Osteospermumsnet.com - flutter your foliage, pick your produce, shake your seed packets and bring your blooms to the Spring Show

(1000 Posts)
Lexilicious Thu 03-May-12 22:46:42

Welcome to the gardening quiche smile

Earlier malarkey was here

All welcome whether you are a Sackville-West or a Dimmock, an Oudolf or a Swift. Whether you dream of digging or dig for dreams.

Fair weather or foul, we've got disco lights in the potting shed and fairy lights on the terrace. Bring gin, wine just doesn't cut it round here.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 03-May-12 22:51:17


But only one of them is a proper gardener.

::waits for bunfight to start::

But seriously, this is lovely, Lexi.

Lexilicious Thu 03-May-12 23:13:30

Quite - how many of us actually claim to be proper gardeners? I've hardly started, I feel. This is dabbling at the edges of what I really want to be doing (delusions of grandeur, and of being able to afford somewhere with Grounds one day...!)

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 03-May-12 23:25:05

And do we Approve of fairy lights in the garden? I thought my solar fairy lights were Quite The Thing, but then someone recently was describing the horrors of their neighbours' ghastly garden and mentioned <<gasp>> solar lights. It's made me very anxious.

<<wonders whether Lexi can shed any light on this contemporary gardening dilemma>>

HarrietJ0nes Fri 04-May-12 06:11:44

I'm indifferent on lights. No windchimes though please!

This thread is totally at odds with the 'no spend may' one I'm also on. I come here and need the new GYO magazine and to go to garden centres.

karatekimmi Fri 04-May-12 06:51:56

Hi, I'm waddling over from the old thread! With flump on the way and the allotment I'm trying not to waste spend money on the allotment (although am itching to beaten and put edging up and get a greenhouse and shed!!!)

CuttedUpPear Fri 04-May-12 08:48:17

I claim to be a proper gardener!
RHS qualified, trained garden designer, been earning my keep at it for 13 years.
<shines trowel>
<glances in shame at speedwell in veg patch>

Lexilicious Fri 04-May-12 09:24:55

Great - but does that mean we should be paying you for advice on this thread?!? eek! I suspect that a one in four average of 'proper' to 'hopeful' might be about right though.

So, yesterday I bought a load of garden gadgets. Some plastic track so that we can walk across the lawn when it's soggy without wrecking it, screw on dripper thingies for water bottles to use in pots, 'waspinators', a pottery snail to use as a beer trap, a child sized lawn rake for DS, pot trays with capillary matting, and an atrosanguineus bulb. £112 in total (£65 on the track stuff). Yeah Harriet I used to be on that frugality thread, but I couldn't keep a straight face saying I've shaved 50p here and there off the food shopping while spending lots and lots more on the garden!!! However, I still have not needed to buy lettuce since February and I have bought two garlic bulbs in total since last July when I harvested what we grew last year. No idea what that's saved me in shopping, but I was only getting started and I expect to save a lot more this year!

CuttedUpPear are you going to any of the shows this spring? Are you <prepares to bow in unworthiness> ... actually showing at any of the shows?

kitsmummy Fri 04-May-12 09:46:22

Hello, I've been lurking on the other thread for ages but have now decided to bravely join this one! I've been going mad for my garden this year, having moved from a city courtyard garden to a massive country garden about 18 months ago. We've dug up crappy hardcore and knackered tarmac to add to the large lawn, felled a massive ugly conifer that was wrecking the lawn, just recently made some enormous flower beds edged by old red bricks and now I'm in the process of filling those beds. Have also constructed a pergola and planted three apple trees, a pear and a plum

I'm all about flowers and shrubs at the moment, not into veg yet but I think in a couple of years time I'll probably be doing veg too!

Am stupidly excited as I saw someone mention Gardeners World Live yesterday (I didn't realise this existed), so have now bought tickets and booked a hotel for me and my mum, can't wait smile. Missed out on the slots for Monty in the theatre though so we're seeing Carol Klein instead.

Maud - I do like fairly lights, we had them over the pergola in our last little but pretty garden and they looked lovely, so I think they can look great and not tacky

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 04-May-12 11:38:40

Hello, Kitsmummy! Thank you for the comforting words about the fairy lights.

::Whispers:: I'd rather see Carol than Monty too although someone on the last thread described Monty as the sexiest man on the planet.

Lexi - Please report back on the plastic track, as it's been on my wish list for years.

Just checking in from the other thread.

Fairy lights, hmmm, now that sounds fun <wonders if I can ever persuade DH>

cantspel Fri 04-May-12 12:42:58

I love reading the gardening threads but rarely post but i feel as a lurker i must confess i have some solar lights. In my defence i didn't buy them, my mum did who has a serious addiction to QVC shopping. I have hiden them in the raised beds and hope when the bedding plants go in they are noot to visable. I had to forgive her though as she also got me some lovely large lily bulbs.

My new kick arse mower arrived yesterday and even though the grass is too wet i couldn't resist trying it out. Took me an hour and a half to do what used to take me 4 hours with the old electric mower.I love it and it is easy enough to use that i can get one of my boys to cut the grass for me. It is about time they started to earn their keepgrin.

CuttedUpPear Fri 04-May-12 13:17:29

Lexilicious all advice is given freely and without prejudice or guarantee grin
No bowing required. It's hard enough for us gardeners to get down there in the first place, let alone get up again.
I did have tickets for the Cardiff RHS show but had to give them away as I couldn't make it in the end. I am thinking of going to Hampton Court but am normally too busy with my other job.

chixinthestix Fri 04-May-12 13:19:06

<lurking behind potting shed door> Can I come and join the new thread too? Have lurked for ages and read about all your lovely gardens.
I'm trying to be really frugal with my gardening this year and only buying seeds and taking cuttings. I'm also trying to cover my costs with garden gate sales of leftover plants...I'll let you know how I get on.

Have just spent a very happy hour planting out my sweet peas at last to make room in the greenhouse for more seeds. The weather has been so foul I've got loads left to plant, but I'm hoping everything will grow quick to catch up.

No solar lights here but DD does have a little windchime in her playhouse. Oh dear!

I've been growing veg for a few years, and have been gradually moving over to fruit as it saves more money and the DCs are more likely to eat it
I spend very little on the garden, as I collect seeds from veg to grow on, and the fruit is perennial. I keep an eye out on and freebie sites for seeds and plants.
I have a fairly expensive master plan to build a den for the DCs at the end of the garden though, which might just scupper my frugal credentialsgrin

marssparklesdownonme Fri 04-May-12 13:23:23

kitsmummy I went to GWlive last year. If the arrangements for the theatre sessions are the same as last year you will still be able to see Monty. The seated area in which they give talks is sealed off, but if you are there on time and stand at the back you can see and hear everything that is going on. If the talk times are not available on the GW website, the show guide gives all the times.
Take plenty of cash or your card as there are many tempting things , especially in the floral marquee.
The lunch in the Olive magazine restaurant at £8 a head was very good too.

kitsmummy Fri 04-May-12 13:28:02

Oh thanks for that mars, I hope I do get to see Monty because i luffs him

Lexilicious Fri 04-May-12 14:45:48

Sniff. No GW on telly tonight. What am I going to do with myself?

Better go out and drink wine in the LexiShed I think

marssparklesdownonme Fri 04-May-12 15:23:32

Yes , it makes me cross that GW is always cancelled for crap like sport other things.
I must admit I do have a soft spot for Monty, but I'm not really interested in his pond, which does seem to be taking a major part in the programme.

worzelswife Fri 04-May-12 16:24:20

Hello all waves

Also very cross GW is cancelled tonight. What am I supposed to do with myself this evening?

Haven't been in the garden for awhile, it's just too windy and soggy, but things are growing nicely on my windowsill so will hopefully be ready to go outside soon enough. Our lawn is looking lovely and green from all this rain.

My good news is that I have had an offer accepted on a house. After the disappointment of losing the last house, am very pleased to say it has a 75ft garden (it's on a road really close by to the first house that came up for sale and they all seem to have huge gardens. It's a bit more expensive but a v nice house). Am thrilled and terrified at the same time. Have bought myself a lovely notebook to get planning my garden. Will have raised veg beds at the end of the garden as planned and hopefully masses and masses of flowers in the main bit of the garden. There is a lawn but will play it by ear as to whether I keep it as I can't physically mow it myself and don't really want to pay others to do so, but can make that kind of decision in the first year or so I'm sure. Am planning on offering the raised beds in return for someone mowing at first and see if anyone takes me up on that.

Dawnywoo Fri 04-May-12 19:38:13

Hello all, I'm back in the land of the living - sorry if TMI but had ongoing miserable breast abcess problem that is now on the mend smile

Am perterbed by lack of germination of everything that I have planted seed wise in the ground over the past 2-3 weeks. Damn pesky weather. Went to visit dad and his cronies at allotment and now have serious poly tunnel envy. They have been busying themselves for months building these all over their plots and have crops popping up everywhere that would otherwise have been floundering.

Hello new people and Good Luck housey-wise worzel. Have just been through it myself. Lots of good vibes sent your way.

Happy Gardeners World everyone grin Time for much deserved wine

Dawnywoo Fri 04-May-12 19:46:29

Aggghh no GW. Forgotted!

Checking in! <waves at all newbies & lurkers> I like the idea of 'fluttering my foliage' Lexi...

Planted beans today - though not direct like I usually do as decided they may need some frost protection still. So they've been planted in modules and are now under some big cloches.

The rest of the sweet peas went out though and I'll be planting out the morning glory tomorrow - both to climb up netting on the fences behind the borders to hide the great expanse of fence a bit.

Discovered the chickens go a bit crazy for a slug! Much amusement to be had by all now and slug hunting has become a new pastime for the girls. Talking of chickens - must pop out and put them to bed whilst trying to ignore the fact that it is normally Monty time.

I'm back - also meant to say:

I'm planning my 40th 21st birthday in the summer and I'm planning to rig the whole garden with fairy lights, and if possible, get some tree up lighters for the oaks in the wood end of the garden. It will of course rain but it will still be magical.

Wynken - do I need to earth up the oca in the same way as potatoes?

HarrietJ0nes Fri 04-May-12 21:30:20

Monty fans- he's always at the Hay festival and often does talks there too.

chixinthestix Fri 04-May-12 21:38:57

Bertha, I've grown morning glory for the first time this year, they are still in the greenhouse, now about 3" high and growing really slowly. Do they usually take a while to get going? Perhaps I ought to start hardening them off and get them out into the garden?

Also missing GW but here in Wales its always being postponed to make way for interminable rugby matches and put on a random other times at the weekend so nothing new sad

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Fri 04-May-12 21:59:56

Love the thread title Lexi

I have gardening plans for the weekend, weather permitting.
I've decided to dig up and replant one of my flowerbeds. It's very weedy and I'm not happy with it so rather than work around it I DH am going to dig it up, rescue the two or three things in it that I like and start with a blank canvas. I'm thinking roses, lavender and some applemint with viscaria and stock.

Of course, it will mean a trip to the garden centre grin

echt Fri 04-May-12 22:02:48

How I miss GW. Here in Oz we have a half hour weekly prog, though not in winter, which covers the gardening to an entire continent. There isn't the depth.

Or Monty Don. Though Costa is a bit different. Google "Costa on Gardening Australia" to see a wild man.smile

Chix - first time I've grown morning glory too so I can't help I'm afraid. Mine are about a foot high now after having a very sudden growth spurt. (They didn't seem to do anything for ages and then the next time I looked they were huge!) They're in the conservatory which gets pretty chilly overnight so I'm hoping they'll cope with the real outdoors ok.

chixinthestix Fri 04-May-12 22:37:21

Thanks Bertha, maybe mine will do the same then!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 04-May-12 23:41:44

You have reminded me that none of my morning glory Grandpa Otts have germinated. Pah. And no GW tonight. Pah pah. I think my last zinnia seedling has just keeled over. Pah pah pah.

Excellent news, though, about Worzel's house.

::Looks for gin::

CuttedUpPear Sat 05-May-12 00:07:02

chixinthestix Don't put your Morning Glories out yet. For one thing we're due frost this weekend which will kill them. They need to become big and strong in your greenhouse, I usually wait until they have started to twizzle a bit because slugs will munch them if they are lying about on the soil. They also need a hot sunny spot to flower.

chixinthestix Sat 05-May-12 00:13:09

Thank you, I was planning to put them up against the house wall, south facing so nice and warm, but will wait until they are less weedy and its warmer!

echt Sat 05-May-12 07:33:56

I've been putting bromeliads into hanging pot holders, putting them on the garden fence in a long sheltered south (cool) facing passage, overlooked by a wall of windows.
The fence has three two and half by four foot pieces of rebar hanging off the fence by hooks, that I have climbers ready to go: star jasmine and hoya. The good thing is I can move the bromeliads around as they flower, or, in the summer as it gets a real blast of afternoon sun, I can put them in the shade.

It's lovely, and makes the winter view all the richer.

I recommend rebar and hooks as climbing frames because they rust nicely, are cheap, and you can take them with you. I haven't seen them in the UK, but I'm sure they can be bought.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 05-May-12 07:40:54

4 pages already ! I do like the title and am planning to flutter my foliage this weekend.

Oca doesn't need earthing up, it's a chuck it in and leave it kind of thing.

Dawney, sorry to hear about the breast abcesses, very glad you are in the mend. A friend of mine had one and then developed scepticemia, it was all very scary at the time.

Worzel, congrats on the house. We had a couple of valuations yesterday and one buttered me up saying how nice the garden was- then launched in with a low valuation so I went off her at that point. I've seen a bungalow with a massive garden and am really tempted but it would be so much work to do as would need to extend the house. I don't think I have it in me to start again but then I think of the garden and all those fruit trees.

Cutteduppear, very impressed we have a RHS trained person here. Can I ask which part of the country roughly you're in ?

Solar lights and fairy lights are fine by my thinking. After all the hard work of digging you need to be able to sit and enjoy your work.

I have been an idiot and went to a meeting about a pond at DS's school as the PTA chair said she felt she should go as the guy organising is her deputy and I am treasurer (we got stitched up ) so thought I had better go too. You won't need to volunteer she said. Next minute it seemed that we were all committing to digging the flipping thing I was hissing at her through gritted teeth I hated her. Definitely need to extricate from that one as have enough to do with garden and allotment . It will be lovely though when done and I've found a charity who will consider an application for resources for the children to use, that's my contribution !

I still haven't planted any beans etc as it's so flipping cold here, haven't even stuck my spuds in yet. It really doesn't feel like May at all.

CuttedUpPear Sat 05-May-12 07:59:41

Wynken I'm on the Welsh borders with a heavy clay soil locally.

Your comment about the school pond - I got strongarmed into designing an outdoor classroom for DCs school years ago. Lots of people from the village helped and gave their time. It's across the road from the school as we are in a sloping valley.
The teachers at the time got trained by Forest Schools to use it within the curriculum. It had a storytelling area, willow tunnel, pond and lots of planting.

The school had a high turnover of staff for some reason and stopped using it. I had always maintained it but when my DCs left I would have preferred other parents to get involved, and said so.
Within three years it stood unused and now I don't think the school even know it exists as a resource. Heartbreaking.

Lexilicious Sat 05-May-12 09:19:08

oh that's sad CUP, even if it wasn't your own hard work, to see a resource just being wasted in a time of (presumably) budget cuts etc is a real annoyance.

yay for the house worzels, yay for the hurdles Humph, boo to all the slugs, yay for hungry chickens, and <huff> at there still being frosts.

I did an hour yesterday afternoon with DS, planting out a couple of things and earthing up spuds. We did some weeding on the rockery and then I heard Those Words in a little toddler voice "look mummy, some poo!" so we went straight inside to wash hands and put 'cat repellent' on the shopping/to do list.

Today will be all about the weeding of what I should probably just call the horsetail garden - the front garden really. There are comfrey plants popping up everywhere there (which fit my R/W/B colour scheme) and French marigolds and calendula (which don't). I've also got to move some sweet rocket out there, and pot up another few which I've put on the intranet at work as a garden gate sale, along with lemon balm, a vinca, geraniums and yellow tomatoes.

worzelswife Sat 05-May-12 12:09:21

Many thanks for all the new house good wishes! :-) Will have to add photos to my profile when I move in/plant things there.

Hope no one gets horrendous frost this weekend; the weather reports don't look good. We do at least have some sun at the moment.

(I love fairy lights in the garden btw!)

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 05-May-12 13:28:34

CUP, that is really sad, I'll be really cross if the pond gets neglected. I was going to engage your services if you were my neck of the woods. We've got garden all round the house, the big enclosed is L shaped and I need a bit of inspiration at some point now the DC's are getting older and don't really use the play things so much.

