Latest posts by yarrow2

Esmeralda update

Posted: 08/05/2017 at 01:55



Posted: 08/05/2017 at 01:52

Fantastic plants Dolly.  They look so strong and upright and happy happy happy.

I bought a couple a few years ago.  They flowered for a short spell - then disappeared and I never saw them again.  Couldn't find any trace of them in the soil during an autumn forage.

I must try them from seed.  They're such a puzzle.  I have friends who grown them in all kinds of conditions, different areas, different soils - they don't fuss over them - and they just grow and come back.

You've given me a temptation to try again. 

ID Please?

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 11:39

Ladybird and Dove - thanks so much for that.  I will get rid.  Hurrah! x

Wheelchair gardening

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 11:21

Tina - well done you.  My husband is now bed-ridden (MS) but in the years when he used wheelchairs (manual and battery powered), I took on our communal garden which no-one used, in order to get him and myself outside and to give us a project which would keep him interested in life beyond mobility difficulties and give me a challenge to enable us to do something together which was both new and a challenge.  Team spirit exercise and to keep his confidence going.

This garden had not been used by neighbours for 20 years and was 4ft high with weeds from boundary fence to door.  I dug it all up with a fork and spade and started from scratch with my first priority being access for the wheelchair, it's turnaround space requirement and with the battery-powered one the weight was a huge consideration.  It sank into everything, especially the little lawn area which was the only place where he could have a free space to turn around and see the entire garden.   I discovered that large rubber bottomed mats bought from a pound shop could be placed upside down on the lawn with the carpet side down on the grass and rubber side up was perfect - no sinking wheelchair and no lawn damage.  Just put them down when we were going out and picked them up and put them in the cupboard until the next venture out.

Raised beds were a consideration but the downside was that sticking to ready-made packs meant they were square, round or rectangular and he had to have the wheelchair side-on all the time and had to try and turn himself round from the side to do anything, which was energy consuming and could be painful.

There were so many things that we managed to do - but sadly his deterioration was very quick, particularly the eyesight and all mobility - and our initial intentions did not come to fruition.  He also wasn't really interested in gardening - it was just one of those desperate ideas you come up with to enable you to maintain 'things' you can continue to do together without 'requiring assistance' or outside well-meaning interventions.  I became a keen gardener - but his eyesight deteriorated as well and the garden became, for him, another thing to add to the list of things he couldn't quite enjoy.  However, he is chirpy as anything, though bed-ridden and loves to laugh like a drain when I recount tales of my disasters in the garden, slug tales and all sorts.  But he also loves that I have my little space just outside his bedroom door where he can see me not far away and know that I am happily engaged in something which makes for a very contented wife! 

I found lots of things on the internet at the time which gave ideas - but I found that local disability and gardening groups had come up with all kinds of innovative things locally.  By talking to other disabled gardeners, ideas were many, practical and genius.

I've typed this post more by way of support and understanding of your circumstances and I am sure you will manage to come up with and find that there is a lot you will be able to create yourselves and with the ideas of others.  All best wishes.

Last edited: 03 May 2017 11:25:59

ID Please?

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 10:44

This plant escaped my notice until last autumn when it had grown to a noticeable size in a patch where the only other plants were nectaroscordium.

Thought at first it must be an allium of some kind but decided not as I had never noticed any flower.  Then I thought maybe some giant chive - but has no smell and when you chop the leaves, they chop and look like chives - but no smell or no taste. So third guess is some kind of grass - but at the base the stalks are as hard as bamboo and look a bit like how bamboo forms with the creamy papery envelope over the green of the stem.

It looked big so I dug it up and planted it in this tub a month ago.  I don't much like it - and I want to use the tub for something a bit showy for summer.  However, if it's one of those 'things' which might errupt into a flower after a few years or something is likely to change- then I would keep it just to see it.

Can somebody tell me what this is or if there is something I ought to be doing about its condition or something to make it perform in some way that I'm unaware of?



Last edited: 03 May 2017 10:45:02


Posted: 02/05/2017 at 15:39

Beautiful.  Inspired work.  Did this feature on a documentary last year?  Or maybe it was on Gardener's World?

David Austin Roses, are they worth it?

