Latest posts by Obelixx

Shrub ID please

Posted: 05/06/2016 at 16:53

Thanks Flowerlady.  I have that in my own garden and the stems are similar but the leaves a bit different.  I planted mine in a woodland corner and, as the taller trees and shrubs provide more shade, it has migrated forwards towards the light with great vigour...........  

Shrub ID please

Posted: 05/06/2016 at 15:16

A friend of mine has been growing this and has lost the label so can't look it up to see why it is just sitting there and not doing anything - same size for 2 years now.   Her soil is very free draining and contains lots of coal heap slag but she and her OH do work in loads of compost every year to improve it.

If you chaps can identify it she can maybe work out what else it needs to flourish.


Posted: 05/06/2016 at 15:03

The sun has come out here.  First time in 8 days!  Bit hazy but very welcome.  More rain expected tho we should be dry by Wednesday.   Good.  So much to catch up on in the rain forest out there.

I do like all the pics on here today, photos and drawings.  Off to investigate re-sizing now as I have a plant that needs an ID.

I also really like the bold typeface some have been adopting lately.  So much less tiring to read.  Maybe we could all adopt it whilst waiting for a fix that will suit the visually challenged.

Using mirrors to to direct the sunlight

Posted: 05/06/2016 at 14:54

It does seem very lonely all by itself.  Why not move it closer to the others so it gets more sun naturally and plant some ground cover shade lovers to cover up all that bare soil.

Last edited: 05 June 2016 14:55:17

Using mirrors to to direct the sunlight

Posted: 05/06/2016 at 14:27

There is a basic gardening mantra - Right Plant Right Place - which save a lot of stress to plants and hassle and expense to gardeners.  

I don't see the point of trying to grow sun lovers in shade.

I suggest you move your rudbeckias to a sunnier spot then improve the soil with plenty of organic matter - garden or bought in compost - and then find plants suited to shade that will like the situation.  There's no shortage of choice that will give you colour and form in both foliage and flower.

Sick Weeping Willow tree in pot

Posted: 05/06/2016 at 12:27

Willows are planted in boggy pastures and around natural ponds to soak up water and help drain land.  They send their roots out deep and wide to seek out water which is why tehy should never be planted near house walls or drainage pipes.

Yours is in  tiny pot and almost bone dry.  It is suffering from thirst and starvation and lack of root space.  If you can't plant it out, give it to someone who can then do soem research on trees suitable for growing in pots - minimum 60cm square..

Digging out garden

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 20:51

As always, it all depends on what you want to do with it.   Making a terrace/patio doesn't require deep digging except to lay a decent foundation of hard core on which you will put your chosen finishing and a layer of concrete or cement to fix it in place.    Making a decent vegetable garden or ornamental bed or shrubbery or woodland feature may, depending on how good the soil is when you've removed all the rubbish and rubble.    Lawns also need a decent depth of soil beneath them if they are not to suffer from drought in dry spells. 

How big is it?  Which way does it face?  What is the soil like -  clay, sand, loam, stony, alkaline, acid?   How hot and cold and dry and wet does it get in a normal year?   What are you hoping to have in your garden once it's cleared?

Last edited: 04 June 2016 20:51:50

How Far to Cut These Bushes Back?

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 20:42

I'm female but the advice is till good and I do agree that hacking shrubs can make them look unsightly if not done well.   As ever, the RHS has some easy to follow advice form drastic renovation pruning to gentle restorative pruning.  Have a read of this;-


Please help

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 19:13

Begin by clearing all rubble and rubbish.  Then pull up the biggest weeds before they set seed - easy after rain when the soil is moist.   You can compost them if you like. For the small stuff you can spray if you're not against chemicals and then leave it to die down.  

Either way, you will then need to dig or fork over the entire area removing weed roots and shoots, any more bits of rubbish and bits of rubble you missed on the first pass and any large pebbles or stones.  Rake it level and remove any more stones that come up.  Apply a good layer of well rotted garden compost or soil improver and then rake that in.  

You then have to borrow a roller or do the gardener's shuffle over the whole area using your weight on your heels to compact the surface very slightly before laying turf or sowing seed. 

There's some helpful info from the RHS on how and when here for seed - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=424 and here for turf - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=410 

How Far to Cut These Bushes Back?

Posted: 04/06/2016 at 18:42

Since the shrubs look a lot healthier than the lawn I'd just cut a new edge to the lawn to give them more space and leave the shrubs alone.  You'll be left with some bare soil which you can improve with a generous helping of well rotted garden compost or bought in compost and then plant some annual or perennial plants to give more colour and form to the beds.

Next autumn mulch under your shrubs with well rotted compost anyway and if you do cut a new edge to increase the size of the beds, plant some bulbs to flower in spring.

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