Lexi you have my sympathies with the horsetail, my old allotment had it.

Impressed you can see the sun Worzel, no sign of it down here. Looking forward to the pics in the future.

I have missed the local plant sale today as went out for a very rare child free couple of hours with DH, hope he appreciates my sacrifice.

The allotment is calling to me but I'm not really in the mood today and would rather potter in the greenhouse.

teta Sat 05-May-12 13:53:48

I'm also growing Morning glory.Mine germinated very quickly but then didn't seem to grow at all for several weeks.I've been told that they grow and flower much better in a conservatory or a sunny greenhouse.They probably would do well outside if we have a hot summer in a protected position-but will we?.I will try in both places this year.
Cuttedup... i would find that heart-breaking.Why is the school not making use of it as a resource?.I'm glad that you are better DawnDonna,congratulations Worzel on the new house.
My 13 year old dd has gone camping this holiday[with only one change of thermals].I'm wondering whether i'm going to get a call in the middle of the night saying 'come and collect me-i'm freezing' and i have to trail to some godforsaken campsite in the middle of nowhere.However i am so glad i havn't planted my sweet peas yet[as they still look rather etiolated and sick].

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 05-May-12 15:48:35

CuttedUpPear - My friend (also RHS qualified, has made gardens at Chelsea Flower Show) says that is what she finds most heartbreaking, too. Gorgeous designs, beautiful planting but owners let it go to rack and ruin and within a couple of years it's all just a mess.

i think I'm going to empty the plastic greenhouse of all the failed seeds. Sigh.

rhihaf Sat 05-May-12 16:39:41

Hello everybody smile
Have been reading the Come into the garden thread with interest over the last few months... am so glad there are other people haven't planted loads of stuff yet. I planted radish, pak choy, spring onions and beetroot about a month ago and only the radish has come up... sad

BUT I also got four spud patio sacks (£1 each, Poundland) and planted Charlotte second earlies and they've all sprouted! How much sprout should be showing before I earth them up? <awaits wise gardening words of wisdom>

Is anyone else preggers while gardening? I am 34 wks tomorrow and had a row some advice from friends/family for digging out all the old crap on my paths by the raised beds. Hubby was helping adn we cleared all the mud away and replaced it with two trailer fulls of shale. It is now usable - yey!

For the record - I love fairly lights in the garden!

cantspel Sat 05-May-12 18:22:28

My oldest boy school has amazing gardens ( it is a SEN secondary). They grow alot of the veg that is served up in the school meals on their allotments and have their own herb garden. They have a couple of massive poly tunnels that at the moment are growning under the weight of all the plants they are getting ready for their annual plant sale. All plants are grown from seeds and cutting by the pupils and the sale raises extra funds for the school.
It is a great way of teaching the children a pratical skill, getting them interested in gardening and out in the fresh air as well as making money for the school.
I shall get all my bedding plants and probably a few extras for the garden from them and i wont feel i am spending too much as it is all for a good cause. I love it guilt free garden spendinggrin

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 05-May-12 18:49:48

That sounds wonderful, cantspel. I think gardening is a good thing for all schools to offer and there are some fantastic gardening projects near us for children and adults with additional needs.

Greetiings, rhihaf.

::Proffers gin::

karatekimmi Sat 05-May-12 19:27:23

I'm 37 weeks pregnant and still gardening (weeding the allotment I got at 35 ish weeks). One of the best positions according to my mw is on your hands and knees, as it takes pressure off your back. It is also excellent for helping get/keep baby head down in the correct position for birth!!! That's what I keep telling my mum when she moans at me!! (have been sensible and only do an hour at a time!)

I have my sister up til Sunday, so no gardening, and then Mondays meant to be miserable here sad wanted to get some planting done as evaction plan is begining on Tuesday!!

Lexilicious Sat 05-May-12 20:43:01

Maud that's just cruel! Rhihaf, here's some elderflower cordial made up with half a glass of fizz.

By the time I bother to earth up potatoes they are usually showing about 4-6 inches of growth. I then add compost till they're only just showing. I have a test patch of Mozarts this year in the border which are mostly just getting untreated garden soil. We'll see how their yield compares with the spuds in sacks that are getting pure new compost.

This year I'm going completely peat free (although does seed compost usually have peat in?) and my brand is the B&Q cheap stuff, called Verve. I was using New Horizons most of last year but it was rather chunky and looked like only partially rotted down woodchippings were a major constituent. The Verve stuff is very black, feels richer and one bag had a distinctly manurey smell.

Wonder if this weekend's frosts will catch the slugs out too - they might be killed off, evil cackle...

I got nothing done in the today because my two year old toddler needed to be played with all day (i briefly attempted to gain his assistance in the front garden, but as ever he made a break for it down the street) and my 37 year old toddler didn't want to do anything parent-like. So our family day out tomorrow will be turned into a boys day out and I will have the day to myself I think. (am in quite a grump).

CuttedUpPear Sat 05-May-12 20:48:31

Maud I really empathise with your garden designer friend.
I have had the misfortune to see a few of the gardens I've designed once the owners have had a few seasons in charge of them really go downhill.

On the other hand I actually carry out maintenance on two gardens I designed and built - they are very local to me and of course they are looking ACE!

I have an arrangement with another client that she can text me photos of things she suspects as weeds anytime whatsoever and I will advise.

Unfortunately it just isn't possible to do this for everyone so bad pruning, rampant weeds and badly thought out annual bedding tends to take over once I've gone.

Blynken where are you? I take on clients all over the place. Though probably not Scotland.

Teta I think the school got deeply involved in new brooms, nat. curriculum and SATs figures and forgot all about what goes on outside the school building.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 05-May-12 20:54:05

Oh dear, Lexi. That sounds trying. Have some gin.

CuttedUpPear - What grieves my friend is that these customers will be willing to invest a lot of (their) money and (her) time in creating something lovely, but don't seem to appreciate that a garden is a living thing and if it isn't tended it'll revert to wilderness.

CuttedUpPear Sat 05-May-12 20:56:30

I try to emphasise to clients that plants are not furniture, this is not interior design.
It's more along the lines of having many passive pets!

CuttedUpPear Sat 05-May-12 20:59:08

Actually this is a v v v valid point in relation to living willow tunnels, arbours, domes.
If you don't commit to one day's maintenance every winter (and it's surprising how many don't) you will end up with a bunch of willow trees on your property.

Also leave willow structures well alone in the summer, this is not the time to prune, you'll lose all potential strength and structure.

Rant over smile

Lexilicious Sat 05-May-12 21:41:29

But but but... It is valid, isn't it, that you might design a garden which can be allowed to run away with itself? This is what I intend for my front garden. It's cottage garden style perennials and bulbs, 4x4m roughly, with no paving access into the middle of the square. Maybe some annual seeds thrown in to fill gaps. I'm planning hoping that the phlox, sweet rocket, borage, mint and lavender will shade/beat the horsetail etc into submission. It might not, and I've just read a letter in May's GW magazine in defence of horsetail too. When we leave I will just have pictures and memories of the process of creating my garden and I will hopefully not care whether someone in the future tears it all up in favour of begonias, or paves the lot for a car space. It's true I'll always wonder though.

Anyway, people do complain about buyers of houses (even years down the line) changing the interior decor too! We're in a house now which was evidently mostly decorated in the late 70s and we have the most unutterably vile dark patterned 'pub carpet' throughout the downstairs and up the stairs and hall. It's a real shocker, but my PILs are always saying what a good quality it must be. They think we are nuts for preferring wood flooring (proper solid wood or engineered, not laminate!) as in their day, having wall to wall carpet meant you had money.

Lexilicious Sat 05-May-12 21:46:23

Don't think we're getting a frost here tonight - it's pouring with rain! Tomorrow forecast to be sunny if cold, so I will definitely get my front garden weeded and possibly mulched, if I think it deserves it.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 05-May-12 21:49:40

Oh yes, Lexi, but I think there's a difference between a garden that's designed to run away with itself (akin to the benign neglect school of parenting) and a garden that is designed on the assumption that it will be maintained and is then left to go feral. And even a garden that's intended to run away with itself will be weeded and pruned, one imagines.

Lexilicious Sat 05-May-12 22:13:50

Oh god, Maud, now I'm suddenly seeing parallels between my parenting and gardening styles - eek!!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 05-May-12 22:22:15


CuttedUpPear Sat 05-May-12 22:24:23

My complaints were more along te lines of bindweed covering shrubs, long grass between the cracks of newly laid pavers, plastic toys left in the middle of flower borders (I mean for months, obvs we all have a bit of this going on).

CuttedUpPear Sat 05-May-12 22:25:34

Sorry my letter H doesn't work properly, you'll get used to it eventually. It gives me a french/cockney accent in uncorrected work. smile

mistlethrush Sat 05-May-12 22:30:26

Frost forecast here tonight sad

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 06-May-12 07:31:45

CUP, I'm on the South coast. I think my garden is probably a bit small for anyone to travel any distance, I really appreciate the offer though. In reality I am being a bit lazy and should get off my backside and sort it , it's just taking a bit of mental adjustment going from having spent 10 years trying to make it a good space for the DC's to play to realising I don't need to accommodate a swing set and climbing frame anymore . Though each time I say the play things are going, DS suddenly decides he will use them!

I love much effort some schools put into giving the children chances to garden and developing the site they are on. It's a shame how much it varies from school to school though. We've got a new Head who seems very enthusiastic about making the most of the grounds, which are great, they are very lucky children, though they don't realise it I don't think !

Looking after a garden does seem to throw some people into a panic. I guess most of us on this thread are probably fairly 'green fingered ', which I thought was a but of a myth until talking to a friend. We were talking about growing things and I was encouraging her to have a go and she was saying that it's easy for me as I have green fingers where as she claimed to have the fingers of death! She was saying how do you know when to water and when trying to explain it I realised that I just know instinctively and I guess that's what maybe people are talking about. I'm far from being a good gardener but the majority of things do grow when I try.

A final thing then I shll shut up. I've just forked out and ordered a distance learning pack for a part of one of the RHS courses. Have wanted to have a go for a bit but it's hard to get to where the corses are run, so I'll have a shot at this.

My church has a "Grow Zones" initiative set up, where a group of people spend a morning or afternoon a weekend working in one of their gardens, over the season we get round everyone's gardens at least once. It's surprising how much can get done with enough people in a few hours and the bring and share meals are delicious

HarrietJ0nes Sun 06-May-12 08:39:03

Wynken, I fancy those but didn't know there was distance ones.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 06-May-12 08:50:02

Here Harriet. I've ordered the propagation one. Once you have worked through the course material you register as an external candidate at somewhere who runs the exams, which are Feb and June.

Somewhere on the RHS site is a list of the distance learning ones but I can't find it now I'm looking for it.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 06-May-12 08:52:57
HarrietJ0nes Sun 06-May-12 10:54:13


Lexilicious Sun 06-May-12 14:28:50

Three hours squatting and kneeling on my horsetail patch, plus lifting/moving yarrow, comfrey, calendula and marigolds. Job well done. Just a couple of larger comfrey to dig in, and sweet rocket, and I'm done. Trouble is, I've now made the fatal mistake of sitting down and having some lunch, and I haven't felt this unable to get up off the sofa since I was pregnant!

Grockle Sun 06-May-12 14:55:00

Hello, may I join you?

I only have a small garden & no greenhouse or wood but I do have chickens. The landscapers have finished turfing the lawn and my garden path was laid today so I am ready to start planting. I want lots of fruit and pretty flowers with lovely scents (all perennials - I can't be doing with lots of bedding plants). Off out tomorrow to start buying <excited>.

We have a willow classroom at work but it doesn't get used sad The allotment is always busy though.

I'm going to look into an RHS course.

cantspel Sun 06-May-12 16:05:29

Wynken i am on the south coast as well. West Sussex to be exact. We got a pretty mature garden when we moved into this house in feb and now i am just waiting to see what comes up that i want to keep and filing the few gaps with some of my favorites. My garden has some pretty shadey areas as we have large oaks all along one side of us so on that side i am going to add to the japonicas and have a japonica garden but the rest is just wait as see.

mistlethrush Sun 06-May-12 19:20:03

I've mown the lawn!!! grin

Left a few patches of milkmaids though. And in places its difficult to see where the lawn starts and the border finishes. sad

My Morning Glory were about a foot high Cutted and were twirling around each other. Please reassure me that they were big enough to plant out! I've put them along a south-facing fence that gets plenty of sun if we ever get any and I've kind of hooked them onto the net for now so hope that will keep them up off the floor and prevent them becoming slug fodder. Am worried about the frost though, possible light frost tonight but I'm going to risk leaving them uncovered as I think they're fairly well protected by neighbouring plants and fence as long as it is truly only a 'light' frost.

Had some child-free hours today so weeded the jerusalem artichoke patch and finally straightened up the veg plot net roof following the hail damage. I discovered that a friend of mine does a Sunday gardening segment on a local radio show so I had the laptop with me so I could listen in on i-player. Had a lovely couple of hours. Even with the hangover and a body that really can no longer dance for three hours and expect to be able to move the next day...

HumphreyCobbler Sun 06-May-12 20:47:34

Just typed a really long, euphoric message about my lovely day in the garden. And lost it. Never mind, it was like this

grin grin grin

Sounds lovely Humphrey grin

HumphreyCobbler Sun 06-May-12 21:19:24

just about to go out on a slug hunt. Found 23 of the buggers in the mini greenhouse earlier. I fed them to the pigs, they munched them up.

Found a large black one in the artichoke patch today that the chickens went a bit loopy over. They were kind of playing slug tag with it as they stole it from each other. Kept me amused for a while. Happy hunting.

Grockle Sun 06-May-12 21:32:09


mistlethrush Sun 06-May-12 21:45:45

My bantams never liked slugs... too sticky by the look of them. They would occasionally eat small snails (I think baby ones with softish shells) monkey peas were particularly good, as were earwigs.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 06-May-12 22:24:25

Good god, we found hundreds. All over the herb beds, no wonder my purple orache has vanished. Loads in the veg plot. MASSIVE ones in the bed by the washing line.

I have left them in a sealed plastic tub and will give them to the pigs in the morning. They are very keen on a few slugs.

chixinthestix Sun 06-May-12 22:24:41

Well, have planted out my sweet peas, and lots of scabious I grew from seed last winter. DD and I planted lots more seeds and pricked out seedlings. Did a hard prune (massacre?) of very overgrown forsythia and used the cuttings as pea sticks, which back fired last year as half of them took root. Weeded through the biggest border and weedkillered all the blackthorn suckers that are coming up all over the place. And mowed the lawn.
Phew, just as well DH likes cooking.

My chooks love slugs and have trained DCs to hunt for them and sling them in the hen pen. DS is also collecting snails in a bucket for 'science' project at school. All good as so wet here we even have slugs in the house.

Grockle Sun 06-May-12 22:39:10

My chooks won't eat slugs. Nor will they eat worms despite my poor DS lovingly digging them up as a treat for the girls. They'd rather eat cake.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 06-May-12 22:54:06

Welcome Grockle. I'm jealous of the chickens but am a bit over run with cats and a dog and have sworn no more. Humphrey has gone a stage further and has pigs. We have them on our allotment site but I have a policy of non engagement after Boris ended up in the local butcher and everyone was a bit hesitant over eating the sausages at the BBQ.

Cantspel, I'm further along the coast, Dorset.

Flipping heck, just reading up the thread, loads of you have chickens and Morning Glory, I feel left out ! Am loving the way Humph's day can be summed up. I stuck up a bean wigwam and stuck some bean seeds in the ground, planted a Kalmia plus some peas that are flowering against pea sticks I got last year and hadn't used.

Think slugs ate all my cornflower and calendula seedlings but I am much too lazy to go out and hunt them down. Need ladybirds for the aphids on my rose (first one of the year out today ). One sorted out loads and I shall be definitely relocating them onto the roses when I find them.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 06-May-12 22:59:16

But, Wynken, remember that my chickens are called Wynken, Blynken and Nod. You have chicken namesakes.

The new chicken my brother gave me hopped onto my lap today. It is very friendly.

Sorry I didn't explain properly about the pigs Grockle, I thought you were just querying the fact I fed the slugs to them. It is our third year rearing pigs for meat. Rather worryingly, DS has named these ones. Not a good idea, but they are exceptionally cute half wild boar.

Grockle Sun 06-May-12 23:06:26

Oh, I want an allotment with pigs. Sorry about Boris though!

