Potting shed summer party

(1000 Posts)

Following on from the Blooming into Flaming June thread and all others before it.

The potting shed is open for summer. Elderflower wine aplenty and room for all. Monty will be along later...

But only as long as he doesn't wear the hat he's got on in tonight's GW grin.

Do you mind if I join?

I have got quite into gardening since I had dc, we do mostly vegetables, with mixed results confused Am still pretty inexperienced though, so it would be lovely to have people to bounce ideas off. The only person who knows a lot about gardening here is MIL and she is a bit intimidating as she is so good at it, so I feel a bit of an idiot asking her questions normally blushgrin

nightshade1 Fri 26-Jul-13 21:03:47

im back, sorry lost you all last month for a bit - typing (and gardening) with broken wrists was rather difficult!!!!

MousyMouse Fri 26-Jul-13 21:15:57

hi. I'm here.
having a moment to myself on dc's bed whilst they pretend to fall asleep

have mowed the lawn today for the first time in 4 weeks. it looks better now, amazing what one downpour and one little shower can do for a scorched lawn.

dfil is getting better, but the travel insurance is now playing silly buggers. I'm leaving the dealings with them to dh, I might scream at them through the phone. sooooooo frustrating. basically the hospital say he's ready to be discharge but can't because we can't care properly for him at our home. and the insurance says they will not transport him home because he is well cared for here...argh

anyway, planted my new rose, a glas of homemade lemonade + pimms is waiting for me!

MousyMouse Fri 26-Jul-13 21:17:26

outch nightshade, that sounds a nightmare. I hope it's healing well!

Welcome Whispers, I only did veg until I started on this thread and now I have flowers and all sorts. Be careful, the people on here can lead you into a wonderful world of gardens!

Nightshade - ow, what happened?

nightshade1 Fri 26-Jul-13 21:48:19

I did a good superman effort over the bar of my bike! then rode on the left one already broken for a month before crashing and giving in and taking a trip to A&E!!

all healed now but have damaged the nerves in my left so no grip strength, so long as im careful and don't over do it im ok to start in the garden again

I'm in! I found a lovely deep terracotta effect plastic planting trough in somebody's skip yesterday. I was so embarrassed picking it out but oh just imagine what I can fill it with... Tumbling succulents maybe?

MousyMouse Fri 26-Jul-13 22:12:59

can I ask a lawn question?
do I need to feed it before the winter? are these 'patch up' products (seeds mixed with feed) any good?

Rhubarbgarden Fri 26-Jul-13 22:13:05

Hello new thread and welcome Whispers.

<chinks glass of elderflower wine and apologises for lowering the tone at the end of the last thread>

Rhubarbgarden Fri 26-Jul-13 22:20:48

Mousy you can feed your lawn in the autumn but make sure it's a product designed for the autumn not the spring. Spring feeds are high in nitrogen to green up the sward during the growing season. Autumn feeds are high in potassium and other goodies for building up roots while leaf growth slows down during the cold months. It will say on the product which season it is aimed at. Apply in late September/October once the hot dry weather is over.

Thanks for the welcomes smile

We have got a few flowers but I am hopeless at remembering what any of them are or their proper names or anything grin

So, at the moment we have growing: 3 pumpkin plants, 2 courgette plants, strawberries, potatoes, three tomato plants and two bell pepper plants. Plus various herbs etc and nasturtiums.
We've already harvested so far this summer: carrots, radishes, blackcurrants.

Will be back in the coming days for advice on pumpkins and tomatoes!

echt Fri 26-Jul-13 22:21:58

Ah, new thread. Come on in, whispers. i'm merely contemplating the garden at the mo, as I'm in bed iPadding this. I can hear the birds, a bit lively now as we only have a bit of winter left and they'll soon be nesting.

No gardening done this week as full on at work, and darkish when I get home, still, was displeased to see a departing tradie had decapitated my velthemia capensis, so that's it for this year for that plant.sad I expect today's work will feature much weeding.

Just peeked through the curtains, and a spectacular pink and orange sunrise is on the go , though the rush of cold air from the windows made me hop back into bed, sharpish. Time for a cuppa, brekkie courtesy of DH, and a listen to The News Quiz.

We're going to see Pacific Rim this morning, as only giant killer robots mindlessly whacking each other will do right now. By afternoon the day will have warmed up enough for the weeding, and who knows, I might be motivated by the killer robots and get medieval on their weedy asses. grin

funnyperson Fri 26-Jul-13 22:28:32

Hello everyone! <hands round honey and almond sponge cake with a little cream and rose jam to accompany if required>
So happy you have a new thread!
I dont know anything about lawns, mousymouse except that patch stuff never seems to do much good. Like most people I feed it in the spring and Autumn and rake it from time to time to scarify the moss and leaves and stuff. I dont water i much. Mother, however, waters hers and it is luscious.
Today I cut back Mme Alfred Carriere who has ended her first flowering of the year which this year was truly sumptuous.
Then I sat in the garden swing seat and chatted. Then I moved two lots of university student room contents back home. After this arduous task we sat in the garden eating ice cream and drinking cordial and chatted some more.
Lovely day, and how lovely to have a pleasant garden to sit in. smile

Rhubarbgarden Fri 26-Jul-13 22:29:38

If it is bald patches that are concerning you, autumn is the perfect time for dealing with these. Rake over them to loosen the soil a bit, scatter grass seed, rake in and water. You can apply a top dressing if you wish - this is basically just a thin-ish layer of new topsoil spread over bald patch, then seeded as above.

funnyperson Fri 26-Jul-13 22:30:21

The buddleia is out, this year it has turned a deep and fashionable purple (last year it was pale lilac and I pruned it back very severely) and the butterflies are lovely- mostly white atm though.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 26-Jul-13 22:32:38

Ooh x loads of posts.

Lovely sounding day, Funny.

MousyMouse Fri 26-Jul-13 22:36:55

great, a project for the autumn them. we have a victorian stone roller, I guess I can use it to press new seeds into the lawn.

all my roses look glorious atm. again the question about the care before winter: feeding? how much and what? my mother used to cut them right back down to maybe 5 inches and cover them with mulch. but that was in an area with much harsher winters. hardly any frost in my se garden...

my honeysuckle doesn't look very good this year, not many flowers and the few that it has are not as even. they were spectacular last year.

My lawn never gets anything which is probably why it is mostly moss

I bought DH a massive hammock for his birthday, I reclaimed a bit of woodland and cut the undergrowth back and tonight we hung it between two of the oaks. We then spent a happy hour lying in it staring up at the sky and the oak canopy. Very relaxing. Beer helped.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 26-Jul-13 22:51:50

::rushes in to defend Monty's rather rakish straw hat::

echt Sat 27-Jul-13 07:46:38

Well, "Pacific Rim" was very silly, and the weather had clouded over by the time we got out, so to heck with the weeding.

However I bought a bowl of orchids at a yard sale for $10. Stunning, and ready to be divided as soon as the flowers finish. I've no idea what kind they are, but probably not native, but they are grown outside in a pot, bloom in winter, and are moved around out of the sun in summer. I rather like this idea of having small potted plants I can leave under the carport for the summer while they are dormant. Of course this only works for plants that mostly don't need watering.

Currently waiting for DD to fall asleep for her nap before I go out and try and get my head around pumpkins.
I have planted three, which in hindsight was too many as they are now fighting for space, but it would feel too mean to get rid of one or two now blush also, am I more likely to get actual pumpkins if I leave them as there are more flowers and thus more chance at pollination? On one of them, the leaves are so huge that they are blocking access to the flowers which probably doesn't help!
What's particularly annoying is that I had quite a few pumpkin and courgette seedlings so gave them away to friends... Theirs are all starting to produce stuff shockhmm

MousyMouse Sat 27-Jul-13 10:38:43

my pumpkin plant is huge and has lots of flowers.
but the female ones so far have fallen off.
I have sort of trained in an S shape in the veg patch so it is more compact.
I wonder what I am doing wrong or if I need to do something?

I have a mostly clover lawn. It needs to be mowed but I keep making excuses. Today would be a good day to do that before this evening's storms roll in though, and I need to take down the gazebo which probably won't like getting rained on so much. Perhaps I will get my big bottom off the sofa soon. Only issue is, I have a napping nearly 4yo using 35 weeks of tummy as a pillow. It's rather sweet.

I have three buddleia out the front which were supposed to be red white and blue but are purple, lilac and purple (J Parkers, grrr). The butterflies love them, the bees love the sedum, comfrey and lavender, and I don't mind all the weeds now that they're all out. Must cut back the geraniums for a second flush.

I have a heavily laden blackberry, but the propagation by layering hasn't worked. I think I need to cut back the underplanting to see what's going on there, and rearrange some stems in advance of next year.

All my terracotta pots of herbs have been neglected by DH to the point of extreme dessication and I don't know if they are possible to rescue. Odd really as he says he's only interested in herbs and fruit. Not enough to bloody water them....!!!

oh and there's a springwatch special on iplayer all about butterflies and moths. Fascinating! Am saving Monty for later. Anyone notice at the bottom of a recent email from RHS (or maybe GW) that he is casting for people to be in a new series about making an 'extraordinary' garden from a small space?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 27-Jul-13 13:13:13

I saw the Springwatch programme last night. It was lovely. I may have a crush on Martin but Monty is still my number one.

funnyperson Sat 27-Jul-13 18:04:55

It is really too hot and muggy to do much.
I found it really interesting on the Springwatch programme about some plants being sterile therefore not providing nectar for butterflies, as I really hadn't thought of that. The tip about seeing whether they land on the flowers was useful.
In my garden, we have pairs at the moment who gambol in the air high up in the canopy and then low down among the flowers.
They don't like the nicotiniana, but they love the stachys, even though the flowers of the stachys are very understated.

funnyperson Sat 27-Jul-13 18:09:14

I have the same issue with my pumpkins, mousy, lots of flowers but they are all dropping off sad Asked my MIL today and she just said to trust them and leave them be blush

Funny - that kit looks amazing, I'd love to do that with my kidssmile Wonder if they will be old enough next year hmm

cantspel Sat 27-Jul-13 19:25:39

The heavens have opened and at last the garden is getting a good watering. I have not done much gardening in the last week or so as it has been too hot to do more than water the tubs and do a bit of deadheading. I now have the decorators in doing the lounge so i will hide in the garden next week and catch up on the weeding.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 27-Jul-13 19:26:08

My PC won't let me access funnyperson's link. Is it one of those butterfly house kits? We have had one for ages but have only used it a couple of years because finding the ideal moment to get the caterpillars - warm temperature, not about to go on holiday etc - is tricky. It is lovely watching them hatch and then releasing them, though.

I have just done a bit of tidying-up and glyphosate-squirting in the garden. I need to go and deal with the lily beetle larvae which have pooed themselves to the leaves. Oh joy.

Lovely rain smile, it even held off until we'd finished the BBQ and the last of the guests left. Perfect. Now for some sun again in the morning and I'll be very happy.

Fed guests with lots of stuff from the garden today. I do enjoy that. Peas eaten straight from the pods as pre-meal nibbles are the best thing ever. Used the kohl rabi cut up into sticks with dips as someone suggested (Rhubarb?), that was lovely too.

Butterflies everywhere here. Fabulous.

funnyperson Sat 27-Jul-13 21:16:19

Yes it is a butterfly kit from amazon, with 'painted lady' caterpillars to order with a voucher when you get the kit. Maud did you get caterpillars the following year naturally in your garden as a result?
Thank goodness it is raining.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 27-Jul-13 21:36:03

That sounds idyllic, Bertha.

Sadly not, funnyperson. The butterflies scarpered as soon as released so someone else must have benefitted the next year!

HumphreyCobbler Sat 27-Jul-13 22:04:19

Hello everyone smile

Fed lots of pots in the garden and we cut back everything that had not already been cut down. Garden is looking tidy, but rather bare. It will hopefully soon grow at bit thanks to all the lovely rain.

Echinacea, perovskia, monarda, sweet peas, sea holly and Japanese anemones are all just coming into flower in the cottage borders. The front garden is looking extremely bare as all the geraniums and alchemilla mollis have been cut hard back and there is nothing planted to come on now, except for a few cosmos purity. I must try to have some annuals coming on to put there next year - any ideas anyone? There are a few wild flowers in the patch, enough to make it look pretty smile.

Today we have eaten potatoes, peas, cucumber, tomatoes, basil and Tulameen raspberries from the garden. These last are massive and really tasty.

MousyMouse Sat 27-Jul-13 22:08:52

have cut more off the blue tree today, have decided to take the top meter or so off to make it easier to handle. hope it will reward me with lushious flowers next year.
should I feed it now or before winter?

MousyMouse Sat 27-Jul-13 22:11:14

have not yet eaten anything from the garden except strawberries and herbs. but the tomatoes are full of fruit. the chillies are also looking good, I guess I need to find a way to preserve them.

bunchoffives Sat 27-Jul-13 23:29:17

for pumpkins try pollinating the flowers yourself to give them a nudge in the right direction. I just put a finger on the male stamen, give it a wiggle, then try to brush the pollen on to a female flower.

If it works the bulb of a little pumpkin underneath the flower will start to swell and to grow. If it hasn't worked the bulby bit will fall off. But don't despair, it will produce more. I think it helps if you've got a few plants because it's more likely that they will flower at the same time so you can pollinate. HTH and you get some pumpkins for halloween smile

Thanks bunchofives, I had heard that but have not yet had two flowers of opposite gender open at the same time!! hmm Very frustrating, think I just need to be more patient blush

echt Sun 28-Jul-13 06:05:07

A beautiful afternoon here in Melbourne, and the balmy 18 has brought out all the power-assisted tools, but who cares?
I've done a tidy up of the front garden. On another thread I'd identified a phlomis and now see I'm sprawled on the bench looking at another version of it; leonotis leonutus, in the raised bed. It's a bit of a bully, as well as a legal alternative to cannabis, apparently, so it will get a big prune later. Feeding it is a problem as it likes phosphorus which is bad for many native plants, that will cop the run-off when it rains. It will have to starve, and I'll move it if needed.

The hyacinth bulbs have sprouted, daffodils on the way and hardenbergia flowering vigorously, so all go.

funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 07:39:26

I don't think you need to feed the blue tree (a ceanothus I presume) mouseymouse as it is very resilient.
echt it is lovely hearing about spring. Phlomis was mentioned by Joe Swift in one of his planting schemes: there seem to be different sorts and I've never been sure what it will look like in a border or what to plant it with, but the name is so pleasant it seems worth a try!

