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Latest posts by Palaisglide

Get Rid of your Lawns

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 09:16

Bob Flowerdew a Gardener I have watched on TV and read his articles published in weekend papers has suddenly come out against lawns,"worse than driving a gas guzzling vehicle" he proclaims. Now I respect his views although having seen his garden on TV years back where he had old carpets laid out on parts of it supposedly for a year to suppress weeds and his containers coming in what most of us would weigh in at the scrap yard I was not too impressed with the look of it.
We gardeners are a varied bunch and at times you can imagine the owner by just looking at the garden something I often did when dog walking and peering over fences, it is surprising how often first thoughts are correct, we like order in various degrees.
As a lad when a surge of new build happened in our village the houses all had a front lawn with low wall to contain it and the back garden was a working garden with a clutch of hens, vegetables, fruit bushes, and anything else that would feed the family over the seasons and produce food to bottle or make jam. The front lawn was the posh bit, thou shalt not walk upon it, hand mowed trimmed with scissors in places it showed your place in society, well we were the posh end of the village!
Over the years as new estates went up the lawn became the playing fields that had been there before the houses were built. Lawn back and front, the front still kept neat the back no longer producing food the clutch of hens long gone was the football swing slide dads garden shed retreat and Mun's drying area, the lawn was for recreational safety of the children.
Then came the make over years ugly decking gravel paved areas hot tubs and anything else the trendies could sell people plus of course the "Trampoline", a quiet Sunday afternoon sit in the garden became a mesmerizing glimpse of heads shooting up beyond the fence as they became airborne and it was not always the kids.
Even as a kid where the garden small holding was a working area, Dad had a small strip of lawn where on warm summer nights we would put some folding chairs and sit watching the sun go down, lawns you see are for contemplating, resting your eye's whilst planning next years changes, they give a sense of peace, let you wind down, so Bob although you are getting your wish, with three or four cars most front lawns are now gone and bricked or concreted over, one gas guzzler is being replaced with more, keep your lawns get rid of the gas guzzlers. I rest my case.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 11:06

Dull and dank although warm here on Teesside with some luck it will improve.
Wasted my morning writing family history for Daughter in California her writings have it all mixed up, lucky for her she has someone who remembers.


Carrot bed

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 11:01

This year is a write off for many vegetables and not something you did.
Carrots like a nice loose sandy soil with no lumps or stones. Dig the bed over let winter work its magic then when sowing you carrot seed make sure the bed is soft  down to a decent level, no need for added feed.


Compost BIN or TUMBLER

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 10:56

Andrew put your compost bin in a warm sheltered place and a bucket outside your back door with a lid for household green waste, never food or meats of any kind.
Tip the bucket onto the compost as needed and probably a good idea to tip the bin if small onto a plastic sheet and stir it up as you throw it all back in the compost bin.
Forget tumblers, for a small bin tipping the compost out stirring it and putting it back gives time for it to work but will probably take six months for decent compost.
In my case with large wooden boxes in a warm sheltered place I use one as I fill the other and have compost in summer (well most summers) in six to eight weeks.


Hebe Plant

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 10:47

No pruning is needed although if they get leggy you can prune hard back in April.
Nothing to stop you giving it a very light trim to round it up now if you wish but be gentle with it.


Crop Rotations in raised beds

Posted: 09/08/2012 at 13:09

Rosie, crop rotation goes thus Legumes and all pod crops should be followed by Brassicas, ie:- cabbage cauli Sprouts and other green plants, They are followed by Root crops Carrots Parsnip Beetroot etc. They are followed by the Onions Leeks shallots etc.
So it is Legumes, Brassicas, Root crops and then Onion crops.
Well that is the rule which we all bend to fit everything in and rotation for my Father a very keen gardener also meant a fifth bed left fallow for a year or to grow green manure, the ducks hens and geese would be let loose on that patch from time to time to scratch it over.
The answer to your question would be a separate bed for the Alliums or Onion crops depending on whether you grow Scallions Leeks Pickling onions and Garlic.
Hope this helps.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 09/08/2012 at 12:48

Dusted off my passport and crossed the Tees this morning, that was when I went well out of my way to dodge road works in Stockton only to find the A66 had road works on both side, well a lot of cones no sign of work??
It was stiflingly hot even though the sky looked like a curdled cake mix, should have used more flour. Daughter had to buy me a coffee in S&M, drinking hot coffee on a hot day seemed like S&M to me. Back home via the country lanes with the windows down, lovely views and cooling breeze what more could you wish for.


up to minate gardening

Posted: 08/08/2012 at 15:04

This has been a bad year for every gardener no matter where they are in GB, even though all gardens seem to be drowning I was very surprised to find dry places and pots when I check daily so in pouring rain had to water some plants, we also had more sun and heat than we thought which quickly dried things up depending on the drainage of any particular garden.
The gardens you mention are laid down from new with correct drainage and also the needs of the plants to be grown so they do have an advantage, we mere mortals have what we got when we bought the place we live in. My house was new build, (well thirty years ago now) I knew what was under the top soil so dug out drainage channels and put down deep gravel which sent the excess water downhill from me, it has paid off over the years, as with all things it is in the preparation, usually hard work but worth it in the end.

How do i Store lily bulbs??

Posted: 08/08/2012 at 14:46

Alex, depends on what kind of Lilium, there are many types and various rooting systems, most are just left in the ground over winter, in any case most of them need to be in the ground or pots by Autumn.
Stored bulbs shrivel and if you buy shop or garden centre bulbs it is best to rest them in damp peat or compost to bulk up again.
All you needed to do was dig down to the bulb remove any bulbils (Tiny Plates attached to the main bulb)  then refresh the soil around and above the bulb and place in a shelter spot until they start to show leaf.
I lift mine every three years divide them up and spread them out replanting them as I go, Any bulbils taken should be put into pots in a sheltered space and left to grow on around three years to flowers depending on type.
Refresh the soil with half compost and half loam and grit mixed then replant the bulbs put them in a sheltered place and they will show in spring, do not over water, stick a finger in the pot and it should have just a bit of the fibre on it, if the finger is muddy let them dry out a bit. Few plants need much water in winter just damp is enough.
Hope this helps but you can bet there will be other thoughts on this, we all have our ways.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 08/08/2012 at 13:39

Here on Teesside I watched the biggest blackest cloud slowly wander overhead and vanish out to sea, that would have been some storm had it happened. It is now sunny and warm with some white cloud. The hills are looking bright and sunny after what appeared to be a real purple patch last night, well it looked very purple from my viewpoint ten miles away, I was saying to myself poor "Rain" she is getting it again.
Just had a bowl full of home made soup, roasted squash and veg,.

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