HumphreyCobbler Mon 07-May-12 09:44:02

had an anxiety dream about having no salad in the ground, so just got up and planted spinach, lettuce and rocket very quickly before the rain started.

rhihaf Mon 07-May-12 09:54:52

Thanks Maud and Lexi!
<<sniffs gin appreciatively before glugging back Lexi's Elderflower fizz>> Ahhhh, lovely stuff!

Thanks for the info re spuds Lexi, I have got them in bags in mostly manure - we reared two Welsh Blacks (Bill and Ben) last yr - and a few sprinkles of compost. I lost all my Belle de Fontenays while chitting to frost. Beginners mistake!

I am so glad to hear there are other preggers gardeners out there gardening! grin

Does anyone here sell their surplus veg/fruit/eggs etc? WE've just set up a table selling our eggs and rhubarb at the end of our lane, and we keep selling out!

It's INSANE - Tesco were charging £4.99 for 5 sticks of weedy-looking sticks of rhubarb grrrr. So we put 4 MASSIVE stalks out for £2 and the villagers love it! <<sticks two fingers up to Tesco>>

Lexi - can I ask the significance of 'quiche' in ur thread pls? blush

HumphreyCobbler Mon 07-May-12 10:37:46

quiche = clique in MN land grin

karatekimmi Mon 07-May-12 11:52:19

Had a productive morning and am now back in bed! It was sunny when I got up, so dashed off to the allotment and tidied up the strawberries, and brought back some over grown mint, then came home, and made 3 hanging baskets with the runners that I pulled up! I'm hoping they take. Weeded out the small veg patch that we used last year for the raspberry canes I got! It's looking duller now, but I've got a few bits to do in the conservatory potting area!! That's if I don't spend all afternoon in bed!

Lexilicious Mon 07-May-12 12:55:09

Overnight I have been treated to two cat offerings. One on a bed (awaiting veg planting) and the other STINKING and SQUIDGY one on the lawn. I retched many times when cleaning it up. We seem to very rarely swear on the gardening thread, so excuse me here, but fuck off you feline fuckers!!!! I don't like cats. Can you tell? angry

Grockle, I have a smallish garden, no greenhouse, no chickens or pigs, but I do have TWO sheds and waterbutts. (A source of many jokes... yes we are at risk of developing those in-jokes that make MN Quiches annoyingly impenetrable to those who innocently walk in a little later than everyone else.)

No gardening for me today. Yesterday's weeding was very strenuous and I have ebay sales to manage today (yawn). DH is in his shed and won't accept help. It's also far too wet for me to dream of taking a cup of tea down there. <whistles innocently>

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Mon 07-May-12 16:25:23

Its been wet here today, but I've been pottering in my pottingshed with some assistance from Cat#5 (sorry Lexi)

I've potted on my tomatoes and some salad leaves. Yesterday I planted out some peas and my potatoes are starting to show.
I alos did loads of weeding yesterday, althugh you wouldn't think so from the state of the garden!

Lexilicious Mon 07-May-12 16:35:59

5??? <faints>

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Mon 07-May-12 16:37:15

5 is quite a low number for me (had 9 at one point)

I am in training for when I am elderly-mad-cat-woman who lives in the spooky house in the middle of nowhere

Dawnywoo Mon 07-May-12 17:23:47

Lexi - I am with you on the cat front. They stink. When my Mum's cat goes in the litter tray, her whole house stinks [gags] Cats and Slugs are just the bane of my gardening life at the minute.

Potted on tomatoes and planted out onions and beans today at allotment. Also made my lavender oval hedge (oval front garden with large ornamental bird bath in middle, lavender hedge around it leaving a gravel running track / path round the outside then borders around that IYSWIM)

Feeling very chuffed. Nice to be outside in the sunshine for a change. Had to dodge many bees though as I was right on their flight path and they are making hay while the sun shines. (We have six hives at the allotment)

Roll on more good weather...

HarrietJ0nes Mon 07-May-12 18:39:52

Cat next door but one (well we only ever see one cat in the area) keeps pooing in our beds & digging up my strawberries. I replant at least 2 a day. Lost loads of plants to it sad

Grockle Mon 07-May-12 19:36:13

Ugh, I hate cats pooing in my garden. I am surrounded by cats. I need a dog to keep them away.

Too wet to do much here this weekend but I did buy some rhubarb to plant in the week and some campanula. I want lots of blue flowers in my garden.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 07-May-12 19:56:58

I like cats in the abstract but hate the poo. Similarly, the fox cubs that come in from next door are adorable until they knock over all the things in pots that are marking the places where they are to be planted in the beds.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 07-May-12 20:09:46

I'd forgotten about your chickens Humphrey, am happy now !

I was a out to confess to having 4 cats, down from 5 a couple of months ago but seeing how much hassle they cause people in gardens (mine are too lazy to wander further than my herb bed so hopefully not too unpopular with the neighbours), I'm going to hide behind Pantry. If anyone wants to borrow a dog I have one you can borrow but she's very fond of cats and might entice them into the garden.

Had a good parenting moment earlier. DS (8) has decided he wants a bit of allotment so he came up with me, planted peas in his bit and then helped me with stones for the path. He's told me he intends to be involved with the allotment for as long as he can (whatever that means !). Finally one of them will go up there with me, result. Although there's still half to be dug over, I have taken out loads of thistle, dandelions and dock. The rest is mostly couch which I'll just have to keep at.

High point today - went to garden centre and looked through their 'pot deposit' for small 'potting on' plastic pots and someone had put loads of terracotta pots in there of which I took all and staggered back to the car with them. I left all the hanging baskets they'd put in there though as unfortunately I didn't need any of those.

Low point - DH mowed the moss lawn today. I gave him explicit (very, very explicit) instructions not to mow the patch where I planted the bluebells. He mowed all the bluebells. angry I swore at him. Don't do that often but was very cross blush.

I also traumatised the chickens today by hanging up some cabbage leaves for them. They cowered down the end of the pen for two hours until I took pity and removed the fearsome cabbage.

rhihaf - how do you work your honest table? I'm thinking of doing one at the end of my lane for spare eggs, plants & veg. How's yours set up?

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Mon 07-May-12 20:57:19

Sneaks back in, hiding from all the cat-haters. Luckily we live in the middle of nowhere, so I know my cats aren't sullying anyones garden.

Bertha - I feel your pain. In the past DH has strimmed down sweetpeas and sunflowers.
He now knows the might of my wrath asks before he strims anything!

chixinthestix Mon 07-May-12 21:28:51

I'm so glad that none of my neighbours have cats! We've had an occasional badger raid and I'm sure the local fox does a regular circuit of the chicken pen but no random animal poo problems!

But I do have a table where I sell plants out the front of the house and surplus veg when we have any. I did have an honesty pot for the money but it got pinched twice (although no money taken - I used to put pebbles in the bottom to stop it blowing away) so now I ask people to put money through the letter box. It seems to work pretty well and people know its there now so stop to have a look.

I'd have to put a table quite some way from our house unfortunately chix so I couldn't do the letterbox thing. Was thinking of a lockable tin money box screwed to the table. I've been looking for one of those wooden cart things so I can wheel the whole thing up and down the lane easily but even second-hand ones are incredibly expensive!

Grockle Mon 07-May-12 22:07:26

I sell eggs from my front door - I just stick a sign up saying £1 per box & to knock. Seems to work. Never sold surplus veg though. I'd do the letter box thing but I live in an urban area. I'd love a cart. Moneybox screwed to the table woud work though, wouldn't it?

chixinthestix Mon 07-May-12 22:15:06

I think if you screwed it down the money tin thing would be fine. Mine was just a marg tub with a slot cut in the lid so easily nickable ( and I left it out all the time). Checking and removing any takings whenever you pass helps too. I use an old plastic garden table and leave it out all the time and I leave the plants out all the time, but produce I bring in at night.
I only charge in multiples of 50p too to save faffing with change. Most of my wee plants are 50p a pot.

I think it would work. Although the table would be 100m or so from the house it would be opposite a business which is open all day so there would be people around to put off anyone who might want to steal my hard earned £2.50! I visit farms a lot for work and have been eyeing up old disused carts rotting in the corner of barns (they all have one somewhere) trying to find the brazen cheek to ask a client if I could give one a good home.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 08-May-12 07:48:52

I want to do the table thing but also would have to have it a distance from the house. Meanwhile all the plants I had are now huge and really need new pots so don't look great. Might stick a couple up there with a margarine tub up there and see if anything happens.

Lexilicious Tue 08-May-12 09:41:09

I don't think I could put stuff out at all where I am. It's a main road near a junction with another main road, but there is a parking layby in front of all the houses, then a grass verge and pavement. To be seen to passing trade I'd need to put the table or at least a sign on the parking lane, which would just probably get knocked over.

I am having most success with selling annual plants/veg at work, because most of the staff are military and therefore in Service accommodation - as seen on the Rachel de Thame slot on GW, if it has a garden at all you can only grow in containers. I expect when I've grown on the yuccas (split into seven from a tuber of a nearly-dead one in my garden when we moved here) there'll be a market for them as indoor plants. But hardy geraniums and self-seeding sweet rocket - unlikely.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 08-May-12 09:51:32

I doubt I could do it either.

The front garden's too small for any sort of table and local culture here is that anything left on the pavement is fair game - a sort of unofficial Freecycle. Very handy now that the council tip doesn't open every day and they charge to take away large items - dd's old cot mattress disappeared in minutes!

rhihaf Tue 08-May-12 17:34:58

Blackpuddingbertha: we have a very heavy butcher's block type thingy my dad made out of an old tree, with a sun parasol/umbrella over it. When the brolly's open, the shop's open grin
We just have an old take-away box on there with a weight in it to stop it blowing away.

We live in a very quiet village luckily, so only one defecit so far... of £1 I think! We've only sold eggs and rhubarb so far, and they keep selling out, so we've got some more eggs incubating as we speak...

I'm still working on Dad (it would be his field) and hubby to get a couple of piggies though... ;)

Thanks all - will ponder all the ideas & try and get something set up for when my little plants get big enough to sell.

Am cross again tonight. Mice have been digging up my peas as fast as I can put them in the ground the past couple of weeks but tonight I have also discovered that they've been at all my bean seeds too! Hadn't noticed because they were under the cloches but spotted a runner bean seed in the middle of the cabbage patch and got suspicious. Turns out that out of 20 broad beans sown I only have 4 left in the pots!!! The other beans have seen some casualties too but not so heavy. Have now put new seeds in the empty pots and brought the whole lot into the conservatory to germinate. angry Can't do that with my peas though.

<wonders whether chickens eat mice>

teta Tue 08-May-12 21:49:44

My morning glory got slightly frazzled by dh putting them in my plastic greenhouse overnight[went down to 2 degrees].I was not a happy bunny!.They are looking a bit better today though.I have had a lovely day planting along the side of my path wending its way down my hill.I planted clumps of really dark purple velvety viola and alchemilla mollis and aquilegia plus a barnsley white mallow.I also planted several cottage garden flowers and 3 clematis growing through shrubs.
Sadly a lot of the bulbs i got from J Parkers have succumbed to rot.Maybe my fault for storing them in a plastic bag.All the lilies from Poundworld have also rotted and the acidanthera look pretty dormant.The only bulbs that look healthy are the Iris -they all have shoots on.The spaniel has also sat and squashed several of my alliums that are just about to flower - so i have put several twiggy sticks there.
We have a lady down the road who sells plants,flowers and fruit and eggs.She has a locked money box attached to her fence and seems to be very successful.Plants are on a cart that she moves in and out at the end of the day.I think i am one of her biggest customerssmile

chixinthestix Tue 08-May-12 22:33:18

Bertha I wish I could send you some of our pea plants. DH planted loads too many, 3 rows in the garden and loads more in pots in the greenhouse which are now desperate for a home and we've run out of space unless we only eat peas this summer! I think we'll have to start eating lots of pea shoot salads.

Anyone know much about dahlias? I've finally succeeded in overwintering some tubers and potted them up in March in the greenhouse. Trouble is they are huge and I need the greenhouse space but I'm worried its still a bit cold for them. Do you think I can finally plant them out this week?

Lexilicious Wed 09-May-12 09:47:44

This morning I am going to find a couple of empty compost bags and head over to a council compost giveaway! I am not quite sure how I am going to manage lifting the bags though as I had an incident last night with some boiling water and my hand is still quite sore.

More rain here. It is no longer very remarkable, I'm finding. The grass is long again, I think if I'm going to let it stay long ish it needs to be cut almost weekly - a bit of a paradox!

Lexilicious Wed 09-May-12 10:55:05

Ooh and it's yummy stuff. Still steaming but very finely shredded. Made from our food/garden waste bins over the past year. I got the bags into the car but can't get them out without hurting my hands. Trouble is the car is going to really smell soon...! And probably only I will know think it's a nice smell!

HarrietJ0nes Wed 09-May-12 12:40:10

envy at the compost. We have to buy ours back.

We have white & green flies on the peppers and leek rust on the garlic & tree onions. [contagious emoticon]

Any cure alls? Have been doing soapy water but it's running away from me!
No ideas on leek rust.

Lexilicious Wed 09-May-12 15:58:06

Well it was a maximum of two bags per resident (not sure how they were policing that, but hey).

Seen this, anyone: garden DIY projects! v cool!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 09-May-12 18:30:09

Can't talk to you right now, am studying wink

radiohelen Wed 09-May-12 19:05:09

Hello! Can I come in?

I'm feeling good about my gardening today. Got a load done at the allotment this morning, planted a few potatos, got a row of bush beans in, carrots, leeks (I love leeks) and I did a lot of digging, the result of which was discovering where I'd left the jerusalem artichokes! Can you eat them at this time of year? I seem to be inundated and I don't want them all to turn into new plants.

Also - anyone got any ideas how to get echinacea flowers to germinate? I'm on my third lot of seeds and they just do nothing!

Anyhoo - happy gardening. We just had leek and bacon risotto with some of the last leeks from winter and now I'm off to put my feet up.

Welcome radiohelen. Are your artichokes sprouting? If they are I wouldn't eat them but if they still look like good tubers then they'll be fine. Mine are all sprouted now and about 4-6in tall but I'm guessing if you didn't know where yours were then they're probably not as advanced. Can't help with the echinacea I'm afraid.

Chix - shame I can't have your peas, I'm sure you'll find somewhere for them though; you can't have too many peas in my opinion smile. I think I'm going to have to germinate some inside and move them out to fill in the gaps. One row has come up nicely but the others are suffering the mouse attacks. I am going to set some traps in the veg plot because I think we're supporting a few mouse families out there!

Grockle Wed 09-May-12 20:51:32

Compost envy

and Veg envy

funnyperson Wed 09-May-12 21:11:27

Does one feed irises to get the best flowers and if so what with and how?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 09-May-12 21:31:28

I'm thinking I should go out and hunt slugs, but can't drag myself off the sofa.

Bertha - Was it you who had the sooper-dooper slug traps? Could you post the link again?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 09-May-12 21:32:42

I don't feed irises with anything in particular - they get tomato maxi crop like everything else.

chixinthestix Wed 09-May-12 21:33:01

radiohelen I grew echinaceas from seed last year and don't remember doing anything special - just a tray of seed compost in the greenhouse so not much help. They germinated really well although took a while and the plants took a long time to get going - I'm hoping to get flowers this summer but still have lots in pots because so many grew. Maybe its just been too cold for them to get going yet?

Rain and more rain here today. The dahlias are staying in.

Maud - link here. Must change the beer in mine actually.

Have set two mouse traps in the peas.

Have injured a chicken sad - very worried. Freak accident involving chicken and cabbage (see they were right; the cabbage was scary). Somehow she must have jumped up into the air (at least two foot) and landed with her foot through the loop that the cabbage leaves were tied up with. Found her sort of hanging by her foot. Got her down & had to cut her out but she was limping badly and the other chickens were very freaked out. Had to put them all to bed manually as they wouldn't leave her alone and she'd huddled in a corner. Am very worried that I'm going to have a dead chicken in the morning sad.

Have wine now.

rhihaf Thu 10-May-12 09:38:37

Any update on your chicken Blackpuddingbertha? Germolene works a treat if there's any visible cut/graze/broken skin...

It's sooo wet here and windy. Was going to plant some more peas but I've run out of space indoors and no greenhouse...

We tend to be way behind most places planting-wise (west Wales) so too cold to plant them outside still. But on the upside, the rain has already half-filled my second water butt smile

Time for a brew methinks...

Grockle Thu 10-May-12 10:32:18

Oh bertha, poor chook. How is she? I was going to hang a cabbage out for my girls but I'm worried now. I didn't realise they were so scary.

