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Latest posts by lydiaann

1 to 10 of 63

Invasive ground cover

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 09:34

With any 'thug', it is simply (ha!) a case of dig, pull, yank, dig more all the time.  I had a problem with vinca (periwinkle) in my last garden...I spent almost a week digging it out of one long border but I was still finding bits of it 18 years later when we sold!  In my current garden, I am trying to get rid of Japanese anemones.  Yes, I know they are very pretty, but they are appearing in the lawn now. Still, I'm only 4 years into the task so a while to go yet...I find the main culprits are hypericum, vinca, lamium and, yes, Creeping Jenny.  There is no solution other than perseverance I'm afraid!

Replan for my North facing garden

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 16:19

Jasminum nudiflorum, climbing hydrangea, polygonatum, sarcococca...all these will provide winter colour from creamy white through to brilliant yellow.  Most require very little attention, though I do tend to compost them occasionally to ensure they don't dry out too much.

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 16:15

Funnily enough, when I'm in the garden, I remember my granddad.  We went to live with my grandparents (my mum, my 2 brothers and I) when my dad died.  They had a bungalow with a very large lot, including an orchard.  Granddad grew everything:  soft fruits, apples, pears, all vegetables, herbs.  We had chickens too.  This was 1951 so we were well fed compared with a lot of city folk as most things were still on ration then.  Granddad was an ex-gamekeeper so was invited to local farms and the local estate for pheasant shooting, rabbit and pigeon shooting.  Many of you may turn your nose up but a well-made rabbit pie, well herbed and seasoned and made with love is a wonderful thing to behold and taste!  Now, when I come across a problem in the garden I always think "What would granddad have done"...and he tells me nearly every time.  I was truly blessed.

Hey! Looking good

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 16:10

Fantastic day in Newark today.  Cleaning/cleansing of greenhouse is now complete, shed cleaned out, seedlings (from last year's "harvest") of delphinium, aquilegia, hollyhock, pentemon, campanula all in the borders, nigella sown, all early pruning complete, lawns scarified and fed...we are feeling self-righteous right now!  I have to say we haven't done everything today, but enough to feel good about!  Can go on a wee break to Caernarfon next week without feeling guilty about the "estate"!!

vermiculite or perlite

Posted: 07/03/2015 at 08:50

By 'topping off' I assume you mean scattering on the tops of pots after seeding.  If you put plants outside, that poses the risk that it will blow away so I always use fine grit for that.

I'm in a quandary -

Posted: 06/03/2015 at 15:50

We converted a summerhouse to a greenhouse simply by replacing the roof; it's of wood (red cedar) construction.  I've left it unheated since we've been here (3 years).  Last year I decided to sow seeds from my hollyhock, penstemon, lupin and aquilegia (I did it as soon as I collected them, I didn't dry them out or anything as they appeared to be dry enough).  Once sown in the pots, I scattered the tops with fine grit then kept them watered, cutting down on the watering as winter came in.  All these were left in the greenhouse throughout the winter  - in fact, they are still there.  And all of these, without exception, are now growing well (around 6-7 cm high) and I will have loads to put out in April when it's warmer.  If they grow outside and they are perennial, then it stands to reason that the seeds will quite happily grow in an unheated's really shelter from hard frosts and winds that they require until they grow up a bit.  After all, Mother Nature provides a self-seeding mechanism for these plants and She doesn't baby them at all!

vermiculite or perlite

Posted: 06/03/2015 at 15:40

I've used both with no different effects using one over the other.


Water Butts STINK!

Posted: 20/02/2015 at 11:46

We clean out our water butts (3) every year.  Remember also to clean the lid thoroughly and to ensure that it fits snugly.  We don't use any chemicals or organic materials to clean them, just a good scrubbing brush and a strong hose and we've not had any problems so far (almost 4 years).  The water butts are attached to the shed and greenhouse gutters and these are kept clear, my husband doing the biz once a month, particularly in the autumn, winter, as we have a lot of trees around.

What's in your potting shed?

Posted: 15/02/2015 at 12:29

What's in there?  You mean apart from the humungous, huge, hairy beasties that I promise to help my husband with in the spring and autumn, only to run screaming down the garden at the sheer speed of those 8 legs all working in concert...doesn't bear thinking about (I've since heard about conkers and managed last autumn to get the inside ringed with them at floor level.  One to 2 weeks will tell me if it works or not!)

Office plant suggestions please

Posted: 15/02/2015 at 12:25

Easter and Christmas cactus...survive all sorts of atmospheres from steamy to air conditioned, and seem to thrive on neglect.  Then, when they flower, they are gorgeous for many weeks.

1 to 10 of 63

Discussions started by lydiaann


The perennial problem of black spot 
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Runner beans

Not good 
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Common Ash

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Red Spider Mite

They're everywhere! 
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Curly leaves on my plum

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To prune or not to prune

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Field maple

Fungus or disease? Deadly or a cosmetic problem? 
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Mystery tree

Replies: 3    Views: 499
Last Post: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Ants in the compost bin

Replies: 2    Views: 953
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 09:39

Pruning Rowan/Mountain Ash

Replies: 1    Views: 4095
Last Post: 11/01/2012 at 09:58
10 threads returned