London (change)
Today 29°C / 20°C
Tomorrow 32°C / 18°C


Latest posts by Topbird

1 to 10 of 906

RHS Hampton court

Posted: 28/06/2015 at 13:23

I love Hampton Court too - it's the only 'Big' show I make the effort to visit. The only slight drawback is that it is on a large site and so it can be tiring and tough on the feet if you try to do absolutely everything - especially if it's hot (Monday is forecast to be lovely - don't think I'd fancy Tuesday or Wednesday much). 

If you have tickets for Monty (and you like him, obviously...) I would make time for his talk. You might welcome the chance to just sit down - perhaps Pimms in hand - and be entertained. I went to the same talk as Chicky (different location) - he was charming, informative, humorous and self-deprecating - the audience loved him.

Other than that, I would cherry-pick a few show gardens that appeal to you (more if you are going for design inspiration) and make sure there's lots of time for the floral marquee(s) if you are more into individual plants.

Whatever you do - enjoy!! 

Jardins Ouvert/Open Garden

Posted: 28/06/2015 at 12:57

They're gonna LOVE it DD. Hope you get loads of visitors and enjoy the day 

Just watched Monty Tonight

Posted: 28/06/2015 at 08:54
I really like your garden too BL - it's a little (actually quite big!) bit of England cottage garden in deepest France.
Please give my best wishes to DD for her Open Garden today - I get the impression her garden is our style too

Just watched Monty Tonight

Posted: 27/06/2015 at 21:07

Just watched GW - mmm - not for me I'm afraid. My father-in-law, however, would definitely give that lawn10 out of 10 (he's from Yorkshire too - so perhaps it's a generational / geographical thing...). Still, each to his own and I have to applaud the guy for his dedication.

The bees have been all over our lawn this afternoon as well - busy, busy busy. Lovely 

Perki somethings gone wrong

Posted: 27/06/2015 at 16:21

I was having problems with answering a PM yesterday Granma (from an iMac - not a tablet type device). Maybe the Gremlins are at work .... 

Just watched Monty Tonight

Posted: 27/06/2015 at 16:16

Haven't seen GW yet but getting the gist of these comments..

My garden is very much a cottage garden. It's all a bit jammed in and we have just reached that point in the year where it feels ever-so-slightly out of control & requires the 'Hampton Hack' to restore some sort of order. Have just picked strawberries, mange tout, herbs and lettuce - so it is quite productive. The lawn is green (until it gets very dry) kept well trimmed and edged but it is rather - ermmm - undulating... and has more than it's fair share of weeds and moss. I think it all looks quite pretty in a countryfied sort of way.

My father in law, however, doesn't 'get it' at all. He judges a garden by the pristineness of it's lawn & does not understand why I do not grow regimented rows of pelargoniums and salvias all edged with blue lobelia. He is very unimpressed that I have no hanging baskets and just 2 'summer' pots. He doesn't think it's a 'proper' garden. Guess what? I don't like his either..

C'est la vie 

Coriander. Is it cut and come again?

Posted: 26/06/2015 at 09:46

I have done cut and come again with coriander - but find that it starts to bolt after the second or third cut. It bolts quite quickly if it gets very hot. I find that successional sowing aiming to get 2 - 3 harvests from each plant usually ensures a decent supply till first frosts. Coriander also has a slowish germination rate (about 2 weeks here) and germinates better when the weather is warmer.

Success also depends a lot on the variety.

I have used 'Calypso' for several years and find this is much slower to bolt and produces nice bushy plants. This year, I couldn't get those seeds and settled for a generic 'culinary coriander'. The plants have been spindly and gone to seed really quickly (they look like yours Edd - no offence) and I'm having to cut individual leaves rather than shearing huge bunches as I normally do. I'm off to the GC again to see if Calypso is back in stock.... 


Accidental application of Pathclear to runner bean plants

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 16:29

It's very easily done Andy ....

I now have 3 large plant sprayers - one for weedkiller, one for fungicide (sorry - had to resort to chemical help this season for box blight - not proud of the fact ) and one for liquid feeding. They are all clearly marked with red, blue and green insulating tape respectively (I find even permanent ink tends to fade or wash off with time).

It's nearly impossible to wash every last trace of weedkiller out of every last nook and cranny of a weedkiller sprayer every time it's used. I also find that keeping a bit of the chemical made up and stored in a dark, cool place means I am more likely to zap weeds while they are small. Suggest you use the weedkiller sprayer for nothing else and maybe invest in a second sprayer for other products.

Hope the other veg are ok 

Courgettes in containers

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 16:06

Female courgettes have a small lump beneath the flower (a potential courgette) - males don't. I think I read somewhere that you tend to get more male flowers (which don't go on to produce a courgette) at the beginning of the season and when it's colder. 

When you do get female flowers, these need to be fertilised by the male ones. Bees and other pollinators usually get on with this job but you can 'lend a hand' with a paintbrush if necessary (again, cold summers usually mean some intervention).

I always find that some herbs such as mint, parsley, chives and coriander are a bit like salad leaves and do better when it's a bit cooler. They tend to bolt and go over very quickly when it's hot and dry. Thyme, rosemary and sage don't mind a bit of heat and rosemary and thyme seem to thrive on under watering and neglect - definitely my sort of plants!!

Courgettes in containers

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 12:41

Longshanks - I have been unable to reply to your PM (keep getting an error message - don't know why) - but here is what I was trying to say:-

My plants are outside at the end of a large raised bed (about 2' high by 4' wide by 6' long). They were filled with a mix of soil and mushroom compost a couple of years ago and have had some garden compost and Growmore added this year. The soil tends to dry out fairly quickly. The beds are south facing and reasonably sheltered but they are shaded by mature trees from about 2 till 6pm. 

I have had very limited success with growing outdoor toms and courgettes because we rarely get the hot summers needed for these plants. This spring / early summer has been particularly cold and also very dry - so I am not expecting great things (which is why I only have 2 courgette and 2 tom plants). I only put the toms in because I had a bit of space at the end of the bed.

They are all still really small plants (toms about 8" high) because of the cold but I do now have a courgette flower (male) and a few tomato buds - but fruiting is weeks off yet. A neighbour has toms in a greenhouse which are 3' high and bearing fruit - that's the difference a bit of warmth and protection makes!

How about you? Where are yours and how are they doing?


1 to 10 of 906

Discussions started by Topbird

Ideas of Nurseries and Garden Centres to Visit on my hols in the South East

Replies: 8    Views: 336
Last Post: 06/03/2015 at 13:52

Which Currant Bushes Would You Recommend

Replies: 10    Views: 374
Last Post: 28/02/2015 at 13:20

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 0    Views: 258
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:35

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 5    Views: 1266
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 22:28

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Replies: 4    Views: 1474
Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 21:15

Growing strawberries

Replies: 4    Views: 630
Last Post: 14/07/2013 at 23:02

Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Replies: 3    Views: 970
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

Replies: 5    Views: 716
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Replies: 9    Views: 2320
Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
Replies: 1    Views: 575
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 2203
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned