Tim Burr

Latest posts by Tim Burr

Spraying weeds growing in neighbours garden

Posted: 08/05/2016 at 13:56

If there is just a wire fence, then its probably impossible to not let a bit of the weedkiller go over the boundary line, so in that respect, I wouldn't worry too much.  Even better if you're a bit elderly with poor eyesight and a jittery hand.  You could wait until you are sure there is nobody at home and then go out and spray.  They probably won't really understand why the weeds have died (you can just say they must be seasonal!!).   I doubt police would prosecute for criminal damage for a bunch of dead weeds, but they might have a stern word if they were being particularly nasty.

Where I live, I've got a nice elderly chap around the corner who always makes his front garden look stunning - whilst next door, they have allowed all sorts of weeds to grow in their borders including dandelions, plantains and thistles.  It does look a bit of a sorry mess.  I really feel sorry for the elderly guy but actually, when I spoke to him he said he just gets on with what he has to do, and doesn't get stressed with what goes on next door.  'Each to their own', he said.

Best half barrel liner

Posted: 08/05/2016 at 13:31

Do you mean those trugs?  They'll be fine for maybe a couple of seasons or so but left out in the weather and sun, they will go brittle and then have a tendency to break.  I think they must be made of rubber, rather than plastic so over time the rubber loses its vulcanisation.

Black Aphids on conservatory Yucca

Posted: 08/05/2016 at 13:23

I've got black aphids (at least think they are - they are very small) on my indoor (conservatory) Yucca.  I've taken the Yucca outside this morning (which wasn't easy because its over 6 foot tall and heavy) and given it a good blasting with the jet watering nozzle on my garden hose, and I think I've washed off most of the aphids and also the sticky black spots they have left behind.  I also had some leaves encrusted with Aphid shells (I assume they shed their skin).  I think I've hopefully got the majority off but not sure.  If they come back again, is there anything other than something like Provado to get them off.  I'm not really happy using outdoor chemicals at the best of time, and not really happy using it indoors so something safe and not too messy would be helpful.  I wondered if something like house fly spray would be sufficient, and although not spray directly on the plant, spray in the general direction and then leave the conservatory shut up for an hour or so?   Or is that just a lazy mans way of thinking! 

Name of the blue flowering plants on GW (Friday 6th May)

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 21:14

Thank you! :-)

Name of the blue flowering plants on GW (Friday 6th May)

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 21:06

Can somebody please confirm the name of the plant on GW last night (Friday 6th May).  They had blue flowers on a single stalk and grassy like green leaves.  The grower assisted Chris Beardshaw last year at Chelsea and did her own stand at Malvern and got silver.  Tried various connotations of the pronunciation of it but can't find it.  Help!

Further Advice needed for a good weedkiller for gardens please??

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 10:16

Hey - easy!  Its still relevant advice!!  Other people might find it useful, and its still relevant today.  Lots of people still have weeds!!

Further Advice needed for a good weedkiller for gardens please??

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 10:09

If you want to go organic, use a mix of white vinegar (1 gallon), liquid dishwashing soap (1 tablespoon), 1 cup of table salt).  Put mix into a garden sprayer, and douse the weeds.  The soap will act as a surfactant and help to soak the weeds better.  It may day 2/3 days longer to see the effect, but the weeds will die.  Any that don't immediately, repeat the dose.  Much safer than Glyphosate in my view and you don't need to exclude children or pets from the garden whilst doing it.  Glyphosate has been considered a potential carcinogenic chemical, so I don't use it.  Obviously lots of people do use it and come to no obvious ill effect but I'd rather reduce my odds.

Stubborn dry soil in the shady end of the garden

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 09:59

There are ferns don't mind living in dry shady conditions.  Aptly named Dryopteris species of ferns do well under trees where it is often dry soil.  Also, Polystichum ferns.  If you don't want ferns, looks at Alchemical mollie, Bergenia, or Ajuga, Epimedium, several types of Geraniums, Vinca (aka Periwinkle).


Flower bed against an external wall

Posted: 07/05/2016 at 09:50

When you say 'vents', do you mean the sink contents empty onto the flower bed and not down a drain?  

In normal cases, where the soil is below the damp proof course (which should be around 2 bricks below), then there shouldn't be an issue with rising damp, an the damp proof membrane (DPM) should prevent moister rising and also when rain hits the ground, the splash back up is generally believed to be no more than two bricks.

If you're worried about moister entering the bricks at ground/foundation level, then you could put in what is generally called a French drain, which is essentially a trench dug up against the foundation wall anywhere between 8 inches to two feet below ground level and at least one foot out from the wall (wider the better). At the bottom of the trench your lay washed gravel or small rock, then put in a perforated pipe that redirects the water away from the house, and then cover with more gravel or small rocks.  Wider French drains are better because they tend to silt up less. If you also wrap your permeable pipe in permeable landscape cloth, then that will prevent silting up further.  You need to have the pipe drain sloping away from the house to the garden and into a land drain or soakaway in the garden that disperses the water into the ground.  You shouldn't tap the pipe into the house drainage.  Water board would get upset with that.  Also, consider rodding points so you can clear the pipe of silt etc, that will build up over the years.  Sounds a lot of hard work, but if done properly is a good relatively cheap solution.  However, if done incorrectly you could end up with a nice mini moat around your house. 


Posted: 01/05/2016 at 12:37

I doubt very much that any cat (unless it is particularly unwell or stupid) would foul in the full open air directly on the lawn.  Cats (in my experience) prefer a bit of privacy and will go out of the way to do their thing.  They dig a hole, do their business, and then bury it out of sight, only for gardeners to come along an dig it back up again!!  Also, generally I find that once a cat starts to go in one area of the garden, that's their place to go and they don't tend to move around. That's probably OK if you've got a big enough garden and you've only got one or two cats doing it, but I can see it might be a problem if your garden is the neighbourhood cat litter tray.  Cat's do not like using other cats areas to go in so will find their own spot.  I agree that neighbouring cats don't come in if there is a resident cat, and certainly I don't have an issue with other cats using my garden.  My own cat also doesn't use my garden and prefers without doubt her own private covered tray in the house.  My garden is so packed in with planting that she would find it difficult to go anywhere, and anyway, she is way too much of a Princess to go outside! 

Discussions started by Tim Burr

Oriental Poppy - what do to after flowering

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Garden Pond edging and planting renovations

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Fatsia Japonica - frost damage on new growth

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Japanese Rowen (Sorbus Commixta)

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Bluebells - not spreading

Should I count myself lucky! 
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Last Post: 06/04/2017 at 14:37

Small bed/border around conservatory

Ideas, ideas, ideas.... 
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Last Post: 02/04/2017 at 11:34

Garden Pond Renovation

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Coral Spot on Rowan

Replies: 0    Views: 148
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Conservatory Yucca

Grown too tall.. 
Replies: 1    Views: 348
Last Post: 01/01/2017 at 15:58

Water in systemic insecticide

Replies: 3    Views: 407
Last Post: 18/09/2016 at 16:28

Removing an old Ceanothus

Replies: 7    Views: 629
Last Post: 11/09/2016 at 22:37

Poorly Laurel Hedge

Replies: 1    Views: 334
Last Post: 11/09/2016 at 14:42

Too late to prune back a Kerria Japonica?

Missed on pruning after flowering 
Replies: 3    Views: 877
Last Post: 29/08/2016 at 15:27

Crocosmia Lucifer

Replies: 17    Views: 1351
Last Post: 14/08/2016 at 08:47
1 to 15 of 75 threads