Latest posts by yarrow2

Gardening help

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 19:02

These slabs are not so much slabs as 'decorative paving stones'.  They're quite light in weight and easy to move around into shapes.  If you get the area as near as flat as you can - ie rake it all over then walk all over it or thump the flat end of the rake down all over it - you can step back, have a look to check it's even - just rake more when it's not.  Using builders sand underneath is a great wheeze - if any stone is uneven - you just put more sand underneath it to even it up.  It's not a huge time-consuming task, is not heavy work - and any buyers can lift the lot really easily if they wanted to do something else there as nothing would be cemented in.  It's easier than you think to stamp about and get the ground as even as you find acceptable.  I'm a girlie - and it was a piece of cake for me. 

I've seen those moulded patterned things only on tv, never seen any locally so can't comment on either the final result or how time-consuming or price it would be.  However, if you were to do that, you would really need to get the spirit level out and be very precise about an even surface.  (Which is why I won't attempt anything cemented-in myself!)  If you messed up the levelling - you could find yourself with time consuming problems.  But it looks nice.  You should seek out a builder or path laying friend...or friend of a friend to advise on what the pros and cons of using the cement mould would be.  Especially the type of friend who is likely to say 'Oh leave it with me mate, I can get you some at cost price and lay it for you'.  Job done!

Gardening help

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 18:44

If cheapness is the issue - I'd be tempted to go for a quick neat look.  Clear the junk away, rake what's underneath flat.  Buy some cheap ornamental paving slabs which have a hint of a shade in them e.g. Mediterranean warm colour (a certain DIY store has them for £3 each - cheaper if they haven't managed to sell many and have stock left).  That would lighten up the area between the sheds.  Just throw builders sand over the soil and don't cement in the slabs, just arrange them.  Then get a big pot, stick something eye-catching in it and it would look bright, neat and tidy.  You could only paving stone a large square or rectangle from the centre to take up almost from left shed to right- not fuss with the whole area and use cheap bags of light bark or on offer small gravel to fill in the leftover bits (with weed suppressant underneath).  You could get an end of season roll of weed suppressant. 

If cheapness wasn't the issue - I'd be tempted to dig it all over, add some good soil and plant caned up raspberries or some autumn fruiting thing - to make it look homey and productive as if that's what you always do! 

A lick of sale price wood paint like Cuprinol in a nice shade or colour would liven up the sheds and make them more attractive  - not suggesting they're not attractive, but buyers would be impressed that things look so well cared for!

I'd shop around the garden/diy type stores and see if they have on offer labels on some of these things.  The above is the quickest cheapest option I can think of.  But not to everyone's taste of course.  It's a quick fix for neatness.

what wrong with my hydrangea?

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 18:30


My dark leaved lacecap hydrangea has been a real disappointment.  I can't remember what it's called- it was a woman's name when I bought it three or four years ago.  It hasn't any buds yet at all and it never really grows any bigger.

BUT - why white macrophylla are a different story.  They are blooming madly this year and I can only account for that as being the frequent showers for weeks.  This one in the photo, I planted I think three years ago.  It was in a pot and only a foot high when bought.  This year, for some reason, which must be the rain because nothing else has changed in conditions - it is flowering its socks off and a lot of the flower heads are 10-12" - which is bigger than usual.  When a flower head gets a bit scruffy, I cut down to the next node - I think node is what I mean.  I usually get repeat blooms up until October.  Then they start to go brownish and dry and I leave the brown heads on.  If there has been a few days of drying winds - I hose the entire garden, whether there have been showers in between or not and it seems to like this.  I give it about 3 minutes of complete soak at the base.  I've never given it any feed of any kind and it's in clay soil which has nothing added - although it was dug and hoed very well originally when planted.  I lop the brown heads off around April.

To be honest, the biggest flowerheads are a bit too big for me.



A Shropshire Lad rose

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 18:16

That's a beautiful rose.  I must try and get one of those.

Plant ID

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 18:08

It's lovely.  Is it a ? 'American Dream'?  Only say that because I had one once which looked a bit like that, but not at all sure.

Garden Pictures 2015

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 12:52

I'm Edinburgh but originate in the Borders.  We had blue skies at 7am, sun shining now.  Met forecast has sun peeping behind clouds for whole day but lunchtime news said rain on its way to last into late evening.  Looks like a tossed coin in the weather offices!  

Yes, I'm way behind here.  Roses mid-way, most not a chance with continued showers.  Sweet peas only budding now.  Lavender - forgotten what flowers are.  Seeds sowed - cornflowers, scarlet flax, California poppy - almost flat to the ground with a few flowers coming up.   Huge attack of thrips on many things in pots and perennials look cold and little height.  Ah well, same old same old.

Garden Pictures 2015

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 12:40

 Rose 'National Trust' - all buds saturated in the rain so none opened 'clean' and most fell off before opening.  But - the perfume reminds me of my childhood memories of how roses 'used to smell'.  It's beautiful.  Does anyone know if it is a repeat bloomer?  I've had to snip all the buds/flowers off as they were so badly damaged.  It would be wonderful to have more flowers by the end of the season.


I bought a cheap batch of these mini-petunias - 'Sunset' and have them dotted about with other things.  (Rain has bedraggled them in the bottom pic though - they are lovely when they're not wet).


 My camera cannot capture the beautiful colour of this little pelargonium in a pot.  The label just says Pelargonium Burgundy (P) - which I presume is protected and cuttings dare not be taken.  It is darker than the photograph and stunning in evening light.

 Have been really taken with the tiny flowers on Thalictrum Ellen.  Had to stake them as well though.

Nepeta Govaniana  - the bees are mad for it.


 This is rosa 'Grace' which is in her second year and been a stalwart in this weather.  Sadly the bud groups are always too heavy for the spindly-ish stems.  She's trussed up for the wind and rain.


Weather has been such a let-down that the plants I expected to be a bit 'showy' or the big ones dependent on long periods of sunshine have suffered and it doesn't look as if there is going to be any prolonged sunshine, or a whole day of sunshine, according to the Met forecasts in this part of Scotland. 



Lonicera (Honeysuckle) "Heaven Scent

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 01:50

Thanks for your contribution Dove.  I'm ridiculously chuffed at trying young honeysuckle plants this year.  For some ludicrous reason I expected a drier summer in Scotland!  The evening perfume as you say is a delight.  The rain and winds so far have ruined the peak of my rose blooms which are absolutely soaked before complete opening, everything is drooping and I've had to rush out in winds to stake so many things.   Every year I decide it's time to get rid of the pretty things, willowy things and things which peck out in rotten weather - but every year the logic of only planting tough things goes out of my head and I think 'We'll get prolonged sunshine this year for sure'.

Ah well...

Verbena growing, holes in leaves

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 01:43

david:  I've had awful problems with all my verbena this year.  Swarms of thrips devastating all of them and I'm having to get rid of them.  Never had this before as they've always been one of my favourites.

my new potting shed,

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 01:40

Looks great Caroline.  I was looking on the web today at loads of ideas to get a very small one and saw some this design but too big for my garden. 

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