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Latest posts by Topbird

First house, first garden, new gardener!! help/advice needed!

Posted: 24/02/2015 at 13:32

Definitely right thing to do with the buddleia Charlotte - they can become as big as trees if they are not hard pruned each year & the flowers would all be at the top. You will now have a nice bushy shrub with flowers much lower down where you can enjoy them and enjoy watching the butterflies on them.

I think you've correctly identified the other shrub. Some people leave this to grow large and very bushy but I prefer to prune mine hard so there is a better display of larger leaves.

Your design looks very sensible and achievable. It is certainly a good idea to have the stepping stones through the lawn so you can access the shed in all weathers - & much nicer than a straight concrete path.

I think your shed might look rather nice if it was painted - perhaps a french grey  - which you echo with some obelisks in your borders for clematis to climb through. Just an idea 

Hello Everyone

Posted: 24/02/2015 at 09:45

Welcome Tracy - I loved Nigel too - till they threw him off the roof 

Oh - sorry! - that was The Archers from years ago - have never forgiven them..

First house, first garden, new gardener!! help/advice needed!

Posted: 24/02/2015 at 08:56
Agree with Dove's comments above & think smaller more ornamental trees such as crab apples & acers along with some bushy shrubs & trellis / climbers will give more interesting and better screening than that particular tree.
Maybe it's the angle of the photo but it looks quite top heavy for the garden and the roots are lifting the existing paving so is already causing a problem. I agree it is a lovely tree but I think it's in the wrong place in a smallish terraced garden.
Imagine the neighbours would be quite pleased to see it go too...

Lawn mower, 55 and overs needed.

Posted: 23/02/2015 at 17:15


First house, first garden, new gardener!! help/advice needed!

Posted: 23/02/2015 at 16:54

Hi Charlotte

First - congratulations on your new home - Iovely area to live - know it well! 

I agree with most of the others that the tree looks too large for the garden and needs to come out. Most well qualified tree surgeons will come out to do a site inspection, give you some free advice about roots etc and give you a quote for the work - the ones round here in Suffolk don't charge for that bit of their service.

I would also consider losing the lawn and having some well designed hard landscaping done close to the house if you can afford it. A mix of wood, brick, gravel and paving could give lots of interest, seating and perhaps a mix of levels. It doesn't have to be mega expensive and, if done well, will be a real investment! Shingle or gravel with weed suppressing membrane underneath is much cheaper than all paving & is a DIY job. It can be replaced with more expensive material later on if you prefer this. Strategically placed trellis, beds and borders would give privacy and shelter and a little careful, subtle lighting would add lots of atmosphere without annoying your neighbours.

I think you could have a very chic, urban, courtyard-style garden near the house with perhaps a slightly wilder more country style garden or potager at the far end. 

I would suggest you start off with a pencil and paper and a scaled outline of the garden. Start to sketch in where you would like things to be and what you need to have in there (storage for bikes tools etc). Work out where the sun is when you are most likely to use the garden (usually afternoon and evening) so you can make sure you put your seating and sunbathing areas in the right places. If you like cooking you could have a raised bed with herbs in as they are expensive to buy in the supermarket. If you are really keen you could grow some of your own veg as well.

Visit local gardens for inspiration - especially smaller ones. The National Garden Scheme is an excellent starting point but lots of villages have an open garden day where maybe 20 or 30 'normal' sized gardens are open to wander round. I personally find visiting large gardens enjoyable - but less than helpful when it comes to design ideas for my own much smaller patch.

Most of all enjoy it and welcome to the world of gardening. 

granite worktop

Posted: 23/02/2015 at 16:15

Good advice Joyce - same with hot pans - never risk putting one directly onto the granite. It will probably be ok but there is a risk the thermal shock can cause it to crack.

granite worktop

Posted: 22/02/2015 at 11:42

Granma - we have a Silestone (artificial granite) worktop & my brother has a natural granite worktop. We treat them identically.

Basically they are wiped down with a wet cloth followed by a bit of a buff up with a dry cloth every day. If there is grease or more stubborn marks a regular non-scratch cleaner or degreaser shifts it. Over a period of time the surface becomes a little dull and there are a few residual marks (mine is black - shows all the marks!). At that point I clean and polish the worktop with a specialist  granite / stone cleaner which restores it's appearance to new.

I have not heard of anybody having regular repolishing of granite worktops. Certainly they might need restoration if they are chipped or damaged and some colours (esp black) really show up streaks and require a bit more care with polishing - but you just need to buy a good cleaner and do it yourself.

Sounds a bit like a money spinning line to me so I would question the company a bit more carefully about why they consider such treatment necessary. 

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 21/02/2015 at 17:33

Have finally finished the 'big' pruning jobs (trees, large shrubs etc) and now have an absolutely huge pile of branches for shredding. Will be busy tomorrow if it's dry..

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 21/02/2015 at 17:30

Lovely to hear you are feeling a little better Matty. Certainly sounds as though everything is on the way up now 

The (slightly) lighter evenings and emerging spring flowers also help don't they? 

Odd corrections?

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 23:15

I have auto-correct turned off on all my (apple) devices because I have to regularly type weird documents with irregular spellings / capitalisations etc. They all work as advertised except when I am typing on this site. Drives me mad when I try to put in plant names etc and it comes up with something completely different and totally irrelevant.

Auto-correct settings on the  devices are definitely not the issue for me.

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