So interesting to hear about a garden over the other side of the world and in a different season, echt smile

funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 09:06:10

Can I ask what tools you have all found useful to prune/deadhead/shape trees/roses/bushes at height? I am short and dumpy so daren't climb up a ladder (which would most surely buckle under the weight!).

I have had fun digging up a peony- massive corms (surprising since only about 3 flowers this year) which I have divided. I have also dug and divided the irises.

MousyMouse Sun 28-Jul-13 10:13:42

funny I have a telescopic thing a bit like this
with it I have quite a good reach.
I hate stools/ladders, but have a workers bench which feels much more stable than a ladder.

cantspel Sun 28-Jul-13 13:20:13

I use long handled loppers too and also have a rechargeable bush trimmer which also has a extendable handle. I can reach most things with them and use an old fashioned wooden ladder if i have to.

funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 16:25:15
funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 16:25:41
ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 28-Jul-13 16:53:54

How odd. None of those links will open for me either, but I agree that a bench would feel far safer than a ladder.

We have just been to a lovely open garden, where I admired rosa mutabilis.

Bumbez Sun 28-Jul-13 18:58:11

Hi everyone

Hello to whispers

Etch agree its lovely to hear gardening stories from the other side. I lived and worked in Melbourne many years ago its a lovely city.

Funny I didn't know you could divide peonies I have one I need to move. It only had 2 flowers and came up in the lawn remnants of a grassed over border I think. I also need to move 2 camelias which didn't flower at all - must be due to the soil, and all the strawberries which had a meagre yield.

Thank goodness it's rained I shall need to cut the grass once more.

To be truthful, I haven't gardened much but enjoyed pulling out the over mallow.

Interesting about fertilising pumpkins I must grow them next year. smile

stopusingmynicknames Sun 28-Jul-13 19:01:02

I have saved some of my beautiful aquilegia's seeds (really glossy and black seeds - beautiful in their own right!). Can I sow them now, or should I wait until spring?

cantspel Sun 28-Jul-13 19:13:51

I have had a lovely day in the garden doing a bit of cutting back and general tidying. I have started to look at bulbs/seeds for next year and so far my list consists of Alliums, solomons seal, more tulips, more dafs, more bluebells (english not spanish), drumstick Primulas, violas and lily of the valley. I am sure i will add more as the weeks go on and i start visiting the garden centre.

stopusingmynicknames i just scatter the seed heads as i take them off the plant and i always get a good crop of self seeded plants.

funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 22:16:17
funnyperson Sun 28-Jul-13 22:21:15

I daren't make a list of bulbs, though I have saffron crocus on the not-list

Rhubarbgarden Sun 28-Jul-13 22:29:38

I wasn't able to do any gardening this weekend sadly, but I did visit some friends whose garden I designed and planted a couple of years ago. It was a pleasure to see it in full bloom with the perennials all looking glorious, even if the shrubs are still small. It restored my confidence in my ability to combine plants and colours, which has not been my strong point.

Rain at last. Thank goodness.

MousyMouse Sun 28-Jul-13 22:58:50

crocus park husum -> this is whar might happen if you want to grow safron but get sold he wrong kind of crocus. still beautiful, though.

MyBoysAreFab Mon 29-Jul-13 10:59:48

Morning ladies, can I join? I love gardening, and also am partial to a bit of Monty.

In the last 2/3 years I have become passionate about gardening. We have lived in our house for 12 years, and over that time I have planted quite a few shrubs and bushes, trying to keep it low maintenance when the dcs were young, so the garden is now looking mature and I am really quite pleased with it. I am in central Scotland, and everything is about a month behind here with the weather we have had.

I have got much more into the cottage garden look since I have had more time to garden, so am really enjoying finding other things to plant. My favourite plants at the moment are things like aquelegia, valerian and achillea.

One thing you could maybe help me with - on our grass we have a low tree stump which has been there since we moved here. We are happy to leave it there - the dcs have played on and around it over the years. I would like to plant something around it which would grow up it. This year I planted some nastutriums around the base, and some on the top where there are hollows which I put compost in. I fancy something more trailing though - any suggestions? Thanks!

Hi boys smile

Rhubarb - I have been much relieved to see rain too, my veggies really need it!

Well, I have had some good luck on the pumpkin front, I just popped out to water and I have a male and female flower open at the same time grin I have helped them out a bit with a paintbrush (that seems so wrong blushgrin) so hopefully we will have a pumpkin now grin
Being able to eat our nasturtiums was short lived, they are now covered in caterpillar eggs! I'm hoping that'll distract the butterflies from laying on anything else more important!

MousyMouse Mon 29-Jul-13 18:08:03

hi boys, my parents have the tree stum of an old tree, about 5 feet high. they have planted a climbing rose and now it looks more and more like an overgrown fairy tale castle.

it seems a good year for butterflies, the dc like watching them and all the caterpillars.

MyBoysAreFab Mon 29-Jul-13 19:26:34

That sounds lovely Mousy, but my stump is only about a foot in height so probably need something which is low growing. Any suggestions welcome.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 29-Jul-13 20:11:10

Hello, MyBoys.

My parents had the stump of an apple tree that sounds just like yours. About forty years ago they planted an ivy to grow over it. Now, the stump has completely rotted away and they just have a hummock of ivy in its place.

funnyperson Mon 29-Jul-13 20:23:00

I think camomile and thyme so that if you sit or tread on it it smells lovely.

MyBoysAreFab Mon 29-Jul-13 20:41:07

Good ideas, thanks though if it takes 40 years it will outlast me!! I have an established ivy and have loads of thyme growing in the garden so will try some of each and see where it goes. Thanks a lot.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 29-Jul-13 20:43:13

Well, it'll take a long time to get to the point of being all ivy and no stump, but until then you'll get the prettiness of the ivy colonising the stump!

Hi MyBoys, welcome. If you have a look at the pictures on my profile, the giant 'rose dome' grows from a stump. Not that you'd ever know and probably not what you're looking for...smile

Picked our first lemon cucumber today which had been growing hidden on one of the outdoor plants. We cut it up and shared between the four of us. 'twas delicious.

Rhubarbgarden Tue 30-Jul-13 21:41:00

Just watched GW and Carol was showcasing two of the three trees in my must-have list for when I re-do the borders! Cornus kousa and Cornus controversa variegata. I have lusted after these trees for years. I just can't quite figure out where they are going to go yet. I have been doing a lot of standing in the garden and musing on it.

Booked in the garden survey for the week after next though, so perhaps that will help me to figure it out.

Bumbez Wed 31-Jul-13 08:36:31

rhubarb I was thinking about you yesterday dragged dds reluctantly to the garden centre and was admiring gunnera plants. I didn't buy any thing in the end but got lots of ideas. The soil is crap on my north garden so raised beds are the way forward - just need Dh to hurry up and build them!

I love the cornus controversa variegata. So pretty .

Dh's motley collection of yuccas have a reprieve - leaning out the window to ogle my neighbours garden I noticed they have some planted in their East border which actually look quite good.

Spent a pleasant evening weeding and pulling off Virginia creeper from the garage.

MyBoysAreFab Wed 31-Jul-13 09:38:39

Wow bertha that certainly is something to aspire to!

I was also admiring the photo of your corner arbour. I have been looking at them online as I want to get one for our garden.

I took the seeds out of my acquelegia pods and scattered them in the garden - what chance of them growing? I didn't think to just scatter the pods. Dang!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Wed 31-Jul-13 09:52:33

Hi Whispers and Myboysarefab smile

I've tipped the aquilegia pods upside down and let the seeds fall out. Aquilegias do self seed a lot so I think they will do fine.

Have found that members of the curcubit family have a tendency to start off just producing female flowers for a bit till they get into the swing of it and produce males as well. I have a tennis ball sized melon on my plant in the greenhouse so am very pleased.

A David Austin catalogue dropped through my letterbox so am saving that for a quiet moment at some point. I have flowering Cerinthe seedlings that need to go in and some achillea from seed ready to go out. A lot in the garden died during the dry spell though

Bumbez Wed 31-Jul-13 10:27:00

funny thanks for the peony link, and forgot to say hello to myboys<waves>

Two men are currently tackling the overgrown hedges and shrubs with chain saws <gulp>

Hi all smile

Lots of flowers on my pumpkins now, and I've seen some bees about, so fingers crossed grin I pinched the ends off each of the plants, was this the right thing to do? They were just getting so long. I assume this means no more flowers though as there seems to be one per 'junction'/set of leaves?

MousyMouse Wed 31-Jul-13 20:09:48

we have pumpkinkins smile
have just discovered 2 tennisball sized ones with flowers still attached.
the plant is getting really huge, it is now an 8 shape, about 1.5m at the widest point and another 2 times around. my vegpatch is looking rather crowded.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 01-Aug-13 11:39:41

Hello everyone

<waves to myboys>

It is really hot today. I have watered all the ferns and the pots by the herb beds that don't get much rain. We are going away so I am about to stick stickers on the plants in the greenhouse, explaining how much to water them <overkill>. We are eating runner beans, peas, broad beans, cucumber, garlic, tomatoes, basil, salad, billions of courgettes and beetroot leaves atm, I am actually a bit gutted to be going away.

Have started to make courgette soup for freezing, it seems to work well if you add the parmesan, cream and basil after you defrost it to eat. It is a very easy way of dealing with a glut. Have also been cooking them with majoram, making an egg/bacon/courgette flan, frying in butter. I am soon going to be sick of courgettes....

funnyperson Thu 01-Aug-13 14:37:10

<waves generally>
I'm quite amused by the stickers, and think you should take photos so that we can all benefit and learn how much we ought to be watering the plants. humph you certainly have the gift what with having a courgette glut so soon. Its true it seems a wrench to go away from the garden this year, not that I have to undergo that particular wrench, except when I am under the neon lights at work in the week.
Agree re Cornus, can't get them trees out of my mind, or the picture of Carol standing underneath them, looking happy, or the rather good combination of magenta geranium nodosum underplanting. Geraniums are very odd: I cant stand the smell of the normal windowboxy types but I love the perennials. Does anyone else feel the same?
Lilies, roses, geraniums, clematis, honeysuckle, cerinthe, cornflowers, anchusa, phlox, a rather nice pink/purple coreopsis, all out here in a happy muddle. Pernennials going for a song at the local nursery centre.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 01-Aug-13 14:48:35

I am worried they will overwater the tomatoes and kill the flavour blush And the cuttings need doing twice a day if it is sunny. I want them to feed the cucumber every day too. My poor house sitters...they have to look after the livestock too and Ginge the pig has got a poorly foot.

I have a glut because I planted too many courgette plants. I either do too many or not enough

I loved the geranium nodosum too funnyperson. But I adore the scent of pelargoniums, they remind me of my granny.

DD came in from the garden yesterday delighted because she had pulled off a bit of fennel and it smelled so lovely.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 01-Aug-13 14:50:10

I want lilly bulb recommendations! Any suggestions? I have so enjoyed the few I have planted this year I am hoping to plant at least 10 more pots up for next summer.

Aww, wish I had a courgette glut, ours are looking woefully courgette-free sad

Mousy, great about the pumpkins grin I think a couple on my plants are getting bigger, but not sure yet if I'm imagining it!
I've got three pumpkin plants, 2 are fairly small, possibly about 6 foot long but quite small plants with smallish leaves, IYSWIM. The other one is the big one, about the same length but huge stems, leaves and flowers smile

cantspel Thu 01-Aug-13 16:00:01

Humprhery i am just about to put my lily photos up on facebook. They have been lovely this year and the scent wafting in the patio doors has at times been too heavy.

funnyperson Thu 01-Aug-13 18:04:53

Yes, lilies are best in moderation -my favourite is lilium regale. By the front door this year I have those tree lilies in flower which are very scented in the warmth. The front patio is fragrant with the scent of dill, sweet peas, roses, thyme and lilies atm and the tree lilies almost dominate.
There are painted ladies on the buddleia though- loads!
I wonder if it too late to sow pumpkins -I'm thinking they might germinate quickly in this heat.

MousyMouse Thu 01-Aug-13 20:06:43

my honeysuckle is not very pretty this year.
last year the flowers were spectacular but this time the flowers look funny, a bit unsymmetrical. just not as full. and only a very few.
have fed it yesterday in the hope that that is what it needs.

I too have a courgette glut. Started baking my courgette cakes and I do a mean courgette sauce for pasta. Thinking I may do some courgette chutney next week, didn't get to preserve anything last year as harvest so poor and I do like a chutney.

Funny, pumpkins would germinate now but the pumpkins wouldn't have long enough growing time to get to full size I think.

Also have a bean glut here. We have runners, purple and french. We had runner beans with our fish and chips tonight grin

Rhubarbgarden Thu 01-Aug-13 20:47:08

Liking the sound of the gluts. I've missed my veggies this year. Maybe this autumn I'll find the time to make some veg beds in the walled garden.

It is my birthday today and as usual nobody has bothered. Couldn't get a babysitter to go out tonight and dh is off on a stag weekend tomorrow. So I chucked the kids in the car and dragged them round Wisley all day. The cornus kousas had finished flowering unfortunately but the big perennial borders by the glasshouse were looking beautiful, and alive with bees. The offspring loved the creepy scarecrows and running around in the wildflower meadow. The fruit mound was a big hit too, although ds was determined to eat the gravel on the path and the mulch and drove me a bit bonkers. As usual my suncreaming was woefully inadequate and we are all a bit too glowing this evening.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 01-Aug-13 20:55:18

Happy birthday, Rhubarb!

My lilies are only just beginning to open, but the scent is lovely.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 01-Aug-13 20:55:37

Happy Birthday Rhubarb <offers cake>

MousyMouse Thu 01-Aug-13 20:56:48

happy birthday, rhubarb!

there are loads and loads of tomatoes on my plants but not ripe yet. I had to fix them sort of across each other as they have grown too tall and are heavy with green fruits.

Birthday greetings Rhubarb <offers blackberry vodka, some runner beans and a large courgette>

Rhubarbgarden Thu 01-Aug-13 23:05:49

Thank you! <snarfs cake and veggies and necks vodka enthusiastically>. Feeling much perkier now! smile thanks

Happy birthday Rhubarb smile

Am very envy at all the gluts...

funnyperson Thu 01-Aug-13 23:38:21

Happy Birthday rhubarb smile flowers

cantspel Fri 02-Aug-13 00:35:16

Belated happy birthday rhubarb.

If anyone has grown marrows and is feed up of eating them i have a great recipe for marrow rum i can share.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 02-Aug-13 14:07:51

Thanks! smile

Bumbez Fri 02-Aug-13 14:42:15

Courgette glut here too - I love them raw dipped in hummus!

