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Latest posts by lydiaann

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 22/01/2015 at 15:06

Checked my seedlings in the greenhouse (all gathered in the autumn from hollyhock, delphinium, aquilegia, etc.).  Emptied my kitchen compost and stirred the bin well. Checked on my new leaf container (handy having a hubby with DIY skills!) and stirred that too - mulching down nicely now...then gave all the garden plants a good talking to.  Shall read all my January back issues of GW over the next couple of days.  As garden centres are now 'destinations', we'll probably visit a couple of the next few days - the ones with the best coffeeshops! - and get some more ideas.  Ain't life grand?

How old is your houseplant?

Posted: 22/01/2015 at 14:55

When we moved into our house in Canada in 1992, the previous occupants left behind 2 African violets.  One lasted about 10 years before finally expiring.  However, the other flowered 3 times per year until 2011, when we moved out.  The next occupants didn't move in straight away so I gave it to another neighbour to look after until they did.  When they moved in, it was in full flower and I advised her where in the house to keep it.  I am told it is still going strong...probably around 25 years old by now!

Daily Bird Sightings 2015

Posted: 22/01/2015 at 14:50

All the usual suspects:  blackbirds, a thrush, a cheeky robin, pigeons, collared doves, blue and great tits, long-tailed tits.  However, great excitement today...the windowbox, now full of blue pansies and ivy, is being seriously investigated by a wren.  She's been backwards and forwards a few times today, and spends a little while burrowing around in there.  I fear the spring windowbox may be a no-no this year and I'll have to wait until after fledging to replant if she does decide that this is a 'des res' in wren terms!!

Greenhouse panels

Posted: 19/01/2015 at 10:23

My greenhouse is actually a summerhouse!  When we moved in to our place 3 years ago, there was a beautiful red cedar octagonal summerhouse in the back, barely used.  We called in a local company who make greenhouses, summerhouses etc. and they said the previous owners wouldn't have got much change from £3,500.00 when they bought it, and it had barely been used.  So, we got the company to replace the wooden roof with perspex and, for £600.00, got a beautiful greenhouse of top quality, the equivalent of which would have cost up to £3,000.00 - simples!  Of course, it's unheated and I have to go out to open the windows for ventilation but at the moment it has all my dahlia tubers, pelargonium and other patio plants duly cut back waiting for growing season plus a selection of nicely growing seedlings that I gathered back in the autumn - penstemon, aquilegia, delphinium, hollyhock, etc. etc.  With the wood panels at the bottom (about 2.5 feet), it's frost proof, hides all my bits and bobs.  The added bonus was that my hubby built in 2 lots of staging with the wood from the original roof.  What more could I want?!!

Christmas quiz questions

Posted: 16/11/2014 at 14:17

What a great quiz!  Would be ideal for a 'join in' Christmas party - instead of charades.  I still have a couple of 'what on earth can that be?' but I shall prevail!

Tree identification

Posted: 16/11/2014 at 14:12

Crab apple, definitely. Makes lovely jelly - if a bit fiddly to do - but great for small Christmas gifts.  However, you do not have to peel and pip them to do so so you save lots of time there.  If you don't want to do that, leave the fruit on and, if we get a good hard January with lots of frost, you'll get lots of fieldfares and they'll strip the whole lot within 48 hours!



Clematis armandii - what is the problem?

Posted: 23/09/2014 at 09:44

Update:  18 months or so later, having taken my clematis armandii down as far as possible, it is now growing quite healthily.  I hadn't realised armandii couldn't get clematis wilt...thanks to Bookertoo, my education is improving!  I am now hoping for at least a couple of flowers next Jan/Feb.  It is amazing how, with a bit of courage, a lot of luck and sheer desperation, plants will respond if given the right treatment.  Another plant that responds beautifully to very tough love is the summer jasmine.  The previous owners had treated it like a winter jasmine (nudiflorum) and planted it north facing; I took it down almost to ground level, moved it to west facing and it has responded magnificently - from 40 cm (2 buds) to 2 m tall, and covered in flowers this summer.  All this within just 15 months of its move.


Posted: 07/09/2014 at 12:22

Thanks, Chris.  I've had this serious problem since we moved in...I believe, once again, the previous owners 'kept them tidy' but did not know the correct treatment.  I now have a herb border around these roses (doing extremely well, I might add!) and a wonderful new 'Wesselton' clematis - which flowered the minute it was put in in May and has galloped ahead with really good strong healthy growth since! - in between the 2 roses so am not inclined to start digging out soil as it would also mean moving my rosemary, sage and oregano.  I'll mull on the problem for a couple of days and decide then.  Thanks again for the advice!

And no worries, Supernoodle, 'hijacking' makes perfect sense when we need to!


Posted: 07/09/2014 at 09:24

We moved into our bungalow (East Midlands) exactly 3 years ago.  I have since increased the garden space to include (over and above the 2 borders that were already there) an ornamental, a herb, a fruit and a veg patch.  Another small perennial border has been added recently plus the planting of ramblers and honeysuckle over a pergola.  When we came here, it was obvious that the couple before us had enjoyed a neat 'garden' but didn't know anything about pruning; consequently, I've had quite the job with the ribes, physocarpus, buddleja, spirea, 4 clematis and 2 hebes but have managed to lick them into shape such that they all did exactly what they should this year!  Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the 2 roses.  They are still extremely leggy, despite my best efforts, and so blighted with black spot it's not funny.  I do everything I should: nip off the leaves immediately one spot appears, clear the soil, spray, etc.  However, vacations mean I come back to plants covered in it...and it's on the stems too.  Despite the fact that they are yellow - my absolute favourite rose - should I cut my losses and take them out?  I need to move my fuchsia magellanica anyway, and this would be the perfect place.  He-e-e-lp!!

Sweet Peppers

Posted: 31/08/2014 at 10:33

So glad this question has come up.  I was given a red chili plant which has fruited very well but the first is only just turning - though quickly.  I use fresh chili, but not that often, so now I know that I can keep it inside in the colder weather (my greenhouse is unheated) I shall do that. 

Discussions started by lydiaann


The perennial problem of black spot 
Replies: 9    Views: 397
Last Post: 09/09/2014 at 07:35

Runner beans

Not good 
Replies: 12    Views: 323
Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 20:11

Common Ash

Replies: 5    Views: 327
Last Post: 08/06/2014 at 15:11

Red Spider Mite

They're everywhere! 
Replies: 6    Views: 431
Last Post: 21/05/2014 at 21:17

Curly leaves on my plum

Replies: 5    Views: 437
Last Post: 29/04/2014 at 20:59

To prune or not to prune

Replies: 8    Views: 474
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 20:46

Field maple

Fungus or disease? Deadly or a cosmetic problem? 
Replies: 3    Views: 612
Last Post: 05/07/2013 at 15:01

Mystery tree

Replies: 3    Views: 498
Last Post: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Ants in the compost bin

Replies: 2    Views: 948
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 09:39

Pruning Rowan/Mountain Ash

Replies: 1    Views: 4071
Last Post: 11/01/2012 at 09:58
10 threads returned