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Latest posts by lydiaann

Repotting - a word to the wise

Posted: 12/05/2015 at 18:01

Agree Green Magpie.  Next time, large 'proper' shaped pot inside...I'll still get the lovely effect of the pot-belly and the colour without the hassle!

Anyone else get slightly "rare" bird visitors?

Posted: 12/05/2015 at 12:45

After 4 years here, this year got a Blackcap...the song is truly amazing (they are warblers) and I think the blackbirds and thrushes now have a new competitor!  Also seen a bullfinch...what a lovely deep red colour against the new green of the trees.

Repotting - a word to the wise

Posted: 12/05/2015 at 12:40

If you are planting up a very large pot with a single plant to act as a focus in the garden, at the front door, wherever...ensure you use a pot that is wider at the top than the rest of it; best to be the shape of a small flower pot (i.e., widening from the base).  We have had a beautiful pieris in a large pot at the front door for 3 years now.  However, it was beginning to tell me it needed more space.  So, on Sunday, we decided it would look best in the garden, next to a lovely Spirea 'Pink Ice'.  We prepared the hole well with a little bone meal and some ericaceous compound mixed with home-made compost in the bottom (it's heavy clay, so no need for too much acid).  I had watered the pot well an hour before the operation began.  Then we tried to get it out of the pot, and tried and tried...  After well over one hour, and the use of hand-forks and a spanner, plus a border fork for a good shuffle round the edge, we finally made it.  The lesson?  NEVER EVER plant something like that in a pot-bellied container, where - just under the lip - there is a 'waist' that is smaller than the largest dimension below!!  After 3 years, the root ball and its soil compact and, even after heavy watering, refuse to yield.  I was determined that we were not going to break the pot (beautiful blue frost proof) to get it out, despite hubby's threats.  It did come out in the end - and it looks lovely where it is.

VE Day

Posted: 07/05/2015 at 15:57

My parents saved their celebrations until the following day, 9 May...I was baptized on that day!  My dad had been too old to fight and our family was lucky that time around that they lost no-one...WWI was a different story.  My parents-in-law were both in the Army.  Father-in-law dead these 5 years and mum too far gone to recall anything but they, too, survived as did their relations.  Again, though, WWI a totally different picture.

But to all those brave men and women - and the not so brave who went anyway - our thanks are due on this day and every day.


Posted: 07/05/2015 at 12:14

Jasmine nudiflorum needs good light and only a little sunshine sometime during the day, otherwise it's just fine if on a north facing fence...and the yellow flowers are perfect for the worst time of the year.  My neighbour gave me a cutting 2 years ago which will need pruning next year and it had glorious flowers this year.  It's the officianale that needs sun.

Best year for Rhubarb?

Posted: 01/05/2015 at 17:54

When hubby was in the RAF we used rhubarb (the fruit, not the leaves) to clean the pans for 'march-out' of our houses.  Back in the 60s and 70s, this was a nerve-wracking process and everything on the inventory had to be perfect.  Getting rhubarb and boiling it in the pans (using the same batch, just moving it from pan to pan) was the quickest, easiest way of cleaning them, leaving them bright and shiny!  No doubt this will bring back memories for some people...


Posted: 29/04/2015 at 12:08

Sarcococca does well; although it prefers deep shade it will thrive in places such as yours which get morning or afternoon sun...just make sure it doesn't get too dry.  Solomon's seal is another good plant.  I also like jasmine (nudiflorum) and skimmia japonica works too.  Depends how big your area is, but I had an aruncus that was absolutely stunning at my last place - 2 m x 1.5 m and these amazing racemes of white/cream flowers.  That had sun only from around 3.30 p.m. in the summer but never failed.


Posted: 29/04/2015 at 12:00

Sow in pots indoors or even in an unheated greenhouse and then transplant into the garden.  They need lots of water and plenty of sun.  Pick when small as they do in the Med. countries.  If you miss one and it grows overnight into a miniature Zeppelin, slice it lengthways, brush with herb-flavoured olive and barbecue or grill; eat hot or cold.  Yum!

Best year for Rhubarb?

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 11:57

Unfortunately, my rhubarb produced only one tiny, spindly stem this year so I dug it up (it's only 3 years old).  The centre of the root was a yellowy-tan goo and it was full of orange ants, so it had to go as I wasn't sure that it wouldn't get to my gooseberries.  I dug up a load of soil around where it had been and chucked that under the trees and then added compost (home grown and general purpose) and put strawberries in instead.  They are thriving so I've obviously rid myself of the problem...I shall wait until next year now before replanting any rhubarb.

And for a good website for tens of thousands of recipes of all description, try an American one:  This is the website of Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines.

Why plant daffs in October?

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 11:51

When we first moved here, I planted daffs along the outside of our long garden fence; the next autumn I added tulips and then last autumn snowdrops, iris and crocus.  Our neighbours across the road said they loved looking out and seeing all the colour through - firstly - April, then April and May and now March, April and May.  So much so, that she persuaded her husband to get daffodils last autumn so we could have the same view from our side of the road (they too have a long fence).  Of course, he forgot he had them, or indeed where he put them (not a gardener or even very organized!), then only found them in March this year when he was sorting out the garage (long story, but it's floor-to-roof boxes!).  They were sprouting so, undeterred, he planted them, all 100 bulbs.  My flowers are all but done but, amazingly, his are wonderful and brighten up our little area of the lane; of course, he is the only one with daffs in full flower. And here I was doubting his wisdom! I'm sure next year they'll come out with everyone else's but it just goes to show that bulbs/corms/rhizomes don't have to be put in in the autumn!  Good on 'im!!

Discussions started by lydiaann

Tomatoes gone wild

They didn't read the label 
Replies: 1    Views: 137
Last Post: 23/06/2015 at 00:11

Cotinus coggygria

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Last Post: 18/05/2015 at 15:18

Repotting - a word to the wise

Shape of the pot 
Replies: 14    Views: 456
Last Post: 13/05/2015 at 09:51

Why plant daffs in October?

They do just as well if you wait until March! 
Replies: 5    Views: 249
Last Post: 29/04/2015 at 13:37


The perennial problem of black spot 
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Runner beans

Not good 
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Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 20:11

Common Ash

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Last Post: 08/06/2014 at 15:11

Red Spider Mite

They're everywhere! 
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Last Post: 21/05/2014 at 21:17

Curly leaves on my plum

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Last Post: 29/04/2014 at 20:59

To prune or not to prune

Replies: 8    Views: 519
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 20:46

Field maple

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

Mystery tree

Replies: 3    Views: 555
Last Post: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Ants in the compost bin

Replies: 2    Views: 1167
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 09:39

Pruning Rowan/Mountain Ash

Replies: 1    Views: 4666
Last Post: 11/01/2012 at 09:58
14 threads returned