I need some ideas for beans that have gone slightly too big. Only just got round to picking the first batch of French beans today and some of them are on the large side. Can you make a pickle out of beans?

cantspel Fri 02-Aug-13 20:33:48

Dont know about pickle but you could make bean wine.

Monty is looking a bit bright tonight in his green shirt.

<goes off to google bean wine...>

Thought Monty looked much better without last week's hat. That wisteria was amazing!

Bean wine Looks a little complicated...

pickled beans looks better. Presume I could use any form of bean.

funnyperson Sat 03-Aug-13 10:26:07

I have pulled up the flowering rocket in the vegetable trough and sown salad leaves. Also sowed pumpkins outdoors- the squashes I sowed indoors earlier on in the year didn't survive, but I'm thinking in this weather seeds should germinate and grow outdoors quite fast. Next door's wisteria is reflowering at the moment, almost like a second spring.

Woottons of Wenhasten and Claire Austin both sell fantastic irises.

I am off to Jaques Amand today to look at bulbs. I will keep my eyes open for old tin baths on the way!

echt Sat 03-Aug-13 11:16:33

I'd hoped to get out in the garden today, but it tanked down with hail. In the warmest winter since records/southern hemisphere, etc.etc.

On the other hand I went to a radio station where the very lovely Geoffrey Rush was interviewed live. What a gent.

MousyMouse Sat 03-Aug-13 11:40:42

I watched gw and part of the bees programme this morning.
bee programme very interesting if a bit gloom. have downloaded i to watch with my father (a hobby beekeeper) when he comes to visit.

thanks to gw I know what to do with my strawberry plants, have to do some weeding first.

funnyperson Sun 04-Aug-13 05:33:01

Good morning!
I thought Monty's white garden was interesting- much less formal than I had imagined, and providing lots of food for thought as to how to balance the frothy/informal effect (which he produced with his ammi) with the more traditional cottage garden plants (like irises for example) which in my garden have to all share proximity.
I had high hopes of the crambe cordiflora but when I went out looking for the young plant yesterday it seemed to have died. Most of us cant just get large plants because they are expensive. The smaller ones need nurturing before they can be planted out.
I've been having a lot of fun with the pots out front experimenting with maroon (lilies, dahlias, sweet peas, ) and pale yellow (hosta, roses, calla, begonia,) touches of blue (integrifolia clematis, salvia, sweet peas) and variegation (hosta, pieris). Apparently they move the pots at great Dixter round every 2 weeks.
Peter Beales is selling irises very reasonably, but not till November!

funnyperson Sun 04-Aug-13 10:06:00
WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 04-Aug-13 13:45:56

A very belated happy birthday to Rhubarb. I'm taking the DC's to London for a couple of days and doing Covent Garden and showing them places the Harry Potter films were shot. Any suggestions of places we could wonder by with some nice greenery and flowers for me to look at please ?

MousyMouse Sun 04-Aug-13 14:12:26

wynken hyde park rose garden, dito regents park.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 04-Aug-13 15:04:22

Thanks Mousy smile

Rhubarbgarden Sun 04-Aug-13 15:40:28

The Garden Museum.

British Museum is always fab and has been doing garden/landscape features outside it the last few times I've been.


Chelsea Physic Garden

Geffrye Museum - homes and gardens through the ages. I've never been but always fancied it. They advertise lots of activities for children too.

funnyperson Sun 04-Aug-13 18:08:02

hampstead heath. keats house.
its nice just being by the river though-south bank, london eye, take a ferry to the tower and the millenium bridge, that sort of thing

Filled the gaps in the veg plot today left by broad beans and cabbages that have just finished. I put in a couple of lettuce varieties, spring onions, pak choi, loads more beetroot, kohl rabi again, and the remaining chard and perpetual spinach seedlings (which have been happily stunted by remaining in the little modules while their larger brothers and sisters went rampant and bolted in the beds.)

Pumpkins and squashes coming on nicely. The rambling plants climb up the veg plot netting so I have squashes and pumpkins suspended 6 feet high which is wonderful.

Went to cut back the cat mint today as the bits of each clump that i cut back in June are approaching flowering. However, I couldn't do it, there were sooooooo many bees still enjoying the flowers I didn't have the heart to deprive them. I think if I'd have been bee counting I would have got over 100 on the long bed easily. The air is humming. grin

Bearleigh Sun 04-Aug-13 22:00:09

Wynken you could try Kensington Palace: I saw the garden there in spring last year and it was lovely. I don't know if you can get into the gardens without the full Palace experience thiugh (i enjoyed that too, but chldren might not). KP garden is only small but there is more to see in general in Kensington Gardens which is itself an extension of Hyde Park. The gardens in St James's Park are lovely, too, with the bonus of the birds to see, including the pelicans.

Hello all... Sad reflection of my inability to take advantage of this fabulous summer, but this thread dropped off my Threads I'm On!! And I have nothing much to say either, but I love hearing all of what you have been doing (exhausting as it sounds!). I have just about been keeping up with GW, but my heart's not in it. On the plus side (?!?) I have hardly spent any money this year on plants or seeds. I have a seed tin full of packets going slowly out of date. I have swathes of bare earth which sadden me, and I haven't been able to take advantage of my increased water butt capacity!

However with six months of imminent maternity leave and a compliant baby (yes you will be, won't you, even if you are a right royal pain in the abdomen just now) I will hopefully be able to do some re-planning and scheduling work in. I think I need raised beds for veg, instead of the rather informal curved, stone-set edge against the lawn that I currently have. I could keep a curved side for non edibles, and make a straight/stepped side for veg. One of my problems with my veg plot is that it's difficult to put net or plastic protection over sections of it, because of its irregular shape.

However, the ornamental border does look nice - slightly unbalanced, where one end is more mature than the other, but full of mixed textures and colours. Quite cottagey and very bug friendly which was the idea all along. There are a lot of self seeded verbena bonariensis around the border but not aquilegia, which I have been careful to take seedheads off (on the basis that I will probably miss some, and that amount of self seeding will be quite enough), but my whole garden is also completely peppered with seedlings of rosebay willowherb, which I think is an occupational hazard of living on a woodland margin.

If I get a last burst of energy in the next three weeks (aaargh, and it could be five) I will take up the irises which did so well this year but were too close to the Allium Schubertii, split them, and move them down a step on the rockery. Last year I split them and put the newer sections up a level, but I don't think they have flowered. They grew well, and I hope they are putting lots of energy into their tubers now. I have let the lupins on top of my rockery go to seed so I am fascinated to see how many seedlings I get next year. I will have a huge blackberry crop about the time I expect to be getting up and about after baby arrives, so I'll have to decide between making brandy or jam... Blackberry brandy is great for making a home Kir royale... Mmmmmm.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 09-Aug-13 09:31:41

Thank you all. Walked right by the Garden museum but no time to go in. Walked down the river and liked the place with lots of wheelbarrows planted up with veg. Also saw someone's garden tucked away with an ingenious frame a whole load of squash were grown up and then more stuff underneath. Went to Greenwich.

On the way in I saw 4 metallic green garden gnomes on a windowsill which made me smile and I loved how many people made an effort with whatever space they had, however small.

echt Fri 09-Aug-13 09:32:56

Nowt in the garden this week - too much work, and rather cold and rainy.

However, this evening I went to check on a nesting box we put up to attract lorikeets, with a view to evicting any Indian mynahs. There was a possum curled up and sleeping in it. How the fat git squeezed in is a mystery, as the diameter of the hole is about 2", and the possum was fat-tastic. I'll wait until it goes abroad then duct tape the hole.

Hi all smile

I have pumpkins grin3 at the moment on two plants, will start culling if I get more than two per plant. It is a bit hard to see properly though due to the leaves... Would it harm the plant to trim a few leaves off?!

cantspel Fri 09-Aug-13 17:49:02

Not being doing much in the garden due to the hot sunny weather we have been having. Just keeping on top of the weeding and watering.
I did put 3 carpet roses in the front garden yesterday to fill gaps where i removed the ground elder and today i have weeded around the bird feeders as the dropped seed has all shooted and was looking a mess.

Hopefully i will get my greenhouse next week. Nothing big or fancy as i have just spent a fortune on replastering and decorating the lounge. The new carpet made the hall, stairs, landing and dining room carpet look very shabby so i have decided to replace those as well grin. Then to well and truly empty the coffers my main oven has just died so i will need to replace that as well.

I refuse to give up on my greenhouse but am going to settle for a cheap wilkos jobbie which will be fine to over winter the a few plants and grow a few bedding plants next year from seed.

We have a little greenhouse (4x6 feet I think) and it is brilliant, we have used it so much :-) got our tomatoes and bell peppers in there in growbags atm. You won't regret it!

nightshade1 Fri 09-Aug-13 19:44:47

hello all,
well progress is slowly being made, the front garden is no longer a ex-council house uniform of square lawn with 6 inch wide borders round the edge and a tree in the middle. DP bless him dug me huge wide swaths of border which bar a few herbs (that I need to move) are completely empty grin so ive started shopping ive got various bits and bobs from an open garden we went to a few weeks ago - yellow tree peony, rosa glauca, astrantia, scabious, achillia, sedum, foxgloves and a few more. ive just got to get on and make headway with deciding where things will go and get them in!! I keep changing my mind though.

I also bought an hydrangea and a dwarf buddleja yesterday along with lots of different succulents (to use planted in things for the wedding tables) that have got hundreds of babies on them so will be spending most of the weekend splitting and potting.

and my second task is building a large coldframe in the back garden so its ready for when I need it.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 09-Aug-13 21:12:53

Lovely to hear what everyone's been up to. Echt I'm envy at your possum even if he wasn't quite the wildlife you had in mind.

I have done nothing in the garden for the past couple of weeks as the demands of two small children have kept me on my knees, both figuratively and literally. Life is feeling a little like wading through treacle at the moment. But, I'm hoping to get a few hours in the garden this weekend as it is DH's turn to give me a break spend quality time with his offspring.

I really enjoyed GW tonight. Loved Simon King's garden. How marvellous to have a stream running through it! It also encouraged me to stop tying myself in knots over-researching how to make the perfect meadow, and to just let the grass grow long in the orchard and get on with it. Encouraging owls would be especially wonderful; I've found a few pellets and heard them at night on a couple of occasions, so they are around.

MousyMouse Fri 09-Aug-13 21:38:26

the 'blue tree' got a spa treatment today. I cut it down to about 3meters (from about 5). tomorrow I will try to get some horse manure to put at it's base.
the tomato glut has started, the first from the 'beef steak' ones have been eaten for dinner. lots more to come!
how do I know when the chilies are ripe? have a green variety, nice size and colour, but no idea if I can just pick them?

funnyperson Fri 09-Aug-13 21:44:12

Hello there! Do have some elderberry cordial with fresh mint leaves and ice wine and here are some yummy scones with damson jam and cream...
I haven't seen GW yet as I arrived back late from a week well acquainted with owls and motorway verge meadow plants due to traffic jams. The cow parsley is nearly over and the long grass is turning golden and old man's beard is beginning to do its thing. There are lots of flowers in the verges this year.
We are going to Stonehenge tomorrow to look at meteor showers and eat toasted marshmallows and generally soak up the ongoing midsummer ambience. It is lovely how the open air theatre companies are all guaranteed sun this year, and I wish the DD were younger so I could go and watch silly but charming plays like 'Sherlock' done by the Pantaloon company or 'the Mikado' in summer gardens or Illyria or the Mnack theatre, all of which we loved at that age. This really is one of the best summers ever.

MousyMouse Fri 09-Aug-13 21:47:06

agree it's a fabulous summer.
not too hot, not too cold, a few showers. my plants (apart from the honeysuckle, sob) are thriving.

funnyperson Fri 09-Aug-13 21:47:42

Echt did you make that up about the possum and the lorikeet and the mynah? it all sounds so ...well other side of the world and magical, and makes me think I must must must go to Australia.

MousyMouse Fri 09-Aug-13 22:09:53

echt I love reading about your side of the world.
have not yet made it there, but would love to visit and see for myself (even though some of the wildlife gives me the creeps).
curled up possums are soo cute, though, had some around when I lived in the us.

cantspel Fri 09-Aug-13 22:24:51

Whispers The wilkos green house is 6 x 4 Polycarbon.
Cheap and cheerful but should last a few years and be a nice home for my geraniums over the winter.

echt Sat 10-Aug-13 08:12:16

Yes, the possums are cute, but are also the reason I've never seen climbing roses in Melbourne. sad

A good thing today was having breakfast and hearing the sound of chainsaws which means only one thing; a tree is coming down. I belted out, drove around and saw some professional tree chaps taking down some old gum trees and shredding them on the spot. I begged a load of the mulch, which was duly dumped on my drive three hours later. Six cubic metres of native mulch for free, private tree fellers are happy to give it away as they'd only have to pay to get rid of it.

Win win.

Now I have to move it, so the afternoon was spent wheelbarrowing mulch to the back garden. Just the right time as it's been raining lots, and the year's on the turn. Spring will arrive on September 1st, a bowl of lovely Aldi hyacinths are in bloom, their gorgeous scent competing with the Vicks vapour smell of the eucy mulch.grin

Rhubarbgarden Sat 10-Aug-13 08:27:58

That's very handy, Echt. I can smell your mulch in my head now after that description!

Just looked up those Wilkos greenhouses. That's seriously good value. I think one of those could be a temporary solution for me too.

Ours is polycarbon too, it's a couple of years old though so not sure where we got it. It has definitely helped with the gardening, particularly growing things from seed smile

HumphreyCobbler Sun 11-Aug-13 15:57:13

Hello everyone

Just caught up with the thread after my holiday. Rake, I was wondering how you are getting on. Three weeks! I am rather envious, I have about nine to go and am finding it bloody hard work tbh. I can't bend over due to terrible heartburn so can only garden upright.

Came back to lots of really delicious tomatoes, I am really pleased as the first few didn't taste of much at all. Runner beans are going strong, as are peas and courgettes. Our neighbour came round with mushrooms from her field yesterday morning, that was great.

We have had the email from NGS. We now have to describe our garden in a short paragraph. I have no idea what to put.

I am just catching up after neglecting the garden for a bit. The heat wave tuned it into a scrubland and I was fed up to see the neighbours dreaded brambles making their way back under, over and even through the new fence. However, I had a nice time out there tidying things up this morning and I have had some successes this year. My favourites at the moment are

- a lovely dark purple/red nicotina
- a prolific wall flower which is always covered in butterflies & bees (is it too late in the year to take cuttings?)
- 2 giant pumpkins
- verbena plugs from t&m which have grown into actual plants and are just starting to flower

This year's casualty list includes:
- carrots
- onions
- lidl tree peonies
- Shirley poppies

At least I am learning where I should be concentrating my efforts...