HarrietJ0nes Thu 10-May-12 12:25:29

Aw poor chicken sad

mistlethrush Thu 10-May-12 13:28:32

I've just managed to find someone who's going to cut my lawn for me! Will mean any time between showers at the weekend I will be able to try to regain control of the garden rather than pull start the lawnmower grin (DH is allergic to grass hmm)

worzelswife Thu 10-May-12 16:11:52

Am having a lovely time going through flower catalogues and choosing what flowers I want for my new garden. Definitely going for cottage style perennials which will just get on and do their own thing once established. I plan on having masses and masses of roses, lots of lavender, lots of sweet peas and then all those lovely traditional favourites like delphiniums, hollyhocks, rosemary and lots of pollinator friendly plants. Also want to grow comfrey to make tea with. Can't wait.

Nothing I've grown this year seems to be doing well. I had some great chilli plants on my windowsill, and cosmos seedlings and borlotti beans, ooh plus courgettes. Everything has either been eaten by some pest (where is that coming from!?) or just faded and died. No idea if I've over/under watered or what. I will go to the garden centre and buy a few healthier specimens, and I've replanted some seeds which I know will grow quickly, but still it is so disappointing. I had much more success last year. I hate that about gardening; that sometimes you nurture a plant and feel really excited about how it's growing and then it gets eaten/dies. Grrrr.

funnyperson Thu 10-May-12 19:02:31

Still no slugs, though lots of bird feet marks in a very soggy lawn. I am thinking of renaming the lawn the marsh.

All is looking very lush and alive and even the apple blossom is out.

However the Clematis viticella abundance is an exception. All its leaves fell off, so I have dug it up and replanted it somewhere else. I suspect the shady spot was really too shady and possibly too close to rose Dr Jamain who is surviving. The lily bulbs are coming up. The Hellebores are thriving. The irises and hermerocallis are rampant, but not yet throwing up flower spikes which is a bit worrying.

In fact there is a lot of leaf and not so much flower happening right now. What is flowering in your gardens?

HarrietJ0nes Thu 10-May-12 19:03:57

Got 18 small globe artichoke plants for £2 today! Plant man on the market now gives me discount blush

funnyperson Thu 10-May-12 19:07:54

Great bargain!

funnyperson Thu 10-May-12 19:32:41

clematis wilt. oh no.

HarrietJ0nes Thu 10-May-12 19:34:14

Any tips for white fly? Loads in one greenhouse, particularly on peppers

Wow Harriet - 18 for £2! I bought six for about £12 I think and thought I had a bargain.

Chicken is fine smile. They were all a bit weird this morning though and wouldn't come out of the coop. Had to be 'helped' somewhat. All appear ok now though and they've all laid today so must have recovered. Gertrude isn't even limping now. Will not be hanging food in the future though - even though I still have absolutely no idea how she managed to do it.

Caught one mouse in the traps last night, the other one had been sprung but the mouse got lucky. Have set them again this evening. The peas will win this battle.

HarrietJ0nes Thu 10-May-12 19:40:01

They're only 2-3 inches tall but had them last year and they grew up to about 12 inches then died in the frost.

karatekimmi Thu 10-May-12 19:48:53

I've big plans for the weekend, have to repot my tomato plants tonight and have decided to plant things in the allotment this weekend (I'm guessing this will bring on all the frosts)

I am planning on covering about a quarter of it with weed control fabric and planting pumpkin, squash, corguettes and aubergine through it. Thanks for the tip, can't quite remember who it was!! But thanks all the same. I'm very excited about finally putting something in!!

HarrietJ0nes Thu 10-May-12 20:00:47

I've a huge roll of weed suppressant fabric & a similar sized roll of DPM both waiting for the pegs to arrive to go on the allotment.

HarrietJ0nes Thu 10-May-12 21:00:52

Just had a proper look at my globe artichoke plants and there's actually 20 if I can split some!

doublemocha Thu 10-May-12 21:18:16

Checking in!

Phew, had a weekend break in Northumberland with the family and our best friends (lovely part of the world, probably less than 2 hours from us here in Yorkshire so why have I not visited in 20 years?). Straight back into work and general mundane stuff has left no time to read properly, never mind garden!

Still, Friday is clear, so in the garden I go and keep up with the thread I will (she says, sounding suspiciously like Yoda!).

Pleased about Gertrude though!

Lexilicious Thu 10-May-12 21:25:56

Has anyone used this slug and snail shocka stuff? Any good?

doublemocha Thu 10-May-12 21:27:53

Ps - All Thompson and Morgan vegetable seeds are half price at the moment if that is useful information to anyone.

Lexilicious Thu 10-May-12 21:28:09

Hmm, link broken. maybe this one anyway it's called Slug and Snail Shocka (sic)

RunDougalRunQuiteFast Thu 10-May-12 21:38:30

Funnyperson, I've got lots of leaves too but also three iris flowers coming (out of about ten plants), nothing on the hemerocallis yet though very bushy and healthy looking. Have wonderful flowers on the honeysuckle, best I've ever seen.

Lexilicious Fri 11-May-12 08:52:38


Currently flowering: aubretia, ajuga, blueberries, peas, broad beans, Solanum 'Glasnevin', comfrey, last pot of tulips, chillis (indoors - last year's babies), pak choi and rocket (overwintered), daisies in the lawn, cowslips (in a pot - to be planted at lawn edge), saxifrage, auricula/primula (bright colours but bees uninterested - guess they're overbred so poor nectar).

Buds forming, will burst any day now: One of about 5 irises, my neighbour's honeysuckle in the hedge, calendula/marigolds.

Buds forming but a little way off: big alliums, giant oriental lilies in a pot, hemerocallis, front garden glads and iris.

I also think I've rotted my J Parkers acidanthera bulbs -I put them in too early and there's no sign of them coming up in the front garden. Still, cheap and replaceable.

doublemocha Fri 11-May-12 16:47:06

Sounds like things are growing nicely in your garden Lexi!

I had a wonderfully happy afternoon in my greenhouse (the weather was very showery here but seems to be improving)

Moved my cucumber to growbags, potted on the strawberries and peppers, sowed squash and additional mixed cottage garden flowers (my previous batch germinated brilliantly) Cleared everything out and generally organised.

We finally have a free weekend that promises to be fine weather wise so I shall sow additional salads, peas, beans and carrots. I have herbs to pot and I plan to plant a couple of containers/pots for the front of the house which is still looking a bit 'new' and bare. Plus, a lot of weeding.

I also need to think about the pergola and climbers. It's in a sunny postion, with a little dappled shade from trees later in the afternoon. Any ideas for climbers welcome which would still look appropriate within a woodland setting.

Also bought a small and very cheap portable radio for the greenhouse, a great addition, think it was £12!

funnyperson Fri 11-May-12 19:51:49

Your garden sounds great Lexi! Is it south facing?

I have apple blossom, forgetmenots, hellebores (still) clematis montana alba, rhodedendron, pieris, aubretia, bluebells, choisiya ternata and old fashioned pansies flowering

Buds not yet open are on the honeysuckle, clematis polish spirit, clematis integrifolia, aquilegia, rhodedendrons, peonies, wild geraniums, cistus, roses and ceanothus.

Cuttings are all thriving, to my delight.

Squirrels are the culprit for my poor clematis viticella Abundance. Unwittingly I planted her in the squirrel path. Still, hopefully the transplant will save her.

I am going to plant the dahlia tubers this weekend. And perhaps some herbs and salad. And put that tomato growmore stuff on the irises and hemerocallis. Is there a good brand of that tomato stuff?

Have today done loads of potting on (still loads more to do though). Helped by DH who put all the compost into the pots/trays for me which was very useful. Sunshine helped too mind. Looks like a good weekend weather-wise but unfortunately we're up with the in-laws so can't spend it in the garden.

Have slug pelleted the long flower bed today as the beastly things have been munching on the alum flower stalks and I had a couple keel over.

Sounds like your garden is way ahead of mine Lexi.

funnyperson Fri 11-May-12 21:17:53

A water butt has been dispatched to me via amazon. I blame Lexi.

Lexilicious Fri 11-May-12 21:19:38

can you buy sheds on amazon? only then will you know you're in trouble :-)

here Lexi smile

Lexilicious Fri 11-May-12 22:00:57

Well since you ask... The back garden is on the north side of the house so things close by get shaded by the house for part of the day but most are in full sun. Also, we're sheltered by high fences and woodland which has just suddenly this past couple of weeks put on lots of leaves. All the things that are flowering are effectively south facing because they're further from the house. So of my list, the only things in shade that are flowering are the blueberries. Pic on my profile shows from the upstairs window the layout - all you see in that shot is getting sun most of the day a the moment.

Just watching GW now on iplayer - was having dinner when it was on earlier. Ahhhh monty.

Lexilicious Fri 11-May-12 22:02:36

Oops, no, pic on profile is from the back door. Older pic on profile is from upstairs.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 11-May-12 23:03:13

Ooh Monty indeed.

My pc has died and doing long posts from my phone makes me cross-eyed, so my list of what's in flower is

Apple trees
Clematis Wada's Primrose any minute now
Forget me not
Tulip Couleur Cardinal - all others gone over
Aquilegia Black Barlow
Aquilegia anonymous
Geranium macrorhizum
Geranium phaeum
Geranium phaeum Samobar
Meconopsis cambrica

chixinthestix Fri 11-May-12 23:07:29

No GW here (rugby again) and no iplayer (rubbish broadband) but still Friday has been garden day so I'm smile
Planted out the dahlias at last and had a massive sort out in the greenhouse. Emptied out a compost dalek and made a raised bed with the contents along one side of the green house and planted toms. Will be interested to see how they get on as the compost was made almost purely from kitchen waste, and jusging from the various bits of lego, glitter etc the contents of a few hoover bags. I did mix a bit of soil in too.

Aquilegias all out here and one or two alliums. Mostly the garden is looking bright green and ready to burst buds as soon as it gets warm enough. ie not yet.
DH has been giving away pea plants around the neighbourhood. Sugar snaps are on us this year.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 11-May-12 23:39:16

I hope for some gardening time tomorrow. Chief problem will be fortifying the fence to keep the foxes out. My neighbour is getting understandably angsty about them getting under his deck, but I fear the problem isn't so much with the fence but with the deck, and he's going to have to retro-fit a side panel to the pillars supporting the deck, as othetwise theyre just going to keep making new tunnels to get underneath. Anyone have any similar experience?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 12-May-12 07:40:27

Flowering in my garden are primroses, bluebells, rhoderdendron, weigeilia, tulips, petunia, euphorbia, choisya, roses, azaelia, alpine strawberry, apple blossom, currant, peas, forget me not and some white thing tumbling over the wall on the bank. First calendula flowering on allotment . Aubergine, strawberries, cucumber, tomato and French marigold flowering in the greenhouse.

Finally making progress on the allotment. I've cleared two of the quarters and in the other two have three rows of spuds in plus a couple of rows of raspberries. Plant sale up the road this afternoon and I need to catch up with Monty today on iplayer.

The greenhouse is doing well and I finally understand what I'm doing with the two hydroponic kits in there which have herbs and strawberries in. Vine crops are all in Autopots which is making life easy on the watering front. Aphids are my current problem, I need ladybirds.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-May-12 07:58:15

Ah yes, I was forgetting that the Gloriana rose is flowering and so is one of last year's calendulas that forgot to die.

How do you find hydroponic growing? I always assumed that our local hydroponics shop was catering for the cannabis growers. hmm

Lexilicious Sat 12-May-12 10:19:17

Maud, I have had recent rat trouble under my decking. Just as you need fuel, ignition and oxygen to start a fire, you need food, access and comfort to start a vermin problem.

Food first - as they don't really care what we think our boundaries are, it's the whole street's problem to remove food sources. You're quite urban as I recall so perhaps it's impractical to get everyone to not overfill their bins (making the lids useless) and for passers by not to drop food-based litter. In my area, I'm fairly sure that food left it for neighbourhood cats and dogs is the problem, plus bread for birds, and indeed the nice bird food and fat balls which I put out myself until I saw the light.

Access is what you're doing - ensuring fences and gates go right down to the ground, and If the ground is burrowable, put a barrier further down. My decking has panels on all sides which don't quite reach the ground (or they would rot). One side of my decking has a planted border flush with it - the rats actually undermined a rosemary bush so much that it died off. I've now got chicken wire fitted down the side so they can't burrow that way.

Finally 'comfort' which I mean as a catch all term for not having predators, having enough space to nest, and a reasonable level of dryness. Decking should always have gaps so that the planks can swell in wet weather. This also means it won't be dry underneath for animals to nest. The space beneath decking should also be filled as much as possible with ballast like rubble chunks - this is great for beneficial insect hibernation and nesting like beetles and spiders, and possibly solitary bees - but no good for rodents and foxes. In terms of predators, well, what can you do about the urban fox, they're almost untouchable! For rats I put down poison bait which worked but unless you also deal with access and food source some other wing of the family will just move in. I was hoping for the local owls to help me out and am still vaguely considering putting up a nest box in the trees close to my garden so that my rats are right in the food territory.

Unlikely to do much in the garden today - I am catching up with work because I am covering three jobs at the moment and mustn't drop the ball. My greenfingers order has arrived with the garden track so the boys may put it together later.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-May-12 10:40:53

That's the essence of the problem. We have neighbours who feed the fixes by leaving out bags of rubbish continuing KFC remains. Boak. It's the access I'm trying to crack, but as its my neighbour's fence and his deck I need to convince him that he needs to act. Asking me to block up the holes the foxes have made because he can't reach the fence because of his immense deck doesn't really tackle the problem at source.

Grockle Sat 12-May-12 11:21:59

Can any of you clever ladies help me? I've seen a big shrub/ tree about here which is covered in very tiny blue flowers - so the whole bush looks blue. It's really pretty but I have no idea what it is. Any ideas?

This weekend was going to be a gardening one but I'm not well & can't do much. Am going to mow the lawn if nothing else. And maybe plant the rhubarb - does it want to be in the sun or is shade ok?

I don't know much about foxes except that they steal my chickens angry

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-May-12 12:15:52

Ceonothus? They are in bloom now and are a lovely shade of violetty blue? If not, maybe ceratostigma?

Can I put a question to the gardening gurus please? My DH (by agreement!) took out a low conifer hedge earlier this week and I am debating what to put there. I anticipate that the soil will be very poor. I have some bluebells where I want to plant out my beans and peas. Would they appreciate being replanted to where the hedge was or will they die in disgust?
Thank you!

Grockle Sat 12-May-12 12:23:38

Yes, ceanothus, thank you [flowers]

Grockle Sat 12-May-12 12:24:23



Lexilicious Sat 12-May-12 13:13:50

Ah well then. "Yes, I see that the problem is that you can't access your fence from your side. You're welcome to do the required work from my side. Oh, you don't want to? Of course why didn't you just say! I know of some good fencing contractors/odd job carpenters, here's their number, I'm happy to give them access too." grin

droitwich, a conifer hedge may have acidified the soil so maybe something like lilac or azalea? Or you could go for foliage / stem interest with black bamboo or one of the red/orange dogwoods.

Thanks Lexi. I feel a trip to the garden centre coming on grin

funnyperson Sat 12-May-12 14:34:16

Foxes and squirrels seem to develop a 'path' a bit like badgers. Our path became apparent when pawmarks were seen on the snow and its still the same path because there is a muddy line in the lawn, with a burrow under the fence which is fox size.
Its annoying as its right under a nice bit of trellis in one of the few sunny spots in the garden where the clematis was going to go.
I have actually seen the squirrels dig under roots of freshly planted things. its because they think that any freshly dug earth might be their acorn stash the silly twits.

Has anyone experience of veg gardening in a trough like this?

teta Sat 12-May-12 15:12:55

The fox whose den is next door has a path through our hedge where our dog also escapes.We frequently have to repair it and replace the wire netting.I think our dog and the fox are friends as they seem quite unperturbed by each other and are very similar in size and colour.On another nature note my dc's have told me not to use slug pellets[as they poison hedgehogs].They have just had a visit from the hedgehog preservation society where they got to stroke a cute cuddly hedgehog.
Droitwichmummy i have bluebells in a similar position and they have thrived and selfseeded madly.However a trip to the garden centre is always a good idea.Adding to the list of plants in flower i have verbascum,scabious and semiaquilegias.Plus Dicentras[magically grown from J parkers roots on offer a while ago] and Solomans Seal.Also clematis alpina Frances Rivas is in flower along with the alliums that the dog hasn't squashed.Sadly in contrast most of the seeds i've sprinkled havn't germinated and the dahlias are doing nothing.I 'accidentally' dug one up only to find a cm size bud on it.

