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Sue Heitkamp

Latest posts by Sue Heitkamp

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You know you are getting old when...

Posted: 08/01/2014 at 13:18

When you have to have a knee replacement and can't dig for 3 months!

Talkback: Aphids

Posted: 27/08/2013 at 08:43
If the aphids are so severe that one has to spray, I find that a teaspoon of Fairy liquid and a teaspoon of sunflower oil (as a sticker) in about a litre of water makes a good organic and harmless spray. Garlic spray also works - I used this on a sudden large infestation of black aphid on my runner beans this year.


Posted: 16/08/2013 at 09:11

Regarding green-and blackfly.  I use a spray of boiled garlic water with a teaspoon of sunflower added to act as a sticker.  This worked on my runner beans this year.  My beans were not setting when the weather was so hot but are producing nicely now the nights are a little cooler.

Inspiration and ideas needed

Posted: 28/09/2012 at 08:18

Hi Eddie,  I agree with the others not to do any more black painting.  I have also got a north-facing garden with clay soil and the plants that do well are (amongst others) hollies (variegated would be good in yours), yew, Euonymous, rhododendrons (not the invasive ponticum), Spiraea varieties, roses, irises, and for ground cover hardy geraniums and variegated ivies, plus any number of bulbs and most hardy perennials, so don't despair.  Many perennials can be grown from seed, or beg cuttings or divisions from friends and neighbours - any gardener would be happy to help out.  Good luck!

Coverage of Hampton Court Flower Show

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 11:07

Yes, Gardeners' World - we miss you!  The only good gardening programme on TV and it has to be set aside for sports coverage.  Bearing in mind that one is usually either a sports lover or a gardener, this is hardly fair!  I also agree that some repeats of older programmes would be good - I have only been back in the UK for a year after spending many years in South Africa so have missed many years of GW programmes.

Coverage of Hampton Court Flower Show

Posted: 06/07/2012 at 15:16

I haven't seen the programmes but was at the Show on Wednesday and thought the gardens were better this year.  I liked the fact that they were not too 'contemporary/architectural' in style and had lots of soft diverse planting.  The smaller gardens showed what could be achieved in the average tiny suburban plot - the cost would be much less if recycled/salvaged materials were used and of course far less plants as the show gardens have to look as full as possible whereas we could wait a full season for the plants to fill out.

'weeds' at Chelsea

Posted: 01/06/2012 at 19:31

Its the age-old concept of the right plant in the right place.  To Obelixx - 'exotics' means any plant not native to the UK, not just tropical plants. To Organiclinda, the Korean garden won a gold but best in show was Cleve West's Brewin Dolphin garden.


'weeds' at Chelsea

Posted: 01/06/2012 at 09:43

Our ecology is in dire straits now because of the preference for exotic plants and chemical solutions for the last several decades.  Because of the extensive loss of habitat our domestic gardens are essential to preserve our wildlife and the show gardens at Chelsea this year have highlighted the fact that it is possible to have a wildlife-friendly yet beautiful garden. 

Redesign of garden

Posted: 06/01/2012 at 12:02

I agree with happymarion2 that in a small garden, the variety of planting should be restricted to as few as possible, taking into account seasonal interest (plant bulbs to grow through perennials, then later-flowered autumn colour etc).  Also don't forget your walls/fences - adding interest here can make the garden look larger; try climbers, mosaics, mirrors, murals, etc. and don't be afraid of strong colour in a small garden.

Welcome to the garden design forum

Posted: 28/12/2011 at 10:43

Dear happymarion2, re your veggie patch, have you considered circles/semi-circles instead of the usual squares and rectangles? This would turn it into more of a decorative feature than a strictly utilitarian one.

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