PS does anyone know if I should have giant white mushrooms growing in my compost bin?

Rhubarbgarden Sun 11-Aug-13 19:52:40

NANN I always think 'have a stab' when it comes to cuttings. Give it a go. Nothing to lose.

After Monty's compost feature on Friday I decided I need to stop chucking all prunings onto the bonfire pile. So after chopping back the Cotinus and the Lavatera (I know you are supposed to do Lavatera in spring - it was overhanging the lawn and doing my head in every time I mowed; it had to be cut back as soon as it finished flowering for the sake of my sanity) I laboriously chopped up all the prunings and added them to the compost instead. I felt very saintly although my wrist may now fall apart on my secateur hand. I have decided I need a chipper!

I am enjoying my newly built compost bays, I must say.

Welcome back from your holiday Humph, I presume your house sitters did a good job?

I have spent a good deal of the weekend dealing with gluts. We now have courgette cake, jars of courgette and apple (from last year's glut still in the freezer) chutney and even more jars of bean chutney. I managed of drop a lump of boiling chutney on my finger; I don't recommend doing that.

funnyperson Sun 11-Aug-13 22:24:54

I pruned the apple tree and the ceanothus and the dogwood and tidied up the topiary and did lots of watering and then went round some local allotments. The compost bins were most interesting- quite a few daleks, but also Monty type ones covered with black plastic. I liked the monty ones, so have ordered 1 to begin with to go in the shady corner which gives me a good excuse not to waste any more money trying to grow things there. Beans, cabbages, lettuce, onions, potatoes and raspberries seemed to be the most popular allotment crops. And calendula.

The rhodedendron Yakushimanum has buds on, like a second spring! The Gaura is also reflowering, to my delight!

Well, my garden continues to mystify me, I was 'tidying' the pumpkin patch and found a random green tomato lying in the soilconfused we are growing tomatoes too, but the plants are about ten metres away in a greenhouse and a different variety! How strange confused

So, the good garden news is that we have three pumpkins and two squash on the way, getting bigger by the day smile Also finally one courgette developing on the plant grin And coriander sprouting finally, I have had terrible trouble with it this year. Peppers and tomatoes getting bigger, I need them to ripen now!
This is my favourite bit of the summer grin

nightshade1 Mon 12-Aug-13 08:36:26

well exciting garden news here..............im getting a greenhouse! after some gentle persuasion and arguing that his carnivorous plants would do better DP has agreed to having a lean to greenhouse across the back off the house (it wont be for a while - wedding to pay for) but eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! grin

and off the back of that he spent yesterday afternoon making me a huge cold frame ready for the winter

I loved how animated Monty was on Friday about his compost!!!! I've nowhere near the space available that he has, but I have chopped up woody prunings with a lawnmower after piling them on the middle of the lawn before - makes slightly worrying noises but it does get them done quicker than using your secateurs ...

funnyperson Mon 12-Aug-13 19:29:27

Yes I liked the compost/Monty relationship: though how he managed to get it smoulderingly hot and that full of worms and ready in 4 months is still beyond me! I think there must be something he isn't telling us.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 12-Aug-13 19:55:25

Regular stirring gets it hot and ready quickly. I used to do it. In the days when I clearly had lashings and lashings of time and energy - ie pre children.

I do think there is something very satisfying about a compost heap.

funnyperson Mon 12-Aug-13 20:13:46

Rhubarb you have lots of energy- it is just being used to be mummy- quite rightly!
I have bought a clematis 'marjorie' to plant.

My compost heap looks nothing like Monty's. Things just get dumped in there whole as they come, then when one bay is full I start filling the other. I did try turning it when i started but I cant manage it without seriously damaging my back so quickly recognised my composting limitations. It's rough compost but I tend only to mulch with it or add to the soil to enrich it and it's fine for that. Does help having the chickens though as the chicken shit manure adds very nicely to the mix.

Drove past Borde Hill Gardens today. Sometimes work really does get in the way of enjoyment, I so wanted to go in and mooch around for a couple of hours.

MousyMouse Mon 12-Aug-13 21:15:12

I have compost heap envy. don't have one (yet) don't know where to put it.
my parent never turned their compost, they use 3 bins, one each year and then sifting through a mesh after the second year.

I'm off to www.igs-hamburg.de/en/ next week.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 12-Aug-13 22:00:14

Thank you funny. Today has been especially trying - explaining death to a three year old, eurgh. Thank you dh for introducing the topic while strolling through a cemetery at the weekend...

Clematis Marjorie - gorgeous!

Bertha I'm really close to Borde Hill. If you ever get chance to stop there give me a shout.

Mousy that garden festival looks amazing. Please post photos.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 16-Aug-13 12:36:33

Anyone after cheap allium bulbs? Sorry if they've been linked before.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 16-Aug-13 13:02:45

Wow, Wynken, that almost seems too good to be true!

Rhubarbgarden Fri 16-Aug-13 13:13:46

Alliums ordered! Hurrah! I couldn't get it to work ordering online - it kept adding on another round of P&P at the checkout; but I rang up and a nice lady processed it over the phone for me.

Thanks Wynken.

hmmm, mine added P&P as well, but I did go for the 50 russian snowdrops for £2.99 with any order on top of the alliums...

Better hope I'm in shape to plant all the buggers come end Sept, eh!!!

cantspel Fri 16-Aug-13 16:04:13

Buggery why do these extra items fall into my basket. I have also added the russian snowdrops and some coir pellets ready to do my cuttings.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 16-Aug-13 18:33:12

Sorry, am I making you all spend money ?! I was really good this time and just did the alliums, however I think I ordered the Russian snowdrops another time.

cantspel Fri 16-Aug-13 19:18:06

Wynken i need very little encouragement to spend money on the gardengrin

Rhubarbgarden Fri 16-Aug-13 19:54:22

Hah, that's funny, I so nearly ordered the Russian snowdrops too! Then decided that 100 alliums was quite naughty enough and I will no doubt be cursing them when I come to redesign my borders and have to find and lift all the bulbs.

Speaking of which, my garden survey arrived so I can get on with the big redesign now. If I ever get the time to sit down at my drawing board, anyway.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 16-Aug-13 20:30:11

Well - we wrote our paragraph for the NGS scheme and emailed it off. We can't back out now <gulp>

Did a load of cuttings today. Eating broad beans, runner beans, tomatoes, peas and the inevitable courgettes. We have decided to turn the lower level/gravelled part by the dairy door into a copper/iron pot garden with lots of alpines and sempervivum. I have always had a few alpine pots down there, but we have moved them all down and planted a few others. It looks really nice.

Rhubarb, I wish we had set about designing our garden like you are doing. There are so many things I wish we had done differently.

funnyperson Fri 16-Aug-13 22:06:06

Brilliant Gardener's world programme again. Brilliant Monty brilliant Carol, brilliant photography, brilliant music.
What did the garden survey tell you rhubarb?
humph liking the alpine sempervium thingy have been thinking along the same lines
Need to do seriously loads of gardening in both gardens this weekend- DS at a festival and DD abroad so should be blissfully uninterrupted.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 16-Aug-13 22:07:21

Arghh. Forgot to watch GW shock

echt Fri 16-Aug-13 22:59:26

Today is mulching day, but first a weed, thorough application of soil wetter granules, then general slow-release fertiliser, being careful to avoid the native plants, then mulch away.

Bamboo, cannas and gardenias get their own special chook/cow manure.

The mulch pile the tree cutters left was immense, so there'll be plenty left for the neighbours.

There have been very high winds lately, and the unidentified tree that flowers for 10 months of the year in the front raised bed is leaning over. I'll have to get big bungies to see if I can get it to stand up. I'd hate to see such a useful, if spindly plant get the chop, as the native nectar-eating birds love it.

This entails a trip to Bunnings, and the temptations of the sad plant unit. grin

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 17-Aug-13 09:30:39

Garden surveys, NGS enteries and Ozzie mulch days, I love this thread. Just had my weekly Saturday cuppa with Monty then a trip to Scotland with Beechgrove Garden lot. There was a fabulous garden on that with lots of sculpture in which I loved.

I need to go to the allotment today as it's very neglected and when I asked a friend what it looked like she pulled a face so it must be bad ! She did say it's mostly that the calendula is going over. And no doubt there will be loads of marrows.

The thing with the alliums is I had already ordered 75 with Parkers so my garden will go from one purple sensation to lots. The back garden is starting to develop a bit. It's been started pretty much from scratch when it all kicked off with Mum and is all very much things jammed in and I haven't dug proper borders in one bit.

I will probably be going back to work full time and am a bit worried about whether I'll be able to keep the allotment up so have been thinking about whether I can grow more veg at home or making the allotment lower maintenance. I have to actually get a job first though and everyone keeps saying how tough it is at the moment which makes me panic and I need to look at flowers to calm me down.

We're also still waiting to hear whether my Mum will be staying where she is or coming home so a lot of uncertainty. Whilst she's been in the flat I've had someone come in and her garden is under control again for the first time in years. It's sad to think she might not go in it again but I am realistic.

Highlight of my week last week was finding a frog in DS's pond

echt Sat 17-Aug-13 16:57:51

Good luck with the allotment and job hunt, Wynken, you've got a lot on you plate. I hope all goes well with your mum, and yes it's sad about her possibly not getting into it again.

I had to cut back my spindly shrub/tree and lost lots of flowers. The upside was rescuing a bottle tree - brachtryton rupestris from the sad plant unit. The women who work in the gardening section came over to coo at it, as they were gagging to see it go to good home. One of them had recently been to Kew and was drooling, and both watch GW, too.

MousyMouse Sat 17-Aug-13 18:06:10

haven't done much in the garden. but have fed the lawn and weeded a bit.
the first bee friendly flowers are about o bloom. was worried that they have got too dry when I first sowed them.

but we have been picking brambles in the local park. loads of them. now have 4 liters! of blackberry sauce in the freezer and have had lots of blackberry sauce with pancakes.

MousyMouse Sat 17-Aug-13 18:07:16

had o google the bottle tree. beautiful. hope it grows well in your garden.

echt Sat 17-Aug-13 23:01:58

We're keeping our bottle trees in big pots, though they'll never get to their full gigantic size. They're not bad in a garden as they store water rather than need an endless supply, so don't compete.

A lady in Melbourne had one, grown in the ground, so big she had to donate it to a park. After the very long drought, the return of normal service meant her bottle tree took off. Fortunately, they're easily moved with a digger, haulage and a decent lorry, but it costs a bit.grin

funnyperson Sun 18-Aug-13 11:12:31

Built and filled up compost heap and planted clematis yesterday.
The clematis viticella abundance is flowering which is nice.
The verbena bonariensis remains spindly and flowerless, and sometimes, especially when I pass a neglected roundabout with more flowers than the garden, I despair. Because the garden is shady and north facing, it never really develops a profusion of colour, more green foliage dotted with the odd flower sad

Rhubarbgarden Sun 18-Aug-13 16:20:00

The garden survey is just an accurate plan of the garden, like an architect's drawing of a house. So the patio, hedges, walls, level changes, borders, steps and perimeter fencing etc all drawn out to scale, plus locations of large trees and spread of their canopies.

It will allow me to plot the new structure - I want to widen the south and east facing borders, and create west and north facing ones. Then I shall put in paths between the borders and the lawn, so I no longer have the annoyance of plants flopping over onto the grass - they will be able to flow over path instead and not get in the way of mowing. It will also provide a means of getting around the garden without crossing lawn - essential for winter access to the compost heap etc.

Then, I'm considering bisecting the main lawn with another path, covered with a pergola. This would make the part in front of the house symmetrical and reflect the dimensions of the house. It would also create a triangular bit 'chopped' off by the pergola path, which would contain the north facing border (including new magnolia tree) and something yet to be decided. Possibly new location for the trampoline and a better sand pit.

Next phase will be to rebuild the steps that go down through the Leylandii arch into the middle garden. At present this garden is just rectangular lawn surrounded by high Leylandii hedges, with my gunnera and a few old perennials in one corner where the pond used to be. I intend to leave this garden as it is for the foreseeable; it could function as a football pitch/tennis court/run around space for the kids to keep them away from my borders up by the house. One day, maybe I'll turn it into a little 'homage' to Great Dixter's tropical garden and fill it with big leaved craziness. Or a natural swimming pond! Sigh.

The bottom garden will be the functional bit. I already have my lovely new compost bays in there; I need to remove the former chicken run (would love chickens but dh has vetoed) and move the raspberry canes up into the walled garden. Why they were planted underneath the copper beech remains a mystery. The old greenhouse base needs removing, then that area can be a nursery bed < laughs at self for thinking I may one day have the time and the need for a nursery bed>.


First stage to get it all down on the plan. Then get quotes for the path, steps and pergola building. Then have dh laugh hysterically and point out the leaky roof, rotten window frames and holey pointing. Etc.

Hmm sorry that was a bit of thinking aloud that got carried away there.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 18-Aug-13 16:23:50

Echt your bottle trees sound fabulous - I too googled them. Wow. I love mulching - can I come and help? smile

Funny it is a challenge to get colour into north facing gardens. But foliage can be beautiful too - I bet your garden is lovely.

Wynken I'm not surprised you need your garden to take your mind off things. That's a lot going on. Maybe you need to come and do some therapeutic mulching over at Echt's too?

Rhubarbgarden Sun 18-Aug-13 16:27:46

Oh and Humph, loving the sound of your alpine corner. I'm so coming on an expedition to visit your garden when you open it!

Bearleigh Sun 18-Aug-13 16:34:59

I know there are some Monty Don fans here. He is going to be hosting 'An Evenng with Monty Don" at the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill in Surrey on Tuesday 8 October at 19.30.

Ooh thanks Bearleigh - a night out for the Osteospermumsnet gang??!

I caught the very end of Around the world in 80 gardens this morning which I hadn't previously been aware of. Have missed the first three episodes, anyone know how long the series is? Downloading today's on iplayer to watch at my leisure...

funnyperson Sun 18-Aug-13 21:23:04

I like the thinking aloud. I like the planning of gardens. When I was sitting in mine today I realised that while have been steadily developing the sides and seating area, the end of the garden, which to a certain extent is a major focal point, remains rather neglected. At present in front of the wood fence there is the venus de milo (painted with national trust 'chartwell green' to look like rusted bronze) flanked by choisya and jasmine and a new dawn rose with autumn flowering cyclamen, geranium johnsons blue, shasta daisies and digitalis alba...all in deepest shade of the oak tree behind, so a challenge to say the least. I keep thinking it would be a good spot for acanthus mollis.
Before the oak tree comes into leaf, spring bulbs and forgetmenots flower well there, and this autumn I plan to plant more spring plants. Possibly where my clematis 'jingle bells' could go. I have already planted some hepatica. I'm thinking more anemone appenina, hellebores, saffron crocus.

rhubarb Did you decide what sort of magnolia to plant? Also could you please advise on the best rhubarb to plant in a sunny vegetable plot at mums house and when to plant it?
Wynken I am thinking of you. Looking after ageing parents is not easy. There is so much emotional and practical and financial stuff and it goes on for so long. I think gardening is a good thing to be doing meanwhile.

