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Latest posts by obelixx

Small retaining wall - ideas welcome

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 11:48

I have a mortar free retaining wall but it's made from bottles, not bricks.  It's been there 18 years and never moved but the bed behind is plants, not lawn so isn't walked on every day or mowed every week but it is at seating height so does get sat on.

We gave it proper foundations with a concrete filled base and then simply laid the bottles.  There's a paving set wall at either end to hold them up but nothing between them.  We topped it the long side with slabs of marble from an old fireplace we demolished and the short bit has a railway sleeper top.

The tall, straight side bottes with high shoulders are best for ease of use.



Posted: 04/10/2014 at 18:17

Paniculata means cone-shaped so pointier flower heads.

A couple of questions for Uni

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 13:34

And don't forget people also garden in cities and the countryside and some of us here are not in the UK but on the continenet and even further afield.


Posted: 03/10/2014 at 09:23

No, it was 20 a month!   A lot to pay for 3 visits a year.


Posted: 03/10/2014 at 09:21

It depends on what kind they are.   If they're mopheads or lacecaps it's best to leave them on till next spring as they keep the frosts off the new buds forming behind as they flower on wood made during the previous season.

If they're paniculata types they produce flowers on new wood so you can remove the flowers now if you don't like the faded look as they age.   Next spring, prune the plants back to a decent set of buds low down each stem and give them a generous dollop of pelleted chicken manure to encourage new growth and lots of flowering stems.

Talkback: 10 hostas to grow

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 08:58

There was a hosta grower featured on the covergae of the Malvern show one spring.  She says she goes out on Valentine's Day - because it's easy to remember - and sprinkles the wildlife friendly slug pellets on her hosta beds and pots.  She then repeats this every week through the growing season.  Just light scatterings, not a blue carpet,, and repeat after heavy rain.

I've done this too and it works for me.    I have a pond for frogs and toads and I feed the birds so they come and eat pests but I still need the pellets.


Posted: 03/10/2014 at 07:39

It's autumn and acers are deciduous so it's normal to lose their leaves.  However, mine still have theirs so maybe you haven't been watering them enough or you've had them too exposed to sun and wind and they've been stressed.

Kilmarnock willow

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 07:36

It's probably bone dry and starving.   Willows need a lot of water.   Take it out of the pot if you can and dunk the rootball in a large bucket of water and leave it there till all air bubbles subside.

Repot in a bigger pot with fresh compost and keep it moist till all teh leaves have fallen.  Remove all fallen leaves from the pot.

Next spring, treat the pot to a saucer and keep it watered regularly so the compost desn't dry out.  Give occasional liquid feeds especially when the new leaves start to appear.

Tulip planting

Posted: 02/10/2014 at 17:59

White pulmonaria Sissinghurst, white vinca minor Gertrude Jekyll, purple flowered hardy geraniums - lots of those, white forms of Bergenia.

Tulip planting

Posted: 02/10/2014 at 17:43

Catie - too early and too shallow.  Bite the bullet and start again or all that investment in bulbs will be for nought.   Too early makes them vulnerable to tulip fire blight and too shallow means they will freeze and thaw and turn to mush or even get eaten by rodents.

Bluebaron - I like to have spring bulbs coming up through perennials which will hide the bulb foliage as it dies down as it means I can leave it to feed the bulbs for next year's display without twitching to tidy up.


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