Latest posts by Rosie31

Why doesn't my blackthorn produce sloes?

Posted: 17/03/2016 at 18:03

Now you've got me daydreaming about sloe gin.

Have you tried sloe vodka?  It's even better...

Why doesn't my blackthorn produce sloes?

Posted: 17/03/2016 at 10:01

That's the same as us, Brenda!  I pass the blackthorn at the top of the garden just once most days (taking dog for early morning walk) but I confess I'm usually too absorbed in other things, or still too asleep(!), to take much notice.  This year I shall be on a sloe-watch mission, ready to rejoice at the first sign of berries....

(I'm in south Wales now, but was brought up in Aberdeen and we always went sloe-picking... I seem to remember fantastic harvests and then vast quantities of brilliant sloe gin...)


Why doesn't my blackthorn produce sloes?

Posted: 08/03/2016 at 10:28

Interesting.... we have a blackthorn at the top of our garden that has never produced a single sloe (although it has blossom).  There are others in the hedgerows around us that are productive, and we also have lots of wild damson (sloe / plum cross?) bushes that are laden with fruit every year.   I have never understood why our lone blackthorn won't berry up.

"Climbing Geraniums" - cut them back?

Posted: 05/03/2016 at 20:08

Thanks both!

"Climbing Geraniums" - cut them back?

Posted: 05/03/2016 at 16:29

Last summer I bought some "climbing geraniums" from the garden centre, and they were great.  They were about 3 foot high when I bought them, and they grew to 4 or 5 feet high supported by obelisks outside our front door.  In late autumn I brought them into the greenhouse - at that stage I had to cut them back to about 2 foot or they wouldn't have fit on the shelves.  They have flowered all winter, even though they've had no water or attention!

I have read somewhere that I should cut my geraniums back hard at this time of year to encourage growth from the bottom.  Does this apply also to these "climbing" varieties?  I want to re-create last summer's five-foot displays, and so I don't want to cut them back so hard that they don't grow to that height again. 

Also, is it time to start watering them yet?

Dahlia's - recommended sources?

Posted: 22/01/2016 at 18:08

Hi Simon

Just a warning - when I first did dahlias I didn't realise that the growing tips would all be round the base of last year's stem, and I didn't realise that they were rather fragile!  I managed to damage most of them while handling the plant.  So my tip would be:  go careful, at least until you can see the shoots sprouting really clearly.  What looks like a grain of mud is often a baby shoot....

Recommendation for heavy duty loppers please

Posted: 22/01/2016 at 18:03

Can anyone recommend a make of loppers that will stand up to really tough work?  They will be a present for my brother-in-law who has a large and unruly garden to renovate - he will be tackling big overgrown shrubs and branches.   I have bought cheap loppers in the past and found that their handles bend when put under real pressure (by my OH, not me!) which is of course useless.   Is anyone able to give me a recommendation for some tough ones?

Dahlia's - recommended sources?

Posted: 14/01/2016 at 17:11

Out of my favourites, I only know the names of two..... and they are Bishop of Llandaff and David Howard.  They are quite tall and in my (very rich clay) soil they benefit from staking.  But they always look lovely, with tons of blooms.

I've also grown dahlias from seed - I got some "Bishop's Children" seed from one of the big suppliers..... maybe Thomson and Morgan?...... and they were incredibly easy to germinate in the greenhouse then grow on in pots and plant out into the beds in May;  they flowered that year, and have come back year after year after year (I lift them and store them over winter because our clay is so heavy).  One packet of seed gave me at least 20 plants - mid-sized, and a variety of colours.

I'd suggest buy a few tubers, and also try sowing some from seed.  Let us know how you get on!


Fantasy garden

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 09:08

I'd like at least part of the garden to include a steep hill so that we can have a spot to look out over the rest of the garden and the surrounding views (which will of course be stunning).  It is the best thing about our own plot.  But in the fantasy garden I'd like to install a (very chic and bijou) cog railway so that all heavy goods and people can be transported to the top rather than having to be pushed up in wheelbarrows.


views on bark chippings

Posted: 11/01/2016 at 13:46

I did a lot of research recently into bark chip when doing some landscaping on my daughter's garden.  I think that for use on paths etc you can get away with the cheapest sort;  the more expensive types are recommended for use in children's play areas etc, but for paths you just want something that will go down. 

We use it here on our garden paths.  I am always surprise how thickly one needs to lay it, especially if it is to cover a muddy area;  don't skimp on the volume you buy, you won't regret laying it thicker rather than thinner.   You might want to think about putting some membrane down first, if the path is to be quite neat and defined with edges - that will reduce the depth of chippings that you need, but obviously involves more work and the cost of the membrane.

We top ours up every three years or so.  It needs topping up more often under the trees, because when the leaves fall we use a leaf-blower to gather them up and usually get a bit over-enthusiastic with the power switch..... which means a lot of bark gets blown off too. 

The cheapest way to buy it is almost certainly in bulk bags delivered to your door - if you have a fairly big area to cover I'd strongly recommend that route.  Search online for "bark chip" and there are lots of suppliers. 

You'll find it smells strongly when first laid, and looks "stark" - but don't worry, the smell disappears after a week or so and the colours mute and blend in pretty quickly too.

Good luck, let us know how you get on!


Discussions started by Rosie31

Wildflower ID help please

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"Climbing Geraniums" - cut them back?

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I need a pair of loppers that will stand up to tough work! 
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Dahlias going free!

Would anyone like some dahlia tubers? 
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Children's play area - help please!

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pinching out dahlias

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RHS Cardiff - what do you think?

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Loosing my followed threads

Don't understand how to make sure I can 'follow' all the threads I'm contributing to 
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Daphne is too big for her boots!

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help with melons

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What do you do with them? 
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1 to 15 of 21 threads