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Latest posts by yarrow2

Lackluster lavender

Posted: 06/07/2014 at 10:35

bekkie..thoughtful last statement, thank you.  My OH is bedridden and son also has long term illness so gardening mostly now is a quick dash out when it isn't raining.  But it's the perfect therapeutic environment for fatigue and worry...and many here also attest to this. The old saying the world can turn on a dime, for me, can be adapted to the glorious behaviour of plants and how they hang on in there and often fight no matter what.  So I take many of my life lessons from the garden.  It's such a joy.

However, I have no excuse for my muddles with growing some things in this little garden as the botanical gardens are just down the road and many of the local gardeners learn what grows well outdoors there and replicate some of the plantings in their gardens.  The changes in my soil each year are a mystery to me however, and sometimes my exploits are a bit more hilarious to witness than modesty would prefer!  But, you can't beat it for fun and all the life enhancing experiences which come your way.  The Scottish weather has its challenges.  In the last four years I've had to change planting plans every year because of the weather so the garden can never be settled and 'done'.  (No garden is ever done).  But it keeps me on my toes.  It's maybe a terrible thing to say - from a Scot - and particularly with all the politics this year - but I've always dreamed of living in an English gardening paradise where I could grow so many things which I'd love to have year round.  Oops!

Is it Right or Wrong

Posted: 06/07/2014 at 10:26

Dogbowl I go along with the advice on speaking to the neighbour and maybe having a tree surgeon examine the roots.  Reason being last year and this a neighbour and I had a lot of problems with roots from trees on either side of our garden fences.  One enormous gum tree was a nightmare as it caused ridges and had really nasty spikey bits popping up on both our lawns and beds.  The thickest roots nearest the tree were large and it seemed there is a law (this is in Scotland) about not sawing down branches, trees or roots where they had grown to 4" in diameter.  There was also some drainage consideration with hidden pipes under the ground so it was all a right pickle to trace where all the roots and bits were.  So had to have an expert take a look-see in case we did something which affected the drainage in particular.   Have a much smaller tree on the other neighbour side and apparently if we mess about with the roots on that, the tree would react in different ways which would cost a lot of money to rectify - other than have an expert remove the entire thing.

I made a BIG mistake gaily sawing off the branches and visible roots of an elder blocking our window a few years ago as I wanted rid of it.  It made the house dark. As it temporarily went into shock reaction it attracted a swarm of black flies as the tree started to weaken and they were a nightmare to get rid of.  I was told to leave the roots well alone for a long time, something to do with poisoning the surrounding soil.  I just took the adviser at his word.  Four years down the line, it turns out he was right in this particular instance.  Nothing would grow within 6 feet of the blasted thing and as the roots wanted to keep growing, they initially came back fast and furious. The whole lot is gone now, but I ended up spending more time on it than I would have had I had someone in the know deal with it.  It was such a palaver that I started to get a bit wary of the old wives tales about it being the witches tree.

Gardeners hands! Best cream?

Posted: 06/07/2014 at 10:12

Artjak - you've just reminded me that my dad used to do the sugar thing.  My mum on the other hand (talking back in the early 60's) used to use Pond's 'Vanishing Cream'.  Does anybody remember that?  It always amazed me that when I thought my hands were clean, the vanishing cream seemed to always find just a little more traces or dirt when you didn't expect it.  Don't know if it's still around these days. 

Lackluster lavender

Posted: 06/07/2014 at 10:01

Thanks so much everybody.  I've trimmed out the browned floppy stems only for now on the advice to just let it flower as it can for this year.  Verdun...being an idiot, I've never liquid fed lavender.  Duh!  I don't know why I thought they weren't supposed to be liquid fed.   I only water when the soil is dry and then give one good soak and leave until it dries out again.

So yes, I will do the tlc for this year.

Many thanks.  I sometimes wonder why, in Scotland, I persist with lavender but when we had a couple of brilliantly hot days last week, my optimism came to the fore and I'm hoping to have more luck with sun lovers this year.  (Famous last words of course!).

