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Latest posts by Topbird

The Instant Gardener

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 08:11

I think you'll enjoy the low allergen one Pat (No 4 ?). Much more of a 'gardening' programme IMO. 

The Instant Gardener

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 20:20
Well surprise surprise - I really enjoyed The Instant Gardener today - as Cathy said it was focused so much more on the plants ( low allergen) and I learned some things. The series is growing on me. Still not too much of a fan of the presentation style but the programme is showing some merit!

Help with my very narrow, long garden?

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 14:12

I am definitely in favour of a design like Busy Lizzie's.

Long meandering curves are  beautiful in a garden - but I think it has to have a certain scale to make it work - 2.5m is very narrow. My personal preference (especially if this is an urban setting) is for very formal straight lines softened with planting. The zig zag design definitely 'widens' the garden in the same way as curves (and creates deep borders) but is more formal. 

I also think Katherine has a point - to keep it simple - limited pallet / varieties but planted in large, bold groups will probably work well in a garden like this. 

I also like gravel paths - a lot. They are cheap and easy to lay - be sure to use a weed suppressant membrane underneath - and they don't get slippery in the shadier parts of the garden. goose the right honey colour and the gravel will always look warm and offset the plants beautifully.

The Instant Gardener

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 11:35

PS - I love Carol Klein - knows her stuff, not afraid to appear on TV in 'proper' gardening clobber - and she has muckier hands and nails than me!  

The Instant Gardener

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 11:34

I notice that Humpty Dumpty has only made one posting on the forum - and it was the one on this thread.

Somebody with an axe to grind maybe 

We have no idea what this person's personal circumstances have been - so it is unfair, unreasonable and downright prejudiced to assume that she is an 'undeserving' case. She might be the most deserving of the lot - but just chose not to go into all her personal stuff on national TV.

Leaving aside the use of astro-turf and other maintenance free products (which were very practical for her) - I think I probably liked the finished result in this garden most of all. Very functional as a kiddies play area but it looked quite pretty too.


Posted: 22/07/2015 at 16:48

I quite like the bindweed flowers too Panda & have been known to let it grow in a corner tactfully known as the "natural corner" (nettles and thistles ARE good for flutterbys aren't they?) - aka the "messy bit behind the shed".

Sorry to hear about your horse BL. Sounds like she's going to a good home where she'll be well cared for but still very hard to say goodbye. Will you be able to visit? - hope so.

Congratulations Wonky - lovely to be able to look forward to going to work again and  nice to have a good chunk of summer in the garden

Today we have been mostly trimming hedges - OH cuts, I supervise and clear up - seems to work quite well. Picked today because it's a lot cooler and overcast, but still got very hot and sticky and the hedges were full of bitey gnat things. Glad it's done for this year (just a quick trim to tidy in the autumn)  

Have also been watering my parched beds in the hope that it DOES rain tonight - that way everything will have had a REALLY good soaking. Getting a bit dark now so fingers crossed.

The Instant Gardener

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 14:18

Gardengirl7 - I think you probably are in a minority in terms of people who have voiced an opinion on this thread (nowt wrong with that of course) but yours may well be the voice of the wider majority.

Have you noticed though that even those of us who say we don't like it have still watched 2 episodes?   Anything to do with gardening is better than a lot of other trash on TV and there are a few good little bits in each programme. 

Some of us (well OK - me) - are grumpy old b**gers who like nothing better than a good moan. We should be grateful the BBC is at least trying to put something to do with gardens on the screen.

I do agree with you that the grasses and design of the inspirational garden in the 2nd programme were excellent.  I don't even like grass / prairie style planting as a rule but I liked what they had done there!

Haven't watched the Autistic Gardener - might give that a try on Catch Up.

What can/should i do with this?

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 10:05

Whereabouts are you Jason? If you are anywhere near to David Austin Roses (shropshire borders), Peter Beales Classic Roses (Attleborough, Norfolk) or any of the major gardens with extensive rose borders (e.g. Alnwick, Northumberland) I suggest you visit NOW armed with a notebook and select some roses you like.

Any well maintained rose garden will look fabulous in June when all the roses are at their best. End of July is more challenging and it is now when you will really be able to identify which ones look good throughout the summer and are truly repeat flowering.

Is this an arrogance?

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 09:42

I imagine it's membership fees granma - I was only allowed to use my professional letters while I was a paid up member of my professional society (chiropodists / podiatrists in my case). 

Belonging to a professional society gave me access to other benefits including professional support, access to seminars, insurance etc etc. - most professionals belong to something like that. 

The Instant Gardener

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 09:37

Second programme was better than the first IMO but did nothing to address the issue of how they look after that 'hill' at the bottom of the garden. If anything, they may have made the situation worse - how are they ever going to cut the grass at the back of the retaining posts (which were definitely squint on the RHS).

That garden needed to be properly terraced and that dreadful slope tamed in some way (not dissimilar to the one faced by Chris Beardshaw on Beechgrove) - which is clearly beyond the scope of this programme in terms of both time and budget.

Grrrr.... now if that lovely young couple ever want to do the garden properly they will probably have to shell out extra money to undo the work already done. They deserved better. If the programme makers couldn't do that they should have left it alone or just left a set of plans to aspire to.

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