Latest posts by Newcastle

1 to 10 of 62

Convert lawn into paving

Posted: 22/06/2017 at 15:44

How about using porous paving such as gravel which will allow the rainwater to soak into the soil and reduces the danger of flooding. If you want to avoid lawn mowing you could plant alpines (some of which are good weed smotherers) or perhaps low growing shrubs (such a lavenders) or possibly some ornamental grasses which would only need to be cut back at the end of the growing season. Something like this would look more attractive than paving although another possibility might be to leave gaps in the paving and plant things such as Thyme and there are quite a variety of diffenent types which could be low maintenance.

raspberry fertilizer

Posted: 29/03/2016 at 19:49

A good mulch of garden compost or straw would help as a soil improver and help retain moisture as well as suppressing weeds.

Talkback: What to prune in winter

Posted: 04/12/2015 at 00:08
I have been chopping off old Hellebore leaves recently since the new growth seems to be starting at the base for the Winter flowers. They looked unsightly anyway since I have been plagued with snails again despite the slug pellets. I think the clay soil must suit them and I have a neighbour with an aversion to killing them; she prefers to take them into the wood opposite "for the hedgehog" who often doesn't seem hungry so they safari nocturnally across the road to my garden and feast on my plants!

Mares tail

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 00:25

Hoeing can help if done regularly - it's supposed to weaken the weed and does eventually, together with the membrane you are using. The more heavy duty ones are more effective; the type that landscape gardeners use together with glyphosphate on the bruised stems. Best of luck - it is horrible stuff!


Adding grit to flowerbeds

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 00:18

At this time of year it would be time well spent to collect some fallen leaves to act as a soil improver. They come free if there are any available nearby (even if you collect them from the street as I do) and even if you cannot be bothered to compost them they make a useful mulch and will encourage worms to do a lot of the hard graft of soil improvement for you as well as protecting the roots of any pants you decide to leave in situ for the Winter. Some folk claim that the street leaves absorb pollution but I have never had a problem with this.


Posted: 04/03/2015 at 18:29

Has Nyone any experience of propagating these plants by root cuttings? I have some pot-bound plants raised from see five years ago and I have tried with pieces of root emerging from the pot drainage holes. A slightly barmy experiment but I suppose it might just work. Anyone else care to try it and tell me how they got on?


Posted: 04/03/2015 at 18:22

I have continued to over-winter these indoors and the foliage looks a lot healthier now possibly thanks to some judicious sprayng with organic insecticide and keeping them sparingly watered. The roots are emerging from the base of 8" pots and I have tried trimming these off to see if root cutting propagation is possible. I will probably have to pot them on come the Spring and I have about three feet of foliage on most of them.

I believe they usually take about five years to flower - according to the R.G.S. and Hessayon anyway but it should be worth the wait.

Sorry for the long delay in responding to you but I only visit this site occasionally and do not necessarily look at all the blogs. 

Talkback: Trees for small gardens revisited

Posted: 26/01/2015 at 21:02
How about Tree Ferns please? I have raised some Dicksonia Antartica from spores and they are now in their sixth year and still fairly small with no established trunks yet. Will I need to wait until the last frost has passed before taking them outside. Presumably they would be best kept in containers until more established?

broad beans sown in autumn

Posted: 11/12/2014 at 21:28

Look forward to comparing results. Ciao.


Posted: 11/12/2014 at 19:59

I am answering my own post - how is that for dedication. I finally hacked off the sickly leaves and the plants have grown away merrily during the Summer with a good complement of leaves on each but no flowers as yet. I believe it takes about five years on average but I may just get lucky this coming year. I t looks as if they will all need re-potting in the Spring and I believe that it's possible to plan off-sets during potting on, assuming there are any, and presumably I will be able to pass these on if it happens. At least they look healthy enough at present.

1 to 10 of 62

Discussions started by Newcastle


Root cuttings 
Replies: 0    Views: 850
Last Post: 04/03/2015 at 18:29

Aeoniums from seed

Replies: 0    Views: 634
Last Post: 26/07/2014 at 11:54

Watsonias from seed

Hardening off seedlings 
Replies: 4    Views: 1448
Last Post: 26/07/2014 at 10:49

Talkback: Making Christmas decorations

I was introduced to wreath making for the first time this year by a member of a community group I belong to in Nottingham. I take the point ... 
Replies: 0    Views: 841
Last Post: 28/12/2013 at 00:38


Replies: 3    Views: 2115
Last Post: 04/03/2015 at 18:22

Edgworthia shubs

Anybody had much experience of growing these? 
Replies: 3    Views: 1398
Last Post: 21/12/2013 at 22:56

Bromeliads from seed.

Replies: 0    Views: 1115
Last Post: 14/09/2012 at 13:36

Pulmonarias - growing from seed.

Pulmonarias practicalities 
Replies: 0    Views: 1371
Last Post: 08/03/2012 at 19:21

Talkback: How to create an autumn pot display

Replies: 3    Views: 2392
Last Post: 07/12/2012 at 21:02

Talkback: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009 - companion planting

Replies: 13    Views: 2920
Last Post: 15/03/2013 at 09:16
10 threads returned