MousyMouse Sun 18-Aug-13 21:53:50

<lurking for the rhibarb answer>

Freddiesmother Sun 18-Aug-13 21:57:29

hello! enjoy this thread a lot but fear I am too novice a gardener to contribute much! can anyone help with a mulching question? having a large synacmore cut down from garden next week? would the woodchips be suitable for use as a mulch?

MousyMouse Sun 18-Aug-13 22:01:44

hi freddie
many of us are beginners, welcome. I am learning from the other ladies a lot.

<dumb question alert>
how do I know the sweetcorn is ready to harvest? have a few thick bulbs but am, as so often, clueless as to when they are ready...

funnyperson Sun 18-Aug-13 23:12:00

Freddie's mother, I think the answer to your question is yes.....the timing might be better delayed a bit though till the autumn.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 19-Aug-13 12:12:56

Hello Freddie. Depends on what you want the mulch to do. Wood chips make an excellent mulch where the principal aim is to keep weeds down around established shrubs. They are not good as a soil improver however; as wood breaks down, nutrients are actually taken from the surrounding soil during the process. Composted manure, garden compost or Strulch are the best soil improvers.

I've always grown Victoria rhubarb purely because that is the ancestral rhubarb my family have always grown, from the days of my great grandmother picking it by candlelight at 1am to send it on the overnight train to Covent Garden... But I'm sure any variety would be just as good. Best planting time is spring but autumn would be fine. The key is to keep it well watered until established (as with anything, really).

I am working on the orange, yellow and red planting plan today. Lots of big-leaved architectural plants, variegated leaves and, deeply unfashionable BUT at client request, conifers.

What are your favourite plants that fit this? Any suggestions?

funnyperson Mon 19-Aug-13 12:24:26

I am enjoying the very pretty flowers from Sarah Raven's venetian dahlia collection- 'new baby' from this collection is orange, very pretty and goes well with geranium phaeum album. There are nice dark maroons too.

funnyperson Mon 19-Aug-13 12:35:34

My variety of phaeum album has variegated leaves with maroon edging and this is nice because it softens the planting.

Out the front I quite like the way the pink and maroon coreopsis
picks up the deep dark dahlias but I'm not sure I would want this combination in a flower bed, I have it in pots and with various sweet peas, roses, fennel, dill, clematis etc in other pots around

funnyperson Mon 19-Aug-13 12:36:18

The orange dahlia and geranium is fortuitously in a bed out the back

Rhubarbgarden Mon 19-Aug-13 16:15:13

Nice suggestions funny, thanks. Not allowed any flower colours other than yellow, orange and red though.

funnyperson Mon 19-Aug-13 17:15:36

this is a picture of 'new baby'

crocosmia of course
there are so many kinds of reds- scarlet through to deep maroon.

this fuschia?


mum has a massive clump of orange day lilies growing alongside a well established fuschia bush atm- looks gorgeous-though I have to say there are deep purples in the bed as well.

'bishop of landaff' dahlia of course-the combination of bright scarlet with deep maroon foliage is just stunning. maud grows dahlias with clematis- clematis 'rebecca' is a good red one, as is 'niobe' which is darker and might go better with the 'bishop of landaff'. Monty always grows his 'bishop of llandaff' in a pot with calla lilies but I've never been that convinced. On the other hand calla lilies come in reds oranges and yellows and mass planting of them in one colour in a bed in a curve round a pond like at Chelsea could be good. I dunno- I'm more of a lister than an artist!

funnyperson Mon 19-Aug-13 17:19:30
Rhubarbgarden Mon 19-Aug-13 20:53:13

I love that Fuchsia. That could work. Cannas are too tricky for my clients unfortunately - they want ultra low maintenance as it's their first garden. This rules out a lot unfortunately!

echt Mon 19-Aug-13 21:04:58

I see that "Gardening" has been promoted to first on the list of topics within "Homes and Gardens". smile

No less than this splendid subject deserves.

Elderberry champers all round!

Welcome Freddie

Mousy you need to check sweet corn by peeling back a teeny bit of the outer covering and peeking at the corn. If it looks fat and yellow then stick your nail in one and it should leak a white fluid if it's ready. Unless yours had a head start they've probably got a few weeks to go yet. Sweet corn straight from the plant is amazing smile

Visited a hotel today which had the most fantastic gunnera growing along a stream punctuated by massive weeping willows. It was beautiful.

Got to catch up with GW yet.

<sips elderberry champers, thanks echt>

echt Tue 20-Aug-13 08:24:02

Hello, freddie - let's talk about mulch. Absolutely right that tree chip mulch leaches goodies from the soil, and the reason I use it is Australian native plants like poor soil, so I now only use native tree mulch.

What IS important is the size of the chips: the finer the mulch, the less rain gets through, and this applies to any mulch, so big chips are better. You may find it's worth having the mulched tree, and topping up with nutrients or using tree chips around a tree.

Monty Don said mulch sooner rather than later, though he meant this as in spring, when the soil is moist, not waiting for the weather to warm up.

Bumbez Tue 20-Aug-13 09:21:19

Hi freddie novice here too. I've been busy with the dds off school mostly beach and we're off to Cornwall on Friday. So not much gardening sad

Thanks for the Alliums link winken I've ordered some. smile

Dh has ordered a couple more composters so we will have 4 and will try Monty's system. Have a cheap chipper from screwfix which helps and stuff we made in February is almost ready.

Does anyone know a good place to get Hostas ? I've decided that as we have so many birds I will try some in the ground and some in pots, I really like them and as the garden is quite shady they will work well.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 20-Aug-13 20:40:58

Hello everyone.

I'm just back from my hols. The garden seems to have survived pretty well - I gather it's been quite cool here, which probably helped - and I spent some time mentally redesigning the bits I don't like. Didn't do much garden visiting in France, but we did see an exhibition about Le Notre and a gorgeous lavender-scented recreation of one of his designs.

Bumbez - I got some lovely bare-root hostas free from J Parkers with my order this spring. They were unnamed varieties, which I grew to give away as I officially Don't Do Hostas anymore, but they made good strong little plants.

I collected some seed heads today a la Monty... Would anyone like some Astrantia in the post? 'Venice' I think, or could be 'Roma'.

I bought a couple of pond plants from a specialist aquatics centre the other day too - a bright pink water lily and an oxygenating grass-like thing. The duckweed had been multiplying very dramatically in the hot sunny weather (pond is in full sun for slightly more than half the day) but it doesn't seem to have bothered the frogs/spawn and the waterboatmen. I didn't get my water irises back this year though, which is sad as they were a gorgeous colour/pattern.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 20-Aug-13 20:54:31

Hello, TyneFilth. How are you? I was just wondering how many days it is until B (for baby) Day?

I would love some astrantia seed. My 'Roma' died over the winter, although my unnamed white one is still going strong.

Bearleigh Tue 20-Aug-13 21:46:43

Hi Tynefilth I would love some astrantia seed too, and I would definitely be up for an osteospermumsnet trip to see Monty.

Rhubarb my current favourite red, orange and/or yellow plant is Oenothera versicolor ‘Sunset Boulevard’. They are quite architectural small but nicely spiky, and the flowers change through all those colours during the day.

Hello Maud and <<squeeze>> . These ones are purplish. I put a picture up earlier this year on fb, I'll share it to the group if I can find it now.

Maximum of three weeks to baby. Been trying all the usual tricks...! Eviction demand has so far been ignored though. Am still technically working, but not commuting in other than one day a week. Might schlep in after rush hour on Tuesday just so I can say "today actually!" through gritted teeth breezily if when people ask. I am looking like a bit of a galleon in full sail - as you know I am small/medium of frame which just makes bump look like a ridiculous carbuncle on me. Baby has given up kicking my ribs and is now kicking my boobs.

MousyMouse Tue 20-Aug-13 21:51:13

had to google astrantia blush
they would do really well in my border. it is a bit dominated by two yellow roses.

And Bearleigh too! Are you London/HCs and accessible to that Monty night then?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 20-Aug-13 21:59:42

MN trip to see Monty? What have I missed?

::books facial::

I have received an invitation via the gardening society to take part in a telly series with Monty. They are looking for people who want to do something extraordinary with their small garden. Do you think burying the landscaper who boogered up my garden path would count?

I'm accessible for the Monty night too but DH away that week and my mother already having the DDs for two days as I'm also away so I'm not sure I can swing another nights babysitting sad. Tempted to ask though...

Getting excited about the first potting shed baby grin

Well <takes it literally for a larf> I'm planning a home birth so play your cards right and I'll try to post a newborn picture from the actual potting shed!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 20-Aug-13 22:08:20

::desperate and shrill::

What Monty night?

::books session with personal trainer::

HumphreyCobbler Tue 20-Aug-13 22:11:42

Rake! Can't wait for a photo of the baby from the potting shed grin Was thinking of you and being jealous that you are further along than I am

Rhubarbgarden Tue 20-Aug-13 22:15:47

Welcome back, Maud. How exciting that you might get Monty helping with your garden!

Bearleigh - I LOVE that oenothera. Thanks. I've never grown them; are they easy?

TyneFilth - I'd love some Astrantia seeds too please, how kind of you. I may be able to get to the Monty night out too. I shall investigate babysitting avenues.

Maud, calm!

Bearleigh Sun 18-Aug-13 16:34:59
I know there are some Monty Don fans here. He is going to be hosting 'An Evenng with Monty Don" at the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill in Surrey on Tuesday 8 October at 19.30.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 20-Aug-13 22:39:54

How many weeks for you, Humphrey?

Rhubarb - I won't be applying because they're obviously looking for someone who's going to do a major revamp and I haven't got the time/inclination/budget/desire for that - the fiasco with the garden path has rather put me off big projects.

And bother to the evening with Monty. It clashes with Brownies. Would I be failing in my duty as a Brown Owl if I cancelled Brownies for the sake of Monty?

HumphreyCobbler Tue 20-Aug-13 22:44:26

Maud, I would sacrifice the Brownies for Monty....<shallow>

I have about 7 weeks to go. But I roughly know when I am having the baby due to a planned section. Gardening is totally out now due to wobbly pelvis.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 20-Aug-13 22:52:30

Perhaps I can leave the Brownies in others' [trained] hands.


Oh dear to the wobbly pelvis, Humph. How is the rest of normal life? Is there life apart from gardening?

Rhubarbgarden Tue 20-Aug-13 23:45:36

Isn't that what Snowy Owls are for, Maud? smile

funnyperson Wed 21-Aug-13 04:39:31

Invited to have Monty in your garden!!!!!!!!!! This sounds v exciting. maud can I come and visit before Monty changes everything?
rake good luck with baby.
Do you have to book tickets for this October thing?
The garden was having lots of flowers blooming yesterday- the warmth means the plants are still growing!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 21-Aug-13 09:09:17

That's what I'm thinking, Rhubarb, although the logistics would still be quite tricky for me. wink

Hi everyone,

My garden is also enjoying the cooler weather and recovering nicely. I finally have my first cosmos in flower and the verbana plugs I put on at the start of the summer are now up to my waist.

I am amazed that I too have climbing pumpkins. The patch I made with two tiny seedlings has run riot an offshoot has scrambled up my jasmine bush and is now forming a lovely hanging fat green fruit!

I am coveting my neighbours hot pink petunias as I didn't get around to planting any at all this year. I might try them from seed. Does anyone know how easy or not they are?

I was annoyed as I'd already paid full price for the T&M alium collection... But I did get the 24 pantsemon for 24p and English bluebells on special offer. I now have approx 350 bulbs to plant this autumn... Can anyone recommend a tool to help? shock

MultumInParvo Wed 21-Aug-13 10:33:29

Hello all!

Just spent some time reading this thread and everyonevery nice and helpful.

I've just moved into my house with two bare raised beds, two old large clematis and a greenhouse. I spent some time last night ordering some plug plants to grow on <safe> as my first project. Winter pansies for now, and some wallflowers (mauve, the one in my last garden was the only colour to come back again out of I think four) lupins and delphiniums, and perennials, aubrietia etc to grow on over winter.

I have I think taken on a bit much but I have the time so how hard can it be wink

My name is multum and I'm a novice gardener.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 21-Aug-13 13:47:00

Welcome, Multum. Whereabouts in the country/world are you?

Hi Multum, there are plenty of us novices on here wink It sounds like you have inherited a lovely well made garden.

MultumInParvo Wed 21-Aug-13 19:21:59

Hi all! I'm in Kent. I am looking forward to my plug plants arriving so I can get started smile

It is a west facing garden, so lively and sunny however the greenhouse becomes stifling in the afternoon. I may have to get some shading stuff for it.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 21-Aug-13 21:50:40

Hello Multum. Your garden sounds lovely.

I am a beginner really, although we have now owned a garden for about five years. I spend a lot of time googling plants other people have mentioned on here, it really is very informative!

The apple crop is looking amazing this year, my fears about the lack of pollinating bees has thankfully proved groundless. We think we may put the pigs in the orchard, as they are so placid and do not root up the ground at all (unlike every other pig I have owned). I think the orchard would be an ideal home for them to overwinter and it means that I will not have to clean out the pigscot.

Thanks for asking Maud, I am fine apart from the pelvis. It is VERY frustrating, not being able to do anything in the garden though. I am unable to bend or kneel down. Can't wait for October..

HumphreyCobbler Wed 21-Aug-13 21:51:22

I forgot, are you going to hang out with Monty then Maud?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 21-Aug-13 21:56:28

I'm not going to apply for his programme, no.

I harvested my potatoes tonight. I got a few pounds (at a guess) of Charlottes so am looking forward to potato salad.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 21-Aug-13 22:01:28

I didn't realise there was an actual possibility of doing a programme with Monty! I though we were talking about a talk. However much I love Monty I wouldn't go on tv either.

Enjoy the potatoes. Potatoes are my pregnancy craving, warm potato salad with lemon and garlic dressing.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 21-Aug-13 22:17:56

There are two Monty options - an evening with Monty in Redhill, Surrey and an invitation to the gardening society to submit applications to feauture in a series revamping small gardens.

Lemon and garlic dressing. Yum.

Monty night link.