Thank you teta. I've dug the area over and given it a good water. I'll give it a go. If they don't like it, I have another clump anyway so all will not be lost.
Must go to garden centre anyway - stump killer and good coffee (+ plants!)
Many thanks gardening gurus thanks

funnyperson Sat 12-May-12 16:42:26

I have been looking at the concrete patio slabs which were put down by the previous owner. They a very boring grey shade. I am not thinking of replacing them with decking or, just yet, with fossil buff sandstone paving stones, but was wondering about stencilling some leaves on or will that look too much like a school playground? What have others done to make the patio look acceptable?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-May-12 18:13:25

It's because my patio looks unacceptable that I'm about to get it done. grin

I have had some success before with blocking off the foxes' paths, but I do think that neighbour is in denial about what he needs to do (and he needs to do it soon because once my shed is installed the access will be a whole lot more difficult.

Anyway, have just spotted camassias in flower and the sole surviving stem of Solomon's seal. Have emptied two more pots of duff tulips and am about to plant my hanging basket of tomatoes. They'll have to manage outside with fleece - wish me and them luck.

mistlethrush Sat 12-May-12 19:22:57

I've got the first flowers (ever) on my yellow tree peony out! The white one's a bit later due to position. And the montana clematis smells lovely in the sun!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-May-12 19:41:36

By coincidence, I've just been looking at tree peonies. When I bought mine, I was told it was Molly the Wtich, but I'm now sure it's delavayi var delavayi lutea. Anyway, it's worth having for the leaves alone?

Mistle - can I be nosy and ask how much your grass cutting man charges? My parents can't decide whether they've just been ripped off and nor can I.

mistlethrush Sat 12-May-12 19:59:11

I had two people look at it - the one we've not chosen (at the moment at least) charges £25 a month with 2 cuts per month. The one I've gone for is charging £16 for an hour - and we'll aim to have him once a week and get the bit of lawn that ds plays on cut every week and wait and see whether the whole of it needs cutting every week or we can get away with some of it only once a fortnight and that would allow some time for a bit of help with getting on top of the couch grass and forgetmenots.

funnyperson Sat 12-May-12 19:59:27
Lexilicious Sat 12-May-12 21:25:19

Well I caved in and did a bit of pottering around the garden this afternoon after all. There is an allium head opening, the iris I mentioned had four flowers on the spike, all showing a dark blue tip... these are on the rockery beside the pond, and in the pond I have another iris which is a stunner - delicate patterned blue if I remember right. I must look up its name.

How could I have forgotten that the hellebore is still going? And I have three Iberis 'snowball' which are a mass of pretty white flowers. Two types of vinca are in flower, buds are forming on my climbing rose 'open arms', three of my (seven) heucheras, and the aquilegia that has gatecrashed rather, but I think I quite like. I think the Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' is flowering somewhere inside those bracts, and the dicentra that I still haven't planted has lots of flowers. First strawberry flowers seen on the top tier of the stacked clover-leaf planter - not sure how well the lower ones are going to do, being out of direct sun.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-May-12 21:27:44

Thank you, Mistle. I think (even allowing for the London differential) my parents were overcharged. Hmm.

Interesting peony articles. I'm convinced mine is the yellow delavayi.

mistlethrush Sat 12-May-12 21:43:04

I think my yellow one's that. The other is pale pink with dark pink blotches around a yellow centre. Much greyer foliage on that one too.

Maud... I think that rates are probably pretty different up here to London. And the £16 an hour rate was scoffed at by the £25 for two mows guy. Said that it was not enough because of all the kit you needed. However, he's a friend of a friend so worth giving a go and if it works out....

teta Sat 12-May-12 21:52:51

Has anyone visited the Three Counties spring show at Malvern?.I am thinking of taking the dc's [but only 2 are interested in gardening].Any fun activities for kids?.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-May-12 21:58:02

I think my only visit was pre-dc, teta.

teta Sat 12-May-12 22:11:32

Was it good from a gardening perspective Maud?.I've only ever been to the Tatton Park Show before[due to having lived overseas for a number of years] and i loved it [but my mum was baby sitting the dc's].

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 12-May-12 22:20:27

As I remember it, yes. The site is quite small, so it's not as fatiguing as (say) Hampton Court. I dimly remember some nice show gardens and lots of very tempting stalls, but it was over a decade ago so I'm a bit vague about it.

And I have just worked out that it was after dc, so further proof that my memory isn't to be trusted!

radiohelen Sun 13-May-12 07:56:21

Aaaaaarrrggghh slugs are decimating my plants. I've picked off, I've squashed, I've salted but still the damn things come. I've lost every one of my aubergine plants (I over planted) and a number of my celery babies. I will not mention what they did to my petunia seedlings and the salad. Still to raw!

I'm planning another assault on the allotment this morning - move the bean canes, plant the yellow mange-tout out, etc etc etc and a bit more of a pootle round our garden battling the ground elder menace whilte the grand prix is on.
My bluebells look lovely and the apple blossom is pretty impressive on all the trees around here. This area used to be an orchard so we've all got massive, old varieties in the gardens. I lost mine a few years ago but the warden pear is still up and flowering although we never get any pears any more. It gets some kind of weird coral spot on it's leaves in early summer and the June drop, well it drops the entire crop. It's in need of a prune and some tlc and I really should try and propagate it. Maybe a job for this winter.

I would love to go to a garden show. I dream of visiting Chelsea or Hampton Court or even Malvern but the thought of the devastation my ds could do in just a short time there sends me cold with fear. He picks every flower he sees and walks on anything important. My wallet might not take it either!

teta Sun 13-May-12 09:15:15

Yeah,we're going-its a lovely day here with an indigo sky.Dh has decided he's coming too[which cuts down my plant buying opportunities] and is currently making sandwiches.Radiohelen i've been there.We used to leave a trail of destruction wherever we went[had 3 under 3 at one point].Maud,my memory is also not what it used to be.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-May-12 09:15:36

My hostas went from pristine to riddled with holes more or less overnight. I have just watered them with Slug Clear and am hoping to stop the little blighters in their tracks. A snail got into the plastic seed house and has eaten the tops off hundreds of sweet peas. Perhaps I should plant them out now and hope for the best.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-May-12 09:17:01

Have a fab time, Teta!

funnyperson Sun 13-May-12 09:37:28

Aargh....I was sitting in the garden this morning enjoying a quiet mug of coffee, having weeded out some oak seedlings (from the pesky squirrel's stash which they failed to dig up, the twats) when I saw some mice - mummy mouse and 4 little baby mice scamper in through the hole under the fence (previously mentioned as being a fox throroughfare) run along by the wall and into a hole in the brick of the house which will lead under the floor of the playroom.
I am off to buy some expanding foam. I hope for the mice's sake that they aren't under the floor when I block up that hole. The interest of magpies and owls in the area is now explained.

Then I am off for a country walk.

funnyperson Sun 13-May-12 09:39:50

Yes, have a wonderful time at the show. I think the children will love it.

One day I might get to go to Chelsea I suppose.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-May-12 09:48:05

Yes, do beware of trapping the mice under the floor. My dad traced an awful pong in the house to some dead mice under the floor of the cupboard under the stairs. Yikes.

karatekimmi Sun 13-May-12 13:18:27

Just come back from the allotment having started my planting out! Some lettuce, beetroot, peas and braid beans are in now. I'm just hoping baby waits long enough for me to plant a few more bits out and put some seeds in!

On the back garden the lawn isn't dead enough yet to dig up for our herb garden, so that's been recovered, so I'll have to repot all my herbs again!

The lawns need mowing, but DH won't have chance til tuesday and it's meant to rain tomorrow sad which means I probably should do it this afternoon! I hate mowing lawns and would rip it up, if it were up to me!

Lexilicious Sun 13-May-12 14:17:40

I have just seen that Gardeners' Question Time are recording this week near me! Applying for a ticket but DH is away for a couple of days then, and I don't have a regular babysitter so I hope they let a (truly genuinely well behaved) 2.9 y old in.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-May-12 16:36:00

Lexi - I'd be surprised if they did. My recollection (possibly faulty, see above) of when I went to GQT was that it was strictly over 16s only. Is there any info on their website?

radiohelen Sun 13-May-12 16:48:20

How horribly ageist of GQT! Although listening to some of the old 'uns on there I can quite see why. Also they persist in allowing all these weirdos to ask "funny" garden based relationship questions. "I'm a messy gardener and my wife is a tidy gardener. Who is right?" was this week's gem!
<mischievous grin> Can you tell them you are breast feeding and simply must be allowed to bring him in?
Just been to Homebase and come back with plants to revive. 50p for a strip of slightly battered but perfectly happy runner beans! I'm not a huge fan so I'm not putting loads in. We like the bush beans better. I've planted rather a lot of those!

funnyperson Sun 13-May-12 18:00:11

Have squirted foam into hole in brick. Am now awaiting pong of rotted mouse though hope they were elsewhere.

Have also planted oregano and lavender munstead bought from b and q at the same time. The viticella is thriving in its new spot. Watered the irises with tomato feed as recommended by Maud.

No spare earth now, but want a tree peony. And more irises. May have to move home to accommodate a bigger garden.

funnyperson Sun 13-May-12 18:04:45

You could ask the 2.9 year old to ask a question. eg 'can I eat marigolds?' That sort of thing.

funnyperson Sun 13-May-12 18:07:28
Lexilicious Sun 13-May-12 19:13:05

I have no idea whether ticket policy is GQT or the host venue - the only ad I've seen for this is on the local council website so I will have a look on the BBC site to see. I could set him up to ask a question about one of the soft fruit we're growing... He is my pfb, but even so it is impossibly cute how he mispronounces and says "strawbudgies". I wonder if they have probably sewn up the question-askers already though. If I could, I would ask whether there is any hope for my two dwarf fruit trees (peach/apricot) which I didn't look after very well last year and forgot to protect from peach leaf curl, but have cosseted since March.

Been working again today so no real gardening. I've tied in my beans and peas some more, and put some beer out for the slugs. I have also seen that last year's potatoes were clearly not fully harvested, as they are coming up in between my shallots and garlic!

cantspel Sun 13-May-12 19:57:28

I have had a lovely weekend in the garden. My lawns are cut and edged, my flower beds have all been dug over and feed with chicken manure pellets. A couple of new fatsia planted in my japonica garden and one in a pot for the patio (i still need to buy another pot for another one and find a home for in the japonica garden for another).
I have finished shredding the last of the prunnings so have a lovely big bag of mulch and a black bin full of leaves for leaf mould.
A few bedding plants have gone in to the raised planters and i have started on the hanging baskets.
I have swepts up the fallen blossom from the flowering cherry and magnolia and had a general tidy of the paths and rockery and rose garden.

I dont think my tree peonies are very happy this year as i have only had 2 buds on one and none on the other. They are probably suffering after our house move this winter and not too happy about being moved but as they have plenty of folage hopefully they will come good next year.

All in all the garden is coming on nicely but i now need a long soak in the bath to ease my aching muscles.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-May-12 20:19:23

I have also had a good and productive time in the garden - planted things out, sowed some sweet peas in situ as I fear the ones in root trainers that the snail beheaded may not recover, hauled out the green waste for collection. Have decided to give up on strawberries in the strawberry planters and fill them with herbs instead - I hope this will suit the thymes better as they always die of cold in the bed.

If anyone has any ideas for eye-catching combinations of perennials for window boxes, please see my other thread.


The first dry weekend in weeks and we spend it at the in-laws. Grrrrr. Have come back with some cosmos seedlings from MIL though which she states are a dwarf variety which I hope is right as I have some gaps for middle height plants in the long bed. If they end up as tall ones I'll be cross!

We've had four mice in the pea patch traps now, although none last night apparently so they've moved out I think. Also no more holes since I topped up the pea planting on Friday so I'm hopeful.

Aliums are nearly at flowering point (some in pots out already) - very exciting, I'm hoping they're going to achieve the affect I wanted in the long bed. Need more stuff to flower; have aquilegias, red valerian and the start of the cat mint & lavender but that's about it so far. Getting impatient for colour now the tulips and early bulbs have passed over.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-May-12 21:27:27

I have one nectaroscordum about to open - the sole survivor of about 50 I've planted over the years. I was reading in a magazine about someone who had to pull them out as weeds. Ah well.

teta Sun 13-May-12 21:37:47

We had a lovely time in the sun today.I did [despite dh] manage to buy several pelargoniums and 3 hydrangeas[fireworks in white ,blue and pink varieties].and 2 large terracotta pots for 5 pounds each[bargain].One dd fell in love with garish coloured pelargoniums and one came home with a venus fly trap.All dc's fell in love with Bilbao baggins home[lookalike] and we have all decided we are getting it [complete with reindeer fur and stove].We just have to check with the local planning office as we live in an area of outstanding beauty and have very strict building regs.There was lots of things for kids to see-we didn't even have time to see any gardens[but all dc's loved the floral marquee].

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-May-12 21:52:17

Ooh, was that the shepherd's hut that they showed on GW? If not, please post a link!

Glad you had a good day there. We went to a local festival but sadly there was no gardening action there.

teta Sun 13-May-12 22:06:34

I havn't seen Gardeners world yet, but these are not sheperds huts[although i like those as well].They are from a company called Garden Exteriors.They have a central stove for cooking or heating, room for sleeping/sitting and the central area can be used as an office.I couldn't get the dc's to move out of the lodge as they felt so comfortable in there[planning sleepovers and picnics].Dh is looking for a garden office as well[so this will have to be multifunctional].They are really adorably rustic and idealy suited to our garden.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-May-12 22:16:25

Oh wow. I've just been googling. They really do look like something from Middle Earth. Fantastic!

teta Mon 14-May-12 09:53:41

I have just been checking with our local planning office.One of the rules is that any building has to be situated more than 20 m from a highway.This lodge is best positioned right next to the road,but will have a hedge between it and will be completely unseen by even our neighbours [and us unless we walk down the garden].So i will have to check with our local planning officer first regarding the viability of erecting this structure.Our neighbours have a large Hartley greenhouse so the rules must be relaxed in certain situations.
The fireworks lacecap hydrangeas i bought yesterday i suspect have been grown as an indoor plants.The label says plant outdoors after flowering.I want to plant them now though.Do i harden them off first or just chuck them in the ground?.

radiohelen Mon 14-May-12 10:15:03

They look fab teta I'd love one of those but I fear my dh has plans for a tree house that will take precedence.
Wet here this morning but I'm hoping for some dry weather so I can get the tomato house rigged up. Those yellow stuffers won't grow themselves!

mistlethrush Mon 14-May-12 11:05:34

Teta - the regulations are not that complicated wrt where you're allowed to put it etc. AONBs don't have particularly strict building regs - Conservation Areas are worse and World Heritage sites also problematic. However, even if you don't have permitted development rights to put it up, you can still apply for planning consent for it so that it goes in the right place for you even if that is not in accordance with the permitted development regs. Just costs the planning fee. If its not going to look wrong, damage existing trees or hedges etc, planning consent shouldn't be refused.

Lexilicious Mon 14-May-12 11:56:12

I have fab news!! I can take boy-child to GQT on Wednesday! I have phoned up for my ticket, which they had to make an exception for me to do over the phone (charity attached to the parish church, opening hours 9-4) and I just have to get there before 5.30 on Wednesday to pick it up. When you buy a ticket you put your question in, and the team pick which ones they're going to answer, if yours is one, you sit in the front row.

The Boy has to be good, not make any noise, and if he does I have to scoot out. He is only just potty trained too so I may have set myeslf up for a bit of a drama! Means I will need to take a picnic dinner for him too, as it will probably be about an hour-90 mins of recording to make less than 45 mins of programme - hey perhaps radiohelen knows more? My only experience is going to a couple of recordings of QI/HIGNFY. (p.s. I am also growing yellow stuffers - were yours free with a magazine too?! Not the sort of thing I would buy, just through unambitiousness really)


radiohelen Mon 14-May-12 12:46:49

Hey Lexi.. my yellow stuffers were indeed free on the magazine wink I got it for the cucumbers really but I'm happy to go with the tomatillos, chillis etc as well.

It sounds about right for 45 minutes - they usually record double. My experience is limited as I'm a commercial radio radiohelen and we don't make programmes like this. If lo does make a noise they'll have to re-record that bit so they mean it when they say he'll have to be quiet. Mine would never be quiet for long enough, although the mics will be pointed at the panel so they shouldn't pick up too much if you are towards the back and can zoom out when the singing/crying/shouting/giggling starts!

