Latest posts by Osakazuki

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What type of bamboo for screening?

Posted: 28/06/2013 at 11:03

Hi, I have a shared fence that has plants all the way along which help give the garden privacy. However, there is one area at the bottom still open a bit (around six foot or so). I have decided to block it with some large bamboo plants, as this would fit in well with my japanese style garden.

I think two or three large plants (around 6 feet) will do it. The problem is the soil is very shallow down that part of the garden and I probably will need to plant them in large pots. It is quite shaded as well.

Does anyone recommend any varieties (I didn't realise there was so many!). Also, could you recommend a good bamboo stockist?

Thanks, Mark.

Dead conifers?

Posted: 28/06/2013 at 10:50

I would probably remove the conifers to be honest, as has been suggested in other posts. I have two the same (Chamaecyparis I think) and the bottoms were rough, so i just cut them back to the trunk, the tops were fine.

I do think conifers get a bad deal, probably due to Leylandii etc. I have loads of specimen conifers in my garden in pots, such as Japanese Larch, Korean Fir, White Pine, Hinoki Cypress and Mugo pine. I do a bit of bonsai so things like chinese juniper and pine make great material, so I have them at different stages of development.

I do think conifers still have a place in our gardens and provide good backdrops for other plants.

Japanese maple in pest catastrophy

Posted: 27/06/2013 at 22:59

Japanese Maples have a defence mechanism and sometimes produce a second set of leaves, so like Jess says, it would be worth waiting a while. I hope it's ok.

Something to block out sound of neighbours voice!

Posted: 27/06/2013 at 22:51

I can sympathise with you totally. Our neighbour is a nightmare when it comes to noise. He spent over two years doing his house up and had no consideration for disrupting our lives at very unsociable times, then had the audacity to say they didn't make any noise.

He constantly shouts instead of talking and raises the volume when he knows we are relaxing in the garden. Obnoxious is too tame a word to describe him. We call him foghorn leghorn.

I have read the posts on your thread and a lot of ideas have got me thinking, particularly the water feature.

He's just built a conservatory that overlooks into our kitchen, or it would have done if I hadn't acted first after his big gob told the street what his intentions were. I have bonsai shelves next to the fence and have put up conifers in pots on the top shelf, which more or less hides the windows on his conservatory. I will have to wait until they return from holiday to see if they drowned his dulcet tones out a bit.

It is a difficult situation and I sympathise totally. It's so tempting to retalliate and play them at their own game. I lost it a bit the other day and did shout and moan a bit at him. Okay it worked (and probably shocked him), but I felt bad that I resorted to this as its not in my nature to do so.

I hope you get something sorted so you can enjoy your lovely garden.

Ailing acer

Posted: 24/06/2013 at 15:34

Hi Pam, I agree with Fairygirl. It might be worth repotting if possible. You can be quite brutal with the roots and it would still survive. I do bonsai and it always amazes me how many roots you can dispense of.

It does seem to be a problem with drainage. I put absolutely loads of potting grit in the compost I use (usually John Innes no. 2 or no.3). Japanese Maples hate wet roots for prolonged periods of time. Water shouldn't sit on top if you have adequate drainage in the pot. If it still has healthy looking buds I would give it more time. I have a Beni-Komachi that has just leafed out (due to the crazy spring weather).

Incidentally, if its a dome shaped tree with dissected leaves then it will be a garnet, if not its an atropurpureum (it can't be both).

Also, maybe a change in position will help it. Garnet's do well in the sun.

Good luck on keeping it alive.

Leafcutter bees

Posted: 19/06/2013 at 20:29

Thanks for the replies, I thought they wouldn't pose much of a threat. I agree it is quite entertaining watching them fly off with a big chunk of leaf in their undercarriage. I think they are making home in the garden a couple of doors down. They're pretty skilfill at cutting a perfect eliptical hole as well.


Posted: 19/06/2013 at 20:00

You could try and leaf prune the damaged area. Japanese maples have a defence mechanism and sometimes produce a secondary set of leaves.I've done this on a bonsai acer before. I wouldn't worry too much, these plants have a knack of repairing themselves given a bit of TLC.

Leafcutter bees

Posted: 19/06/2013 at 19:52


I was checking my japanese maples (for aphids) today and was quite shocked to see a couple of bees flying off, each with part of a leaf. There are small circular holes in a few leaves, so these little fellows are the prime suspects.

I know the benefit that bees bring to the garden but don't really want them chewing all my plants. Anyone had experience of these and any ideas how i could prevent them damaging my maples? (without damaging the bees!)

Acer advice needed

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 19:56

I agree with Jess's advice. I love Japanese Maples and have a collection of around thirty in containers scattered around my garden. I have been growing them for years and experimented with all sorts of composts.

I put all my young trees into John Innes number 2, with loads of extra potting grit to prevent them getting wet feet for prolonged periods. If I repot older plants I put into John Innes number 3 (which is advised in the best book on these plants by Vertrees and Gregory).

They seem to do equally well in ericaceous but it isnt necessary and I don't see the point in mixing with another type of compost (just means you need to buy more).

The key thing is good drainage and to prepare the pots well before you shove them in. I also use bark on top, but avoid putting it right up against the stem as it may cause rot.

Incidentally just got a bargain in the reduced section at my local GC: an acer palmatum butterfly for 3 quid (originally £30), just needs a little bit of TLC and in a couple of years should be in great shape. You also get great bargains at GC's in the autumn/ winter when they lose their leaves.

How would you describe your garden?

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 06:41

I'm not sure how I would describe my garden, other than small and compact and full of pots. I reckon it's only around 8m x 5m, but i have it jam packed with plants. I also have a drive incorporated into that space.

It's took me a while to get it the way I wanted and I also like the idea of moving the pots around when I feel like a change or if a plant isnt doing so well in a certain place. I have a particular addiction to Japan Maples, most of which are kept quite small.

I would love more space, but I think I'm happy with the way it is (for now!!) and I love sitting in it when we get good weather here in the North-East. In time I would love to create a japanese style garden with flowing water (I might have to get rid of the drive to do that!). Here's a few pictures from different angles.













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Discussions started by Osakazuki

What type of bamboo for screening?

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Last Post: 28/06/2013 at 11:03

Leafcutter bees

Replies: 5    Views: 939
Last Post: 20/06/2013 at 01:30

Hi from the North East

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Last Post: 10/04/2013 at 08:46
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