Latest posts by Marinelilium

First bites of the year

Posted: 27/05/2016 at 18:40

  This is my basic  summer gardening anti mozzie, anti sunburn and anti peastick-in-the-eyeball kit. My drug of choice is Loratadine One-a-Day antihistamine from Tesco. (A great antihistamine because you can still have alcohol as it doesn't interact like other A-Hs, win).

Boots sell ammonia pens to dab bites but I find tea tree oil is just as good.

Stubborn dry soil in the shady end of the garden

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 12:45

LadyC may I suggest Euonymus fortunei for really dry site. Mine is under a Cedrus deodara pendula in bone dry pine needles on sandy soil yet just thrives on my neglect. Not exciting, not flamboyant but lifts what would be a gloomy arid spot


Posted: 05/05/2016 at 17:35

Thanks will try that B3. So far antihistamines, hot soapy water, ice cubes in towel, gaffer tape to pull the microscopic fibres out and baby oil soak have not stopped the itch. 

I knew Euphorbias, tulips and hogweeds etc caused allergic dermatitis but only thought Pampas slashed your wrists - had not realised just how irritating they are. (Always disliked it )


Posted: 05/05/2016 at 17:21

....a quick 'heads up' for anyone raking up debris from Pampas grass. 

Where my fleece sleeve ended and before my gloves cuff the skin on my arm looks like I'be self-harmed! Only a few centimetres of skin exposed but OUCH. No surprise there because the leaves are like razors, but it itches like crazy. The swelling and itching only slightly lessened with antihistamines. I knew it was sharp but didn't expect this maddening itchiness that has lasted for days.

I have tried to destroy the wretched thing three knows!

Ivy/climber advice

Posted: 23/04/2016 at 19:13

Congratulations and wishing you happiness in your new home. 

As tin will heat up on hot days and freeze on winter nights I would suggest planting an evergreen shrub infront but not in contact with the metal. (Attaching to or painting your neighbours fence is actually 'criminal damage' without their landlord's permission). 

I would put a shed, gazebo or glasshouse in front if planting is tricky. Otherwise potted bamboos will hide it year round. Posts on your side with a reed screen attached will be a quick fix for this summer.

what does your garden mean to you

Posted: 23/04/2016 at 11:36

I resurrected my old post on BBC gardening board thread from May 2007 because nine years have passed  and so so much has changed but my garden still grounds me.

"For me my garden is:
Rosy cheeks and black fingernails, delicious scents and manure, wildlife sanctuary and slugs, fitness and joint ointment, tranqil peace and machinery, high hopes and bitter disappointments, glorius sunshine and hosepipe ban, morning dew and winter deluges, dappled shade and frost pockets. It is all life in a fenced, hedged and walled nutshell because anything of true value has to cost you blood, sweat or tears. I adore my garden because I love being alive and nurturing life."

Non-Flowering Wisteria

Posted: 17/04/2016 at 08:34

"This may be the year" is a gardening mantra of mine. High hopes and expectations, and fortitude when disappointed, is part-and-parcel of our gardening and is good for us. We learn and we grow it!


Posted: 17/04/2016 at 08:20

Buying the nematode treatment is worth every penny when you put time, effort and money into seedlings and your food crops only to find they have been devoured overnight.

It took years of organic gardening, to get toads, frogs, birds and beneficial insects to do most of the pest control. The balance comes, but just not the next morning, (That means seaweed and chicken pellet based fertilisers, homemade garlic bug spray, no digging, compost mulches etc). 

Anomander: Frogs and toads send their best regards. For your lottie a sunken half barrel is enough of a pond...."Build it and they will come" 


Posted: 16/04/2016 at 15:45


I can't recommend nematode treatment enough! used to collect litres of slugs and snails on night safari but one year of treatment really made the numbers plummet. The dead slugs carry the nematodes back to the soil where they wait for another slug to emerge...brilliant. My little helper has kept numbers in check too 

Non-Flowering Wisteria

Posted: 16/04/2016 at 15:23

EmmaP2 if it's any consolation I waited for a white wisteria to flower for eight years....nothing doing. To add insult to injury the graft failed and rotted and I left the stump to avoid that four letter word - WORK. Well two years later the purple rootstock went crazy. Not the white I wanted but the purple, heavenly-scented one I got.

(Story of my life)


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