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Latest posts by Wintersong

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 08:18

Raining here too, surprisingly

May In Your Garden

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 23:26

B&Q are supplied by a company called Verve, its now on all their labels.

They do three tiers of plants, small job lots such as buy two 1Lt pots for £5, a middle 2Lt pot for £8-10 or the semi mature versions that cost £25-30 or upwards.

Over the last few years I've found actual garden centres to be the priciest places to shop, stocking worthy plants but with that plastic commercial smile I don't like. I would always support a local nursery purely because its a small business, likely to be family run and I've always found them to be honest and helpful. A few years back we bought some mature plants knocked down and even got free delivery!.

At the moment both the above are out of my walking distance to get to, so B&Q is my only supplier and whilst the advice is mind blowingly bad and the plants are mass produced with a bit of a gamble as to cultivars, I still find them okay. The plants are always healthy with a good variety to cater to most tastes. I think the prices are pretty reasonable especially if you go at the end of seasons when they are reducing plants that are going over. I love sniffing around the half price trolley!

My only complaint would be the labelling and not just missing labels like today, but the information they give you is poor.  Last year's purchase of Callistemon leavis is currently sitting in a pot cut back hard after it turned brown post snow. I dug it up with the intention of dumping it on the customer services desk because the label did not mention it being tender at all, only the base was not dead, only its top growth. so I cut it back hard (apparently they recover from this as its like a bushfire) and stuck it in a pot to look after it better, but if the label had warned me, I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.

May In Your Garden

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 22:26

@Rob Stevens,  Yeah, I fell instantly in love and my plant cost a tenner for 2lt pot.

I would normally balk at such a cost, but it is a heavy plant and read that they are slow from seed and I never resent a nurseryman his dues if its a plant that needs extra attention.

Waterlogged border

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 22:17

Check it's not a burst pipe or drainage overflow  It sounds rather extreme!

May In Your Garden

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 18:45

 Thanks and look forward to plenty more pics this year. The top part of my garden is quite mature but I only landscaped the bottom two years ago so mine is same age as yours. Will be lovely to follow its progress.

P.S Thanks to figrat's help also.


Posted: 08/05/2012 at 18:39

I had a lot of drama in my garden last year as the common bumble bee decided to nest in my flower border. We left the nest undisturbed, but something came and tried to dig the nest up twice,

 And then, on the second occasion, we discovered the queen crawling though theflower bed away from the nest. She had been usurped by a cuckoo bee and had her wings bitten off...

 After this, the nest was doomed to fail since the cuckoo bee queen uses the existing nest to lay and nurture her eggs but the cuckoo bee does not collect honey, so once all the worker bees have died off the nest becomes redundant. I have video footage of bee activity at the nest entrance where I saw at least two queen sized bees practicing their flying and tidying the nest. That's all I was able to find out about bees, but they are a favourite creature for me in the garden.


May In Your Garden

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 18:10

Do you need to protect your through the winter or are they sheltered? I have a raised bed in my shade border I'm thinking as the perfect spot and wondering if some fern foliage with help it much?

What fab pics by the way, how lovely that you cut your borders with interest instead of straight up and down

May In Your Garden

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 17:00

Oh I love honeysuckle and pooh to your neighbour

Today's weather was too bad to garden but I did wander off to the garden centre with a tenner in my pocket. I must explain that presently my garden centre is the local B&Q which is not my optimum choice but the only one open to me at the moment since I don't drive and my husband suffers from CFS so the car is off the road nd there is nothing better in walking distance.

I don't mind them for basics and bargains although I do miss those long afternoons wandering around proper nurseries. Anyways, I went with the intention of buying a Euphorbia Silver Swan for my full sun border but right at the last minute I was seduced by a Hellebore.

I was so excited about this plant for a number of reasons, its foliage was so stiff and blue with age, its flowers were tough as old boots, it blooms early in the year when my garden is most in need and it likes I was sold. The only trouble was it had no label.

Obviously, in a nursery, the staff would know what was it but I was unsure what to was the only specimen and needed to come home with me, so I asked the lady at the till and was gobsmacked when she suggested I google hellebore when I get home.

I asked her if she had any idea how many Hellebore there were in the world but she just shrugged and said to match a google picture. I asked for a couple of pound reduction since I was buying a plant with no instructions that could potentially die on me but I was refused, so, my beautiful but pricey unnamed specimen came home with me under difficult circumstances.

After googling all afternoon, I think its Helleborus x sternii Blackthorn group (unless anyone knows better) but it's my first hellebore I've ever owned and the RHS Plants and Flowers book says its a little bit afraid of the snow, teach me for buying a plant without its label.

So if any of you want to throw in your knowledge and experience, I'd be best pleased

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 16:29

Woke up to rain this morning occasionally clearing with sunshine, but lots of grey sky.

Horse poo

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 16:27

The only time fresh manure is used is to make a hotbed.

This has been featured on GW several times over the years and was a favourite of the Victorians. The heat from the manure helps the plants to grow and also feeds them but you don't plant directly into it, compost is added on top.

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