Tim Burr

Latest posts by Tim Burr

neighbours fence

Posted: 10/05/2015 at 09:54

Not a lot unfortunately.  A new neighbour recently moved in to the house (and garden) that runs along my back fence.  The previous owners planted all sorts of climbing plants (hydrangea, pyracantha, ivy, rambling rose, jasmine, etc), all down their side of the fence, which came over the top and came over into my garden, which I didn't mind because I just incorporated it into my garden.  It also provided some screening / privacy between each of us.  Unfortunately, they moved out and new lady moved in and she has completely decimated EVERYTHING in her garden including removing all the climbing plants on the fence so all I have now is a complete blank fence.  To add insult to injury, when she removed the plants, she chopped the climbers off at the top of the fence so everything that was growing on my side just fell I to a heap on my side of the fence and squashed all my plants growing there.  She didn't come around to ask if she could take it away and just left it to me to clear up.  Took two weekends to clear it and take it to green recycling in my car (my petrol).  Somebody said I should have thrown in back over but I'm not one for conflict and as a new neighbour I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt she would evenaturally pop around and apologise. She never did.

I spotted her the other weekend taking pruning shears to another neighbours ivy climbing over the other neighbours garage, with the only offence seemingly that because the garage runs along her garden she thinks she has a right to chop the ivy back.


Photinia Red Robin trimming

Posted: 10/05/2015 at 09:32

Thanks Fairygirl.  It would be a nice thing to take out but it's too well established and it would be a lot of work to dig out of the ground.  The trunk is very thick.  Also, the height I have it when under control is still about 10 / 12 feet, but that's the height my neighbour likes it at because it gives them privacy too without losing too much light.  It's currently nearing about 18/20 foot and it's grown that much in just over 12 months (last ime I trimmed it was March 2014). 


Posted: 10/05/2015 at 09:26

My garden is cat central station and I get around six different moggies strolling thru all the time.  I also have my own cat, and she is pure white, exempt for her tabby tail.  However because of her colour she is useless at trying to hide from the birds and they just sit on the fence and laugh at her when she tries to make out she is the Big White Hunter!  She has never (fortunately) managed to catch a bird in her life, as far as I am aware.  My previous cat was a tabby all over but I made her wear a huge bell around her neck which chinked at the slightest movement.  She never knowingly caught anything either.  I just wished other cat owners did the same with their cats.   It's easy and not expensive and helps save the wildlife.

Poorly Tree

Posted: 10/05/2015 at 09:14

Photinia Red Robin  

Photinia Red Robin trimming

Posted: 10/05/2015 at 09:11

Ive got a Red Robin which I have to trim back every year because no matter how much I do it, it always puts on masses of new growth again and ends up at either the same height or taller then it was previously.  Unfortunately, I didn't manage to trim it back in Autumn last year before winter set in and also in Spring I missed the window of opportunity because of being busy with other things.  Now the Red Robin is bigger than ever.  I feel really sorry for my neighbours as it blocks out light from their garden And it casts a shadow over my borders so everything underneath struggles.  It was planted by previous owners of the house I live and I'm loath to remove it because it does provide privacy - just needs to be trimmed right back again.

Is now the completely wrong time to do it, and should I wait until Autumn?  It's currently in flower (which is the first time it's done that because I usually have trimmed it back enough to stop it from doing that) and it's just finished it flush of red leaves which are now slowly going green.  It's dropped a ton of old leaves on the grounds, which annoys me no end as I have to pick them up off the borders as slugs and snails hide in the leaves that don't rot down like normal leaves.  Really is quite an annoying shrub overall and I only tolerate it for the privacy it provides.

Block paving - How do I weed it?

Posted: 30/04/2015 at 00:00

I've got block paving - and I had weeds coming up galore.  I didn't want to use weed killer.  I have a pond and most weed killers say that it should not be used near to aquatic animals - I don't want to kill the wildlife in my pond.  Also, I have hedgehogs that frequent the garden, and I worry about them getting poisoned however slight from weedkiller.  I use a flame torch, which I got the GC - cost about £10 and came with a can of butane.  I have to use it about once every two weeks but as long as I don't let the weeds flower - then it keeps it all in check.  As well as being satisfying to blast the weeds, it only takes around 30 mins to do the whole block paving. And added bonus I've also noticed is that torching the block paving also seems to keep the moss and algae at bay.

Relocating an Acer platanoides 'Crimson Sentry'

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 23:31

I planted a Acer platanoides 'Crimson Sentry' in the corner of the garden about 4 years ago without really thinking about the light (or lack of it) with the result that even in the height of summer, I have a dark hole in the corner of the garden where this tree is because the colour of it just sucks the light away.  Over the last four years, its only grown about 10 feet (it was probably about 5 foot when I got it).  This year, I've taken the difficult decision to take it out and replace with a plant that is much 'brighter' to bring a bit of light to the corner of the garden.  I'm resigned to the fact that in digging it up, it will probably put it under so much stress that it will probably kill it, but if there was a chance of saving it, what would be the best way?  I'm thinking the roots might not have gone that far, so how much root ball should I try and dig up to try and keep it safe and relocate it.

Hard pruning a Mahonia

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 23:09

I'm planning to cut back a leggy Mahonia shrub, but just wondering if I can replant the crowns (they'll be three of them), so I can propagate more plants.  Is it as easy as putting cutting of crown in pot with compost and watering?  Other than removing the remaining berries (which haven't turned blue and been eaten by the birds), anything else I should do?


Posted: 21/04/2015 at 23:46

In order to grow bamboo to its full height, you have to give it plenty of room.  In a pot, it won't achieve its full potential height it would grow to in open ground.  The other factor is water.  As mdw84 above said, they water their bamboo in a huge pot nearly every other day.  If you don't or can't to that and/or your pot is small, then that will impact on its height.  Bamboos in open ground that clump rather than run are generally well behaved, but even they might need containing with a barrier if you want to stop it from spreading too far or outside the boundary of where you want it to go.  Digging it up and splitting it might sound relatively easy, but I've seen examples of people trying to split a bamboo in the ground and a pot, and people have snapped spades and have had to use an electric saw to get thru' the roots and rhizomes of a mature bamboo.  Not for the faint hearted!


Posted: 19/04/2015 at 21:26

Whoops - clicked submit too soon....

Penultimate paragraph....

"Numerous people have told me about playing with the flowers of foxgloves, as children, without coming to any harm but you will still see alleged experts saying that it should be removed from any place where children might be present."

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