Harr1etJ0nes Mon 14-May-12 18:55:57

Kitchen garden magazine accidentally fell in my basket in Booths on the way home tonight. Dh is working so guess what I'm doing ...

Did you put a question in then Lexi?

Ate the first of the over-wintered cabbages tonight. Very nice & I'm really not a cabbage person so I'm surprised how much I enjoyed it.

They look lovely Teta.

Lexilicious Mon 14-May-12 20:35:05

Well ya-huh, course I did! grin
So if you listen to GQT in the next few weeks and hear someone asking about peach leaf curl somewhere near Watford, I am totally outed!

Need to download engrossing iPad games for nearly 3yo now - any recommendations?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 14-May-12 20:39:34

Go Lexi! wink

As mine are of the girl variety Lexi our i-pad and i-phones are full of Peppa Pig, Disney Fairies & Angelina Ballerina - probably not that good for a small boy.

teta Mon 14-May-12 22:16:13

Gosh Lexi you're very brave.Can you put a pull-up pant on him for the day?.No idea about i-pad games i'm afraid,mine just play with their nintendo.
I have planted the lovely pelargoniums i bought yesterday.I hope we don't have any more frosts.I've just been looking at the nursery website and the prices are so much better than Crocus and Sarah raven.i think i'm going to order more as the species type i bought doesn't seem to be available anywhere else.I also really love the scented ones -especially the rose and cologne scented ones.I think my erysimum addiction is mutating into a pelargonium addiction[but sadly i still have 40 plugs of Sarah Ravens Winter Orchid to pot up].

funnyperson Mon 14-May-12 22:33:05

hahaha I do like this thread.

40 plugs of Sarah Ravens winter orchids. hahaha.

2.9 year old trying to potty train in GQT hahaha

someone liking overwintered cabbage. hilarious.

merits and machinations of a glamorous shed being erected in a world heritage site being discussed. hahaha.

cheered me up. really. it did. what a world. so glad to be in it.

funnyperson Mon 14-May-12 22:34:11

No , sorry, I 've just realised I might offend because you lot were all being serious

funnyperson Mon 14-May-12 22:44:51

But please please please dont give the 2.9 yer old an ipad/iphone.

I have a thing about 2-3 year olds who aren't potty trained being given iphones. I come across them at work. Then their mothers ask me why they have speech delay. Then their mothers get offended when I mention they might like to make toilet training a priority. And do you know what, the reason is that toilet training a little one is hard. It takes time and patience. It takes mothering. Whereas giving a toddler an iphone is easy. Reading and playing with a little one, heaven forbid actually talking to a little one ain't so glam as being a research scientist dontcha know. Just don't expect me to admire the intelligence of a child who can scroll down the apps but cant speak. One is cause and effect: basic 15 month skill. The other-well the other is language, humanity, serious brainy amazing stuff.Rant over.Sorry.

teta Mon 14-May-12 22:52:32

Funnyperson have you been on the potting shed 'gin'?.I really don't think playing with an ipad for the time taken to record GQT constitutes child neglect or anything else.Yes this thread is a very proper english one thats why we all like it.Do you?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 14-May-12 23:06:20

Funnyperson - I may be about to award my first MN biscuit to go with the gin. There are plenty of MN threads which discuss the meaning of life but this isn't one of them except we all know that the meaning of life is gardening.

Lexilicious Mon 14-May-12 23:17:20

Ah funny, don't worry about my DS. he didn't see a minute of tv until he was nearly 2. He was in a restaurant with us on Saturday eating with a knife and fork. He tries to kiss worms and bees in the garden. He lays his little table for dinner when he sees me start cooking. He saw me reaching into a high cupboard for bread flour months ago and toddled off to get me his stool to stand on. He can peel carrots. He knows you don't eat potato leaves but you can eat salad leaves from the plant. He's been having conversations with us since he was 2. Last week he said to me "girls are not frogs." this started a conversation about whether girls are princesses. Guess the frog thing was about kissing one that turns into a prince. Tbh, I would rather take books along to GQT because when he can't work one of the ipad games he gets a bit annoyed. Books keep him quiet for hours. Which reminds me, I left hm in bed at 8.30 with a book, and I should probably check now that he's turned off his light and gone to sleep like he did one day last week... smile

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 14-May-12 23:28:57

Funnyperson, you been at the Potting shed meths ?!

Maud, I was given the hydro stuff and was a bit dubious at first as it seemed wrong, plants need soil, plus the whole other scene it's usually associated with. But actually , I'm impressed. I was in research before my current job and it appeals to my inner geek as I'm checking pH and CF levels ( with my big blue lab truncheon that makes me snigger).

Very exciting Lexi that you're off to GQT and Kimmi I'm in awe of you doing the allotment at a time in pregnancy that I found it an ordeal to get off the sofa !

My correspondence course arrived last week. The wind was taken out of my I was about to do a pHD, how hard can this be sails. It's a bit more in depth than I was expecting. It will be fine but am going to have to be serious about making time for it.

Grockle Tue 15-May-12 10:11:37

Funnyperson hmm

Very excited for Lexi - do you know when it'll be broadcast?

Keep up posted on the course, Wynken. Are you doing it for personal reasons or professional?

If I plant my rhubarb this year, will I be able to move it next summer? The place I really want it to go won't be available (is covered in semi-rotted compost which cannot be moved!) for ages and my poor rhubarb needs to go in the ground.

Lexilicious Tue 15-May-12 19:57:34

I have chillis! A few weeks ago I hand pollinated some of the flowers and left them to it. They're indoors until the weather is properly warm anyway. I've just spotted two little green chilli fruits on one!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 15-May-12 20:20:50

Well done Lexi!

Grockle - I have just demonstrated that rhubard doesn't mind rough treatment. The plant I dug up rather incompetently and broke into several
pieces is thriving and growing better than before, do I think moving a plant will be fine.

teta Tue 15-May-12 20:37:35

Is it all quiet on the western front tonight?grinThe weather today has been a little strange.We've had 2 hail storms [with pretty sizeable hailstones that hurt your head],thunder,strong winds and sunshine in an educational trip to a nat.trust. place.We are now forecast a frost for the next 2 nights and i have had to bring my pelargoniums under cover.This weather is back to front and upside down.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 15-May-12 21:12:10

Yes, hail here too today. I'm just hoping the pelargoniums don't get trashed.

Grockle Tue 15-May-12 21:13:57

Nothing but beautiful sunshine here although very chilly. Can't believe all the hail!

I am seriously fed up with this weather. For many reasons but primarily because I want my conservatory to not look like a greenhouse.

Was potting on my tomatoes last night in the dark just because it wasn't raining at that point.

I've got some tiny flowers on my chilli plant that hibernated in the conservatory over the winter Lexi. Think it's a long way off producing actual chillies though!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 15-May-12 21:40:36

I am thoroughly fed up with the weather. It's not just the rain, it's also the constant gloom.

::searches for the potting shed gin, but maybe funny person drank it all::

I think Funny found everyone's gin stash. But as I don't like gin that's ok as my blackberry brandy is well hidden. <wonders if something strong can be brewed from my overwintered cabbage> grin

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 15-May-12 22:47:54

<<waggles empty glass at Bertha, hoping for some blackberry brandy>>

chixinthestix Tue 15-May-12 22:50:22

Bertha I'll join your blackberry gin with a plum vodka and depress you all by saying we've had glorious sunshine here for 3 days! Sadly the last 2 have been spent at work, and it has been cold and very windy but still.
We had an air frost on Sat and Sun nights and I'm starting to think of this year as the perpetual winter. I think the morning glories are destined to live in the greenhouse this year.

funnyperson Tue 15-May-12 23:18:51

<creeps back sheepishly> oh dear I have a really bad headache. I have no idea why the world seemed so funny yesterday. I am so so sorry. I think I must have drunk all the gin. There is a spot of very nice Perry left in the shed though. <offers glasses round>. And some Pimms from the house <offers more>

Lexi you do just fine by your little one. Great that he's going to watch GQT. Go for it.

The rain is getting me down and work is seriously awful. The national news about children yesterday was terrible. Thats it. I am buying a vegetable trough. Do you think I might be able to put one of those cloche things to keep the plants warm over it and then maybe things will ripen even if it rains. I am most probably going to be unemployed from June. I will need to grow some food. Spinach and tomatoes and lettuce probably. Enough to cope with famine and floods. I am impressed by hand pollination. I presume this involves the gardening equivalent of a pastry brush. I cant write any more. My head hurts. I might go back to just lurking: I am so embarrassed. blush

Grockle Tue 15-May-12 23:21:41


Lexilicious Tue 15-May-12 23:25:06

It's worse than that... I rubbed the sexual parts of two flowers together. grin

teta Tue 15-May-12 23:26:29


Grockle Wed 16-May-12 06:08:23

Lexi, you sound like some sort of plant pervert!

karatekimmi Wed 16-May-12 06:16:33

You all might have to pick up my slack now, feet and fingers have started to swell, and my "D"H has banned me from doing anything other than lying on the sofa with my feet up!!! I don't think he realises that I have lots and lots to plant out and seeds to put in!!

I'll have to garden vicariously through you all!!

Harr1etJ0nes Wed 16-May-12 07:00:10

Karatekimmi- look after yourself!

grin at funnyperson & accepts a glass of pimms ( virtual is ok at 7am right?)

Didn't get much done yesterday, just replanted the last days worth of plants next doors cat dug up and cleared the cat poo. angry

rhihaf Wed 16-May-12 15:20:25

Arghhhhh! angry The bloody dog went and burried something right in the middle of my raised bed this morning (looks mournfully at bedraggled half-burried lettuce plants and various reminders of straight lines of seeds) sad

grin at Lexi's sexual plant perversion antics.

Earthed up my spuds today (Charlottes) before going away for the weekend in the caravan. Technically it's not a jolly, we're doing the catering for a wedding in Devon, but cooking is a rather enjoyable money earner...

Taking the MIL so will be plied with appropriate amounts of choccy biscuit and brew while scattering herbs over everything grin

Hurrah for the sun!

Did anyone suffer from the predicted frosts last nite?

Lexilicious Wed 16-May-12 16:08:30

I've just been to pick up my GQT ticket and spotted Bob Flowerdew (was ever a man more appropriately named?) and Christine Walkden in the grounds of the church hall. Excited!!!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 16-May-12 16:13:57

Ooh-err. I have a bit of a horticultural crush on Mr Flowerdew and want to unravel his plait.

Lexilicious Wed 16-May-12 16:16:28

hey it's not perversion!! assisted conception that's all. sometimes a girl just can't wait forever for a bee to come along!

Lexilicious Wed 16-May-12 19:59:40

Matthew Williamson is rather dishy. That is all. grin

We had a frost here last night. Only a light one but my sweet peas and morning glory are looking precarious out there at the moment. They're still hanging on though so there's hope!

Don't go back to lurking Funny - I'll have pimms and perry please grin. Some of the large cloches should fit over your new trough. I'm eternally hopeful though that the weather may take a turn and we won't be needing the cloches for much longer this year.

All this talk of alcohol had me wondering whether I could make some kind of brew from the mulberries this year. I think that might be rather nice...anyone got any suggestions for spirits to go with? I'm erring on the side of vodka. I think I still have some of last year's in the freezer so I can run some experiments.

Lexilicious Wed 16-May-12 20:15:33

Pimms made up with Perry must surely be the Kir Royale of the potting shed, n'est-ce pas? With borage flowers as a floating garnish.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 16-May-12 21:20:50

Do you mean Matthew Williamson the fashion designer? Or Matthew Wilson, the landscape man and all round hunk? We saw him once in the gift shop of the de la Warr pavilion. He is indeed dishy a gifted horticulturalist.

chixinthestix Wed 16-May-12 21:43:07

Tis indeed getting boozy. I was a bit dubious about the plum vodka but DH made it 9 same method as sloe gin) and it worked v well so I'd recommend it to try with your mulberries Bertha. How lovely to have mulberries! I got quite excited to be shown a 400 year old mulberry tree earlier this year (through work) and may have wangle a reason to go back to see if there are berries. I seem to remember Aug as being the time they are ripe, is that right?

Yet another frost on the grass in the field this morning but not in the garden. I think our wild and untamed ahem rather tall shrubs and hedges are just giving us enough shelter.

Lexilicious Wed 16-May-12 22:39:36

Wilson yes him. First became aware of him when he did 'Landscape Man' on Channel 4. Thought he was a miserable sod brooding artist then. He was the third on the panel. It is the jubilee bank holiday weekend programme, so listen out! Boy was angelic. We had a picnic outside the church hall and then went in, checked out the loos, sat with the books and ate more breadsticks, ditched about 2/3 of the way through. Another pee on the way out - I think I should start tentatively saying he's toilet trainED, not training. Result!

They record it almost live - there aren't lots of retakes. The chairman does the intro and 'back in the room' bits around the feature segments they recorded outside on some allotments earlier, and then they go on with the next few questions. There were definitely more than half the questions were someone picked because of who they are - local dignitary, part of the hosting place, charity featured, etc etc. I think there were 10-12 questions so I wonder if not all of them make it on to the radio show.

Knackered now, all that excitement! Must do some potatoes tomorrow.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 16-May-12 23:15:11

::imagines dream GQT panel of Monty, Matthew and, err, someone else::

Glad you had fun, Lexi!

Grockle Thu 17-May-12 04:11:39

look after yourself, karate.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about GQT

Lexilicious Thu 17-May-12 06:35:41

I think my dream panel would be Wilson for the garden, George Clarke for the house, and Benedict Cumberbatch for, well, entertainment.

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 07:38:12

I'm in for the Benedict Cumberbatch one!

Lexilicious Thu 17-May-12 08:12:24

Where did I say I was selling tickets, hm? They're mine ALL MINE!

Mind you if you bring a vicky sponge, and someone else bring the pimms and perry, I'll knock up some vol-au-vents, and we can make some polite conversation before showing them the potting shed/workshop/cinema room, as appropriate.

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 09:38:39

Will get dh baking then!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 17-May-12 13:05:23

You are saucy, Lexi! wink

Harr1etJ0nes Thu 17-May-12 16:27:18

Met a lady who I bought more plants off today who gave me the tip of copper in plant pots to keep white fly away. Anyone heard this before?

Dawnywoo Thu 17-May-12 18:07:44

ooh, I've just bought some copper plant labels - thought they looked nice but never realised they may have a dual purpose - and will be putting some in my pots of basil so I will report back. (usually suffer vwith green / whitefly on basil)

Chix - my mulberry starts getting ripe berries in July and I'm normally picking for 4-6 weeks. Messy job though, mulberry juice stains!

radiohelen Thu 17-May-12 20:46:54

My mulberry tree hasn't done anything fruity yet but it is only a baby. We bought it the year I was pg with ds so it's been in for four years and it still looks smaller than the trees you buy in Aldi in February!
We are in it for the long haul though!

chixinthestix Thu 17-May-12 21:18:13

Thanks Bertha smile

teta Thu 17-May-12 21:45:22

We have a greenfly invasion in the dining room.They are somehow getting through the glass rooflight and are in drifts on the floor and table.The dc's are compaining bitterly about greenfly in their food and juice.I think they're getting through a vent which is underneath overhanging pine branches which seem to be covered by them.Its next doors pine tree and hence we can't do anything about it.Its also dropped lots of needles this year all over our rooflight since march.I suspect its sick or has possibly been damaged by our building work last year where we had to chop some of the roots back.I've already offered to pay to remove it but current people didn't want to bother as they were moving.What else can i do?

chixinthestix Thu 17-May-12 22:02:24

You're entitled to cut back any branches which overhang your property, regardless of who the tree belongs to - and sounds like it needs doing pretty urgently! I've never seen greenfly on a pine tree before.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 17-May-12 22:15:29

All the alliums are starting to flower. Really excited about this, plus all the
iris we put in are going to flower after all. Hooray. There are huge fat buds on all the oriental poppies. I put in a successive sowing of opium poppies, some bronze fennel seed and some very cheap cornflowers. Also a load of things I don't know the name of - firecracker? Red foliage. We got them cheap at the stall in a NT garden we went to the other day.

Have discovered the weed-flower that gets everywhere in the garden is Linaria (sp?)

If only things will start to germinate. Am seriously worried about the wildflower meadow, nothing has sprouted at all yet. It has been about three weeks.

The new path is nearly done, and the hurdle man comes next week. We also had a carpenter replacing the metal uprights on the veranda/old coal shed with oak. This is going to look really nice.

I want a mulberry bush, just so I can dance round it and sing.

