Topiary Balls

(11 Posts)
EauRouge Thu 25-Oct-12 16:53:18

Garden centres are full of bulbs this time of year, most of them have a pick and mix jobby so you can choose how many and what colours, or you can just buy a pack.

Have a dig in the soil and you'll be able to tell what it's like. Clay soil is really stick and heavy in this weather. If you get massive clumps stuck to your fork then it's probably clay. It's not the end of the world but it can take a lot of work to improve it.

You can always put bulbs in pots if your soil is really heavy and boggy. I tend to anyway because I always forget where I plant the damn things.

maxmillie Thu 25-Oct-12 09:54:29

oooh thanks for these tips and ideas - like the sound of bamboo and the tulips. Think might attempt to do that now so doesnt look so dull out there all winter.

Can you recomened a good place to get Tulips? I have no idea what the soil in the borders is like or how to tell! It is full of old dead leaves and stuff so am thinking maybe dig it out and start again? Can you buy bags of soil for this jkind of area?

MaudTheGardenTheBlackBatNight Sun 21-Oct-12 12:55:11

Oh and hanging baskets often die of drought. That seems unlikely this winter <<sob>> but you can either add water retaining gel or put a plant saucer at the bottom of the basket to create a sort of reservoir so that water doesn't run straight out.

MaudTheGardenTheBlackBatNight Sun 21-Oct-12 12:53:32

Tulips could be planted in the borders now. Just buy the bulbs and plant them several inches deep - better to plant too deep than too shallow. What's the soil like? All bulbs need good drainage or else they will rot, so you could add in some fine grit if you have heavy clay soil. You could then plant grasses - or, better still, wallflowers or forget me nots - to provide ground cover around the tulips.

Winter hanging baskets can look fabulous. Go for miniature tulips or narcissus, other smaller bulbs like anemones or chionodoxa, cyclamen, heucheras for leaf colour, miniature hebes or euonymus (I got tiny ones in the 99p Store) and some trailing ivy to soften the edges of the basket. In the right combination you can have colourful, funky but tasteful.

EauRouge Sun 21-Oct-12 11:05:16

How about some bamboo in a pot? I've got some, it's really low maintenance. All you have to do is water it. You can get some grasses with really brightly coloured leaves too, some of that might be worth a go.

maxmillie Sun 21-Oct-12 10:38:25

Ha ha I saw those I quite liked them!!! (I so have mad bling shiny shiny tendencies that I have to suppress)

Yes I am after something for the front of the house. It is a modern house, white shutters, with an integral garage at the front. There are 3 brackets already there with nothing hanging from them at the moment, 2 either side of the garage and one by the door ( at the side )

I know nothing about gardening and have very little free time, hence I was thinking topiary balls might be an option. Having said that, I have managed to grow stuff in pots before (roses, sunflowers etc) and am on the OCD side of things so would happily have a pair of the right tools by the door and trim whenever needed - I would do this obsessively and any bits sticking out would really bug me! : )

There are also a couple of narrow borders going up the sides where I would like to plant some tulips maybe, but again, am utterly clueless how to achieve this.

I though about hanging baskets but seems the wrong time of year and any I've had in the past have died a swift death.

It's a modern house on a smart street (bigger houses) so I am aiming for understated elegance, however, I really like bright colours and don't want it to be too bland ( big expanse of paved drive out front as well

Any advice welcome!)

ComeIntoTheSpookyGardenMaud Sat 20-Oct-12 11:43:43

Yes, integral fairy lights. It's beyond my imagination to make that sort of thing up.

EauRouge Sat 20-Oct-12 08:50:48

<cries> With fairy lights? The plastic ones always fade to a cheap-looking blue-ish colour. Awful.

Topiary isn't exactly low maintenance. What are you after, OP- something low maintenance to go on the front doorstep?

ComeIntoTheSpookyGardenMaud Sat 20-Oct-12 00:31:19

I've just seen an ad for an artificial topiary ball with built-in fairy lights.

::faints::

Bienchen Fri 19-Oct-12 17:43:58

Topiary goes in and out of fashion, so it is a matter of personal taste. Artificial ones are IMO naff in the extreme and best left to shopping malls and pubs....

They do need clipping regularly (you need topiary shears and a steady hand).

maxmillie Wed 17-Oct-12 12:20:08

Are these naff? Are artificial ones even worse?

Am attracted to the low maintenanceness of these ....

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