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Latest posts by keepitlive

11 to 20 of 26

Tough shrub for shady, windy spot

Posted: 10/01/2014 at 17:58

Thanks Verdun, Dovefromabove, blairs and mike w for your suggestions. Would Mahonia x media 'Charity' be suitable? I have one in my garden already and was planning to take some cuttings.

Cats in Gardens

Posted: 08/01/2014 at 20:06

I quite agree with Phillippa Smith2. I have fired off an email to the OP stating exactly what I would like to see done.

Cannot send private messages

Posted: 08/01/2014 at 18:10

Is anyone else experiencing this problem?

Tough shrub for shady, windy spot

Posted: 08/01/2014 at 15:43

I am looking for suggestions for an evergreen shrub to go in an inhospitable location. It is a cold, shady corner formed by a west-facing wall and a north-facing wall. In addition, it is just next to the northern end of a narrow passageway between two properties and as such, is often windy.
A mature and very healthy Aucuba japonica variegata stood there until recently, but I had to remove it due to a neighbour's building work. I took cuttings, so could always do a straight replacement, but wouldn't mind ringing the changes if a suitable alternative exists.
The position is so shady that the Aucuba never showed much variegation, so presumably, similar variegated shrubs would suffer the same problem, but it would be nice to lighten the spot if possible.

You know you are getting old when...

Posted: 08/01/2014 at 15:18

When you find yourself shouting at what's being said on the radio or tv

When you spend ages looking for the phone, then find it just where you put it..... in the fridge

Will chicken wire keep moles out of raised beds?

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 17:35

Hi Jayne5. I have been using tunnel traps sporadically for some time, with no success. I have been doing some research over the last few days and came across the following website

which looks very interesting. The site has a lot of information about the creatures themselves, the types of equipment available, common myths and a mole catching guide. The mole trap that they sell is aimed specifically at the non-expert homeowner and does look easy to use. I may try one and will report back here with my findings.

Will chicken wire keep moles out of raised beds?

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 14:34

Thanks, waterbutts. Don't worry, my inability to remember a punchline has become a standing joke in my family.

Will chicken wire keep moles out of raised beds?

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 13:56

I am engaged in a long-running, frustrating and (so far) unsuccessful war with one or more moles in my garden. I have had no success with the traps that I deploy but will persevere. Until a few days ago, the location of molehills and collapsed tunnels has been bearable. Then, a molehill appeared in one of the raised beds of my vegetable garden. Unbidden, the phrase 'That's the FINAL straw!' came to my lips.

Would chicken wire (or something similar) laid 12" under the final soil surface stop the little blighters? I would probably run it up the lower inside face of the frame and staple it to the timber. What size mesh would be required?

Or, alternatively, should I just get a life?

Enormous Gooseberry Brush

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 09:52

hi nightgarden

I think that trying to move massively overgrown fruit bushes at any time of year would be difficult purely because of their size, so would recommend pruning first. Having pruned it, you probably won't get much of a crop (if any) the following year. There is also the risk that an old, neglected fruit bush won't survive the trauma of being moved.

The best time to move fruit bushes (and most other shrubs) is when they are dormant in winter (November-December). If you do it then, you can try and insure against loss of the shrubs by taking hardwood cuttings beforehand (October is best).

Cut ripe shoots of gooseberries and currants to length (Blackcurrant - 8"-10", Red- and Whitecurrant - 12", Gooseberry - 12"-15"). On blackcurrant and gooseberry, keep all buds to assist rooting. On red- and whitecurrant, remove all but the top 3 - 4 buds to prevent suckering (rub the buds out with your thumb). To prepare the cutting, make a horizontal cut just below a node at the base, a sloping cut away from the bud at the top - this helps to ensure the cuttings are planted the right way up.

Using a spade, prepare a slit trench in a sheltered location in free-draining soil (if on heavy soil, add some gritty sand to base of trench). Insert cuttings of gooseberries and red/whitecurrants to half their length, with blackcurrants, leave only top 2 buds above soil. Firm the soil and water in. Label the cuttings. They should be ready to plant out in the following autumn.

Before replanting gooseberry cuttings, rub out any shoots on the lower 4" of stem or any buds from the root area to avoid suckering.

What is this?

Posted: 18/04/2013 at 18:04

Thanks to dizzylizzy, Joe_the_Gardener and nutcutlet for your suggestions and help. As suggested by nutcutlet, I'm pretty sure that the plant is Coltsfoot. I shall persevere with the Roundup.

For anyone with the same problem, but wanting an organic solution, there is advice and info at


11 to 20 of 26

Discussions started by keepitlive

Can soft fruit bushes be transformed by pruning into cordons?

Replies: 8    Views: 183
Last Post: 27/07/2014 at 20:13

Is this an Escallonia?

Replies: 15    Views: 256
Last Post: 25/07/2014 at 09:33

Cannot send private messages

Replies: 7    Views: 393
Last Post: 10/01/2014 at 18:30

Tough shrub for shady, windy spot

Replies: 17    Views: 826
Last Post: 11/01/2014 at 19:56

Will chicken wire keep moles out of raised beds?

Replies: 6    Views: 744
Last Post: 31/07/2013 at 19:16

What is this?

Unknown plant appeared last year, now going mad 
Replies: 14    Views: 744
Last Post: 19/04/2013 at 06:28
6 threads returned