I am counting the days till I stop work. Can't wait. Especially as we have ESTYN in three days after my contract ends.

teta Thu 17-May-12 22:17:10

We have 2 pine trees next to our extenxion that are several metres high.Unfortunately we live in a conservation area so we have to apply for planning permission to do anything to the trees.Our other neighbours were refused permission to prune their pines even though some loose branches were threatening to fall onto our car/dc's down a 15 metre drop.At one point he heard a branch crack and warned us not to go near that particular part of the driveway.luckily strong winds brought it down safely.

teta Thu 17-May-12 22:36:17

Humphrey your garden sounds lovely.I planted loads of alliums this year too for the first time as well as iris which appear to be doing nothing.I saw stuuning drifts of a sky blue iris at a n.t. house this week lining a massive courtyard.This single colour looked absolutely beautiful on its own.
I really want a Mulberry tree now too.I can't remember ever having seen one before and i'm sure i've never tasted a Mulberry in my life.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 17-May-12 22:41:14

Don't despair of the iris, they may well be later. Mine are only just starting to show flower buds now. I put it down to their being planted later.

Alliums are fabulous, aren't they? Edible looking. DH is in constant fear that a visiting toddler will be just too tempted to use one as a ball grin

Can't believe that you are stuck with dangerous trees shock

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 17-May-12 22:41:30

Humphrey - Your red thing is probably lysimachia punctata Firecracker. The flowers are (in my view) a nasty strident yellow but the foliage is gorgeous. As, by the sound of it, is your whole garden.

Mine is looking very green and lush, but the baby plants are being flattened by the fox cubs. I am drinking a gallon of water a day, so that I can use the empty bottles as protective cloches.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 17-May-12 22:45:19

thanks Maud. We thought if we really don't like the flowers we will get rid, they really were stupidly cheap. I will google them now.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 17-May-12 22:51:02

Just chop off the flowers, that's what I used to do with mine.

Grockle Fri 18-May-12 06:20:58


Yesterday I planted out my leeks and baby sweetcorn (I hate baby sweetcorn hmm). My first Kitchen Garden magazine arrived so I'm going to settle in bed for 20 mins with a cup of tea and flick through it now <middle-aged> smile

Morning. I'd encourage anyone to get a mulberry the berries are amazing! Ours is around 100 years old we think so a considerable size. Which is lovely but I've yet to find a way to pick the higher berries so most of them are wasted. I think they are very slow growing.

Today's job is to pot on the ornamental grasses. Fingers crossed the rain holds off.

teta Fri 18-May-12 10:56:01

I've finally completed the building application for the 'hobbit house' via the Planning Portal.Its taken me 2 days to do,including downloading block and site plans from streetwise.All this just to apply for permission to build a glorified garden shed in a conservation area.
Yes,Chix i am allowed to remove the overhanging branches apparently.But again i have to apply for permission to do this.I will try and sweet talk the neighbours as a one-sided 20 metre pine will surely be a little unbalanced!.
I am now well behind in the gardening stakes.I have 2 clematis,a passion flower and a solanum to plant plus the 3 fireworks hydrangeas.Morning glory to pot on[its too cold to plant outside yet].The last few erysimum to pot up and a compost heap to sieve.Luckily its a nice day here and the sun is shininggrin.

Lexilicious Fri 18-May-12 12:27:22

Just sold another plant at work - hooray! I also have been spending money on The Book People - got an Alys Fowler foraging book and James Wong "Grow your own drugs" (and three others too for a total of £16 something!)

I am hoping to be in the garden this weekend sowing veg in my last 3m stretch of border, which I also need to make inhospitable to cats (possibly using a lots of tent pegs and netting). Have a primula to divide and plant, and a dicentra. Thinking about moving a rosemary that is in a damp dark corner and moving a fern there instead. Also going to take a long hard look at a rather elderly sage which is very leggy and woody - will be looking up whether now could be an acceptable time to propagate it from cuttings.

Front garden is not bursting back into weedy splendour as quickly/badly as I thought it would. The horsetail is reaching over from next door and I really need to figure out how to use a barrier material (and what that should be - I think heavy gauge plastic rather than fabric) that I can bury down into the earth and tie at the top to the wire fence about 30cm above the soil level.

Am at work so probably need to get off here!

Harr1etJ0nes Fri 18-May-12 18:15:31

Dh has been covering the allotment today. Ran out if pegs so not all done but what should we cover the fabric (in the pernanabt areas )in that is cheap? Bark/stones etc?

Weve also started hardening the majority of the outside plants off. We are going to have to have a clear out so some will be on the front tomorrow!

I don't think any path covering is cheap Harr1et. Bark will probably be cheaper but if you can afford it I personally think stones/gravel is better, both for the way it looks and that they will last longer.

Managed to pot on half the grasses. Ran out of pots again. I really need to sow less seed as I cannot bring myself to discard them once they've actually germinated. Beans are pretty much all up in the conservatory now - will have to move them back outside soon now I've solved the mouse problem. Also noticed today that I've got the first fennel seedlings showing in the veg plot. smile

I'm warming the wine in front of the fire in readiness for GW. Have given up feeling put out that I still need a fire in mid-May...

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Fri 18-May-12 20:17:06

Our vegetable garden paths were bark covered but it needs replacing annually so in the long run its more expensive.
We replaced the bark with slate chippings and it looks lovely, especially in the rain!

I've got some lavender, rosemary and thyme to plant out and some sweetpeas and beans so I'm hoping for some dry weather this weekend.

The slugs have had a field day with my spinach so I need to do some serious slug hunting as well.

Harr1etJ0nes Fri 18-May-12 20:53:58

We have slate at home but was £££. Don't really want to spend at all much on the allotment!

radiohelen Fri 18-May-12 21:10:17

I just use my garden chippings for my allotment paths. We've got quite a lot of trees, shrubs n stuff in our garden so we bought a big branch mincer. Now I take a big bag of garden mince up to the lottie and spread it down our path. It rots down after a while but I can't see how it can do much harm and it stops the weeds.
I planted four rows of bush beans today and some climbing beans. I still can't get a carrot to germinate. It's been three weeks now and nothing. I have managed to get the echinacea started though. My squashes are also proving quite reluctant. I've got one vif d'entempes cinderella squash plant out of three I planted. None of the little pumpkins have germinated and that makes me quite fed up cos I love eating them.

funnyperson Fri 18-May-12 21:14:12

I took some sage and rosemary cuttings a couple of weeks ago and potted them up with all the rain they have survived and look as though they have rooted. The sage was getting leggy and woody so I took some of the newer top shoots off the growing tips for my cuttings and they have rooted nicely.

The other plant which has rooted is a clematis, one long shoot of which hung over the leggy sage and as an experiment I pinned down the shoot into the same pot as the sage and after a bit it rooted, and has produced its own shoots, and is now independent of the mother plant, which is nice as it is a white clematis and the sage is grey green.

I still have lilies and dahlias to plant out.

Harr1etJ0nes Fri 18-May-12 21:21:16

One of our Sage plants is flowering. Apparently you can make sage flower pesto so will get dh to experiment.

My sage plants are particularly leggy too. Will add propagating sage to my very long list of things to do this weekend (in the rain).

Obviously after watching GW tonight we'll also be digging out a fern grotto...and filling it with fairies grin.

I have a dahlia to plant out - is it safe to do so now? I'm a dahlia first timer and it's making me nervous.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 18-May-12 22:34:46

I noticed that the army gardeners were just planting bare dahlia tubers, so Ii guess it's safe(ish) to do now.

I think I need a Japanese painted fern. Thanks Monty.

karatekimmi Sat 19-May-12 08:03:55

Sorry radiohelen I assumed my pumpkins, squash and corguettes wouldn't germinate so well, and now I need a bigger garden to plant them in!

Now I'm on maternity leave, I'm "allowed" to go back to the allotment for an hour at a time, when the shop is open!! Yeah! Although it's drizzling today!

Have lots of things need potting on, so have lots to do, between putting my feet up!

Harr1etJ0nes Sat 19-May-12 08:17:09

Need to get more compost today for potting on. Have used all our Dalek stuff doing the potato pots/sweet potatoes

I'm off to get some ferns this weekend after watching GW grin. Might not do the whole fern grotto though.
It's lovely & warm here but every time I try to get out to do some gardening DS wakes up & asks for another feed.
I'm also wanting to get some small colourful perennials for the front of the border, I've got a few gaps I want fill. Any suggestions?

Right, third time lucky to get outside & state tying back some roses & do some more seeds.

Harr1etJ0nes Sat 19-May-12 17:34:27

Dh into ferns and they keep appearing in the garden!

Anyone got a kiwi plant? I'm having trouble with slugs eating it. I thought they wouldn't like it's furry leaves hmm wondered if it was common or just our super slugs (they eat potato & rhubarb leaves which are supposed to be poisonous)

Lexilicious Sat 19-May-12 18:57:22

I only got two and a half hours out there today but I'm wrecked! Might be more to do with the 5am wakeups DS has put us through for the past few days...

Still very envious of those with allotments and indeed those with enough spare space to fill you can be tempted by new things on GW at all! I am drowning in seedlings and I don't know what I'm going to do with them! I've just moved some foxgloves from tray to modules and they all grow on, I'll have 40 shock - along with about 15 lupins. I think they'll have to go in the front garden regardless of the R/W/B colour scheme which I am sort of regretting because of the high potential for naffness (but at least I'm not doing it in petunias).

Today I have moved around some lavender and taken out two rosemary plants to give a sarcococca more space and plant the dicentra I bought at Hyde Hall. I've now got the rosemary in a far more appropriate place (a large terracotta pot with masses of grit in the compost and crocks for great drainage) and I have saved a space beside the water butt for a fern or something.

Tomorrow we may be at Rickmansworth canal festival doing wildlife walks... or pest proofing the veggie beds. hopefully both!

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 19-May-12 19:32:49

My kiwi is like a triffid - nothing seems to eat it. It's huge, growing through two apple trees.

I've planted out some seedlings today so I hope it isn't going to get too cold tonight.
I've also potted on lots of seedlings.

I'm still having no luck germinating scented stock so I think I am going to have to buy some as I am determined to have some in the garden this year.

Grockle Sat 19-May-12 19:51:19

Are Kiwis easy to grow? I saw some plants the other day but assumed they'd need special care

teta Sat 19-May-12 20:06:34

I have just bought The English garden magazine as i really love the beautiful photographs. Interestingly the pelargonium nursery from the Malvern spring Show is featured -http://Firtree pelargoniums.co.uk.I have googled the variety i bought [pelargonium rubricintum cordifolium] and no other stockist come up amazingly.Its been raining here so i have done no gardening but have spent the day musing what to put in my summer pots.I always traditionally have a couple of pots of michaelmas daisies but should i change the scheme to airy pots of pelargoniums[my favourite pots last year were filled with Gaura that looked like little floating butterflies hovering above the ground].

Harr1etJ0nes Sat 19-May-12 20:12:36

My kiwi was about 18 inches when I got it & it's lived outside for 6 years (oop north too!) and it's about 12 feet tall and a couple more where it's turned a corner.
I wrap it in winter and feed it when I remember as its in a pot but I don't do anything special really. Never got fruit but it's interesting and has hairy leaves but they are getting slugs hmm

Harr1etJ0nes Sat 19-May-12 20:15:05

Lexi- we've an allotment but we haven't cleared it fast enough for the trays and trays of seedlings to go in.
We've loads of lupins too, didn't realise how easy they were from seeds. Loads of stuff is going out in the next week or so & there's a plant swap next weekend do hoping I can get rid rather than just coming home with loads.

Grockle Sat 19-May-12 20:15:33

I was just reading, you need a male and a female plant to get fruit from kiwis. They look interesting. Thanks!

Harr1etJ0nes Sat 19-May-12 20:17:01

There's a Jenny which is self fertilising. That's what I have

Grockle Sat 19-May-12 20:26:44

Ooo, I need a Jenny. And they like acidic soil, so would be perfect! Must find one.

I have an assai kiwi which is self-fertilising and produces the mini hairless kiwis - at least it's supposed to. It grows with great vigour this time of year then something kills it off before it does anything interesting. This is its third year and if it happens again it's being culled. It's growing in a pot on the patio and is supposed to be trained up wires along the walls but has never got too far along them.

Re-did the three rows of beetroot that didn't take or got slugged today. Also planted out some chard and some lettuce. The chickens had their second foray into the garden and the wood and had a great time. Considerably easier to get them in this time too so they're learning. Also managed to have a BBQ!!!! Think it's raining again tomorrow though...

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 19-May-12 20:38:50

We inherited our kiwi - I've been told it is self-fertilising but on the only occasion it produced flowers we had an early frost and they all died.
It has flowered this year so I shall have to wait and see what happens

chixinthestix Sat 19-May-12 21:43:19

Glorious day today and spent most of it gardening grin. Cleared and sorted out loads of small perennials in pots and have planted lots, pinks, foxgloves, knapweed, eryngiums and lots of echinaceas. Unfortunately I still have 4 bread trays full of plants and a greenhouse full of seedlings and no more room! Am seriously considering carving a new border out of the edge of the lawn.

In the end I started being ruthless and have dug up and chucked out some of the more sickly, elderly and woody things. If I could fight back the ground elder forest I'd have more room too.

Sadly realised that only one of my lovely clump of blue iris is in flower because the buds of the other 4 have turned to mush on the outside and won't open. I don't know if that's down to cold or damp or both.

echt Sun 20-May-12 08:49:26

A beautiful day in Melbourne, so I did lots of pre-winter tidying. Hacked back the cannas, and moved them to a less torrid bed, where they'll do better next year. Moved five gardenias for the same reason.

I planted up 7 bromeliads into small pots to hang on the fence of the shady border which is full of clivia, aspidistras, hoya and swiss cheese plants. All of them tolerate dry conditions, while relishing the rain, so it looks lovely and tropical all year round.

I miss the massed blooms of the English garden in spring, but have learned to love my Aussie patch. A bonus of the eight possums who live in my garden is constant supply of slow-release native fertiliser.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 09:10:55

I love the international feel of MN. Possums in the garden!

I replanted a couple of the big pots on the garden yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to find a dahlia sprouting - I would have assumed it had died over winter. Now to google the gladioli that came from GW magazine.

funnyperson Sun 20-May-12 09:36:20

I loved your Aussie garden too.

GW jogged a memory and in a dark and damp forgotten corner I found an old black cast iron kettle with a fern growing out of it, which I have duly tidied up and moved a bit forward, seeing as it was on GW. I looked it up on a fern website and think it is an Athyrium. Next to it was a maidenhair fern in a pot (left over from a student house the seventies) which looked happy so it stayed there. This appears to be an Adantium. I have now noticed there are a few ferns in the garden which I have totally ignored hitherto. I plan to collect leaf specimens and identify them. I like the notion of going on a mini nature trail outside my own back door.

An old species rose growing up against a wall has developed black spot. I looked it up and decided to prune off all the diseased bits as I don't want it to spread to the other roses. Apparently black spot is more common in damp conditions such as the rain we have had. Internet suggested treatments range from compost tea hmm to fungicidal wash. What do you all suggest?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 09:53:10

I don't do much with my roses, but I do put leaves with black spot in the green waste rather than the compost heap. You could spray, I suppose, with RoseClear or similar. That reminds me, though, that I need to feed mine.

I took four ferns to the gardening society yesterday. I dug them up months ago as part of my horticultural spring clean, so I hope someone inspired by GW will have rehomed them!

echt Sun 20-May-12 10:04:21

God, I must have been too busy to remember it all. Fierce pruning of a crepe myrtle which didn't bloom this year. That'll teach it.smile

Mass planting of arthropodium "Matapouri Bay" on the grave of poor old echtcat who was put to sleep two weeks ago. They are the best plants; do well in shade or full sun, which is what they get under our coastal tea-tree, in winter then summer.

I saw some wallflowers today in a market, though they don't have the intoxicating pong of the English variety, so won't buy them. There's a lilac tree in a yard about three kilometres from my house, and I pull over in the car in spring (October) to have a sniff. Heaven. Not sure why they're not more widespread here, as camellias grow like weeds.

Love to hear of the spring planting in the UK, as it gets me started for the same here.

Lexilicious Sun 20-May-12 10:10:35

I was wondering the other day about the aussie garden! great to hear from you echt.

Cloudy but dry here today. May do some potting out of my Pak choi and potting on my leggy brassicas. I've got all my potatoes in sacks now, and some nearly earthed up to the top!

