London (change)
Today 16°C / 12°C
Tomorrow 16°C / 9°C


Latest posts by lydiaann


Posted: 17/05/2015 at 17:00

Have a look in the garden centre at shrub foods.  Read the labels - then make your mind up.  They all give quantities and frequency.  More important is the quality of your soil...keep it well 'fed' with compost, leaf mould, etc.  If you are on very poor soil and can't make compost/leaf mould, go back to looking at labels.

On-line purchases

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 16:57

I've bought a couple of things from Hayloft Plants...they seem to have thrived and prices are comparable with most sites.  Parker's Bulbs are fine - but ONLY if you buy bulbs, for which they are well known.  Their plants are iffy.  Don't buy too cheaply - one good one will fare much better than 3 cheapos.

Cotinus coggygria

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 16:54

Having liberated (without smashing) my large pot-bellied pot - as described last week - I have a question.  How do Cotinus coggygria fare in containers?  I have been looking at Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit - Ancot' today, and it would look lovely near the front door, especially as the blue sheen on the pot would go so well with the lovely golden foliage of the plant.  Having had the purple variety as a tree in my last garden, I know how easy they are to look after and I know that they accept hard pruning to keep them small and shapely (I was going to say 'just like me' but I would just be lying to you...).  Any ideas, pretty please?

Repotting - a word to the wise

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 09:03

Strangely, no problem with slugs, even the hostas stay healthy.  My main problem with pots is ants.  Had to repot (same day as the dreaded pot-belly!) my dwarf azalea as, when I moved the pot, hundreds of ants fell out of the bottom hole.  Had the same problem (except they were orange) with my rhubarb (planted in the fruit bed) - and don't get me going on the compost bin, the lawns, one part of the flagstones along the back ...

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...

Discussions started by lydiaann

Tomatoes gone wild

They didn't read the label 
Replies: 1    Views: 153
Last Post: 23/06/2015 at 00:11

Cotinus coggygria

Replies: 5    Views: 179
Last Post: 18/05/2015 at 15:18

Repotting - a word to the wise

Shape of the pot 
Replies: 14    Views: 489
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: 273
Last Post: 29/04/2015 at 13:37


The perennial problem of black spot 
Replies: 9    Views: 472
Last Post: 09/09/2014 at 07:35

Runner beans

Not good 
Replies: 12    Views: 392
Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 20:11

Common Ash

Replies: 5    Views: 394
Last Post: 08/06/2014 at 15:11

Red Spider Mite

They're everywhere! 
Replies: 6    Views: 575
Last Post: 21/05/2014 at 21:17

Curly leaves on my plum

Replies: 5    Views: 722
Last Post: 29/04/2014 at 20:59

To prune or not to prune

Replies: 8    Views: 534
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 20:46

Field maple

Fungus or disease? Deadly or a cosmetic problem? 
Replies: 3    Views: 706
Last Post: 05/07/2013 at 15:01

Mystery tree

Replies: 3    Views: 566
Last Post: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Ants in the compost bin

Replies: 2    Views: 1221
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 09:39

Pruning Rowan/Mountain Ash

Replies: 1    Views: 4909
Last Post: 11/01/2012 at 09:58
14 threads returned