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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet


Posted: 25/05/2012 at 20:13

Obelixx - lovely photos, thank you.  I have watched very little of Chelsea this year, having found it to be colourless and dominated by hard structures.  The honourable exception has been the Lauren Perrier Bi-Centenary Garden (at least I think that's what it was).  It had the pleached beach trees (and I normally loathe beech, having had a long and hard battle with a double-planted hedge from the previous owners) but lots of subtle planting. 

I garden for the plants.  The over-emphasis on hard landscaping detracts from the gardens that I suspect most of us hanker after.  I may, of course, be wrong, un-reconstructed and "of a certain age"

Neighbours dogs - my plant pots!

Posted: 25/05/2012 at 20:03

The product Kezza refers to is "Get off my Garden" and I, too, have found it very effective against cats.  (I have two of them, and the gel crystals preserve essential areas of the garden).

Other than that - have you spoken to the dog owners or are they (the dogs not the owners!) straying unsupervised?  If the owners aren't aware, then they may be appalled that their pets are causing such problems.


Posted: 25/05/2012 at 19:57

KO - that is huuuuge!  I can only relate to my own experiences - although these are on a much, much smaller scale.

Firstly, my in-laws had a large hedge of mixed planting, in which were several ceanothus.  They (the in-laws) worked on the principle that "low maintainence" is the same as "no maintainence" so, inevitably, the hedge as a whole and the ceanothus in particular, got out of hand.  I got stuck in with loppers and secateurs, cut back after flowering, gave them a good watering and a good feed, and they came back as good as (well, better than) new.

I did something similar when I moved into my current property.  In fact, it was in an awkward position, so I was quite prepared to lose it.  But a little bit of TLC and it's fine.

Neither of these was anything like the size that you have.  Unless there is a better opinion from someone more qualified, I would suggest that you make haste slowly.  Think about reducing the size by no more than one third for the next couple of years.  Don't try it atm because the heat will put it under stress.  But carefully cut back in the normal pruning mode (ie above a smaller branch or node) and cutting out any crossing branches.  Water copiously and give it a good feed.

I would think this might work, but I am not qualified, so there may be better advice out there.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 25/05/2012 at 10:59

A bit murky again this morning, but very warm and the sun is beginning to break through.  Looks like OH will want a barbecue at the weekend <sigh> What is it about cooking outdoors that makes chaps think they are chefs?

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 19:43

OK Bookertoo - start an on-line petition and we'll sign up to see if it will do any good!  (I suspect that, unless the European Commissars have an input, not a lot will happen .  Cynical?  Moi?)

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 17:40

GC I know that you have already tried to sort this out directly with B & Q but all I am suggesting is that Trading Standards is not necessarily the right path to take.  (I am married to a retired TSO).  I have posed the question directly with B & Q and have still to receive an answer.  The weight of the RHS might bring about a response at least.  At the moment, I am deafened by their (B&Q's) silence.

I have no doubt that there is something radically wrong with a lot of multi purpose compost.  The desire to be peat-free has resulted in some pretty dreadful stuff being out there in the market place.  (And given the very small amount of peat that gardeners use, it is ironic that we seem to shoulder most of the blame, irrespective of the vast depletion of the resource for power generation, for example).

I have spoken with said OH who says that he had cause to look into problems some years ago.  Apparently, there was (is?) an industry standard for compost, and laboratories in Hertfordshire were much involved in being able to test etc etc.  (His memory is not what it was, bless, but I'll try to find out a bit more and let you know if there is anything to add).

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 15:03

GC:  Trading standards departments are much depleted these days, and a lot of consumer protection work is dealt with differently. 

In any event, poor quality compost is more of a civil than criminal problem (which is TS departments' remit), and it could be argued that B & Q have a "duty of care" to the ultimate consumer, which extends to there not being noxious or dangerous substances in the product.  It would also have to be fit for purpose - and arguably, it is not.  But it needs to be taken up with B & Q. 

Actually, I also think that, because this seems to be a regular problem across different brands, the RHS could well take it up.  I'm no longer a member, but anyone who is may care to bring it to their attention.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 14:54

It took longer today for the low cloud and sea mist to burn off - but now it glorious sunshine.  Have to wait for it to cool down a bit before trying to plant more things out - what a difference from this time last week!

My water butts are two-thirds down, and some of the soil has set like concrete.  But I'm not moaning!  Everyone seems to be walking around with a smile after all that gloom and grey.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 10:35

Clear blue sky.  Wall-to-wall sunshine.  It really feels like summer at last!  It will be a busy day in the garden - lots and lots of stuff to plant out that I'd held back when the air was so cold.

Mystic Meg - can you tell us all how long this will last?  Is it a typically British few days' worth, or will we have a summer fit for a Jubilee, Olympics etc?

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 20:32

Woohoo indeed donutsmrs!  It has been a lovely day here in WSomerset.  Sunshine all day.  Air still a little cool - but Teeshirt weather.  Fingers crossed it really does stay like this for the rest of the week.

Had to put the shading on the GH because of the intesity of the sun.  Now how perverse is that?  It's been so cool that I daren't take the bubble insulation down, and as soon as I do, I have to shade my tender plants from the sun!

(Never entirely content are we gardeners??)

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet


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Our bird feeder attracts lots of birds but . . . . .  
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Last Post: 17/04/2012 at 17:49
8 threads returned