Latest posts by SFord

My castor oil plant

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 14:59

I agree with blairs.  If its a Fatsia Japonica and outside, the leaves will wilt in cold weather but it tends to be pretty tough

Bare root roses arriving tomorrow - help!

Posted: 08/02/2013 at 11:32

I planted my DA rose, Gertrude Jekyll, against my fence in November and already there are shoots about an inch long.  We havent had any snow at all (not even over the last couple of weeks) and very rarely get a hard frost (live in Cornwall right on the north coast) so hopefully the new growth will be fine. 

As I have planted it as a climber to grow up against a fence I remembered to plant it leaning towards the fence and will look to install the eyes and wire when the weather gets better (and when I can pursuade the hubby to do so - under my supervision of course!). 

Once its established I plan to also grow a large flowered purple clematis up through the rose.  I think the combination of the deep pink with the purple clematis against my fence which is painted a soft sage green will look fab.  Eventually planning to grow it across the fence above a bench to get the most of the scent.

too scared to prune

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 15:56

I had a twisted hazel and I just 'lopped off' branches during the summer that were taking over or a little out of control (the border wasnt that deep).  It was lovely, however, did grow too wide and deep for the space so unfortunately it had to go this winter (good thing is that I have lots of branches to use as props this year - have replaced it with a young cornus which will eventually be taller, but wont take over the whole border.

I am usually quite gentle with my rose pruning as not sure really what to do, but having followed instructions in recent magazines have been strict this year.  Am hoping that this will mean better roses - mine are in pots and I already mulch, feed, deadhead and spray as necessary but they are not as good or florific as I expected.  They are about three years old now.  Am not sure if its the care I am giving them of because the weather has been so wet over the past couple of summers - balling of the buds is a big problem but generally they dont seem to be very 'robust'.

Flowers in small pots!

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 15:43

Dont know what your daughter's colour scheme is but how about lobelia in shades of pinks, purples and whites?  They would bulk up quite quickly but would need some careful watering if in such small pots

Train Station Gardens

Posted: 01/02/2013 at 09:03

She is currently backpacking around Grand Canaria for a month - back before the growing season really starts!  I am totally in awe of her.

Train Station Gardens

Posted: 01/02/2013 at 08:48

Thanks Kathy - I will have a look.

My mum is in her 70's and as well as her own garden and the community garden, she also has her own allotment (and still does all the heavy work herself)!

Train Station Gardens

Posted: 01/02/2013 at 08:26

All looks great - on a slight tangent but still community garden related - my mum has taken over a plot outside a local community centre (with the town council's permission) and over the last two years has created some fantastic beds from cuttings, divisions, freebies and seeds etc from her own garden with no help and very little cost.  She loves it and it looks so much better.  Only setback was the local water company who dug up half of one of the beds with no notice when doing some maintenance work!  All back to normal now though.

What veggies are you planning on growing 2013?

Posted: 28/01/2013 at 08:13

Thanks for the tip on round courgettes SueH.  Will consider my usual long type instead as space is at a bit of a premium.

What veggies are you planning on growing 2013?

Posted: 25/01/2013 at 14:21

Its my third allotment year this year.  First year was alot of clearing, prep and bunging stuff in.  Last year was well planned but the weather put pay to alot so this is the year!

I have done a planting plan of the successional crops and where they are going to be grown.

Lots more peas this year (very successful last year, just not enough of them), purple sprouting (planted last year), tenderstem broccoli (very successful last year), runner beans (growing less than last year), one strawberry bed in its second year, one in its first, sweetcorn (not that successful last year, want to give it another go), lots of salad crops (in the allotment and at home in the garden), carrots (very unsuccessful last year), french beans, cucumbers (only got two last year, too wet I think), mooli, radish, salad onions, potatoes (lots of varieties), sweet potatoes (trying for the first time), courgettes (long and round varieties), I have also just taken delivery of some early, mid and late raspberry canes.  Lots of leeks currently in at the moment too.

In addition to fruit and veg, a couple of beds will be put aside for wildflowers (wildflower seed mixes) and cut flowers (sunflowers, sweet peas - which were so successful last year etc).

I was quite strict by only choosing crops that we really love to eat (plus a couple, such as Mooli, which we havent tried before).  Friends and neighbours are really happy however to eat any gluts.


is it ok to feed birds ordinary suet rather the prepared bird suet you can buy

Posted: 25/01/2013 at 08:23

I also use a supermarket value sultanas or raisins which the birds love - getting quite expensive though, the amount my birds get through!  I did buy a huge bag of un-netted fat balls with a voucher from my local garden centre and the birds are not touching them at all.  They do feel more 'gritty' than previous brands.  Love watching the birds the garden - except the crows which bully all the smaller birds.  Interesting that living on the coast my neighbours always have loads of seagulls being a pest in their gardens but I have none - I have alot of wide borders and planting and no large lawn for seagulls to use as a 'landing strip' - I dont think they like that.

My favourite is a starling that makes a noise like a telephone whenever I put the food out.  We used to have a blackbird we used to call 'Dot' who had a white patch on his chest.  He came for about 3 years before disappearing last year.

Discussions started by SFord

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