Rhubarbgarden Thu 22-Aug-13 14:32:26

I'm doing a large scale redesign of my garden - do you think Monty would come and help me?! grin

The orange border is proceeding at a snail's pace. I keep rubbing out whole chunks and starting again. It is suffering from too much spikiness and not enough big-leafiness. Surprising how many red/yellow/orange plants have spiky leaves.

Rhubarbgarden Thu 22-Aug-13 20:42:53

Humph, I'd love to have pigs in my orchard. That sounds wonderful.

I have deer in my orchard.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 23-Aug-13 17:48:34

I am also jealous of the deer. Do they eat your fruit though?

funnyperson Fri 23-Aug-13 19:40:09

Hello everyone how has your week been?<Hands round elderberry cordial with ice and mint >wine welcome to newcomers!smile
It would be lovely to have Monty and his team come and help with my shady garden. I like his style of gardening a lot and think he is a really lovely person (on the box and in his books anyway) The thing is that 'garden makeovers' a la Titchmarsh are not really my thing- razing the existing garden down and ripping out everything already growing and then planting in whatever looks good on screen might be tricky, because there are things I love in my garden though there is loads and loads of room for improvement and a lot more hard work needed which is why it is definitely an amazing opportunity and also of course I'm too ugly to be on tv. However rhubarb I think you would be ideal as you would be good on tv but your garden is not small?
maud why not Monty in your garden? Is it because he might walk on the clematis?
Looking forward to gardeners world today.....
I would love to have deer

Evening all. <sups funny's elderberry cordial with mint and a secret slug of vodka > Only caught the end of GW tonight, will have to catch up again.

The deer only eat the windfalls in the orchard. Quite a few around this year, two ladies with babies and some little muntjac as well. They are nice to watch.

Found my best self-seeded plant today - a baby oca! Growing in a raised bed next to where the pot of them was last year. Unfortunately I weeded it out before I realised what it was. Stuck it back in the soil in the hope that it would survive my poor treatment...

Bearleigh Fri 23-Aug-13 22:13:54

Rhubarb that oenothera is easy to grow, because I managed it... I sowed them not that long ago, and they are flowering now, which is pretty good as they are perennials.

So who is up for the Evening with Monty in Redhill? For anyone who can get to Redhill by train, the theatre is 5 mins walk from the station, and for those who can arrive by car there is parking right by the theatre. I will check if there are reserved seats that night.

MousyMouse Fri 23-Aug-13 23:02:27

evening all! <sips blackberry smoothie>
I have orchard envy. my only fruit tree is a fig, which is full of fruits this year and I hope they ripe this time.
we do have wildlife, foxes and birds mainly, and a squirrel.
they are taking turns taking the seeds from the sunflowers.

Mouse when I say 'my' orchard I really mean the one over the fence that doesn't belong to me but nobody else cares for. We have been given scrumping rights but that's it really. But, in my head it is my orchard smile

I have eaten two fruits off my fig this year. Well, the bits of them that weren't eaten by the birds who are far quicker at spotting the ripe fruit than I am.

echt Sat 24-Aug-13 07:28:00

Welcome multum, and what a lovely name (I've just looked it up).

A mixed day day in Melbourne. DH and I went to the annual garden festival at Maranoa, a native botanical garden, with high hopes of buying some less easily available native plants, as nurserypersons from the sticks roll up to sell their wares. Not one. Apparently myrtle rust has turned up in Oz from South America, and its potential to bugger up the gum trees, i.e nearly everything, meant that no specimens can be brought into the gardens.

I rushed to the arms of the nearest Bunnings' sad plants unit and scooped up three plectranthus "Mona Lavender". The rest of day was spent moving plants about before laying the rest of the mulch next week. I've planted an alocasia macrorhizzia from its pot for its jungliness, so fitting next to a buddliea, I think. grin In front I've put two salvia "Alan Parker".

Also moved several clumps of Japanese toad lily away from a bully of a plectranthus - not related to mint for nothing. They'll flower in late summer, but die down so that the clivia can be seen in late winter/early spring. Speaking of clivia, they're blooming like mad now, and make colour in the sub-topical border running down the side of the house.

I've realised I'm a very undisciplined gardener, with tons of stuff all over the place, instead of the swathes of regulated planting advised. Meh.

PS I've just killed the first housefly of the year. Time to set the fly traps outside.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 24-Aug-13 08:02:20

Funny yes my garden is probably too large. I'm flattered you think I'd be good on telly though! And you are absolutely not ugly. <stern look>

I'm up for Redhill Monty. I haven't secured a babysitter yet but I'm feeling confident.

I didn't watch GW last night as spent the evening on the M1 driving up to Harrogate. Wondering if I can swing by Harlow Carr while we are here.

Hi all, not stopped in in a while.

How exciting, potting shed babies grin

I am a bit envy at Echt's spring and also the deer in the orchard!

My garden has been a bit neglected of late with the busyness of the summer holidays and DD's birthday.
Really need to get back on top of it now, I dreamt that I dug up the potatoes the other night grin
Got three pumpkins on two plants but two have stopped growing, should I just cut them off? The other pumpkin is doing beautifully, about 40cm in diameter now grin Also got two squash on one plant which are doing well smile Tomatoes are ripening, as are the bell peppers smile

Bearleigh Sat 24-Aug-13 18:26:57

I have spoken to the Redhill theatre about the evening with Monty and the seats are specific, and selling fast. If anyone definitely wants to join in a thread meet & sit together please let me know by Monday night. I have a block of seats reserved, which expires on Tuesday.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 24-Aug-13 19:28:43

Yes please Bearleigh, thank you. Dh has been bullied into agreed to do the kids.

MultumInParvo Sat 24-Aug-13 23:22:56

Thanks for the welcome! I love Montys soil.

I received my plug plants today, and there were a lot more than I remembered ordering blush

I may or may not have a somewhat impulsive nature!!

Anyhoo got started in the greenhouse (pouring with rain) and have
mostly potted them on.

I spent a fractious few minutes earlier deciding whether to leave the greenhouse door open or closed. Left it half open grin

Bearleigh although I would love to come I don't think I can work the logistics of it with DH being away sad

Multum I don't think anyone actually has soil like Monty's in real life. <looks at rock hard stuff that passes for soil in the flower border>

<Whispers - TyneFilth has been quiet for a few days, either she's resting swollen ankles on the sofa or..... >

I have next week off. I am planning to put some sense of order back into my unruly veg plot. Currently I am convincing myself that I am leaving things to bolt for seed collection purposes. But really, who am I kidding, nobody needs quite that much lettuce or rocket seed!

Hello... Still pregnant, grrr. wink

Loved GW on Friday (or rather, Saturday morning with a cup of tea). I am minded to write in and sympathise re the asparagus - mine were awful, but they are in one of those canvas tall planters so not really equivalent conditions to Monty's carefully prepared bed.

Just been outside and had a little blitz and shocked myself at how much I could apparently do... I must have been malingering the past few months!! I have dug up an acanthus mollis (spare shoots available) and an alchemilla mollis (divisions available), and moved the remaining halves over to the side of the garden that was supposed to be veggies but never got anything planted this year. I pulled some dead leaves of autumn crocus and accidentally pulled up a bulb, so I've potted that too. I had verbena bonariensis popping up all over the garden so have tried to consolidate those in the purple corner. DH has been pressure washing the deck so we both got a bit mucky, and now he doesn't want so many of my pots back on the deck to try to avoid it getting gacky again. We may have to discuss the relative importance of herb pots vs clean surfaces further...

HumphreyCobbler Sun 25-Aug-13 19:50:14

Rake, you are nesting in your garden! It must be any time soon. <sends labour vibes>

DH found MASSIVE caterpillars all over one of the birch trees. They are the biggest I have ever seen and they have eaten a lot of the tree sad They are Buff Tips (thank goodness for google).

Sat in the garden today with all of my family, it was lovely.

Bearleigh Sun 25-Aug-13 20:48:42

Rhubarb I have sent you a personal message re Monty (I hope).

I am very impressed by all your hard work Tynefilth, in your condition...

Has anyone else had a burst of sluggy activity, or is it possibly because our new neighbours have cats. We have noticed we are getting fewer birds who may have been eating the slugs?

Sorry TyneFilth, I promise not to whisper again and patiently wait for announcementsgrin

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 26-Aug-13 15:20:16

We had had a lot of sluggy/snaily activity while we were on holiday. I was so proud of my eucomis - first time I've grown them - and the foliage has been shredded.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 26-Aug-13 16:26:27

oh what a shame sad

it is gutting when that happens.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 26-Aug-13 16:34:04

Yes, they are no longer exhibit-worthy. I am wreaking my revenge with the environmentally-friendly slug pellets.

How are your rolling acres today?

HumphreyCobbler Mon 26-Aug-13 20:20:31

they are rolling with wasps! Millions of the buggers.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 26-Aug-13 20:39:28

Yikes! Do you have lots of overripe fruit attracting them?

MousyMouse Mon 26-Aug-13 21:07:32

have just been to a garden show in germany today. my feet are hurting and the dc were so tired they fell asleep in the car and we only carried them to bed as they were.
a bit dissapointed that there were no 'designer gardens', it was mainly country zones and zones of colours/textures.
par of the exhibition was and old disused church and graveyards. stonemasons and gardeners had designec a few hundred different grave stones and graves. interesting as it's mini gardens with a sculpture.
no big plant sale.

funnyperson Mon 26-Aug-13 21:26:47

mouseymouse you did something active and outgoing. That is good.

Well, I now see why Monty cuts off seed heads straight into the envelopes when collecting seed. I proudly cut off my digitalis alba spire, brimming with ripe seed heads, and carried it over to the garden table whence the envelopes lay, to discover that even the act of cutting off one seed head resulted in thousands of tiny seeds just bursting out onto the table! What I thought was a seed was actually a container for a thousand of them! Anyway, now I know, and henceforth will take my envelopes to the plant. Though how to post without the seeds leaking out is another conundrum.

MousyMouse Mon 26-Aug-13 21:31:58

it was good, could have stayed much longer.
saw many dahlias and rose gardens. my favourite rose rosa novalis
I'm already thinking were this could go in my garden.
also looking for a currant bush and tulip bullbs.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 26-Aug-13 21:35:41

That is a very lovely rose, MousyMouse.

Carol snips off her seedheads into brown paper bags, I think, funnyperson. I need to find some nice needs to offer in the potting shed seed swap!

I can offer up cosmos seed. And various salad greens but not sure if they'll come true. May also try and collect some marigold seeds too. Was letting some self-seeded borage in the lawn go over for seed too but DH mowed it tonight sad.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 26-Aug-13 21:56:25

no overipe fruit yet, but the wasps definitely go for the flowers on the virginia creeper. It is positively HUMMING with them. But they eat horsefly larva so I am reconciled to their presence.

That is truly beautiful Mousymouse.

funnyperson Mon 26-Aug-13 22:38:02

Tulip bulbs are late in the shops this year. According to Jaques Amand (local bulb experts) it is because the foliage died down later because of the late spring. So there are lots of allium bulbs (cos they seeded early because of the warm weather) but the tulips and lilies and irises and others are a bit late.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 26-Aug-13 22:44:06

That's interesting, funnyperson. I will be trying very hard not to buy any more tulip bulbs, as I want fewer pots on the patio, but I suspect that once I've cleared out the summer bedding I'll find it hard to resist!

echt Tue 27-Aug-13 12:50:40

Maud, how nice to see that I'm not on my own with periodic bouts of pot removals. Replaced by others far too soon.grin

My current transitory pot is the brown boronia, a plant I've never seen in the UK, and bogging difficult to grow in its native land. It's bought as an annual shrub, if there is such a thing. The perfume is astounding, powerful lilac/violet tones, and along with the lemon-scented gum, the quintessentially Australian smell. Spring is springing here - some late narcissi have flowered, and filled the front garden with their heady pong.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 27-Aug-13 15:34:07

I did get rid of several pots a few years ago, but know that once some of the summer pots have been emptied I won't be able to resist the urge to buy more bulbs to fill them. I must remind myself that less is more!

cantspel Tue 27-Aug-13 16:50:27

My cheapo wilko greenhouse was delivered this morning so i need to find a spare day to get it made up or and twist one of my sons arms to get him to help me.

I have also had a pot disaster this week as the cat managed to knock a pot off its base and it smashed. The chocolate cosmos broke and the Polemonium caeruleum is all bashed about. I have moved both into the garden, given a good water and feed and am now hoping for the best.

My first bulb orders have arrived. Yet more tulips which i am not sure where i am going to plant yet and i also have been in poundland buying daf bulbs at a £ a bag.I still have yet more tulips, dafs and alliums on order so there is just a slight risk of me yet again going a bit mad on spring bulbs.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 27-Aug-13 19:24:11

But spring bulbs are always so cheering, cantspel. You can't go wrong.

MousyMouse Tue 27-Aug-13 23:01:30

one of the flowers I really liked that I saw yesterday was Cosmos atrosanguineus
I hope to get some for my garden, they look and smell amazing.

<shopping list grows ever longer>

MousyMouse Tue 27-Aug-13 23:03:46

and yes to spring bulbs.
I need many to bridge between the bluebells and the roses!

Bumbez Tue 27-Aug-13 23:12:47

Good evening <waves from Cornwall >

Poor dd2 knocked out an adult front tooth yesterday, it's been put back in by a lovely emergency dentist but has put paid to further surfing. The upside was we were able to visit the lost gardens of Heligan today.


I could have bought so much but it wouldn't fit in the car, so settled for seeds and a very small gunnera.

I have been PMing people for seeds this morning. I feel a bit cheeky blush, please do let me know if you'd like me to send you a stamped self addressed envelope!

We are away this week, I am enjoying the flora & fauna of the south east coast (mainly seaweed & palms). I am not too worried about my garden, my pots are over and everything else is hardy enough to survive. I am looking forward to planting spring bulbs. God knows, I have ordered enough of the buggers.

Cosmos seeds on their way to you NANN. smile

I have loads more cosmos, plus marigold and aguilegia seeds if there are any takers.

cantspel Wed 28-Aug-13 14:58:07

Maud I love spring bulbs and when i am buying i think oh a few more would look lovely in the tubs/back bed/front garden. Then i get home and add them to the pile i already have bought and think maybe i should just avoid the gardening section of wilkos.

I want to make a trip to poundland as their website shows they are stocking woodland bulbs this year and i really want to add some interest to the woodland are of my garden and this could be a cheap way to do it.

More extreme nesting here at Casa Filth on the first day of proper maternity leave. Just power-trimmed the pyracantha hedge as far as I could stretch (am not silly enough to go up a ladder at 40+1 pregnant!). Quite hard holding a heavy (old) black and decker thing overhead!! Having a bit of a breather then out for round two - mowing the clippings on the lawn which will be slightly tricky because we only have a suburban-spec Flymo. Then a bath to get all the hedge dust off me. I think I disturbed some snoozing moths, oops.