Dove also, thanks for the reminder of vine weevils and root checking.  I had a look and all seems fresh and fine.  But I've been caught out by the blighters many a time.  I only learned about vine weevils originally on this forum a few years ago and was vigilant back then.  However, I went on a spate of digging loads of things up and checking roots then.  But, even when you know you should be diligent, it's amazing how some years common sense seems to go out the window (with me certainly) and how with some successes you can get a bit blasé and have senior moments about these things.  I've lost all but one of my astrantia this year due to an astrantia fungus so I ought to know better and keep checking things.  Tired out this year with family illnesses so a bit lazy and have to admit that many things in the garden are just 'hanging on' this summer.




Gardeners hands! Best cream?

Posted: 06/07/2014 at 09:54

Had a relative who worked in 'Lush' and she recommended 'Happy Hands'.  The stuff is great for me because of full-time caring for other half and the gardening.  My hands are in and out of water a lot and I get a real mess in the garden.  I can't always afford their products but because they are hand made and have no chemicals etc it really helps my skin.  Happy Hands is described as 'a nurturing almond, cocoa butter and chamomile hand cream to give back some of what life and washing has taken out...invented to help nurses and people who have really, really dry overwashed hands'.

Sorry if it sounds like an advert for Lush - but it's the only cream (and you only use a little) which has ever made any difference to my hands and leaves them lovely and soft and feel great.


Lackluster lavender

Posted: 06/07/2014 at 08:11


I had a few lavender's (Hidcote I think) for pots and they are planted with one third grit etc etc.  This particular one was looking a bit floppy from the get go and I thought it would perk up a bit, but it isn't.

I had been going to shear it all off half way down but have been told that if I do it will not regrow stalks or flower again this year.

Does any lavender in pots expert have any good advice on whether I can rejuvenate this in some clever way?  I'm always a bit iffy with lavender and no matter what I do or instructions I follow, I always seem to make a bit of a mess of it. I just don't have the lavender touch! 


Oh dear.....I think I may have made a mistake!!!

Posted: 05/07/2014 at 22:09

BobTheGardener, that is gorgeous.  When you say you 'had' one from seed a few years ago - and if that is a photo of it - did something happen and you no longer have it?  Or is it alive and well and looking just as lovely?  I'm awash with too much pink in the garden which wasn't intended (gifts...and people always tend to give me pink things), but I'd forego my current anti-pink mindset for a lavatera like yours.

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 02/07/2014 at 11:21

Busy - I think people can get around the hosepipe ban if you can say it is used for basic human need or personal care or business necessity.   e.g.. if a café only dishes up home grown veg then they can be allowed to keep hosing water as it's part of their business requirement.  If you were to claim that your mum, for dietary purposes or financial need or something like that, needed only her home grown stuff, you could make a case.  I read once of someone who had a paddling pool in their garden and said it was because something was wrong with the bath - so they were allowed to fill the pool because it was to personal care.

I've read of lots of ways in which people have got around the hosepipe bans - not out of malice, greed or taking advantage - but in situations where it was demonstrated there was a need...of a sort!  For instance, someone couldn't afford to get broken taps fixed...they were allowed to use the hose indoors and outdoors.

Great year for Fuchsias

Posted: 02/07/2014 at 10:59

They look wonderfully abundant nodlisab.  Fabulous. 

I bought new ones last year but have been a dead loss.  I had thought it was my compost which seemed lifeless but have come to conclusion that it was poor care of the plants before I bought them.  You know the thing, they look great when you buy them but for ever after they put on no new growth and just seem to have done themselves out.  Poor roots as well.


Problems with Penstemon

Posted: 02/07/2014 at 10:56

Sounds like mildew Lynne, from dampness and humidity.  Maybe need a bit more air around them - especially if they are surrounded by other plants?


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1 to 15 of 57 threads