Latest posts by TheDragonflyGardener

9 returned

Ancient hydrangea?

Posted: 17/02/2015 at 19:31

Just a thought that frequently goes through my head.... We live in a 300+ year old cottage in Devon and there is a hydrangea outside the front door which is clearly very old but still flowers well every year. The cottage is thatched and in a row of similarly ancient cottages so is regularly photographed. I have started to collect postcards of the village which include the cottage and every one of them shows a hydrangea in that same spot - even the ones that are over 100 years old!!! Does anyone know just how long a hydrangea can live for? 

Clay soil

Posted: 15/03/2014 at 20:56

Totally agree with all of the above. I have very heavy clay soil which is virtually impossible to work when it's wet and then dries like concrete in the summer so the window of opportunity to work with it is very small.... Especially in very rainy Devon! However, having said that, there's nothing I've tried to grow here which has failed. Most plants seem to LOVE the soil - roses in particular grow really well. I have a "cottage" garden with all the usual suspects and they are all perfectly happy. If in doubt, I try growing from seed or cuttings and then it's not an expensive mistake if it should fail. So far though, nothing has. Good luck! 


Posted: 15/03/2014 at 20:34

Sorry..... I wipe the underside of the leaves with tissue - as Dove does - to squash the larvae its gross but I find it very effective.


Posted: 15/03/2014 at 20:29

I have dozens of lilies in my garden - including many tree Lillie's. I am anti any form of chemicals in my garden and, at the end of the day, if a bug is determined to eat something and I can't prevent it then I let nature take its course. With my lilies, as soon as I see any nibbles, I just check under the leaves and deal with them by hand. There are few bugs I squash with relish but lily beetles and vine weevils are public enemies numbers 1 and 2 in my opinion!! Blighters!  

incidentally, I am not a lady of leisure with nothing better to do.... I have a full time job and a hectic life, it just takes a few minutes to go round checking for critters every now and then. Where possible, I try to encourage other, predatory, creatures in to help me out!

Will primroses grow in full shade?

Posted: 15/03/2014 at 20:20

They do in my garden.... 

Why is anyone allowed to completely destroy your view??

Posted: 13/10/2013 at 21:32

Thank you all for taking the time to read and reply to my rant

Its fairly complicated.... Initially, there were just 2 very large trees "in the way". I'm no expert on conifers (not a fan at all) but they are, I think, spruce of some sort. Theyre definitely planted on the neighbours side of the boundary but the trunks are JUST on their side and the boundary is actually just a line of two wires. A huge mass of the branches are therefore on mums side (and cause their own issues such as making it impossible to grow anything underneath them). On mums side (planted many years before she moved in) are two other "proper" trees - which are kept in check and half the height of the neighbours (still probably 20 feet tall so ample for privacy!). Then, last year, he planted a row of others which look horribly like leylandii to me - filling in all the "gaps". These are now probably ten feet tall.

On your advice, I will approach the council and see if there's anything at all which can be done. We haven't taken this route before because we were always advised (by friends/family) that we wouldn't have a leg to stand on. After all, if there was anything that could be done, then the previous owners would've acted on it and may not have felt the need to lie about it or, who knows, maybe they wouldnt even have decided to move!!

I must confess that every time I hear about a conifer that has died a little bit of me wishes I had the "secret" to their demise! It is soooo tempting, when out with my chainsaw helping mum in the garden, to "accidentally" slip and - oops! Poor trees! 

I do love trees - honest - I just hate these ones!


Why is anyone allowed to completely destroy your view??

Posted: 11/10/2013 at 21:58

Thank you but we've read (I think) all of these rules and regulations. The neighbour claims they have TPO's (although quite why is a mystery to me, other than pure spite) and, as I said, legally no-one has any RIGHT to a view - which is the only issue with them. Also, any dispute that goes down formally would further damage any chance of mum finding a suitable buyer. She's being completely honest with every viewer (unlike the people she bought it off) and just hoping a fantastic garden and beautiful house will be enough to entice a buyer. Although, sadly, it will be at a very substantial financial loss without the view.

Why is anyone allowed to completely destroy your view??

Posted: 11/10/2013 at 21:37

Having just read someone else's request for advice regarding their neighbours overgrown hedge I thought I'd throw in my own two penny rant! 

My mother has lived in her house for some twelve years or so. When she bought it there was a lovely sea view but the neighbours trees (conifers) were starting to slightly obscure it. She asked, at the time, whether they were kept in check and told, by the agent AND the previous owner, that indeed they were....

As of today, the trees continue to grow and are now almost completely obscuring any view she once had. What makes matters worse is that she herself now wishes to move to somewhere smaller and EVERY viewing she has throws up the same old question "can those trees be cut?"!!!

The answer is NO! They are probably 40 feet or so in height now and steadily growing. Apparently, legally, you have "no right" to a view!! Even if it can make a difference to the price of your house of hundreds of thousands of pounds... 

And.... as for "a polite word with your neighbour about it", you'd have to meet the man in question to fully appreciate his personality but, trust me, that is totally out of the question! Why are some people SO aggressive and unreasonable?!?

Be warned!!

Rant over 



Agapanthus help please

Posted: 11/10/2013 at 20:38

Hi all (first post here from newbie so please be gentle with me)

I have every gardening book known to man and have spent way too many evenings trawling the net for advice on this but can find NOTHING which actually offers the advice I need, so here goes.....

I have a garden I have just started to look after and has very large established perenial borders. This year (for the first time ever - so the owner tells me) their agapanthus produced just 2 flower spikes. The border is in full sun (when we get some) and the soil here (in Devon) is mostly heavy clay but, as I said, apparently this plant has been perfectly producing blooms for many years. The clump in question is probably six feet or so in diameter! There is good healthy leaf growth. On closer inspection, there appears to be a "mound" of growth formed so that the centre of the clump is probably at least a foot above soil level (as if the tubers are piled on top of each other)l. I am guessing (?) that it has outgrown its space and needs dividing up? I have done this with potted agapanthus but never seen such a mass in the ground! So...... Questions.....

Is now (October) ok?

Could I cut some of the worst congestion off the top with a sharp knife/saw perhaps?

I want to help but the last thing I want is to make matters worse!

Any advice would be extremely gratefully received.


9 returned

Discussions started by TheDragonflyGardener

Ancient hydrangea?

How old can a hydrangea get? 
Replies: 2    Views: 882
Last Post: 18/02/2015 at 20:50

Why is anyone allowed to completely destroy your view??

A rant about nasty neighbours and their trees! 
Replies: 13    Views: 2928
Last Post: 13/10/2013 at 22:04

Agapanthus help please

Very old/established plant no longer flowering? 
Replies: 2    Views: 1079
Last Post: 12/10/2013 at 22:50
3 threads returned