Paul N

Latest posts by Paul N

Lilac shoots all over the place...

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 10:53

Yup, I agree. Lilacs are notorious for suckering and tearing them off from the tree's roots is the accepted way. Or if like me and a touch lazy, trimming them down to the ground with secateurs, but that way they WILL return.

Using Woodburner Ash

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 10:50

I add our wood ash to the compost heaps.

cost of entrance to gardening shows

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 10:47

When we've been to Hampton Court, we park our car in the grounds of a nearby school so the parking charge goes to school funds. A short walk to a motorboat and a pleasurable ride across the Thames to the entrance. Brilliant! Also the Daily Mail always seem to do vouchers or reduced rate tickets during the previous week. We take a packed lunch so that other than a beer at midday, it's a good day. And the crowds are far lighter than at Chelsea, or so I've found.

cost of entrance to gardening shows

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 08:48

As Gary said, we treat Hampton Court as a day out, a special treat, so the cost is not so critical. Also we're also pensioners and in all honesty, when my work pension is added to my state pension, I'm not doing badly at all. Certainly more spending money than I had a few years ago and far, far more than when we had small children. We visited the Floriade in the Netherlands a few weeks ago, a terrific disappointment, and not anything like Hampton Court or even our own Kent Garden Show. Bittery cold, the show gardens were almost bare and deserted, and there were very few flowers  to see.

cost of entrance to gardening shows

Posted: 24/04/2012 at 23:38


Think yourself lucky you aren't a football, Formula 1 or MotoGP fan. Their entrance prices are attrocious. I don't like crowds so will almost certainly only go to Hampton Court this year. Other than that we are still National Trust members so Sissinghurst Castle is close to home. And we have the Yellow Book too.


Posted: 24/04/2012 at 18:49

Unfortunately it never worked for me doing it that way as it was easy to forget them and allow them to dry out. My identical cuttings were planted in tall pots in a mixture of 50/50 GP compost and perlite, then kept in the greenhouse. I took cuttings in July, November and March, and have had a very high success rate with all of them.

Rain water

Posted: 24/04/2012 at 09:48

Right, I've just ordered a pair of Gardman Greenhouse Collection Kits - £6.99 each - from If they don't fit my old greenhouse guttering, I will play with them until they do. Thanks for the tip off, Figrat.


Posted: 24/04/2012 at 09:30

Well I do now. They use an expensive engraver, too expensive for me.

Gardening book

Posted: 24/04/2012 at 09:29

Many of my gardening books I buy from a charity shop in town. Terrific value for money as some of my books cost £39 new but bought them for £3 or £4. They always have Hessayon books in too.

rainwater storage

Posted: 24/04/2012 at 09:27


Thanks for the offer but I'm doing fine with my rainwater storage. I have four 55 gallon plastic drums and a 220 gallon IBC giving me 433 gallons in total. The IBC was used to store fruit juice so no problems with contamination there. They come in a steel mesh cage but when I went collect it, it was about an inch too wide to fit into the back of our small Suzuki van so we had to undo the cage and just bring the 'bladder' back. When full with rainwater, as it now is, it distorts badly. Also being stored on a pair of wooden pallets, the weight is enormous. I therefore plan to get another IBC (eBay have many) complete with cage and create a better base for it. I've read posts where some people feel its a waste of time collecting as it soon runs out in hot weather. Well the solution is to do as I did and get more. The drums I got either free or for £10 off eBay. As for being an eyesore, as some think, the drums are dark green and the IBC is tucked away behind the workshop. I hope this helps someone.

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