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Latest posts by lydiaann


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!!

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"!!

Discussions started by lydiaann

Cotinus coggygria

Replies: 5    Views: 96
Last Post: 18/05/2015 at 15:18

Repotting - a word to the wise

Shape of the pot 
Replies: 14    Views: 361
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: 207
Last Post: 29/04/2015 at 13:37


The perennial problem of black spot 
Replies: 9    Views: 417
Last Post: 09/09/2014 at 07:35

Runner beans

Not good 
Replies: 12    Views: 343
Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 20:11

Common Ash

Replies: 5    Views: 343
Last Post: 08/06/2014 at 15:11

Red Spider Mite

They're everywhere! 
Replies: 6    Views: 457
Last Post: 21/05/2014 at 21:17

Curly leaves on my plum

Replies: 5    Views: 600
Last Post: 29/04/2014 at 20:59

To prune or not to prune

Replies: 8    Views: 486
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 20:46

Field maple

Fungus or disease? Deadly or a cosmetic problem? 
Replies: 3    Views: 633
Last Post: 05/07/2013 at 15:01

Mystery tree

Replies: 3    Views: 518
Last Post: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Ants in the compost bin

Replies: 2    Views: 998
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 09:39

Pruning Rowan/Mountain Ash

Replies: 1    Views: 4253
Last Post: 11/01/2012 at 09:58
13 threads returned