems!    How down to earth is that??? and funny too

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