Lancashire Lass

Latest posts by Lancashire Lass

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Wildlife photos

Posted: 23/10/2017 at 14:53

Thanks Sheps. Disappointed that it's not a hawk moth, we have had them in our garden this year and previously, taking pollen like the humming birds that we have seen in America.

Ah well, that at least explains why I couldn't find it on Google!

I'm guessing they are probably as common as muck as well!!

Wildlife photos

Posted: 23/10/2017 at 09:54

Has anyone any idea what type of hawkmoth that this is, asleep on my conservatory window this morning?

Pruning castor oil plant

Posted: 09/10/2017 at 17:55

Hostafan is right. Mine was damaged a few years back when we had a really cold Winter. Prune in Spring. My 3 castor oils all have bare trunks where damaged lower leaves have fallen off each year. Your castor oil looks very healthy!

I had one that grew to about 6ft. That was the one that got damaged and I ended up sacrificing half of it to frost so now it's back to about 4ft and growing again. 

I think they look better in pots as a specimen plant rather than part of a planting scheme. I can't think where in the garden I would put mine other than on the patio in pots where they add height to the garden and good structure in Winter. One of mine is about 50 years old and was given to us by my mother in law. The other 2 are sons of the older plant.

Pruning castor oil plant

Posted: 09/10/2017 at 15:28

You could lift it's crown a bit which will make it seem less unruly and allow light under it. By lifting it's crown (or as I like to say, lifting it's skirts 😁), I mean that you should prune it's lower leaves to reveal its main branches and make it more like a small tree. It's surprising how much better a shrub can look when you can see the ground beneath it.

If you decide to do that, go slowly and keep checking the shape of it. You can easily take leaves off but it's pretty nigh impossible to stick them back on again!

Hornbeam hedge and waterlogged garden

Posted: 09/10/2017 at 15:15

Thanks for your ideas.

Conditions may improve slightly if we get a few days of dry weather, but then as we go into December there will be frosts and probably snow, which will scupper things again!

It's interesting to know though that we could delay planting by popping them into some soil in a trug.

The raised trough had already entered my thoughts and it is tempting to go that route to avoid having to dig into the mud too much. Today I have noticed that after 2 days of dry weather, the water has almost drained, so it is just slow draining rather than having hit the water table. I think the hedge will be ok if I can get it successfully planted so I am thinking maybe dig down just a few inches then plant into a mixture of compost and gritty sand mounded as needed to allow the roots to spread out.

Do you think the mound will stay put or will we need to shore it up with something to stop it disintegrating in the rain? Maybe a temporary row of bricks to stabalize it through to next Spring?

Hornbeam hedge and waterlogged garden

Posted: 09/10/2017 at 11:39

Following a wet early autumn here in the North West, I have a waterlogged area of bedding and the clock is ticking as I have ordered some hornbeam hedging for November planting.

The bed is about 6ft deep by 8 ft long and we plan to plant the bare rooted hornbeam hedging 30cm in from the back of the bed, it's purpose being to hide a neighbours shed that has been erected just the other side of the fence which separates us. 

Yesterday we dug up a shrub root in preparation and found the bed to be incredibly boggy, to the extent that my husband sunk into the soil (he nearly had to surrender his wellies!). Where we had previously taken out another root we had left a 2 ft hole which has nearly filled up with water. The water does gradually drain but we have had so much rain that it's not had chance to drain completely. The soil in that bed is quite good in Summer and Astilbes and other wet loving plants grow happily there.

I have bought 2 bags of horticultural sand grit and a large bag of compost to try and deal with the problem and I have access to some well rooted manure and my own compost if needed. But now I am worried about first of all digging a trench for the hedge and secondly actually planting it in what is currently a quagmire. I ordered hornbeam because I knew the bed was wet and I know that hornbeam like wet conditions, but will the bare rooted plants be up to the job or am I giving them a certain death?

Monty has previously said of hornbeam that it has survived the wettest part of his very wet garden and he is a great admirer of this hardy hedge so that is some comfort.

Any advice or reassurance (if appropriate) would be welcome!

Xhose - Expandable hose - any good?

Posted: 14/08/2015 at 16:15

Was thinking of getting one of these at next weeks Southport Flower Show. So glad I looked here first! Thanks folks.

Perennial Aster and Verbena Bonariensis Cuttings

Posted: 09/08/2015 at 22:45

Thanks again.

Perennial Aster and Verbena Bonariensis Cuttings

Posted: 09/08/2015 at 12:57

Thanks Verdun. Since posting I have realised that the reason I took the verbena cutting in the first place is because Verbenas don't survive our Winters, so I need to keep the cuttings inside anyway!

It's my first year for Asters and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the parent plants that I have taken the cuttings from will be OK over Winter.

Is an unheated greenhouse sufficient for the cuttings or do they need extra protection? Maybe a cold porch or the conservatory?

Perennial Aster and Verbena Bonariensis Cuttings

Posted: 09/08/2015 at 12:21

I have taken successful Summer cuttings of both Aster and Verbena Bonariensis and have just today potted them on into 4" pots. They all have a good root system, the Asters are about 3" tall and the Verbenas are 9" tall.

My question is, can I get them into the ground sometime this year or will they not survive the Winter?

I have a small greenhouse, but it is unheated so I could keep them all potted up for the Winter. I also have a conservatory which is heated most days in Winter and rarely falls below 10 degrees centigrade but I'd rather plant them if possible, to avoid leaf drop and pest problems. 

EDIT: I've just realised that this is in the wrong forum section - how can I change it to the 'Problem Solving' section?

1 to 10 of 260

Discussions started by Lancashire Lass

Hornbeam hedge and waterlogged garden

Replies: 5    Views: 488
Last Post: 09/10/2017 at 18:18

Perennial Aster and Verbena Bonariensis Cuttings

When can I plant them? 
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Last Post: 09/08/2015 at 22:45

Damselflies Mating

Witnessed above my pond! 
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Last Post: 14/06/2015 at 08:46

Nesting blue tits with more than 2 adults feeding!

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Last Post: 04/03/2017 at 11:39

Hedgehog Rescue

I have a hibernating hedgehog in my greenhouse! 
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Last Post: 27/02/2015 at 17:02

Alternative to usual shed roof felting

looking for a better roof protection for new shed 
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Last Post: 29/06/2016 at 07:57

Coir Compost Blocks

Anyone had experience of them? 
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Last Post: 25/04/2017 at 13:28

Using own compost for baskets

Is it viable to use home made compost for annuals in pots/baskets? 
Replies: 3    Views: 1095
Last Post: 21/04/2014 at 18:42


Wow! Aren't they big?! 
Replies: 11    Views: 1370
Last Post: 14/04/2014 at 18:43

Lysimachia Clethroides (Goose Neck Plant)

Invasive - but anyone tried it in containers? 
Replies: 6    Views: 1417
Last Post: 11/04/2014 at 12:14


When to remove leaves/care calander 
Replies: 13    Views: 2069
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 16:00

Magpie Seen Caching Food

Replies: 17    Views: 3768
Last Post: 11/02/2018 at 12:22

I had to Laugh!!

Garden centre Sign 
Replies: 7    Views: 1185
Last Post: 25/03/2014 at 14:07

Pruning Salvia 'Hot Lips'

New growth on old wood?? 
Replies: 3    Views: 9776
Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 08:41

Protecting Lillies & Hardy Fuchsias in Pots

When can I put them out for Spring? 
Replies: 5    Views: 2110
Last Post: 18/03/2014 at 10:56
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