London (change)
Sun 25°C / 18°C
Tomorrow 23°C / 14°C


Latest posts by Topbird

unsightly tree stumps

Posted: 06/07/2015 at 17:54
I wonder why the stumps were left 5' high? If I'd had the trees removed I would have either had the stumps ground out or had the stumps reduced to ground level & injected with glyphosphate.
If neither of these is an option there are perhaps a couple of methods of disguising them. Ivies and clematis scrambling over them would provide green mounds. Wires strung between them could provide a support for roses or other climbers.
Personally I'm not sure that either of those would really do the trick though & might just look a bit odd. I would also be a bit concerned that the trees were not dead & could start sprouting again. They say leylandii doesn't shoot from old wood but sod's law says that if you rely on that - then they will!


Posted: 05/07/2015 at 10:36

A few ladybirds here but not as many as normal. I wonder if we will see more now that temperatures are nearer to the seasonal norm (it was sooo cold here until about 2 weeks ago).

The black aphids are definitely much worse than previous years, green aphids about the same. For the last few days (ie since the arrival of the very hot weather and the start of haymaking in the surrounding fields) absolutely everything (windows, flowers, me) is covered in tiny black beetles. They are not as small as thrips (which will arrive very soon no doubt) but are everywhere. Hopefully they will disappear when things cool down and the rain arrives.


English Rose - Tranquility

Posted: 04/07/2015 at 16:54

Nanny B - I planted New Dawn 2 seasons ago & have found that the fragrance is very light unless the conditions are perfume perfect. I'm hoping the scent will develop more when the rose is older. There are some other comments elsewhere on the forum about roses having disappointing scents when they are very young plants - so there is probably hope for our plants! It is a very pretty rose isn't it?

Personal rose favourites this year have been Roserie de la Haie  and Wisley 2008. They are only 2 year old plants but both are already very good sizes, healthy, have had masses of blooms and really excellent perfume. 


Garden Pictures 2015

Posted: 04/07/2015 at 11:49

Wonky - such a difference - can't believe you've done it all in just a few weeks! Good luck for today.

BL - your garden looks stunning - not over blown at all. It's a real touch of England in France. Particularly like the border in the first picture - it still looks so green and lush - amazing considering the temperatures you've had this past couple of weeks. You must spend hours watering! 


Posted: 04/07/2015 at 07:37


Posted: 04/07/2015 at 07:26
Now know what it's like to spend the night in a metal bin with someone thumping a stick on the side and somebody else switching a light on / off / on / off... Absolutely cracking storm here in the wee hours - amazing lightning show, very noisy - went on a long time.
Garden looks a bit bashed this morning but nothing an hour or so with the secateurs won't sort out and I won't need to water this weekend - double hurrahs!
Best of luck today WW - you have made such a difference in your garden & many congrats to Lily - seem to be grand children popping up all over the place at the moment

Good screening tree?

Posted: 04/07/2015 at 06:50
I vote for trellis & climbers and some strategically placed large shrubs. Buddleia, and the golden and black elders all grow nice and quickly (mine make it to about 3m each year) but they are easily controlled with spring pruning. I also like amelanchier & have a few different ones - some grown as shrubs & others as trees. Only drawback is all of the above are deciduous so limited winter screening.
If you want a tree - the crab apples are good small trees for small gardens and for nearly year round interest. I like Red Sentinel but I think there is one called 'Gorgeous' which may be even better.
I would definitely not use bamboo - it is not a plant for beginners IMO. We inherited a clump about 4 years ago. Took 2 years to dig out a rootball which had spread to 3m long and nearly a metre deep. It had spread under the fence and lifted neighbour's paving. It was a nightmare to eradicate & was not even an attractive plant - just looked like messy super-long grass. I would only grow highly ornamental bamboo which can be kept in a pot.

ID Please & Advice

Posted: 03/07/2015 at 17:52

I planted one of these once - in my very first garden. It was to 'soften' & cover a long, 3m high,  rather lovely, old red brick wall. It certainly did that & very quickly too...

So (much) older & (not necessarily so much!) wiser now -  and there were so many better choices that could have been made - beautiful roses, jasmine, honeysuckles, wisteria, ivies etc etc ... 

Still, at least I didn't plant rampant bamboos like the previous owners of this garden 

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 

Discussions started by Topbird

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

Replies: 8    Views: 358
Last Post: 06/03/2015 at 13:52

Which Currant Bushes Would You Recommend

Replies: 10    Views: 401
Last Post: 28/02/2015 at 13:20

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 0    Views: 274
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:35

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 5    Views: 1284
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 22:28

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Replies: 4    Views: 1567
Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 21:15

Growing strawberries

Replies: 4    Views: 656
Last Post: 14/07/2013 at 23:02

Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Replies: 3    Views: 1005
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

Replies: 5    Views: 735
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Replies: 9    Views: 2543
Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
Replies: 1    Views: 594
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 2275
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned