Latest posts by Posy

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Grey Soil

Posted: Yesterday at 11:00

That's really interesting, pbff. I would add that some clay soils have lumps of chalk in them. These soils are poor in nutrients, too, and along with grit and compost, they benefit from added acidic materials to enable the plants to take up the nutrients they need.

Can you compost yellow flag iris?

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 11:26

Having cut off the rhyzomes I also chop up the leaves to speed things up .I might not last out 8 bags in my dedication to compost.....

would you move house for a bigger garden?

Posted: 24/10/2016 at 17:22

So many wise words. Modern life is so busy with careers and families and friends and all the little things, too, that take up our time. Yet I think that you reach a point when it is worth asking yourself what you really want out of life - and how much you are prepared to pay for it. I don't mean just money.

When I was about the age I think you are - settled job, kids in secondary school - I realised that it was all ok but not truly satisfying. We wanted to move and I stuck out for a big garden. All that has been said above is true: it's a lot of work; it will never be perfect; now I am old it sometimes seems a bit much and I have had to modify my plans and I do feel a bit regretful about my failings BUT in 27 years it has brought me joy, solace, unlimited interest, pride, wonder.... I am moved, humbled, intrigued. In my garden I am never lonely or bored or hopeless and only unhappy if distracted by outside things.

This morning, weary, I sat for a moment on a log by the compost heap and a robin hopped down to check if I had disturbed anything edible. The day was still and pearly gray but all the autumn colours are beginning to assert themselves and there are still flowers for scent and colour. I knew there was nowhere on earth I would rather be and nothing on earth I could have done better.

You only get one life and it is true - you should think of all your family, but think of yourself, too. If you really want it, go for it. Good luck.

Gardeners world going to try an hour long

Posted: 24/10/2016 at 09:50

Down here in the Isle of Wight, and I believe in other warmer spots, there is quite an interest in growing more exotic plants My friend gave me a banana in a pot which I wintered in the greenhouse until it became too big and I passed it on. I think niche interests are just as valid as any others and it can be enjoyable to follow a plant over several years. With a whole hour there is time for a few of these less everyday projects.

Weed identification

Posted: 23/10/2016 at 13:55

I have that! In fact, I am probably better at growing it than almost any other plant. You have to dig out the roots and pull out seedlings as often as possible. I don't use weedkiller but that's a personal choice. You are unlikely to eliminate it altogether so regard it as one of life's little trials.

Planting plans and keeping track of your plant names

Posted: 16/10/2016 at 14:39

Hollow laughter here! I used to do that sort of thing. Some of the plants died, some went rampant, some seeded from elsewhere and all the labels were moved by blackbirds, foxes, cats, badgers and moles. These days I look at a plant and say ' What the hell's that?' OK, so it doesn't much resemble the stuff you see on Gardeners' World, but I have preserved my sanity - well, a bit of it....

Elaeagnus looking unwell

Posted: 15/10/2016 at 09:45

I think watering depends on conditions. Many people - my OH is one of them - bung a young tree in, give it a drink and feel that that's job done for the next fifty years. If the weather is sunny and breezy and your soil is light, frequent watering will be needed but in cool, cloudy, damp conditions or on moisture retentive ground less is ok. Plants die from too much as well as too little. I have several eleagnus, some in shade and some in sun. The soil is heavy clay and can become very wet in winter but they don't  seem to mind at all.

Dead-looking plants

Posted: 13/10/2016 at 22:16

If the soil is really that bad you will find it a challenge to grow anything well. As Dove says, muck and compost and I would add lots of grit, too. You cannot add too much. In unplanted areas, mix it all in, breaking up lumps of clay. My garden gets waterlogged and I have built up the beds to improve drainage and I also plant my shrubs into little mounds for the same reason. I used to lose a lot of plants in the winter but this approach has greatly improved things. Improving drainage on clay soil can be difficult and costly but this works for me.

Elaeagnus looking unwell

Posted: 13/10/2016 at 21:54

I wonder why you are watering every day? How much are you putting on? You should really only water when the ground is dry. Personally, I would cut a large circle out of the membrane round any shrubs and keep the gravel well away from the roots. In Spring, when the soil is moist but not wet. put on a mulch of well rotted manure but don't allow it to touch the shrub. Eleagnus are pretty  tough so give it a chance to survive, it may yet recover.

foxglove seedlings

Posted: 13/10/2016 at 14:13

In good conditions they will do better outdoors but if you have heavy soil or a very challenging climate keep some in big pots in a coldframe. Last year we had serious waterlogging and my indoor plants did much better than their outdoor siblings. They went out in spring and romped away.

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