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Latest posts by Topbird

help me choose a new hedge

Posted: 06/04/2015 at 10:49

I'm not sure about a rosemary hedge Bekkie. It sounds lovely but some friends of mine tried it and found the hedge became quite leggy and looked a bit of a mess after a few years. They took it out after about 4 years. 

Maybe they didn't prune it / treat it right / had the wrong soil etc but they were keen gardeners & I think they would have done things correctly. It's a bit like lavender really - if you want it to grow to any height it can all end up looking quite straggly.

I quite like lonicera nitida for a low hedge - it grows nice and tight & looks like box & can be shaped if that takes your fancy. There is a gold version if you fancy something brighter. Evergreen, cheap and easy but grows quite quickly so you need to trim it several times a season to keep it looking neat once it's reached the desired height.

Or how about yew (green or gold) - that will grow fairly slowly and can be kept to whatever height you want. You could even indulge in a little topiary if that rocks your boat.... 


Posted: 05/04/2015 at 18:33

Well done Matty - sounds like you've been busy. It is horrible when you feel like you're chasing your tail in the garden isn't it? I had that last year when I 'missed' a lot of March and most of April to indoor commitments and it felt like summer was half over before I caught up.

Please be careful though - you don't need to be knocking yourself out just yet. If the garden is a bit behind & not as good as usual this year it's not the end of the world.  Sounds like your OH is giving lots of support which is lovely  Nice pic & Happy Easter to you too!

Clari - You should still be able to summer prune your pear tree. Winter pruning encourages growth so, if you want to restrict the size, summer pruning may be better 

Dove - I have also been digging out the strays from my raspberries - I cannot believe how far those runners travelled in just 2 seasons. Fortunately mine are growing in a 5m square area well away from ornamental beds. I am trying to control them into a neat row but it's a battle. Wouldn't be without my raspberries & cream tho' 


Posted: 03/04/2015 at 18:20

Went to SM this  afternoon - have to drive past Wyevale (who have 15% off all outdoor plants this weekend) so I thought it would be rude not to pop in & say hello. Bought an eleagnus and pyracantha for planting in front of the fence to help with screening. Am slowly making this garden very private. When we moved in 4 years ago it was completely open to the neighbours on one side and a public footpath on the other - which made trying to do a little rudey-nudey sunbathing good fun 

I saved £5. I never tell my OH how much I spent - just how much I saved (anybody else do that?) He does the same when he buys 'on offer' beer in bulk.

Hope you feel better tomorrow LIri & hope your tree is straight Panda. Enjoy GW tonight everyone 

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 03/04/2015 at 18:05

Thanks Lyn 

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 03/04/2015 at 10:39

My friends husband has just spent a not-insignificant amount of money converting their son's bedroom into a model railway layout. There is track all round the walls with a swing bridge type arrangement across the door. There are turntables and all sorts for the locos & he is planning on making lots of model 'features'. 

Amazingly (for somebody who always declared himself useless at useful DIY) he has managed to build all the staging (sturdy and level) and do the quite complicated electrics himself. Friend is not impressed!

My own 'better' half took up go-karting again at the age of 50 & now does semi-serious racing when he can.He has just bought a tiny tent, sleeping bag and camping stove to recreate his scouting days. He finds 'toilet' jokes very funny.

IMO most men seem to get to the age of 16 & decide 'that's quite old enough, thank you!'

(Wouldn't be without him though )


Posted: 03/04/2015 at 10:24

Gemma - somebody once told me that you rarely regret the luxuries you indulge in through life. She was right - mum's usually are... 

Happy Easter everybody - enjoy whatever you're up to. Damp & murky here so H/W & S/M for me - clear the decks for the weekend.


Posted: 02/04/2015 at 18:48

RUNNYBEAK - glad you have a gleaming oven. Just a note of caution about oven liners. If your oven has a bottom heating element they don't usually recommend using the liners. There are certainly cases where cheaper liners have melted / fused to the oven floor & ruined the oven. 

My oven does have a floor heating element but I have used the Lakeland very heavy duty liners without any problems. They can flake a bit & discolour after a few months (which they don't if the oven only has side elements) but at least they don't melt into the oven itself. They save a lot of time & make cleaning the oven floor very easy. 


Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 18:33

Did anybody else have a plastic garden? There were mini fences and walls and different shapes of border with little holes in. You 'planted' (ie pushed) plastic plants into the holes with a little dibber like tool. I think there were also miniature flower pots with similar holes.

The plants were all flat but 'folded' upright when you pushed on the centre of them to put them in the holes. There were bushes & trees as well as flowers. I obviously got the gardening bug early on.

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 12:57

So many memories here  I'd completely forgotten about the toy Post Office (I absolutely loved mine) and the Bunty dressing up page - hours of fun!

I had a John Bull printing set which I used to make rubber stamps to print my Dad's name & address on all his business stationery which saved him a lot of writing. I felt very important sat at his desk & printing away.

I also had a Lino-Cut (?) - you carved a picture back to front on a piece of lino & then rolled ink over it to make prints. I seem to remember that the cutters were very sharp but that didn't stop anybody thinking it was a suitable toy for a 7 year old - I still have all my fingers but I learned early on to respect sharp blades!

Fishy's 'pleasant reminders of schooldays. Not !!!

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 09:39

Help yourself Primrose! 

I used to love getting Easter eggs and taking a half a big one and just taking a big bite out of the shell. You have to get your nose right inside the shell to do it & the smell of chocolate is just sensational . No breaking it into prissy, tidy little pieces for me!

When I was small my brother & I would occasionally be given a shilling each to go to the shop to buy as many small sweets as we could for the money. We would then come home and play 'shops' in the garden. To make it work you needed lots of 'stock'. I seem to remember getting an awful lot of mojos, fruit salads, candy shrimps, flying saucers, tiny bars of chocolate and tiny tubes of sweets for the money. It was a game which lasted all day & taught us to add and subtract and, no doubt, kept us hyper active for days..

Also remember picking the flowers off the runner beans to eat and picking off rose heads to make 'perfume'. I would hate to have a baby me in the garden 

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