I will try to post the astrantia seeds this week, just need to figure out who's who between here and FB, and who I need an address for. probably best to PM me!

Bloody wasps and slugs have multiplied here too. And there is something seriously wrong with my main water butt - entirely empty even after that biblical rain at the weekend. I've had a little furtle in the gutter and I think it is clogged with moss. The secondary water butt off the shed is full/fillable but stinks to high heaven, I think because it is in full sun.

TyneFilth - I managed to get my waters to break at 40+10 by raking stuff up on the lawn. Can highly recommend it.

Wasps every where at the moment. Went out for afternoon tea (birthday treat shameless birthday plug ) and at one point we had 6 on one jammy knife.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 28-Aug-13 21:47:38

Happy birthday Bertha <offers cake made of courgette, natch >

Rhubarbgarden Wed 28-Aug-13 21:52:46

Mousy I love that rose. It's very similar to one of my own favourites; Blue for You.

Bumbez - Heligan, how heavenly. And yay for your new Gunnera.

Clearly this is the week to go on holiday; we just got back from a few days in North Yorkshire. Didn't manage to get to Harlow Carr sadly. We did visit Harewood House but spent the whole time in the adventure playground and bird garden, so no chance to check out the gardens. Boo.

My own garden is getting away from me again, <sigh>. Just nine months to go till I've got one at school and one at nursery. Nine months. Counting down, counting down in the hope that then finally I may be able to get some gardening done. <further sighs and a slight feeling of guilt at wishing the dc's babyhood away>

Rhubarbgarden Wed 28-Aug-13 21:54:45

Happy birthday Bertha! flowers

Happy birthday Bertha, thank you so much for the seeds grin

Rhubarb - DH asked me if I was going to go back to work FT when we finally have one at school and one at nursery (should be in the next 6 months). I was rather put out as I had intended to use the time to garden wink

MousyMouse Wed 28-Aug-13 22:18:13

happy birthday!

blue for you looks realy nice.
I am now looking at some german catalogues and am firing off emails if they would deliver to the uk.
or I could ask my mother to order it for me and to send it.

Thank you everyone, have some cake

funnyperson Thu 29-Aug-13 16:34:04

Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day berthaflowers sorry I have been in no social networking land
I have therefore been looking at spring bulb catalogues and there are tulips and other bulbs I think I will buy- ballerina perhaps. Perhaps a fringed purply one. Perhaps a white triumph one or spring green again (in hope) Sarah Ravens catalogue says she put her tulips in November time.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 29-Aug-13 17:18:51

Happy birthday from me too, Bertha!

Bumbez Thu 29-Aug-13 19:15:31

Happy Birthday from me too bertha I'm still in Cornwall but home tomorrow and DH is going to help me in the garden next week smile

We've been in our house nearly a year and I remember it was seriously lacking in spring colour so will be hoping to plant lots of bulbs too!

Joining in with the seed sharing I may possibly have some Echium pininana seeds. I noticed one very small one in a pot before we came away laden with seeds, I hope I'm not too late. We successfully grew a couple at the last house that were quite big but didn't survive 2010 snow.

I'll take some Bumbez please if you manage to collect any.

I spent two hours weeding and tidying the long bed today. Still struggling with the shadier end of it, I think the over hanging trees affect it as well as the dry shade thing being awkward. Nothin thrives there and I have huge gaps.

I then spent an hour in the veg plot and cleared out the pea bed and all the bolted chard and spinach. The bed is now prepped for kale to go in.

Nice day, but my back hurts now.

cantspel Fri 30-Aug-13 01:09:09

Belated Happy Birthday to bertha.

I wanted to get the grass cut and clear out the hanging baskets ready for winter planting but fell down the stairs this morning and hurt my back. No real damage done just some bruising but it did put pay to my afternoon gardening.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 30-Aug-13 07:54:27

Ouch, Cantspel. Hope your back recovers soon.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 30-Aug-13 12:42:31

Ooh oooh! Echium pininana - big favourite! Yes please Bumbez. I grew them in London, fingers crossed they'll survive here too.

Sorry to hear about your back Cantspel.

cantspel Fri 30-Aug-13 21:40:22

Thankyou Just a bit stiff and bruised today so hopefully back in the garden this weekend.

More bulbs arrived this morning. This time it was some pink charm dafs which will look lovely around the magnolia i planted in the front bed.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 30-Aug-13 22:50:12

Yes please to echium seeds if there are plenty to go round. I missed the chance to buy a baby echium for 50p at an
open garden. I'd love one in the front garden, which I want to make jungly.

I'm going to Great Dixter tomorrow. Squee.

funnyperson Sat 31-Aug-13 00:11:58

Great Dixter will be really interesting to see at this time of year. Tell us all about it when you get back, maud- what is in flower, what works well with what and so forth (and if you got any seeds just by chance)
Echium- yes please if the blue sort- if any going!
Havent watched Monty and the team yet as too busy.
Will be doing cuttings tomorrow hopefully.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 31-Aug-13 08:13:35

Lucky Maud. Yes have a lovely time and do tell us all about it.

I missed GW last night too as dh wanted to watch football


echt Sat 31-Aug-13 10:29:58

Very late happy birthday to bertha.

The last day of winter got in at the post at 24 today - so dry this week I'll have to water before I mulch the semi-tropical bed. To add to my woes, the warmth brought out every mozzie to bite me through my tights. Application of the thumbnail works, though.smile

Today we went on a trip to the Yarra Ranges and picked up some v. cheap natives to try out.

In the garden, the gully grevillea is blooming. In the veggie patch a purple sprouting broccoli has finally bloomed, having taken over the entire bed for 5 months. Won't be growing that fecker again.

Tomorrow, the first day of spring, and National Wattle Day, is also Father's Day, so I'll have to rush out and buy the card and pressie. I'm desperate to finesse this as the Hass avocado I bought for FD last year has little flower buds, and so may fruit. Yay!

MousyMouse Sat 31-Aug-13 13:45:48

I have missed gw, but nearly on the way back now so will catch up tomorrow morning with a cuppa.
have eaten myself through my parent's garden (we were house sitting) and have decided to try growing kohlrabi next year. they were huge and very tender. we had them raw with dips, breaded + fried, steamed, as coleslaw... and most importantly the dc loved them. also lots of courgettes, white marrows, carrots, chillies, tomatoes (favourite one 'green zebra').
and lots of flowers in bloom that I don't know the names of.

Bumbez Sat 31-Aug-13 14:09:26

I got back last night and was straight out to harvest seeds and check on plants. I managed a few Echium Pininana (blue) and also Borage so if any one would like some pm me your address. smile

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 31-Aug-13 18:47:58

Had a lovely time at Great Dixter - so different from when we last went in February.

Things that were looking particularly gorgeous were the tropical garden with bananas, dahlias, cannas, roses (which worked surprisingly well) and other things I couldn't identify and the garden around the pond. As a fanatical occasional colour-themer, it was salutary for me to see that things could be grouped in apparently random and jarring combinations, yet it all still worked. Magenta lychnis coronaria next to mahogany French marigolds were a case in point.

It was lovely but also galling to see the garden full of Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate, as the seeds I bought in February failed to germinate, but I have bought more and will try again in the autumn. I am also thinking about phlox. I planted a new one recently - Orange something - but there were so many lovely ones today (gorgeous scent) that I think they may be just the thing for late summer.

Bumbez - have PM'd you for echium seeds please. Definitely don't need borage, it pops up everywhere in my garden now!

Great Dixter sounds lovely. DH bought me National Trust membership for my birthday as well as a hoopla hoop and a unicycle! But we won't mention those. Been flicking through planning some trips out.

I missed GW as well so will be catching up again on iplayer.

funnyperson Sat 31-Aug-13 21:13:38

echt I love broccoli. Also interested in the progress of the avocado. Friends say okra is easy to grow.

funnyperson Sun 01-Sep-13 14:25:28

Monty gets more desirable with time in my opinion- as does his garden-

Happy Birthday comeintothegardenmaud flowers

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 01-Sep-13 18:26:28

Thank you, funnyperson.

We had already decided to have lunch today in a slightly far-flung garden centre which we rarely visit and, as luck would have it, my SiL sent me a garden centre voucher so I was able to have a bit of a splurge. I had decided to buy rosa Munstead Wood, but they didn't have it, so on impulse I bought Nuits de Young instead. I am hoping for good things from it.

MousyMouse Sun 01-Sep-13 18:35:46

lovely rose!
happy birthday

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 01-Sep-13 18:59:22

Thank you, MousyMouse. I know one shouldn't buy on impulse, but the flowers do look lovely.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 01-Sep-13 19:28:29

I love that rose. Happy Birthday Maud!

MousyMouse Sun 01-Sep-13 19:34:03

I know maud
I'm now trying to decide if I should buy 2 or 3 of the rosa novalis. my excuse is that the shipping cost is so high, the order better be big...

and you can never have too many roses anyway!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 01-Sep-13 19:40:23

Yes, I'm a fairly recent convert to roses. I used to think they were passe, but they thrive in my clay soil and little beats them for scent.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 01-Sep-13 20:28:41

Good choice, Maud. Happy birthday.

Happy Birthday Maud! Love the colour of that rose.

Just caught up with GW, I'm now considering whether ferns would work in my dry shade at the end of the long bed...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 01-Sep-13 21:13:31

Thank you, both,

Bertha - Have you seen the thread about deer in the garden? I think your expertise may be needed!

Have popped in to the deer thread and added some commiserations useful advice.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 01-Sep-13 21:45:57

I'm sure she will be grateful, Bertha!

funnyperson Sun 01-Sep-13 23:36:18

nuits de young is a wonderful rose- more floriferous than Munstead wood and a more romantic name!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 01-Sep-13 23:53:11

But I've been hankering after Munstead Wood for so long...

Bertha - The cosmos have arrived. Thank you so much, that little packet really cheered me up on my return from holiday smile

I spent yesterday painting the inside of my shed. I was hoping it would look vintage & cute but it just looks knackered. I will take the DC to the pound shop today to buy some naff tat to cheer it up a bit.

I popped down to homebase for some shelves and happily they had forgotten to water their winter pansies so had reduced them to £1 a tray. I had to tell DH to drag me away after picking up 7! My thighs are killing me from all that planting.

echt Mon 02-Sep-13 09:08:25

The first day of the Australian spring on Sunday was a corker. Very warm though rather windy. DH and I spent the day tidying, spreading water wetter granules, planting watering and mulching. We planted Swan River pea, two Darwinia citriodora, an abutilon "Red Emperor" and a couple of prostrate grevilleas. Most are tube stock for a very demanding dry raised bed, so we'll see how they do.

Our gigantic staghorn fern, about 3' by 2', was moved to lean against a palm in the semi-tropical bed and given its six-monthly feed of two banana skins. It had to be strapped to to the tree with giant black rubber bungies. It's a beast.

It was lovely to sit out in the front garden for the first time this year, though painful for me as I had broken my arse falling backwards off a raised bed and landing on the rim of huge plastic pot of mulch. I now have massive bruise on my right buttock that DH assures me is the shape of Cyprus. He offered to rub it better, but I thought he'd quite enough fun for Father's Day already, i.e. a pH measuring device for the veggie beds.grin

Oh, happy birthday, Maud.

cantspel Mon 02-Sep-13 19:10:36

echt ouch sounds uncomfortable.

Had a lovely day doing odd jobs in the garden. First load of daffs are in, hanging baskets emptied out ready for winter planting, ivy from next door cut back from where it is trying to take over my fence and a couple of beds weeded and ready for tulips to go in.

I want the garden to look nice as my Dad is visiting later this week and it will be the first time he has been here even though we moved in feb of last year. He is a keen gardener but only has a small garden so is keen to see what i am doing with my much larger space. His garden is immaculate with a lawn as smooth as a bowling green which mine isn't but i am hoping the that he wont notice the moss and odd weed.

echt Wed 04-Sep-13 05:41:34

Thank you cantspel. The bum-bruise now resembles Gondwanaland.grin <tmi>

Lovely to read your post and reflect that my hyacinths have gone over, the late-planted tulips barely showing, narcissi just past their best, while you are looking to plant up for next spring.

I love a lawn, but have struggled here, particularly with a water meter.
We laid a lawn last year that has not done well and are considering tearing it all out and planting thickly with beds of plants' shrubs/small tress and crushed rock/native mulch paths between. We never use the "lawn", and can provide more for the wildlife in this way.

echt Wed 04-Sep-13 05:42:36

That should have read "native plants", though the mulch paths would be native, too.

Bumbez Wed 04-Sep-13 19:44:05

rhubarb and bertha seeds on their way providing Dh posted them.

I've had a productive few days chopping, clearing and chipping with Dh's help. I had a bit of an accident today though - attempted double digging and lost my balance, fell heavily on my right side narrowly missing impaling myself on a metal spike. blush if it hadn't hurt so much it would have been funny!

I had an interesting evening last night, for our wedding anniversary Dh had booked tickets with Jay Raynor - the food critic. He gave a talk then we all tucked into lush food but had to judge some of the dishes i.e comparing local apple pudding with lidl apple pudding and also New Zealand lamb and local lamb. I wore a too tight dress though so by the end of the night could hardly breathe!

rhubarb there's a swimming pond thread over on property you might need to join!

Any potting shed babies yet?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 04-Sep-13 19:51:09

I'm just getting round to watching Friday's GW. Ah, Monty.

funnyperson Wed 04-Sep-13 21:19:24

I saw the 'secret gardens of the salutation' in Sandwich today. Apparently the original gardens were Jekyll and Lutyens designs which then went to weed and jungle, but have now been restored. It was autumnal and seedy, but dahlias and bananas and bamboo and rudbeckia and echinacea and amaranthus caudatus were looking good in the tropical border- sounds quite similar to the border you were admiring at Great Dixter, maud. It certainely was food for thought- quite a lot of yellow and orange and maroon going on.
There were so many seed heads but I didn't dare take any, though I think it could have been helpful to have done some ...deadheading...
Sandwich is a pretty village and the stour valley walk is lovely in the summer sunshine.

There seems to be a lot of gardening related accidents happening. Be careful out there everyone; stop falling over!

Been eating figs off my little fig tree. They are very lovely.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 05-Sep-13 07:35:08

I've been meaning to ask; how does one tell when figs are ripe? For the first time ever, I've got a few that look bug enough to eat. Very exciting!

That sounds like a delightful outing, funnyperson.

