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Latest posts by Topbird

Using mushroom compost...

Posted: 14/02/2015 at 10:15

Hi Ally - I'd wait a few weeks before doing anything too drastic. I also made the mistake of using mushroom compost to improve the soil in an area earmarked for raspberries. I used A LOT because the existing soil was on the site of a huge old conifer and the soil was really poor & depleted.

Anyways - long story short - my raspberries grew strong, well and healthy and highly productive. Maybe the conifer had made the underlying soil acidic and I ended up with a neutral mix, maybe the compost didn't have too much lime in it - I don't know - but I would wait to see whether or not your raspberries start shooting away quite happily before doing anything too drastic.

It's probably worth making sure the compost is pulled away from the stubs of the stems though. Good luck 

Novice in growing hellebores - advice, please :)

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 16:12

Have just checked out Harvey's website - looks like they are rejigging it at the moment so not much to see or order - hopefully will be better soon. They have an award winning tea room if you are visiting and need somewhere to leave someone with a book or newspaper.

They are still very much a nursery rather than a garden centre so they are relatively small - but the display beds are good, the event days are excellent and the staff are very knowledgable..

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 16:03

Hard pruned my very neglected quince tree and made some pea sticks / plant supports with some of the smaller branches. 3 hazel trees & 3 buddleia next week - then it's time to join Nut on shredder duty....


Novice in growing hellebores - advice, please :)

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 14:21

I am also starting my open carpets of hellebores in a new woodland style border.

I have recently purchased 30 plugs from Hayloft Plants (mail order) which worked out at about a pound per plant. 10 varieties - 5 single & 5 double (I think). They are all sturdy little plantlets - potted up in December and already sending roots out of the pot and new leaf growth.

I have a couple of mature flowering plants and will collect seed from them this year but you can also buy packets of seeds.

I shall also buy a couple of choice specimens from Harveys Garden Plants (Suffolk - but they do mail order). Fortunately they are just up the road from me and they do a couple of wonderful hellebore / snowdrop days late Feb / early Mar - worth visiting if you fancy a trip out. Roger Harvey is a regular at Chelsea & has gold medals for his hellebores. Not cheap - but worth it if you want a couple of special plants.

Nothing to add to Verdun's advice re cultivation - he knows his stuff! 


snowdrops and crocuses

Posted: 13/02/2015 at 14:04

Squirrels enjoy my crocus bulbs 


Posted: 13/02/2015 at 09:46

News about the premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey yesterday reminded me that I need to have a clear out in my underwear drawer ......

Talkback: How to prune and propagate dogwoods

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 19:24

Try Googling 'contorted (or corkscrew) hazel' and 'contorted (or corkscrew) willow' and looking at some pictures - possibly one of those. Failing that a photo might help one of the plant experts to identify it for you

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 10/02/2015 at 19:05

Bit overcast today but it was dry and no wind (hate, hate, hate gardening when it's windy) so spent a good 2 - 3 hrs in the garden today. Cold when I went out but got a nice glow on by the time I'd finished.

Lopped 2 - 3' off a viburnum tinus and made it a slightly better shape and had a general tidy up of one little border. Moved some perennial plugs from the potting shed to the mini greenhouse to make some bench space for seed sowing in a couple of weeks.

Definitely a few signs of vegetation stirrings out there. Not long to go now folks ...

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 09/02/2015 at 08:30
Hi BL - I've been away for a couple of days & unable to post before today.
I am so very sorry to hear about Tigger. Caring for loved but ill pets can be so traumatic - if only they could talk to tell you what makes them feel more comfortable. From previous postings it is clear that all your pets are as loved as any other member of your family and that you strive to do your very best for all of them.
I do hope you have a little more time with Tigger and are able to add some special memories to the memory bank over the coming days and weeks. Love him, cuddle him and treasure the time with him. So many of us have been down similar roads - we understand what a horrible time this is for you.

another pair of eyes please

Posted: 08/02/2015 at 22:36
Oooh Lily - I hope my clocks will be springing forward in the spring - not falling back - as they do in the fall

You have lovely plants in your garden - some nice ideas above

Discussions started by Topbird

Ideas of Nurseries and Garden Centres to Visit on my hols in the South East

Replies: 8    Views: 305
Last Post: 06/03/2015 at 13:52

Which Currant Bushes Would You Recommend

Replies: 10    Views: 346
Last Post: 28/02/2015 at 13:20

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 0    Views: 240
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:35

Papaver somniferum seed

Replies: 5    Views: 1250
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 22:28

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Replies: 4    Views: 1379
Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 21:15

Growing strawberries

Replies: 4    Views: 591
Last Post: 14/07/2013 at 23:02

Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Replies: 3    Views: 944
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

Replies: 5    Views: 691
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Replies: 9    Views: 2156
Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
Replies: 1    Views: 557
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 2095
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned