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Latest posts by lydiaann

11 to 20 of 23

Mystery tree

Posted: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Lordswood:  You are absolutely spot on!  Thank you so much for that...I knew that it wasn't a jasmine as one guy insisted.  I kept telling him that jasmine doesn't grow as a full tree.  Of course, everyone has heard of a linden but I had never seen one before; again, my thanks!!  (I knew I could rely on my fellow Forkers!)

However, fidgetbones, still won't upload the picture!

Mystery tree

Posted: 25/06/2013 at 16:17

Can anyone identify this tree, please?  Grows prolifically in Tuscany, heavy-scented (evening, dusk and after), lovely shade tree.  Leaves similar to a beech leaf, but slightly larger.  Yellow flowers like a stephanotis hanging in clumps from under the leaves.  Scent is quite pervasive and long-reaching. 

Thanks Forkers!  [Sorry, can't seem to upload the pic, perhaps someone can give me directions!!]


Clematis armandii - what is the problem?

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 14:48

Eerie!!  I've just had to take my Armandii back to soil level...I think it's clematis wilt you have.  Caused, apparently, by a 'wound' [could be from an insect 'bite' or a tie that's too tight] and carried by water to infect the whole plant.  It starts at the top.  I suggest you take it back down to a good healthy level, cover the roots well to stop splash-back and hope for the best - that's going to be my strategy.  If any 'expert' out there has any better advice, both Jim and I would be eternally grateful!

Ants in the compost bin

Posted: 17/05/2013 at 09:39

Thanks, I'll try that.  Although I did water somewhat when I added a 'brown' layer (which had to be shredded newspaper as I'd run out of leaves and old compost out of pots) about a month ago - but maybe it was not enough.  As the bin has only just reached a point where I can use the first lot (it's less than 18 months since I started it), I was loathe to have to remove all the stuff and start again! 

Ants in the compost bin

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 12:06

I've just been out to my compost bin and it's full of ants, including flying ants and eggs.  Do I have a serious problem or can I just leave it?

When to prune

Posted: 28/02/2013 at 13:27

I've completed all of my pruning over the last month.  I've learned through experience over the years that, provided the shrubs/trees/perennials are planted in more or less the right position, then judicious pruning from February 1 is just fine.  For example, I lived in Canada (Vancouver, wet/mild winters generally) for 20 years.  About 6 years ago we had terrible storms at the beginning of January that ripped up tens of thousands of trees and wrecked a lot of people's gardens (and also houses where the trees fell on them).  I had no option but to take out 90 percent of my Clematis montana and 95 percent of my winter jasmine.  A large limb had to come off the Cotinus cogyggria (3.5 m. high) and off the dogwood tree; the 2 beautiful Pieris also had 25 percent of their branches removed because of damage from the winds followed by heavy snow; other smaller plants also suffered.  Although I had fewer blossoms for the first year, each of the plants came back more vigorously than ever; since then, I have had no compunction about hard pruning and its benefits.  Go for it!

Overgrown back garden

Posted: 17/02/2013 at 15:27

Lots of good advice there.  However, one thing I would say is that if you are having borders and beds, please please don't make straight edges; use a vegetable-based aerosol marker and 'draw' freeform on the lawn before it's lifted/returfed/reseeded whatever.  Then go back to the area you plan for the patio/BBQ and see what pops out.  Then you can plan your borders and beds in regard to form, height, colour, theme: woodland, 'hot', 'calm', pastel, etc. (but only after you've established the pH of your soil) and decide if you want to reduce the lawn area further using paths.  Don't forget to plan as much for pollinating insects as possible.  It may be small, but there is so much you can do with it...good luck (We moved into our place 18 months ago and I had loads of new beds cut...last summer's wash-out meant it didn't come quite as I wanted it to, but there's always this year and then maybe I'll have some photos to post - perhaps we can have a competition!!)


Posted: 29/07/2012 at 16:02

On our return to the UK last August we moved into a new place in the East Midlands and were upset to see that the bee problem was not just confined to N. America.  We cut out 5 new beds (herb, veg, fruit, ornamental and wildflower) with the idea that the latter 2 would be for pollinating insects.  Sadly, although the wildflower border did extremely well, on our return 3 weeks ago from a short break, we found that the majority of plants were prostrate on the lawn (heavy storms).  However, Hubby fashioned a rather odd-looking support system and they have continued to flower nicely and attracted lots of bees of all kinds.  In the ornamental bed, I followed Sarah Raven's advice and looked out for the plants/bulbs/seeds that had the logo on the pack; the single flower dahlias, the lupins, the achillea are all doing the job beautifully - my new apples trees (2, planted 6 metres apart) have been cross-pollinated very successfully.

Depression and how gardening saved me

Posted: 06/05/2012 at 15:57

Three years ago while living in Canada I was approached to take part in a pre-publication study on gardening and mental health by a professor at University of British Columbia.  We did a tour of my garden first (I am pleased to say that it was all looking very good and the weather was perfect!) and then we started on the interview.  After all the usual paperwork signing (waivers, agreement to my comments appearing, etc.)  and a brief chat on my age (64), my gardening experience (moderate) and my sources for inspiration (my grandad), I had to take part in a short word-association session, answering - as is the norm - immediately with one word.  There were a couple of non-gardening words and then she just threw in the word 'garden'; my reaction?  "Catharsis".  I had never looked on it as that before but, looking back, I had always retreated into the garden following stress at work and particularly following - over the years - the deaths of my mother and my 2 beloved brothers.  I have cried and laughed, entertained and had quiet times in my garden...I have to say that, as apparently the sixth person interviewed, I was the first to produce such a reaction.  I am not sure who was the most surprised! 

Looking for evergreen climber

Posted: 25/02/2012 at 11:03

Clematis armandii for sure, vigorous, lovely white flowers in the New Year and needs very little attention; just make sure you shade the roots from sun, prune after flowering and a little clematis food at appropriate times...lovely.

11 to 20 of 23

Discussions started by lydiaann

To prune or not to prune

Replies: 8    Views: 257
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 20:46

Field maple

Fungus or disease? Deadly or a cosmetic problem? 
Replies: 3    Views: 345
Last Post: 05/07/2013 at 15:01

Mystery tree

Replies: 3    Views: 298
Last Post: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Ants in the compost bin

Replies: 2    Views: 366
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 09:39

Pruning Rowan/Mountain Ash

Replies: 1    Views: 2806
Last Post: 11/01/2012 at 09:58
5 threads returned