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Latest posts by lydiaann

Reusing this year's soil

Posted: 01/10/2015 at 09:40

I'm with everyone else - remove as many roots as possible then split it between the compost and the rest of the garden, particularly under shrubs.  I've even kept some to use in the very large containers the following year.  With the latter, if you use all fresh compost it costs an arm and a leg, so I put crumpled newspapers, old thin plastic seedling pots in the bottom third, used compost (as above) in the next third and then fresh compost for the top third.  It works every time.

Desperate to know what berries I've picked...

Posted: 01/10/2015 at 09:35

Doing well in the Newark area also; we have several trees around our small area.

what does your garden mean to you

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 15:58

Several years ago, just after I retired, an ex-colleague asked if I would help a University Professor out with a project.  The Prof wanted to research the effects of gardening on mental health, both for young and older people.  I was the first of the guinea pigs for the pre-project questionnaire.  We looked around my garden - at the time, I am pleased to say it was looking pretty good on a perfect summer's day - and then settled down with coffee to do the interview.  Part of the interview was a 'word association' game...and I was instructed to ensure I answered immediately to each word put to me.  After about 5 minutes, she stated 'garden'.  My reply surprised us both:  "catharsis".  I had often thought that gardens bring calm to a frenetic life but they are so much more.


Posted: 20/09/2015 at 15:52

We all agree, I am sure, that the summer has been 'challenging' to say the least.  However, I resolved just to keep the gardens looking tidy and wish for better things next year.  My choisya was looking particularly battered by some very heavy storms about 6 weeks ago so I apologised to it and then hacked it back somewhat.  Out this week doing all my edges, autumn tidying, weeding, etc. and - lo and behold! - the sunny side of the plant is covered in flower buds, so it looks like some pretty weeks ahead for that small border.  There's always something wonderful to surprise us when we least expect it!

Can you move hostas at this time of year?

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 15:46

My hostas grow under a load of trees and against a north-facing fence.  The soil around here is heavy clay but that area is so shaded that it is very dry; consequently, joy of joys, I get no snails/slugs in that area of the garden.  So, if you can, keep 'em dry!

hibiscus moving

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 15:42

Follow this link - it tells you all you wish to know.

inherited garden - can you help?

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 15:39

I would think that any landlord would be grateful of someone caring enough to look after the garden!  Anyway, as Jekylletc said, check first.  Buddlejas and roses can look really good when planted in together.  The astilbe should be deadheaded.  It will then die back completely for the winter...needs watering well in the spring.  I agree with (nearly) all that Jekylletc. said.  When you cut back the clematis, feed it early spring with tomato food, ensure the roots are well covered from the sun and it will repay in spades!  I'd replace the lavender, they are so cheap to buy.  I'm not sure that that is a spirea though; the stem looks a little too woody to me and even when overgrown, they don't normally topple over.

Unknown Insect. also Plant ID

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 15:31

I'm inclined to think that shrub no. 3 is a daphne of some sort...although also has resonances of euonymus!  The 4th shrub is definitely a conifer, but one of the softer, less spiny ones, so not a juniper.  Maybe a thuja??

Unknown Insect. also Plant ID

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 15:19

Bug looks like a 'stink bug' to me.

Talkback: How to ripen late tomatoes

Posted: 02/09/2015 at 14:19

I always remove the leaves, starting as I pluck the first crop - did it this year and now I'm having difficulty keeping up with cropping.  I leave the fruit to ripen 'naturally', i.e. on the vine but, when they stop ripening that way but there are still plenty left, I take one or two that are half-ripened and then put them in brown paper bags together with a half-ripened one in each bag and store them somewhere not too hot or cold; just ensure it's dark. Last year, I went on holiday for 2 weeks from the middle of September and came back to a huge amount of ripened tomatoes.  Lovely home-made tomato soup at Christmas and plenty of spaghetti sauce, to say nothing of the lovely tomato salad when we returned home.

Discussions started by lydiaann

Raking leaves

So good for you! 
Replies: 13    Views: 318
Last Post: 29/10/2015 at 18:24


Bonus blooms 
Replies: 2    Views: 193
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 16:40

Tomatoes gone wild

They didn't read the label 
Replies: 1    Views: 185
Last Post: 23/06/2015 at 00:11

Cotinus coggygria

Replies: 5    Views: 211
Last Post: 18/05/2015 at 15:18

Repotting - a word to the wise

Shape of the pot 
Replies: 14    Views: 566
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: 311
Last Post: 29/04/2015 at 13:37


The perennial problem of black spot 
Replies: 9    Views: 519
Last Post: 09/09/2014 at 07:35

Runner beans

Not good 
Replies: 12    Views: 432
Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 20:11

Common Ash

Replies: 5    Views: 425
Last Post: 08/06/2014 at 15:11

Red Spider Mite

They're everywhere! 
Replies: 6    Views: 621
Last Post: 21/05/2014 at 21:17

Curly leaves on my plum

Replies: 5    Views: 764
Last Post: 29/04/2014 at 20:59

To prune or not to prune

Replies: 8    Views: 568
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 20:46

Field maple

Fungus or disease? Deadly or a cosmetic problem? 
Replies: 3    Views: 755
Last Post: 05/07/2013 at 15:01

Mystery tree

Replies: 3    Views: 603
Last Post: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Ants in the compost bin

Replies: 2    Views: 1295
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 09:39
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