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Latest posts by Topbird

What to plant with a red scabious?

Posted: 15/06/2015 at 12:18

Would probably look quite nice growing through some grasses if that's your sort of thing. Dark purple salvias would also look good - Salvia nemerosa 'Caradonna' is a particular favourite.

I have a couple of knautia macedonica (very similar, if not the same, as your plant) and they form part of the under planting under Malus 'Evereste' and also shrub roses. Other plants under the malus include aquilegias, thalictrums and hardy geraniums. Under the shrub roses I have the knautia, hardy geraniums, alchemilla and nepeta.

It's only the second season for all these plants but it looked quite pretty in a cottage garden sort of way last year 

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 14/06/2015 at 19:36

Sweet rocket, aquilegias, lupins and shrub rose flowers all looking rather sorry for themselves after the storm on Friday night followed by 12 hours of soft rain yesterday (the garden was parched though so I'm not complaining) - so spent today tidying up, cutting back and re-staking.

Have also planted out the last of the cosmos and ammi and picked just enough strawberries for dinner - yum!

cosmos seed colours

Posted: 14/06/2015 at 09:27

Sanjy - I pinch cosmos quite ruthlessly, several times to get nice bushy plants and also to get plants which flower much later in the season and right through to the frosts. I have a lot of other plants in flower for the next few weeks and cosmos is very useful for filling the late summer / autumn gap.


Posted: 13/06/2015 at 19:31

I grow them Verdun...

... and foxgloves and yew and probably a few other things Agatha Christie could  make a story from 

weather warning

Posted: 13/06/2015 at 18:17

Got very excited about the idea of some rain for my parched garden but at about 5pm last night I rechecked the met office forecast which said there was a less than 5% chance of us getting any rain for the foreseeable future - despite being in the centre of the yellow severe weather warning area for Friday & Saturday.

Ho hum - perils of living in the driest part of the country I thought & watered some new plantings.

At about 8.30pm the heavens literally opened - driveway was like a river - all drains overflowing - gutters overflowing - newly washed windows spattered with roof moss - grass getting greener by the second - shrub roses in full flower looking sadder and limper by the second.

Woke up this morning - it had clearly rained some more & then it started raining heavily again. Dashed out in a quiet spell about 11am to do some emergency staking and it has been quietly raining all day since then. 

Most of it has been good rain - straight down soft stuff and the garden has had a really good, much needed drink. Some of it was heavy and damaging though and I suspect there will be some damage to put right tomorrow.

As ever in gardening - swings and roundabouts 


Posted: 13/06/2015 at 17:51

Hostafan 1 - a gardener died last year after handling aconitums. They are very toxic.

I am, however, In Katherine's school of thought. I grow the plants I like & people can come & visit my 'poisonous' garden or not as they please. Visiting children and animals are kept away from ALL my plants - they are too precious to be trampled under small feet / paws 

The poison garden at Alnwick is very interesting - the rest of the gardens are excellent - good day out!

Hayfever peaking

Posted: 13/06/2015 at 17:36

My sympathies, Mr Mustard. I only get hay fever when the pollen count is very high but it is a miserable condition.

May I suggest you have a chat with your pharmacist? They have a lot of training to help people deal with minor ailments and chronic conditions such as yours. They will be able to give you sound advice about how to use & combine over the counter medications and will also know if there are stronger medications available on prescription which might be more suitable for you.

Most pharmacies around here now have a small consulting room where you can talk to the pharmacist in private if you don't want to discuss things at the public counter.

cosmos seed colours

Posted: 13/06/2015 at 17:25

I tried to grow the double cosmos this year (pink and white). They both had relatively poor, slow germination but the pinks were much better than the white - Nuts explanation of gene dominance probably explains this.

I was so disappointed at the germination of both of them I bought a packet of emergency regular single cosmos & sowed all 3 varieties in the nursery bed about 6 weeks ago.

Germination was - one pathetic twisted white double, about 4 small pink doubles and a whole row of healthy, large, already-pinched-back-twice singles. Guess I'll be sticking to the singles in future.

cosmos seed colours

Posted: 13/06/2015 at 15:47


Garden maxed out

Posted: 12/06/2015 at 13:16

In this area there seem to village Open Gardens / Fetes / Plant Sales etc every weekend from April to August. They nearly always have a plant stall and gratefully receive any surplus plants - especially more mature or less common specimens. I would definitely dig out plants you don't like / don't earn their keep and pass those on along.

Monies raised from this events usually goes to charity / village funds.

Discussions started by Topbird

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

Replies: 8    Views: 353
Last Post: 06/03/2015 at 13:52

Which Currant Bushes Would You Recommend

Replies: 10    Views: 398
Last Post: 28/02/2015 at 13:20

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 0    Views: 273
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:35

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 5    Views: 1281
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 22:28

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Replies: 4    Views: 1559
Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 21:15

Growing strawberries

Replies: 4    Views: 655
Last Post: 14/07/2013 at 23:02

Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Replies: 3    Views: 1001
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

Replies: 5    Views: 732
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Replies: 9    Views: 2527
Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
Replies: 1    Views: 592
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 2270
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned