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Latest posts by SMOKIN DONKEY


Posted: 24/08/2013 at 06:03


A very simple and cost effective way is to do what ive done,

I also have a 50 odd foot path leading from the pool down to the car parking area

like you i have lawn on both sides but our path has a bend in it,

What i did was to edge the lawn all the way down both sides and then fit wooden edging to keep the lawn edges firm and supported, (i later planted box along both sides of the lawn)

Having secured the sides with the wooden edges i then got old roof slates(i used the terroctta ones but you can use slate or gravel) the tiles i got from the builders yard used & broken "given away"

but any roofer will be only to pleased for you to have them as both the terroctta & used broken slate are waste and have tobe taken away.

By using a cement mixer (just break the tiles into small pieces and but them dry into the mixer and leave to turn around for 10 mins at a time the tile /slate comes out with no sharp edges,

You've already got your base layed,

Once layed down onto your path you have a path that moves as you walk on it and so weeds dont tend to grow but any weeds the birds drop can be sorted with a weed killer once a year,

Ive had my path for 3 years now and very few weeds to deal with.

The path looks warm and really country looking and the good thing is its a very hard wearing,

And a path you can push a wheelbarrow over in the winter without slipping,

It'll out last your life span and wont wear out,

It's not got that concrete look.

A bit of work but well worth it.


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 23:01

Glad it brought a smile to your face,

Life should be 90% smiles

New house, new garden, total newbie

Posted: 23/08/2013 at 22:59

Avery good answer from borderbabe2


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 20:24


Firstly small apples falling all over the place is a sure sign your tree has to much fruit on it and the falling cooking apples are a sign of the tree's fruit not being thined out.

you'll soon see what im talking about when high winds appear and you've a grass area full of apples,

Also the branch will snap because of the weight of the fruit,

thin out the fruit when its young and the remaining fruit will be of a good cooking size with its full body firm.

You can buy an extending apple picker to help you thin the apples out from the ground,

But as you'll need ladders to prune and remove crossing branch's you can thin out via the use of a ladder.

I have two cooking apple tree's that really are old ones and i find even with good size apples ive far to much for my own needs so do as i do and thin out your fruit

And have only the best fruit the tree can supply.

New house, new garden, total newbie

Posted: 23/08/2013 at 20:09

My advice isn't whats been said so far,

You have to firstly ask yourself how much time do you want to spend gardening ?

Take into account the weather, ie you cant just say i'll garden every weekend and then come the week end it's just not gardening weather at all,

You say your a new person to gardening and as an older gardener who's now retired and gardens all day most days i can tell you three things that kill off a lot of people who think they want to garden,

(1) Patience "you really do need a lot of it, good gardens dont just happen "they're a well thought out plan and because we need certain conditions for verious seeds/ plants /shrubs to grow ie type of soil's for different plants, type of weather type of feeding etc etc ,

All this is wasted if all fails due to lack of patience.

(2) Understanding how your chosen  plants/flowers etc grow, what possition they need ie sun/shade/ woodland conditions etc

in other words do your home work read up on the subjects you'd like to grow and be ready in time to take the first step in growing knowing what your doing.

(3) Not trying to run before you can walk, "Dont take on to much at once,

Time is a very big factor in any form of a hobby, And gardening needs lots of it,

Mother nature wont stop weeds growing because you've not  been able to garden this week because it rained over your time off from work,

So again know how to slow weeds down!!

how to give yourself  a chance before it all gets to much,

Better to grow a few well grown shrubs /plants than to have your own home made jungle "because you took to much on,

Use the verious tools and machine's to help both speed up the task and help you not feel like your dead by the end of the days gardening "aches and pain are all part of gardening.

For myself the end of the day just sitting on the bench looking at the garden and all it has to offer is the best time of the day for me and my dog.

Good luck and welcome to gardening.

black fly and Green fly

Posted: 23/08/2013 at 18:58

I'd look a lot further ahead, ie next years greenhouse sowings etc

by this i mean start off before any seeds /plants even go into the greenhouse to do three things and keep these three things going,

(1) give the greenhouse a clean using "Jays fluid" this is all the greenhouse  "glass frame of the greenhouse and all seed trays /pot and tools you use in the greenhouse, And use a smoke grenade to get in the places you cant even see.

(2) only use clean compost in the greenhouse ie its a breeding ground for bacteria and insects (as you've found out)

I myself inspite of having three good compost heaps on the go "only use bought vacuumed packed compost" It's as clean as your going to get.

(3) Make sure the bought plants etc are from a good gardencentre, ie if you just buy and put the bought plants in the greenhouse you could be bringing in plants that already have the eggs etc on them,

I use tagetes in my greenhouse and have done for many years and have done all ive listed i dont have problems that your having.


PS I should have said, you can also use a nylon netting to cover window openings and the doorway opening if you finr a need to leave these open during hot weather,



Posted: 23/08/2013 at 12:56

Maybe its me and im not sorry "But all this american stuff is just not cricket in my mind from base ball caps, / hoodies and using that word "guy's"

Every other sentence,

My brother in-law moved to the states 18 years ago as a quiet sort of lad "now" you hear him long before you see him, he's more american than Mc Donalds,

He's three times the size he should be and thinks it's the right thing to do to complain when he eats out,

Base ball caps & hoodies and using the word guys for me is a sudden attack of going deaf.


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 06:45

After  yesterdays question about statues i was thinking about some of the things ive seen here used as plant holders  such as a bath outside one farm house front window,

But the one the sticks out "and its still there today is a toilet, full of flowers and sitting under the post box at the end of this little cottages path, its even got a loo roll holder fixed to the fence,

On the little old wooden gate is a picture of a cat with the beware of "loulou" she'll lick you to death.

Can anyone beat that for a statement?


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 22:27

Thats a nice ending and im pleased your ok,

I dont honestly miss the uk and thats the truth, Here we do get a summer and we do have a chance with the bills, ie rates a lot cheaper, no road tax, and if you burn wood as part of your heating at least you can buy it "now" at todays prices for future use

you can't do that with the gas bourd or electric bourd in the uk.

Even my car insurance is cheaper here because im not insured via post codes.

We've not used any heating for months and again this is a saving and helps in the house hold budget.

As ive said before we dont have any crime except the drink drivers and litter just isn't there even after the weekly open market.

Its a nice place to live if you like the quiet life "so anyone thinking of coming here to retire all i can say is it's worked for us and a few other people.


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 22:15

Hi and thanks for your help,

KT53? I nearly bought an old red telephone box to put outside the driveway gates but the cost of the box and transport put me off,

But so far the lions are in front they'll be put at the roman end of the pool,


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