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Latest posts by Topbird


Posted: 06/05/2015 at 08:35
Morning all - hope everyone's garden survives the 2nd battering forecast for today. One corner of my garden is windy at the best of time & I'm trying to grow some tougher evergreens there as windbreaks. They were nearly flat to the ground yesterday.
Today is recycling bin day - might give it a miss - can't see the bins staying upright for long if it's as bad as yesterday

Plant ID's

Posted: 06/05/2015 at 08:08
Sorry - can't help with 2nd ID DD but agree with Alchemilla.
I love this plant - lovely frothy flowers. I have to divide it to get more plants - it has rarely self seeded in my clay soil.

When to repot?

Posted: 06/05/2015 at 07:59
Are we talking about the 2nd 'potting on' here Justin?
I do the first pricking out of seedlings into modules when the first true leaves of the plant appear.
For bedding / container plants that is usually all that's needed until I use them. For perennials that need to grow on - those go into pots when the roots start growing out of the bottom of the tray.
Similarly, I pot on cuttings when I can see the roots.
Hope that helps.

greenhouse / sunroom

Posted: 05/05/2015 at 16:02

Hello Phil & welcome to the forum

I had a lean-to greenhouse at the back of my garage at my previous house. I suppose I could have used it as a garden room but - as Welsh Onion says - the number of days when the temperature was perfect for just sitting in it with a book & glass of wine were few & far between. 

In the winter it was nice & sheltered for working (even sitting) in  - but always with a coat on and it was insulated with bubble wrap. In the summer the ventilation needed tweaking several times a day to keep the temperature within a comfortable range.

As an alternative - do you have a suitable spot in the garden for a summer house? That would be cheaper than an extension and you could orient it to avoid prevailing winds / take advantage of the evening sun etc. I think you can even get one that rotates - so you can track the sun / shade / shelter as you prefer.

Elderly honeysuckle

Posted: 05/05/2015 at 14:31

I inherited a 20yr old honeysuckle which was very leggy, full of mildew and just one huge untrained bird's nest. It was yellow & white & highly fragranced (name n/k).

I bit the bullet and cut it really hard back (6 - 12"), gave it a feed & put in some plastic support netting. It was back to the original size (but a much better shape) within a year.  I think I attacked it in early spring - lost most of the flowers for one year but it had a whole season to grow away before any frosts.


Posted: 04/05/2015 at 08:43
Glad you added the explanation Lily P - or I would have been thinking about his 'absolutelys' all day ....


Posted: 03/05/2015 at 18:56

Wow! Hours of much needed really 'nice' rain today in mid-Suffolk - persistent but not damagingly heavy, warm  and no wind. My garden looks much greener and lusher and I'm sure everything has grown 2" - and (for a change) all the blossom is still in place.

H/W and iro***g all done today & lovely gardening weather forecast for tomorrow. Soil will be lovely and soft for weeding - good results all round me thinks 


Posted: 02/05/2015 at 23:44

Ivy and ox-eye daisies perhaps but you must have the landowners permission to explore & pick. Only take a relatively small percentage of what's there - making sure you leave roots and seed heads so the plants can reappear next year. 

Personally, I would not rely too heavily on foraging unless you have a reliable source on your doorstep. It could all be quite time consuming at the very last minute. Foliage will almost certainly keep well for a few days in a bucket of water in the shade - but wild flowers are usually quite ephemeral & need to be gathered the night before (even on the day) and, if it's raining, they will look rather bedraggled. 

Better, I think, to plan to only use something like the cow parsley to make a last minute informal display if it's looking good on the day.

Now is the time to find out where you might be allowed to pick some - try to find several sites with different conditions - plants will mature at different times depending on whether they are shaded or sunny

In friends' gardens you might well find some lovely weddingy flowers such as anthemis, ammi major and feverfew - these always make lovely frothy mini-arrangements for placing along window ledges etc.  If you have enough they will supplement larger arrangements too. I often use things such as dill or fennel in flower arrangements - the foliage is light and ferny and the flower heads are beautiful.

You don't necessarily need a lot of flowers - single stems of anthemis, zinnias, carnations, cornflowers etc in tiny containers (even test tubes held upright in sand or a block of oasis) can look stunning placed in a line down the centre of a long table.

Sarah Raven's website usually has some good ideas for very simple & more complex flower arrangements. Hope it all works out and everyone has a great day 

National nude gardening day!

Posted: 02/05/2015 at 12:44

The jockey reminded me I need to sort out where I'm going to park my bike next week....  

Oh dear oh dear,,oh dear......

Posted: 02/05/2015 at 12:41

My OH always said he hoped he would be out of the country when the Queen mum died so he would not have to listen to endless mawkish sentiments and wall to wall coverage in the press.

He was away for the Queen mum - but he was here when Diana died. He was puce by about 10am each day for the ensuing week & was a real PITA to live with. 

It has not been forgotten that I actually arranged my day so I could watch the royal wedding in 2011.

He is not a royalist - I am.

Best wishes to all new parents, everywhere today - nice to hear some happy news 

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