Latest posts by Viola111

1 to 10 of 19

What's loving all this rain?

Posted: 18/07/2012 at 12:55

What a lovely thread - we were looking at photos of the garden this time last year and bemoaning the lack of sun this July, so it's nice to think about which things are doing well! I think in my garden it's less that things aren't growing (most of them are), and more that there just haven't been any of those wonderful golden evenings to sit out with a glass of wine and appreciate it. Or properly hot Saturday afternoons when you can spend the day working in the sun and then feel you've really earned a Pimms and some time flopping on the grass. Oh well - maybe one day the lawn will stop squelching like a sponge every time you walk across it...


Posted: 13/07/2012 at 16:44

Wild strawberries! I had visions of being able to edge a flowerbed with them, ha. After one summer I ripped them all up and have now confined them to a few pots where I have underplanted bigger things. They remove the need for weeding and the strawberries may only be the size of a pea but they taste fabulous, so I have now become quite fond of them. But they still send their runners hopefully over the edge of the pot.

Leaving the garden to itself for a year - what to plant?

Posted: 12/07/2012 at 12:47

Thank you for all the suggestions! Much appreciated - I was feeling extremely pessimistic myself but lots of positive ideas now.. I hadn't heard of Landshare, will have a look at it.

The garden is only small (the lawn area is about 30 feet long and 20 feet wide) but yes, plenty of space for the weeds to go rampant. I am tempted to go for green manures in the veg patch, and then put huge amounts of bark down in the flowerbeds in between plants. I'll have a look at how much it would cost to bring in a gardener once a month. Thank you!


Leaving the garden to itself for a year - what to plant?

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 19:00

Hi everyone,

I am going to be overseas for a year from this summer, and my partner will be joining me from next February. We'll have a house sitter, but I don't hold out too many hopes of finding someone who is a wonderful gardener (as well as wonderful with cats, perfectly tidy, and all the other things we are hoping for!). I think that mowing the lawn and pulling up the odd dandelion is probably as much as I can ask. So I really need to think about ways to put my garden to sleep for a year - or at least minimise the damage we have to undo when we get back.

Ideally I would get a gardener to come in for a couple of hours once a fortnight or so but the finances may preclude it.

Assuming that the gardener doesn't happen, my main question is around some sunny flowerbeds where we grow veg every year - I don't want to leave them empty all summer. Any suggestions as to what we could put in easily and cheaply before February, which would just take care of itself until the autumn, without taking over the garden (and maybe help the soil)? I was wondering about one of the natural nitrogen fixers like Comfrey but I've heard it's impossible to eradicate?

I don't think there's anything much I can do about the rest of the garden, except hope that the groundcover I've planted does its job of suppressing as many weeds as possible! But any tips would be much appreciated. I've put so much work into the garden that I will be heartbroken if I have to start again.

Thank you!


Posted: 10/07/2012 at 13:38

My main tip would be to go and choose them from a garden centre, don't try to order them online (even though you get a better range that way). Individual plants vary so much in colour, and many plants change colour throughout the year, so photos really don't do them justice. 

colour in a shady garden??

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 13:05

And I should have said - violas. Having spent the first year after we moved in digging up 120 square feet of the wretched things I can guarantee that wild violets *thrive* in shade. I believe the more domesticated ones do too, although I now loathe the whole genus and I haven't planted any! 

colour in a shady garden??

Posted: 28/06/2012 at 12:55

Your garden sounds a lot like my little South London plot and I've been amazed at how much colour it's possible to have. I completely support Gracie5, corydalis lutea is beautiful and grows anywhere (and everywhere). Bleeding heart (dicentra spectabilis) is lovely, and 'goldheart' has bright gold leaves with pink flowers if you like that combination. Tradescantia 'sweet Kate' has done very well in my border with only a couple of hours' sun a day,again it has strong golden-yellow leaves and mauve flowers. I have a camellia 'ruby wedding' in a pot, which (against all the odds) flowers its heart out in full shade in February. If you like speedwells, veronica 'Eveline' is supposed to tolerate light shade, and so far it seems to be happy under my apple tree, it hasn't died yet and it has lovely spires of lavender-purple flowers.

The other thing that a lovely person on this forum recommended to me is heucheras and I've become a complete convert. The flowers are small (though quite graceful) but the leaves are everything from orange to lime yellow to burgundy to almost-black, and a lot of the most colourful ones actually dislike sun. And they're evergreen which is perfect!

brown / black spots on heuchera

Posted: 14/06/2012 at 12:59

Please somebody help! About a month ago I planted a lovely healthy heuchera 'lime marmalade', at the front of a shady flowerbed where it is in sun for about 3 hours a day but shade the rest of the time. It has now developed blackish spots all over it, about half a centimetre across on almost every leaf. A hunt through google suggested that this was 'leaf spot' and that sterile pruning was the answer - but if I cut off every affected leaf there won't be any left. It has set in incredibly quickly, the plant was fine a week ago. Does anyone have any advice? Should I try pruning? or just pull it up and dispose of it before it affects my other heucheras?

To make it more complicated, I garden organically so any fungicide would need to be organic.

Thank you for any help!

'weeds' at Chelsea

Posted: 31/05/2012 at 20:15

Personally I loved the Chelsea gardens this year, I enjoyed the more informal approach. And it gives me hope that next time a clump of red campion springs up in my garden I can just murmur modestly "It's inspired by Chelsea, you know" .

Pale yellow crocosmia

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 20:31

sounds like that might be just right - thank you.

1 to 10 of 19

Discussions started by Viola111

Leaving the garden to itself for a year - what to plant?

Replies: 10    Views: 1615
Last Post: 12/07/2012 at 12:47

brown / black spots on heuchera

Replies: 0    Views: 2704
Last Post: 14/06/2012 at 12:59

Pale yellow crocosmia

Replies: 4    Views: 1989
Last Post: 21/05/2012 at 20:31

spindly cosmos seedlings

Replies: 7    Views: 4687
Last Post: 20/04/2016 at 16:12

Purple foliage plants for shade?

Euphorbias versus geraniums... 
Replies: 5    Views: 2694
Last Post: 08/05/2012 at 20:20
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