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Latest posts by Topbird

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 24/12/2014 at 15:42

Best wishes to everyone struggling with difficult situations and emotions at the moment.

For those of us who will not particularly enjoy this festive season - for whatever reason - and resent those who try to make us out to be party-poopers for not being all happy and jolly - a special greeting.

Thank goodness things start to get back to normal in less than 48 hrs. My books, SKY box and collection of films means I don't have to keep watching all the Christmas specials & chefs preparing Christmas food  etc etc which only make me feel inadequate or guilty.

I, for one, look forward to the 26th December and can't wait for the new gardening season to start.


Posted: 24/12/2014 at 15:14

The issue of people lobbing bags of dog's mess into other people's hedges seems to happen all over the place - it really is the most ridiculous form of petty littering I can think of. We have lived in 2 different houses on popular dog walking routes and had the same problem at both. 

Each time we have carefully collected all the bags and left them in a nice big pile where the perpetrator could not fail to see them. Amazingly all the bags were collected & the problem did not recur. I think it was just a single thoughtless idiot who did not realise that 'somebody'  has to cut that hedge - &, because they were probably nice people most of the time - they were suitably shamed by their actions - I hope so!

Shredded branches as mulch?

Posted: 16/12/2014 at 19:19


Sorry! - didn't mean to give you a dilemma. I guess it depends how friendly you are with your neighbour as to how you handle it!

In your original posting you talked of shredded branches - so does this mean the original tree or shrub is still there & heavily pruned or has it been removed altogether?

Perhaps you could have a general chat with your neighbour during which you 'just happen to ask'  what the tree is / was, why he had it pruned / lopped / felled etc. With a bit of luck it was just cutting out light / too big for the site - nothing more sinister than that.

Just to raise another point - if it was a walnut tree I would be wary of spreading those chippings as well. Walnuts release a toxin into the soil to kill competing plants. It might not be a problem with matured chippings - but worth some research 

Shredded branches as mulch?

Posted: 16/12/2014 at 17:06

I have successfully used relatively fresh wood chippings (abt 3 mths old) as a mulch around plants. I find they rot down much faster than the more usual bark chippings - so may be less suitable for use on paths etc unless you are happy to top up regularly.

I would certainly go ahead and use it as plant mulch provided the chippings are not from a diseased tree / shrub. (You wouldn't want to risk introducing any nasties in to your garden!)


Posted: 15/12/2014 at 16:48



large beds

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 16:45

Verdun - 21st Dec is my OH's birthday. As he always reminds me with a Monty Python nods-as-good-as-a-wink - it may be the shortest day - but it's also the longest night  


Posted: 15/12/2014 at 16:41

Sorry nut - your post snuck in there. It is good road links ... but if no-go, we'll just have to look for somewhere else 


Posted: 15/12/2014 at 16:38

Oooh yes please Dove - we went to look at a house converted from one of the old estate buildings - it's a pretty little village & the grounds are lovely. Also nice & close to the A11 & A14 for the drivers!

Further enticement is the really good farm shop in the village  - used to go there a lot when I lived that side of Bury - and they do wine tastings some Saturdays  

Never mind number of sleeps till Santa - I'm doing it till snowdrops (not that many really  )

large beds

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 16:24

Fabulous beds & views Lyn. You too Obelixx.

I created a large woodland style bed a couple of years ago which is still very much in it's infancy. I found that spreading a decent mulch of bark chippings between the baby shrubs and trees suppressed weeds / retained moisture and also allowed me to walk around the bed to plant up perennials and bulbs as I acquired them.

I will continue to maintain a plant free 3' wide bark path at the back of the border and will try to leave at least a couple of narrow paths through the border for access.

I have grown lots of plants from seed to save money and I also try to select plants at the GC or nursery which look as though they will divide into at least 2 or 3 plants. A nursery bed is a great idea. I use a large raised bed for this as the soil in it is much better for baby plants than my heavy clay. The plants also require less watering and attention than plants in pots. Keep your eyes open for deals in the press as well - I have just bought 30 named (baby) hellebore plants for £1 each and a load of cyclamen corms for much less than GC prices. 

Enjoy planning & creating 


Posted: 15/12/2014 at 15:46

... this is why I love fellow gardeners - cake, looking forward to snowdrops, planning garden visits - all helps to get us through these long dark days of winter doesn't it?

BTW - did we decide where to go for snowdrops next year? - I could get excited already!!    


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