Bumbez Thu 05-Sep-13 12:23:38

maud they go much darker in colour and feel softer. I used to have a fig tree they are delicious.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 05-Sep-13 12:43:09

Hmm. They've gone dark, but how do I gauge whether they're soft enough? How soft is soft?

Rhubarbgarden Thu 05-Sep-13 12:50:37

echt your staghorn fern sounds wonderful.

Bumbez thanks for sending the seeds! I'm not sure I dare go over to the property thread. I used to 'live' there before I moved out over here, and I already spend too much time on MN; I'm not sure I should risk getting sucked into kitchens and paint colours again...

Funnyperson those gardens sound beautiful. I've never been to that part of the world. I may have to organise a trip.

I got my mojo back yesterday and did five hours at my drawing board in the evening, and got my 'hot' colours planting plan finished. I shall go over it again tonight to check for successional colour and to spot any accidental clangers.

I fear it relies a bit too heavily on foliage rather than flowers, but the borders are relatively narrow, so by the time I've got in all the structural evergreens and front of border plants it doesn't leave much space for colourful perennials. I'm also trying to keep it simple with a reduced plant palette, as my planting plans in the past have suffered from too many varieties, resulting in a 'bitty' overall look.

Lots of lime, dark red and yellow foliage though so hopefully it should still be quite colourful.

cantspel Thu 05-Sep-13 13:24:00

My dad came to visit yesterday and bought me 2 lovely hibiscus for the garden.

Bertha my fig tree has gone mad this year and i even needed to cut it back as it was blocking the side path.Masses of fruit on it but as i dont like figs the birds have been having a treat.

funnyperson Thu 05-Sep-13 20:32:13

I love figs.

I am growing 1 week greens in the on call room. They germinated in 2 days.

I don't think the Salutation gardens were unmissable, but very pleasant if combined with the cliff/valley/village walk.

There is an orange/chocolate rudbeckia

rhubarb what you say about lots of different plants vs block planting is a constant dilemma also whether to block plant or whether to go for repeats/ symmetry.

I'm trying to decide whether to continue with the white/green border on the shady side, mirrored by the pink/deep purple/blue/maroon/lime green border on the sunny side, or whether to continue with more or less randomness whilst finding room for antique magenta roses, alliums christophii, crambe etc which will arrive in the autumn.

Its all a fantasy really as currently I have 1 week greens and neon lighting....sigh. I expect the poor plants in the home garden are dried out.

Maud by trial and error I found that my figs are ready when a mix of purple and green. My first few I left longer to go all dark purple but found the birds were getting there first and the flesh was starting to turn.

Cantspel I can't believe you leave them! If you don't like them fresh, have you tried them cooked? Split the tops, stuff in a bit of goats cheese, wrap in Parma ham and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Amazing.

cantspel Fri 06-Sep-13 11:42:13

Bertha i dont like cheese either. i only keep the fig tree as i like the shape of it.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 06-Sep-13 13:42:20

funny I think it all depends on what sort of 'look' you're going for, if any. A hotch potch of many varieties can look great and very cottagey. Most plantspersons gardens look like this because they tend to be collectors rather than arrangers. Block planting looks fantastic in small, city gardens or conversely in big open spaces, a la Piet Oudolf. The clients I'm currently working for want their garden to look 'designed' and they are very style aware, being heavily involved in the design process from start to finish. So this planting plan needs to have a restrained plant palette with lots of repeats.

I like the sound of your colour themed borders. My own garden has always been of the hotch-potch plant collector variety, but when I redesign my borders I will probably do some colour theming. I'm certainly going to find space for the antique roses/crambe/allium combo we were lusting over at Sissinghurst!

MousyMouse Fri 06-Sep-13 14:51:15

my fig tree has lots of fruits. but they don't look at all like the ones in the shop. they are green but quite plump.
I wonder if I should just harvest them?

the roses will be delivered (bare root) end of november. still don't quite know where to put them. thinking of one in a pot by the front door (south facing) and one in the back next to the rosa hansestadt rostock as it's in the lightest part of the garden.

what do you think?

funnyperson Sat 07-Sep-13 02:40:13

mouseymouse one is supposed to be able to plant bare root roses into the ground but I've tended to put them in a pot in a sheltered spot to overwinter and plant them out in the spring.

MousyMouse Sat 07-Sep-13 10:28:47

good point funny that would give me time to ponder where to put them.

Bearleigh Sat 07-Sep-13 22:41:40

I have hibiscus encryption can't spell: which varieties are they ?

Talking of which ... I have a deep maroon hibiscus that was already in when we moved in and flowered well for the first two years but the last two although it has buds and I can see the colour of the petals they don't actually open. It isn't very big so I expect it's not very old and I don't know why it's not flowering. Any ideas? I don't feed it. Maybe I should.

I assumed last year it was sulking at the weather, but it hasn't that excuse this year!

Bearleigh Sat 07-Sep-13 22:43:24

Grr at iPhone autocorrect. Should have been hibiscus envy and cantspel. Apologies!

funnyperson Sat 07-Sep-13 23:32:50

My hibiscus has buds which haven't opened yet. The neighbours' ones, which are in flower, are all south facing and in the sun

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 08-Sep-13 11:56:22

What a coincidence. I was selling hibiscus yesterday.

I was just walking through Lidl to get to the car park and accidentally bought two packs of tulip bulbs. An absolute steal at £1.79 for 8 or 10.

cantspel Sun 08-Sep-13 17:53:51

There are hibiscus hamabo which a la lovely pink blush colour with red at the base of each petal. They are in flower now and if the rain ever stops then i need to get them planted.

Bearleigh hibiscus like to be watered well during summer and a simple feed of bonemeal in the spring.

Maud i had the same accident last weekend but they were on offer of 4 packs for £5 so it would be criminal not to.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 08-Sep-13 19:14:34

Oh, Hamabo is lovely. I was very tempted to buy one yesterday.

Four packs for a fiver? As you say, not to buy them would be criminally negligent!

I managed a whole afternoon at Wisley without buying anything.

::polishes halo::

funnyperson Sun 08-Sep-13 20:19:11

Did you not even have the cream tea?

The air and light are beginning to feel autumnal rather than summery.
I was thinking about Monty's comment in one programme: about plants and light quality in relation to how crocosmia glow in the autumn light. I wonder what other semi-transparent plants would shimmer in the autumn light.
I would like a fiery red acer I think.

Thank you for the seeds Bumbez. smile

My gardening escapades got rained off today. Was happily planting out spring cabbage and kale until the heavens opened.

I must accidentally pass through Lidl at some point this week too. I am need of tulip bulbs.

funnyperson Sun 08-Sep-13 20:22:43

a small tree, like this
I don't know what variety it is and I am looking for scarlet red rather than purple

funnyperson Sun 08-Sep-13 20:23:18

Oh dear I havent posted my seeds yet
Or done the laundry.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 08-Sep-13 20:23:45

During a downpour we took shelter in the cafe and I had hot chocolate and a scone with clotted cream and jam, but what I meant was that I managed not to buy any plants/bulbs/seeds or other garden accessories.

I would like some yellow crocosmia, I think.

Had a baby this morning, potting shed buddies! A 3.96kg Petunia.

haven't posted the astrantia seeds yet. Will sort it soon and dispatch DH to the post box.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 08-Sep-13 20:48:54

Well done, TyneFilth!

::Very excited by the first Potting Shed Baby::

Now get some rest!

funnyperson Sun 08-Sep-13 21:24:41

Congratulations!!!! tynefilth what a splendid weight! flowers to you and smile for the baby!

thanks for TyneFilth! I love the way you say 'I had a baby this morning', in much the same way as I said I planted out spring cabbage! So casual. Congratulations, have some more flowers, the rest of us will have some virtual wine to celebrate the first potting shed baby. grin

Bumbez Sun 08-Sep-13 21:48:13

tynefilth congratulations smile

Downpours here today and I got half way through cutting the grass when the mower broke, I'm hoping Dh can't fix it as I'd really like a petrol one. Any recommendations?

I'm going to harvest the apples and pears later in the week - the fallen ones are delicious.

MousyMouse Sun 08-Sep-13 21:51:10

ohh tynefilth that is brilliant! congratulations!

didn't do any gardening this weekend, but lots of baking as I might enter a local produce show soon.
kitchen looked a bit like a flour bag exploded but my baking looked and tasted ok, hopefully my colleagues can give me an honest verdict tomorrow. cake

Rhubarbgarden Mon 09-Sep-13 07:37:44

Congratulations TyneFilth! Petunia - what a gorgeous name.

Eeek I was joking about 'petunia'! Today's codename is Brenda...! Could be going for a flower name though, we haven't actually given it much thought. Marguerite? (nn Daisy)

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 09-Sep-13 10:27:45

Marguerite would be lovely!

Rhubarbgarden Mon 09-Sep-13 14:15:02

I love Marguerite. It was on my shortlist for dd, along with Primrose and Fern.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 09-Sep-13 14:21:17

Your dd has a lovely name, Rhubarb. Primrose seems to get the thumbs down on MN, but I think it's gorgeous.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 09-Sep-13 14:23:40

Thanks Maud! I was a bit sad not to get a flower name in the end but had to take into account DH's opinions. hmm

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 09-Sep-13 14:31:03

Ah yes. I remember the endless brainstorming sessions we had, suggesting baby names! Fortunately there were two on which we could agree.

cantspel Mon 09-Sep-13 16:23:17

tynefilth congratulations

I was lucky as i only had boys. It would have been a nightmare if i had a girl as i hated all the names oh liked and he wasn't that fond of the names i liked.

I would have like Neale for a girl but i got to many people telling me it was a boys name but then i had a boy and everyone expected me to call him Neil and couldn't get their heads around the fact that they were two different names for two different sexes.

Bearleigh Mon 09-Sep-13 18:46:02

Congratulations Tynefilth. That is lovely news!

DD2 has a flower name for her middle name. I found naming them very stressful and we struggled to agree hence they have ended up with wacky names that they'll hate us for. If we'd had boys though they would probably still not have names we were that at odds!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 09-Sep-13 20:27:16

DD does not have a flower name, although my mother (with no encouragement on my part) was convinced I was going to call her Flora.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 09-Sep-13 20:28:00

And I like wacky offbeat names.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 09-Sep-13 20:29:33

ooh, a baby! Congratulations XXX

Lovely news

flower names rock

HumphreyCobbler Mon 09-Sep-13 20:31:01

DH has vetoed Rosamund for this baby I may have moaned about this before

Rhubarbgarden Mon 09-Sep-13 20:34:02

Rosamund is beautiful. I loved Anemone and Narcissa when I was pregnant with ds. It's probably fortunate he's a boy.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 09-Sep-13 20:35:42

Oh, and Flora, yes that would have been in the running too if it hadn't been dead in the water by rhyming with my own name.

Anyway, names are over rated. Mine tend to get called Pumpkin, Sweetpea, Pickle. Even the dog gets this treatment which saves the embarrassment of people realising I have temporarily forgotten what their actual names are

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 09-Sep-13 21:48:10

Oh yes, same here!

Congratulations Rake!!! I hope you and baby are recovering well x

DD1's middle name means flowering and DD2's first name is a variation on the quintessential English flower... I get self conscious when I holler at her in Garden centres (she's a bolster)as everyone must think I am a gardening nut. I didn't consciously choose them because they were flower names, both were actually my Grandmother's names.

We had DD2's b'day party on Saturday which was like my v own open garden event. Happily everything came together, I even managed a vase of cut cosmos, wallflower & verbena. It was nice to remind myself how much i have transformed the garden in the last year.

V cold here now. I've got weeding to do but just don't fancy getting out there in this weather. I popped to Lidl but there must be loads of m'ners round here as the tulips had all gone. Can anybody recommend a nifty tool for planting bulbs?

MousyMouse Wed 11-Sep-13 19:16:33

thanks for the lidl tip, bought loads of tulip bulbs.
was tempted to get the 5kg daffodil bag but was on foot and didn't want to carry it all home.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 11-Sep-13 20:55:46

5kg of bulbs? That would be an awful lot of planting!

I have never found a planting tool that works for me, as they quickly get clogged by the heavy clay here.

cantspel Thu 12-Sep-13 12:30:08

You can hardly see the work top in my utility room for the amount of bulbs i have now been tempted by and i still have the 100 alliums and russian snowdrops to arrive.
I have decided to empty all the old bulbs from the tubs and replant these with new tulips. The old bulbs will go in the garden in clumps so hopefully i will still get something out of them.

I use a bog standard dibbler that i bought in tesco for 25p, a larger one i got in poundland for of course a pound and a garden trowel for bigger bulbs or if i want to plant a clump of bulbs.

I need to buy a new and decent trowel this year as my last 2 were cheapies from supermarkets and they have bent. Any decnet makes i should look out for that wont bend and are not too big?

Bumbez Thu 12-Sep-13 17:45:51

My dear late dad always used the Handle of a broken spade for planting, called a dibber or that's what he called it! I was delighted when our spade broke so I could use the handle too!

What are you all doing with your gluts? I have loads of pears so am currently attempting Belgian Pears though I've misjudged the cooking somewhat as they take 6 hours so I'll be up untill midnight. I am a preserving virgin though so it could all go pear shaped ! grin

Bumbez Thu 12-Sep-13 17:48:02

Popped into Lidl today. Came out laden with bulbs and a couple of heucheras.

I must check the apples in the orchard. Not been over there in a while. Also need to go blackberry picking before we miss the boat there too. Have loads of plants to go in that got rained off last weekend. Got a busy weekend coming on I think...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 12-Sep-13 22:05:17

Please don't tempt me with heucheras especially as I've still got some waiting to be planted.

Rhubarbgarden Thu 12-Sep-13 22:46:12

Oh dear lord I'd forgotten about the alliums. I don't know how I'll find the time to plant those!

Some of our apples are ready, finally, but not the pears. The vine is laden with big bunches of grapes but I doubt they'll ripen now the weather has turned. sad

I handed in my entry form for the village hort society autumn show yesterday. I'm going to enter russet apples, cooking apples and pears. I don't know if it matters or not that the pears aren't quite ripe yet. It's the first time I've entered anything in a show (apart from miniature gardens when I was about six).

Rhubarbgarden Fri 13-Sep-13 14:16:05

Ten Hellebores for £10.50 at Hayloft! Tempting, tempting...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 14-Sep-13 12:47:47

The hellebores I got from Hayloft were excellent plants. To my shame, a couple of those that I hadn't got round to planting out perished over the summer. Drat.

Bearleigh Sat 14-Sep-13 15:57:25

I was pleased with my hellebores from Hayloft too. Two have died, but the others are flourishing. I am reminded that I need to call upon their guarantee... They are all still in pots and have had exactly the same treatment.