Checking my perpetual garden diary, I note that on this day last year we had a female stag beetle crawling on the deck. I guess they will come out of hibernation (?) later this year due to temperatures.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 12:30:05

Have just been given a pot of leek seedlings, which are very tiny (look like strands of green hair). Should I plant them in the raised bed Bowie grow them on for a bit first?

::veg novice::

Grockle Sun 20-May-12 12:33:42

I don't think Bowie would grow them for you. I'd give them a week or two to get a little fatter but ime, leeks are fairly tough.

Grockle Sun 20-May-12 12:35:20

I love hearing about all your gardens, especially the Aussie one. I used to have an allotment in Chicago and never failed to be amazed at how things grew. Because the seasons are so extreme, the growing season is much shorter than in the UK but it goes from being barren to a tropical jungle in days. I miss my allotment.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 12:36:27

Oh for Heaven's sake. Bowie should have been now or.

Grockle Sun 20-May-12 12:39:39


Lexilicious Sun 20-May-12 13:01:04

Every time I go to write pak choi on my phone it amends it to 'Pakistan choice'. Took me bloody months to train it that I wrote DH far more than I was ever likely to write Dhaka. The iPad is less slow to learn. But it is slavishly correct about respecting upper/lower case trademarks, like iPad, eBay. Technology eh. Give me a low tech dinner and tamper any day.

Or even dibber. <snurk>

teta Sun 20-May-12 13:41:54

I was wondering about the significance of 'bowie'.Lexi you are definitely queen of the online innuendosmile.I've done lots of potting on today.But will someone please stop me buying multiples of everything as i now have pots and pots of erysimums.The patio is full of little pots and there is no room for anything else[apart from a continual rain of pine needles].There again,I suppose i will have lots of pots to donate to the school plant sale.Now the sun is out,i feel a trip to the garden centre coming on.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 13:54:35

Ooh, have I missed Lexi's latest rood innuendo?


I wonder whether David Bowie is a celeb gardener. They usually come out for Chelsea. I suppose I could turn off the autocorrect but, of course, at other times it's quite useful.

This afternoon I will be mostly planting perennials in the Brownie garden.

Maud I don't think Bowie would worry about planting his leeks out just yet, celeb gardener or no. I start mine off in seed trays and they stay in there until about pencil size then they go into the main bed. I reckon mine have another 4-6 weeks yet as they too are still feeble little hair strands.

Meant to ask advice on cosmos seedlings. The ones MIL gave me last week are about 10 inches high with no branching. If I nip out the tops will they branch a bit more, or do I need not worry, or, will I kill them?

funnyperson Sun 20-May-12 16:21:26

Ivory rhodedendrons, pink valerian, bue ceanothus pale white aquilegia, white clematis, and red paeonies in flower here. Also blue forgetmenots, purple violets and a spider plant which got planted out by mistake years ago and has flowers very tall in spring, like a bullrush.

Buds on the roses, clematis viticella polish spirit, cistus, pinks, etc. Birds flying into garden and poking around: cuckoo, blackbirds, blue tits, robins. No slugs.

Ordered the Roseclear, fed everything with tomato food, sewed spinach and lettuce, and sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee in the garden in my colonial ivory basket chair. Will plant dahlias next weekend.

Computer borrowed by revising DS most of the day so resorted to reading gardening books from the bookshelves in the spare room, and discovered why my Gwalior sandstone stepping stone path is a design disaster. It should have been brick to tie in with the house.

funnyperson Sun 20-May-12 18:05:37

Gobsmacked by the Thai orchids and South African plants on the show about Chelsea. And I loved Beth Chatto and her empty river bed. I prefer Beth Chatto to some of the big Chelsea concrete structures because I can relate her garden more to what might happen in my own garden. Some of those Chelsea gardens made me feel very small and novice.

teta Sun 20-May-12 18:20:45

I forgot that Chelsea was on today-will catch up on i-player.Bought nemesia Confetti for some of my pots today[looks light and airy].Plus a clematis diamontina[sp?] with some smaller apple blossom nemesia.Also some beautifully scented violas in yellow and purple/black.I buy flowers now when i used to buy clothes and make-up!.Is this the onset of middleage?.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 19:26:31

:: refuses to comment about correlation between love of gardening and onset of middle age::

Drat. Missed Chelsea prog and as pc is kaput will have to watch on phone, which will be a pain what with wearing my bifocals on a chain round my neck, a la Hinge (or was it Bracket?)

I have finished planting the Brownie garden and had so many plants left over I did some guerilla gardening in other parts of the churchyard.

I have just spotted buds on the Buff Beauty rose and nearly all the geraniums and aquilegias are in flower. The only clematis in flower are the Montana (Elizabeth, I think) and Wada's Primrose. Polish Spirit still needs a good hack back, but I think there are stil birds nesting in it. It may have to miss a year. It's such a good doer. I luffs it.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 20:19:48

My finger just slipped on the 'add to basket' button on the Thompson and Mirgan website and I have bought nine black plants (potted, not plugs) for £8. Bargain, and possibly even better than shoes.

What did you buy Maud?

<living vicariously though other people's purchases as I am still in self-imposed ban>

HumphreyCobbler Sun 20-May-12 21:09:27

hello everyone. The weather really improved here by the end of the afternoon, and I went to an open garden near my house. It was lovely.

All the iris that were supposed to be yellow are actually purple. But the alliums are starting to look amazing. Slugs have eaten every seedling in the round veg patch, I am seriously pissed off and put slug pellets down. The peas have finally germinated but am still crossing my fingers for the wildflower meadow. Surely they will start to grow soon????? We put a lot of different seeds down there, they can't all have failed, surely?

The rose walk is looking really good, I think this will be the year it arrives (as it were). The Paul's Himalayan Musk in the cherry tree is going great guns as well, but the Kiftsgate is looking rather pathetic. We planted it too close to the tree.

Am off to look at the Thomson and Morgan site now Maud, you are a bad influence grin

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 21:15:33

T&M have lots of offers at the moment,, Humphrey.

::siren call of the gardening websites::

I bought black hollyhocks, aquilegia black Barlow and black scabious - three of each as a package.

Oh, does anyone still use potting grit? Even a large garden centre I tried didn't have it. I don't want sand. I don't want fine gravel. I want potting grit.

::stamps foot::

I had to got to about three different garden centres last year for potting grit. When I eventually found it I bought loads. Think I found it in one of the smaller places in the end.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 20-May-12 21:30:25

Yeah, I'm obviously going to have to trek from garden centre to garden centre. Sigh.

chixinthestix Sun 20-May-12 21:55:50

I'm on a no garden centre ban too - at least for anything bigger than seeds. Must try and find a plant swap somewhere though. I have so many spare.

Today I finally flung out the dying bay tree from the pot by the front door. Such a shame as it used to be really pretty and I was shaping it up to be quite a nice little lollipop but the cold 2 winters ago was too much for it. Instead I've put out a big pot containing a purple foxglove, a pink aquilegia, a red campion, 2 pink cosmos and some feverfew. Hoping it will be a bit classy naturalistic and will have to do as a front garden as we don't have one.

Bertha I grow tons of cosmos and have never pinched it out, always seems to do fine and quite big branching plants. Its a failsafe for me, and needs very little tlc.

Lexilicious Sun 20-May-12 22:17:31

I added to my thyme collection today. Went to the Ricky festival and saw with great happiness that possibly my favourite gardening outlet were ther - Herbal Haven. I now have about eight thymes and am going to start treating them nicely - will make up another terracotta container for all of them. Maybe parsley and sage would go well in the two pots (rosemary done yesterday) then I would have my little garden theme song...

So, I have common thyme, orange, white, creeping white, silver posie, doone valley, one other I can't remember without going to look to see if I labelled it at the label, and today's are lime, woolly and pink chintz. Oops. That's ten. I may have a bit of a thyme problem...!

Grockle Mon 21-May-12 07:10:41

I love thyme - I'm going to get some more too. I only have 1 at the moment so am not in your league, lexi!

teta Mon 21-May-12 10:53:23

I've just been watching the Chelsea programme on I player.I love the Sarah Price garden and the Chris Beardshaw one.Interesting to hear that he doesn't think it will win anything because its not fashionable.Its very similar to my garden here.I grow what works on my soil and thats rhodos/azaleas and camellias with blowsy flowers-Basically lots of spring flowers,i need more summer flowering plants.I didn't like the Thai pavilion -very tacky[but colourful].The Korean garden was very cleverly done as was the tropical plant-finders garden.I'm looking forward to the rest of the coverage.

Grockle Mon 21-May-12 20:08:22

Settling down, watching Chelsea now.

Adds Chelsea programme to list to watch

It's lovely hearing about all your gardens. And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one on a garden centre ban or limit. Although having said that I'm off to the garden centre tomorrow but will have to be very strict about what to buy. My list is rather long blush

I'm wondering if I should pot on my tomatoes or just go for it & transfer to a grow bag. They're the cold frame at the moment but we don't have a greenhouse so I'll have to take my chances with the outdoors. Too early to transfer to final growing place?

radiohelen Mon 21-May-12 21:36:54

Oooh Hello! I'm at my mum's helping her recover from her hip operations and I find myself in charge of peach rescusitation as well. A quick google has revealed it has peach leaf curl and while the rhs site is very good on giving me advice what to do for next year to prevent this from happening again (plastic tent, bordeaux mix) there is very little about what I should do now! It says take off the affected leaves and fruit and burn them but the tree is only a baby and this would completely defoliate it.

What should I do?

funnyperson Mon 21-May-12 22:53:41
Lexilicious Mon 21-May-12 23:02:44

I have the same problem Helen. I'm leaving leaves on unless they look actually fungal, and making a frame for covering them next winter.

more plants sold at work today, and I've been promising to do cuttings for people. Getting a bit of a cottage industry going!

Not all that inspired by the chelsea show. And I think I am on the pearl-clutching side of the fence about that new category (but didn't the RHS lady do an impressively hyper pitch for it!)

radiohelen Tue 22-May-12 08:51:17

Thanks funny and Lexi. I think I'll leave the leaves alone and implement a Peach protection strategy for the winter!

Now on to sorting out their vegetable patch. A veggie patch on almost solid clay I ask you! Also I have NEVER seen as many slugs in one place as my mother's house. She appears to live at slug central! We took 53 from the big pot with her mint in it on Sunday - 53! That's a lot of decomposing slugs.

teta Tue 22-May-12 08:55:52

Yes she did!.I was a bit exhausted after watching her.I dislike the fresh exhibitions too.However i do love the impressionistic naturalistic planting thats present in many of the gardens,plus the beautiful trees.I love the garden with the perforated copper/bronze screen dipping into the water done i think by a very experienced Chelsea veteran but didn't like the Aussie one.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 22-May-12 09:59:10

I didn't see all of yesterday's Chelsea programme and none of Sunday's but am very thrilled at all the arts and crafts planting that seems to be going on, as that's how my garden is planted and, much as I love bold and stark architectural planting with three Dicksonia Antartica and a rill, it'd never work for this garden and this house.

radiohelen Tue 22-May-12 11:45:09

Just had a look at some Chelsea pictures on the Telegraph website. Photographers are hilarious. Nice picture, bugger the caption. I'm pretty sure those vibrant Hollyhocks are Hyacinths and that country is Grenada - not Granada!

I quite like the Sarah Price Garden but I like Joe Swift's better.

Harr1etJ0nes Tue 22-May-12 12:14:55

We had a dicksonia antartica but it died last year after the hard winter. Was wrapped up but obviously not enough sad

Lexilicious Tue 22-May-12 14:19:34

Teta, I went to Chelsea FS last year and the aussie garden then was similar - kind of bland, really. However, its chief attraction which I doubt has any effect on the RHS judges was the rather scrummy young men standing around it, handing out plant lists. I came over all Lady Chatterley for a moment.

rhihaf Tue 22-May-12 15:19:24

Have planted radish, spring onions and pak choy THREE times outside, and nothing has come yet, apart from the odd straggly radish sprout...

but with this weather, I am planting out my peas and courgettes today, grin along with some pak choy seedlings (hangs head in shame) but they're leftovers from my dad's garden, so can justify non-seed growing ;)

[offers elderflower fizz from lst year] I love this sun!!

Has anyone grown corriander/dill/tarragon successfully from seed? Would I use a pot or put them direct into a spare patch in my herb garden?

And does parsley need replenishing every year? My plants from last yr are still quite bushy but have gone to seed a bit... have they had it or are they rescuable?

Lexi - giggle, I applaud your Lady Chatterly perversion tendencies, bravo!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 22-May-12 15:39:53

I've got some coriander seedlings on the go now, although they se to have suffered a bit from the combined effects of potting-on and snails. I don't usually grow the others as I don't know what to do with them, culinarily-speaking, although fill makes a very pretty plant.

I sitting in the garden trying --not very--hard to motivate myself to do and do some ironing. I think I may plant up the herb planter and have a swig of that very palatable elderflower fizz instead.

:: to dampen Lexi's ardour with the seep hose::

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 22-May-12 15:41:51

Oh and I think parsley is a biennial, so once it goes to seed it's pretty much had it (and the flavour changes too).

Lexilicious Tue 22-May-12 16:21:27

Dill should be easy from seed. I have some starting to come through in a tall slim pot with fine gravel on top, actually from seed heads collected off last year's.

I've done Russian tarragon from seed but it's not as 'culinary' as French, which can only be propagated from cuttings.

Coriander is a pain. I can't get it going, nor basil. No kitchen windowsill is my problem.

Didn't Monty say in the autumn that parsley should be left out over winter as a perennial? Mine (curly) thrived on that.

Maud - we grab handfuls of dill and do them briefly at the end of grilling salmon on the BBQ and tarragon goes in chicken bake things. With wine.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 22-May-12 17:36:23

If he said that, then dear old Monty got it wrong!

Lexilicious Tue 22-May-12 18:20:30

Strawberry plants. Greenfly. Infested. Suggestions? ARGH!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 22-May-12 18:24:32

Everything in our veg garden has been killed by slugs, and I suspect that is what happened to the wildflower meadow seedlings too sad They have even stripped the potato crop, which was fine a few days ago.

I spray greenfly with a soapy solution, seems to make them go black and drop off. Only done it on roses though.

Harr1etJ0nes Tue 22-May-12 18:49:06

Soapy stuff is good but has to be direct hits to kill.

MooncupGoddess Tue 22-May-12 18:54:01

Coriander is tricky; whenever I grow it from seed it throws out a few nice leaves and then bolts to seed. Am trying it in a hanging basket this year in the hope that will work better.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 22-May-12 18:58:11

If anyone has any ideas of what I can do with 200 square metres of empty soil, that SHOULD be a wildflower meadow? I don't think we are going to get the slug population under control this year, and we have already spent quite a bit on seed that has failed, not to mention the seed that Maud so kindly posted to me <wails piteously>

DH is not happy. He has slug rage.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 22-May-12 18:58:30

sorry, that didn't even make sense blush

GentleOtter Tue 22-May-12 19:05:47

Please can anyone help me remember the name of a plant which grows about 6 foot tall, always gets wrecked by the weather and has stunning blue flowers. Cannot remember what it is for the life of me but I'm going to move it as it is annoying me.

mistlethrush Tue 22-May-12 19:38:17

Shrub? or perennial?

GentleOtter Tue 22-May-12 19:44:46

It is a perennial, serrated leaves, blue monkshoody looking flower...it is driving me insane as I absolutely do not remember it's name.

I've just been up the allotment for 2 hours and everything is growing insanely. I picked a whole carrier bag of rhubarb (yum!) as it was ready.

And most importantly some beautiful purple Alliums (pic on profile) to have in the house.

I've got tomorrow afternoon there to weed - weeds are mental - after 30 minutes weeding I made barely a dent.

HumphreyCobbler Tue 22-May-12 19:47:56

the slugs are even eating the weeds at my house, there is not a weed in sight. It is bizarre.

funnyperson Tue 22-May-12 19:55:14

Humphrey how can you possibly have so many slugs and he birds not eat them? Are you sure it is slugs and not, for example, caterpillars?

rhihaf Tue 22-May-12 20:21:27

Thanks for the info ladies smile Looks like I'll have to replenish my parsley plants then... sad

I can't get corriander nor basil to grow from seed very well either... but for some reason I've had fab results with my outdoor cucmbers!

Haven't planted them out yet as it's a bit risky frost-wise, but they are going to be trained along the fence of my veg plot so I can use the bed underneath the fence for something else.

Bad luck Humphrey sad bloody slugs! (or caterpillars or whatever) How about a patch of comfrey? Have never tried it but heard lots of good things...

I'm sure I could actually SEE my courgette seedlings growing today - every time I walked past, the leaves had grown, I'd put money on it!