Latest posts by Topbird

Wrong seeds

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 07:58

AYM - What do you mean by "I go for bargain hunt" please?

I've not had this problem - I usually buy Kings, Mr Fothergills and Sarah Raven seeds. Any disappointments are usually all my own making 

Garden visit - York Gate

Posted: 15/07/2016 at 12:12

Lovely pics - thanks Liri. I really like what they've done with the pyracantha and the topiary

I must remember this garden for the next time we're visiting the in-laws. 

Hostas leaves

Posted: 15/07/2016 at 12:04

It's a good idea to mark where they are in the borders so you don't inadvertently dig into them or tread on emerging shoots when you are working in the dormant season.

Please help

Posted: 15/07/2016 at 12:01

It is a horrible, tenacious weed David - and can be exceptionally deep rooted & difficult to eradicate (see above post).

Treat it per Mark's advice and accept that this may be a long term job which you need to keep on top of. Pull up or treat with weed killer whenever you see a shoot. The advice about bruising the stems is important otherwise weedkiller will run off and not penetrate the plant.

You may never eradicate it but vigilance and prompt action will allow you to control it 


Posted: 15/07/2016 at 11:52

Have been in the garden trying to make decisions,. Feeling a bit stressed by the amount I have to do out there and the jobs I need to do inside as we have a busy few days lined up.

Then I thought about Nice - and Baghdad - and Brussels - and Paris - and all the other horrors that have happened in the last year.

Perspective - life is all about keeping things in perspective..

And IMO a good life or person is all about kindness, compassion, courtesy and tolerance.

The people who commit these atrocities show none of those qualities. If there is an after life - they must be going to hell in a handcart. I have never seen a religious text which promotes the killing of innocent, decent people and their children - I have only heard twisted minds corrupting various religious teachings for their own ends.

Last edited: 15 July 2016 11:53:47

gardens in west scotland/ cornwall /devon

Posted: 14/07/2016 at 22:39

Oops - just had a look - it's the Shower of Herring - not the Shoal. 

Menu has been updated - no more daggers of steak.

On a plus note - they do a flight of gin on a Wednesday night - excellent 

gardens in west scotland/ cornwall /devon

Posted: 14/07/2016 at 22:29

Been to the Shoal a couple of times Fairy - seem to remember they served steak like an oversized kebab on a sword-type giant skewer - forgotten what it was called. 

Love Melfort 


Posted: 14/07/2016 at 19:04

Thanks for your well wishes Liri - I'm feeling a bit better after an afternoon in the garden.

Was supposed to be planting a few things - managed 6 marigolds before I decided I needed to do some more tidying and cutting back. Is it just me or does the garden get terrifying at this time of year? - it seems to get horribly overgrown with things being squashed by other plants and the soil looking all dry and spent. A little overwhelming if I'm honest. 

Will try to do some planting tomorrow. Will feel a little calmer when it all looks a little tidier. I like blousey and informal - I don't like a tangled mess. Seems to be a fine line between the two...

Oh has offered to cook dinner - again - he is the best 


Posted: 14/07/2016 at 15:16

My neighbour's dogs live in a kennel - they do not live indoors. They are loved and well cared for but they nearly drive me demented if they start barking at night because a rabbit or hedgehog is passing by. 1am is a favourite time. Doesn't last more than a few seconds but just enough to wake me when I'm just dropping off to sleep.

Nice day here - feeling a bit better than yesterday but not 100%. Trying to plant up some annuals to fill the spaces left after cutting back spring stuff but not really in the mood. Hate it when gardening feels like a chore - but if I don't get some of this stuff in now it will be time to put it on the compost heap

Last edited: 14 July 2016 15:16:26

Brand new garden, heavy clay soil

Posted: 14/07/2016 at 15:03

I have great clumps of grey and yellow clay in my soil and it was a nightmare to work for the first couple of years - but it's gradually getting there.

The best thing you can do for clay soil is to keep working it and to incorporate lots and lots of organic matter - rough textured or 'long' compost is good for clay. Digging breaks down clumps and the organic matter enriches and improves the texture. If you put in the work now you will have beautiful rich, moisture retentive soil within a couple of years.

If you have empty borders at the moment it's a perfect opportunity to do lots of soil improvement before you plant. Buy spent mushroom compost / composted farmyard manure / soil improver etc in bulk and spread it really thickly (6") over the borders and start digging it in. I have bought in literally truckloads of the stuff. If your garden is smaller you can buy this sort of thing by the cubic metre delivered in dumpy bags.

Personally - although it won't do any harm at all - I wouldn't bother adding grit except perhaps when you're planting bulbs or plants that need better drainage.  I definitely wouldn't add sand (I have seen it suggested before) - that can make matters worse.

Finally I would second the suggestions to try to work with what you have. Enjoy being able to grow the clay lovers. 

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