Posted: 02/05/2017 at 08:40

Samantha - thanks for that.  You mean the scraggy looking one in the big tub?  You may be right.  I give it three to four bucketfuls in that big half barrel at a time, but maybe I should give it more.  Will work on that.  Thanks for the response.


Posted: 01/05/2017 at 23:29

I keep trying to reply but keep getting logged out.  This is third attempt.  Many many thanks for the id and such quick responses.  Will be digging them out tomorrow - keeping one for little wild-life bit.  Can't say more as keep getting logged out.


Posted: 01/05/2017 at 23:12

 Had 3 Borage plants last summer.  Dug them out in November as wanted that space for something else - but there were a number of seedlings which had sprung up around them and thinking the Borage must have self-sown, I transplanted them to another spot - and here they are in this photo this week.

A pink bud is appearing on one.  (The plant looks a bit messy because it's almost beneath the bird pole and a family of starlings are messy - so there is debris on the plant).

I know that Borage can have pinkish flowers, but I've forgotten if the buds come up pink or blue.  I'm wondering if this IS Borage I have here or if it could be Pink Campion seedlings.  There was a plant at the other side of the garden which I also dug up in the autumn as it was enormous - but I'm doubting (!) seed could have found its way to the Borage site.

Is this Borage I have here?  I've looked at photos but I'm not sharp enough at leaf identification as they haven't really grown much 'upwards' yet.  I think I'm getting to a really dotty point where I'm forgetting what plants I used to recognise look like.  It's maddening - in a minor way!!!! 
The buds don't look as if they hang like Borage does.

Last edited: 01 May 2017 23:14:53

David Austin Roses, are they worth it?

Posted: 01/05/2017 at 22:52

I've been quite new to growing roses the last few years and the new roses bought in the last three years have been David Austin roses - but NOT bought directly from David Austin.

Obelixx - I have Grace and it has done really well in my garden through all weathers out in a mixed bed.  It's the strongest rose I've experienced so far.  Starts of apricot-ish as you say, and the second flush in autumn had some slightly paler blooms.  Two photos below show the original and then the autumn.

My Claire Austin and Lady of Shallot have also been stars - in tubs for two seasons and just planted into the garden this Spring - so will see how that goes.  But, I'm not having luck with Munstead Wood.  Here is the first Munstead Wood purchased three years ago, again not direct from David Austin.  It produces lovely large subtly fragranced blooms, but the stems are too spindly to hold them and I had to keep supporting them with canes.  All very well - but, the plant had a couple of dead stalks on it when I bought it - which ought to have given alarm bells - but, the old naivety thing, I wanted to have a Munstead Wood and it was the only one I could find locally.  But - it's a disaster otherwise.  I doubt you will have seen such a sorry looking rose - this was taken a couple of days ago.

Sorry Mustead Wood

Still wanting to have a good Munstead Wood, three weeks ago I ordered two direct from David Austin in pots.  I followed the instructions to the letter adding, as advised, the David Austin feed pellets into the holes.  I just want small bush roses and Munstead Wood fitted the bill.  Today however, both roses look as if they have rose rust on some of the leaves and the beginnings of blackspot - so I've been cutting off and destroying leaves.  They arrived very leafy.  Also, I checked the crowns of both and gently scraped away the soil surrounding them.  One of them looks as if it has a growmore type fertiliser mixed with white powder all around the crown - not sure, maybe from the photograph someone can tell me if that is what it is?   The 2nd rose does not have this - but also has rust on the leaves.  I'm suspecting it is more likely to be my garden soil  or just perhaps my garden being a bit lacking in air in some places - the garden is surrounded by high flats so we have an odd microclimate.  But I'm not sure.  The other roses are fine.  They sometimes get a bit of blackspot in high summer, but not enough to complain about.

I suspect it has to be my garden conditions with the two new Munstead Woods, although I didn't expect to find this fertiliser or whatever it is - Lord I hope it's not eggs - around the crown.  Both roses arrived from David Austin with the pouch of pink DA pellets which instructions said to put a specific amount in the planting hole, which I did.   There was nothing mentioned about any other fertiliser already sustaining these roses.

Last edited: 01 May 2017 22:58:10

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