Laura Corin

Latest posts by Laura Corin

grass clippings at base of established azalea

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 11:24

Hello, Jimeva.  No - I don't get slugs.  My compost bins are under big trees, so they don't get too wet  - maybe that's the reason - and I'm on the drier east side of the country.  

I don't use an accelerator or anything, but do turn the heaps about three times a year.  I don't shred woody clippings - I have so much other stuff that I don't bother.  We have bonfires a couple of times a year - not ideal, I know, but there's a limit to what I can manage.  I haven't tried the night fluid option - three males in the house though, so maybe I should.

grass clippings at base of established azalea

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 11:58

I understand being overwhelmed by grass clippings.  We have three wooden compost bins.  At any one time, one has last year's compost for current use.  The other two have a mix of grass clippings and some 'brown' material.  If you don't have anything suitable from the garden then scrunched newspaper or ripped-up cardboard boxes work.  The grass clippings lose volume quickly, so a bin that is full one week will have space for more the next.

Talkback: Native versus non-native plants

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 11:09

We inherited an enormous lime tree that hums with bees in summer.  I know that there are some limes that, though attractive to bees, are actually poisonous to them.  I don't think that this one is though - we don't get comatose bees lying around underneath it.  Apart from this, our biggest honey bee attractor is cotoneaster horizontalis.  When neither of these is out we barely see honey bees, but seem to have large and happy bumble bees of different kinds.  We are surrounded on all sides by sprayed farmland and our nearest managed bee hives are about a mile away.

Talkback: Native versus non-native plants

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 06:06

Having a big garden is teaching me to relax.  There's no way that I can keep it pristine whilst I am still working and have children at home.  I take nettles and out of flower beds (but leave a big nettle patch in one corner) but I allow red campion to flower in them.  Creeping buttercup is only welcome in the boggy bit that I'm not going to get to, but other buttercups flower in the beds.  I was planning on taking up the turf under a winter-flowering cherry near the front door but haven't got around to it yet.  This year it has a lot of primroses starting to grow in it, as well as buttercups, so I think I'll just let the grass grow long, then lift patches to put in ox-eye daisies.  And then there's the 'orchard', where I've put in some wildflower plugs, but which has a really good dandelion crop too.

Garden gaffes

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 11:23

I remember carefully researching shade-loving plants for my small London garden with a big plane tree and choosing some campanulas.  After I had put in the order, my mum had a look at the list and said, 'I think you'll find that those three already make up most of the vegetation in the garden.'  We rented the house out shortly thereafter but are going to be managing it again starting in the autumn.  I look forward to seeing whether the campanulas are approaching complete coverage yet.

Talkback: Stinging nettles

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 09:19

Muffymoo, I have the same problem.  Those country stinging nettles can get really tall.  They are good for wildlife but I can understand wanting to get rid of them.  On a still day, you should be able to kill the nettles without harming the crop, but it is going to be obvious to the farmer that you were spraying onto his land, which he is probably meant to leave unsprayed, so he might not be too happy.

prunus (1yr old) needs help

Posted: 30/05/2012 at 13:07

I have a winter-flowering cherry that has a similar problem: it flowered intermittently through the winter, got lots of rain in the spring, but suddenly about 1/3 of the leaves died back.  It is weeded, fertilised and mulched.  I contacted the seller and sent them a photo.  They think it's probably frost damage - I suspect that it's actually a combination of frost and cold/dry north-east wind.

I'm hoping it recovers...


Flippin' pigeons

Posted: 30/05/2012 at 12:59

Where do they nest?  We still have pigeons, but many fewer since we took down overgrown leylandii/other conifer hedging last summer.  We found a lot of empty pigeon nests in there - but not small nests - and some of the adults seem to have moved on to nest elsewhere.  

shade loving ground cover

Posted: 29/05/2012 at 08:49

I was going to suggest lamium too.

Talkback: Apple blossom

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 04:26

I did a bit of hand pollinating a week or two ago in hopes of getting some fruit.  Luckily the trees are still in full flower and I'm hoping that the last couple of days of sunshine will have allowed for some natural pollination too.

Discussions started by Laura Corin

Do you really need special seed compost?

Replies: 5    Views: 1914
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 06:42

Rotation with only two beds?

Replies: 5    Views: 1205
Last Post: 20/02/2014 at 10:33

Can I really plant these peas and carrots so early?

Replies: 5    Views: 1451
Last Post: 05/02/2014 at 17:28

Is this area suitable for growing veg?

Replies: 0    Views: 1392
Last Post: 24/06/2012 at 21:56

Newspaper under woodchips as mulch?

Replies: 2    Views: 1853
Last Post: 15/06/2012 at 07:44

Is anyone growing Asian pears?

Replies: 0    Views: 1027
Last Post: 13/06/2012 at 07:39

Should I be hand pollinating my fruit trees?

Replies: 3    Views: 2086
Last Post: 15/05/2012 at 22:36

Aphids on seedlings

Replies: 1    Views: 1067
Last Post: 08/05/2012 at 21:28

Mulching after rain - compacting soil?

Replies: 2    Views: 1806
Last Post: 23/04/2012 at 19:08

Digging a natural, unlined pond?

Replies: 2    Views: 2664
Last Post: 17/04/2012 at 22:18

Help me to love my peonies

Replies: 2    Views: 1362
Last Post: 13/04/2012 at 22:55
11 threads returned