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Latest posts by nightgarden


Posted: 04/03/2013 at 12:27

Putting moss out for birds is a great idea, as is piling rhodo leaves for hedgehogs so that's sorted.  There is no garden refuse collection here but I have plenty of room to burn the ivy clippings.

I chop up old blackberry prunings to use round plants to keep cats off - they must be dead though or they will sprout!

On the wood ash thing - my daughter puts it around her polytunnel as a slug barrier - works pretty well too.

How can you tell if manure is "well rotted"?

Posted: 03/03/2013 at 20:17

I think if it is sweet or none smelly and crumbly then it's ready to go - takes about 6 months apparently for any chemicals to dissipate ... this from answers to my own recent questions about manure!


Posted: 03/03/2013 at 20:08

I was wondering - is it ok to put ivy prunings and moss on the compost heap or will they regenerate?

I have a lot of cripsy brown rhododenrdron leaves too - they are such sturdy leaves will they compost down or would it be best to just burn them all?

Spring -summer

Posted: 02/03/2013 at 10:54

How about some plants with catkins for February - I just read an article about these two, they rae both really pretty and on my wish list.

Salix chaenomeloides has catkins with little red caps on the end, height 12m and spread 5m.

Garrya elliptica James Roof - perfect for a north wall - it is evergreen 20cm catkins, the male is apparently the best for catkins.

overgrown border

Posted: 27/02/2013 at 22:10

Oh indeed Rosa - I know how lucky I am to live with a very mature garden, the results of previous gardeners' labours and skills that's for sure - my questions were really coming from the point of how to keep it all going without doing any damage!

It is very exciting to have a bare space to play with so I'm sure you will have lots of fun planning and plotting

overgrown border

Posted: 27/02/2013 at 08:45

Same border from a slightly different angle - I hope these pictures don't appear several times, I had trouble uploading.

overgrown border

Posted: 27/02/2013 at 08:43

The border in question is at the back - not a very good shot but it gives the idea of how full it is. I do like it like this so maybe I'll go with the idea of pruning and then just take out a couple of the shrubs and spend the next couple of weeks on my hands and knees rooting out the buttercups!

overgrown border

Posted: 26/02/2013 at 14:38

Thanks everyone - I'll read the advice you have all given again more slowly but the gist seems to be slow and steady - funny really, at my age there is no other way!

I'll certainly confine the hens until the ground is cleared - after that they are very good at removing pests from the ground and all the plants are so big they won't do any harm. I have a resident stoat a visiting weasel and endless voles etc so I think I'll avoid roundup though just in case they come to harm

Moving the shrubs seems to be the first task then - so is it ok to start doing that now?

Also when I dig round them I probably won't be able to avoid damaging some of the fibrous roots because the shrubs are so close to each other - if I try not to harm any of the thicker roots will that be ok?

Then it's hands and knees with a fork - a gradual transformation sounds quite exciting now. I'll take a photo and post it later. Thanks again.


overgrown border

Posted: 26/02/2013 at 12:54

I have a border about 6 feet wide and roughly 18 feet long. It has been established long before I arrived and includes hundreds of snowdrops, many perennials such as veronica, pelagoniums, london pride, sedums, comfrey etc etc , ferns and a few things I can't identify yet. There are also large shrubs, including a quince, an oak tree that has been pruned to a large shrub, a spiraea and a few other unknowns. 

Some of the shrubs are now somewhat overgrown and/or too close together.The border is edged on one long side and one short side by a mix of fuchsia, mock orange, elder and cotoneaster.

I would like to decongest the border without destroying it's charm but don't know where or when to begin! The added problem is that the entire bed is matted with creeping buttercups which look lovely when in flower but on the other hand are a bit invasive!

If the bed and plants/shrubs were smaller my instinct would be to take everything out and clean the bed as much as possible of the buttercups then divide the perennials, space out and/or move a few of the shrubs to give everything more space, light and air - but - this would be a mammoth task and I don't know the best times to move each shrub.

So what do I do? Is the mammoth task the only option - if so when do I do it - or does anyone have any better ideas - bearing in mind the buttercups are already up and running!

I'm not keen on chemical solutions as I have a lot of wildl visitors and have free ranging hens and a dog.


Posted: 24/02/2013 at 19:45

That's really helpful information, I'll certainly ask before I take any. Thanks.

Discussions started by nightgarden


what to do with roots 
Replies: 1    Views: 297
Last Post: 21/08/2013 at 08:05

Hardy fuchsia

pruning time missed? 
Replies: 8    Views: 1228
Last Post: 18/05/2013 at 09:10

new fruit trees

Replies: 4    Views: 603
Last Post: 23/06/2013 at 12:16

New apple trees

where to plant 
Replies: 0    Views: 498
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 16:55

conifer bushes

pruned into balls 
Replies: 3    Views: 642
Last Post: 21/04/2013 at 18:18

fruit bushes

Monty's bowl shape 
Replies: 4    Views: 628
Last Post: 25/03/2013 at 17:18

Unrotted compost

Growing veg in bags 
Replies: 3    Views: 601
Last Post: 21/03/2013 at 13:46

more gardening less smoking

Replies: 9    Views: 496
Last Post: 09/03/2013 at 22:29


can these things be composted 
Replies: 18    Views: 1330
Last Post: 15/04/2013 at 22:10

overgrown border

Replies: 14    Views: 951
Last Post: 27/02/2013 at 23:16


home made liquid feeds 
Replies: 6    Views: 499
Last Post: 24/02/2013 at 17:24


horse manure on compost 
Replies: 6    Views: 602
Last Post: 24/02/2013 at 19:45

Horse manure

Using horse manure  
Replies: 3    Views: 1283
Last Post: 14/08/2012 at 15:10

Pear tree problem

Disease on fruit 
Replies: 2    Views: 801
Last Post: 25/06/2012 at 21:21
14 threads returned