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Rhubarb Appreciation Society

(996 Posts)
Blackpuddingbertha Sat 23-Mar-13 21:43:51

Going with Rhihaf's thread name suggestion, following on from the first rule of gardening club is thread.

Pull up your kneeling pads, crack open the elderberry wine and the blackberry gin and come and join us. No real experience or gardening know-how needed.

echt Sat 23-Mar-13 21:48:20


Though I'm off to plant shop now.

Blackpuddingbertha Sat 23-Mar-13 21:59:06

I'm starting to think that DH may have been right about it not being the weather to build the arbour this weekend. Chances of a dry day without snow tomorrow anyone? Or do I make him go out there anyway? Baring in mind that I'll need to be helping...

LexyMa Sat 23-Mar-13 22:38:52

checking in!

I don't see tomorrow as being a gardening day, bpb... maybe a seed-box organising day.

I have visitors, anyway. And I keep adding things to my mental to-do list, but not actually doing them. I am going to move the herb bed this spring, plant a Costco fruit tree (see earlier wonderings about how to move rhubarb without disturbing too badly), possibly also a small magnolia, and do quick-results veg, nothing boring and long term. oh but maybe perennial veg.

Blackpuddingbertha Sat 23-Mar-13 22:47:03

Lidl had small magnolias in Lexi. Was tempted as our second attempt at the magnolia tree does not look healthy.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 23-Mar-13 22:57:29

Oh yes. Our Lidl had a lovely magnolia stellata for £8.99.

My current dilemma is whether to remove the fig tree from the border and put it in a massive pot which is conveniently empty. Argument for: the roots aren't constricted in the bed, it will soon get far too big and so moving it is a now (or next year) or never thing. Argument against: it'll be hard work and the space for the pot isn't very sunny so the tree may be less happy there, even though it will provide a focal point for my nice new patio.

So what does the MN gardening jury think?

Blackpuddingbertha Sat 23-Mar-13 23:01:25

My fig is in a pot but half buried in the bed. Could you pot it but keep it in the same position? Would restrict growth but keep it happy. Seemed easier than burying slabs in the bed to create an underground restriction.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 23-Mar-13 23:22:35

I could, but it's a very fancy pot and I'm trying to reduce the number of pots standing in the beds. There's also a pittosporum in a pot which I'm planning to plant out. Perhaps I need to get one of Lidl's vast plastic pots to do the half-submerged thing. Decisions, decisions.

echt Sun 24-Mar-13 05:37:24

Apparently a fig tree should be planted in a Gladstone bag. I hardly ever saw these in England, but they infest Victoria. DH insisted on buying one, and there it is, sitting on a shelf in the wardrobe.

I too feel torn about plants in pots, but am stuck with shade v. ferocious sun, so keep some things moving.

We laid a small crushed rock path from the garage yesterday, and the bougainvillea nearby is sulking, we think we may have cut out some of its roots. sad It has three days to cheer up, or out it comes while I can still buy and plant a replacement.

Bought and planted kang kong, though autumn is not the best time however, let's give it a go. It's in pot of ordinary potting mix with lots of chook pellets and water crystals, as well as sitting a big saucer of water.

Am now contemplating the dip tins. My research shows that Mr Titchmarsh tested various liners for baskets, and old jumpers came up tops, so it's off to the op shops at Easter to by old knitwear, and much planting of bulbs and succulents. The problem is I only have 5 dip tins, and to get any more would mean driving to Mildura, which is right at the tippy-top north western edge of the state. Which you wouldn't do unless you had to. Hmmm. The alternative is to pay an exorbitant price at local naice antique shops that sell distressed bunting.

funnyperson Sun 24-Mar-13 08:33:09

<peers round door and tiptoes in at first then smiles and relaxes>
Here you all are! smile

The thought of a fig tree growing out of a Gladstone bag is very amusing- like Paddington bear and Ernest all at once in a horticultural idiom.
The fig tree might not be small enough though, and it seems a shame to bury a gladstone bag.
Maud DC planted the Munstead Wood rose in a large plastic terracotta looking pot last mothers day and it (pot and rose)has lasted well through the year- I agree,if you have a nice pot, it seems a shame to bury it and as long as the plastic one has good drainage holes it might be a better substitute.

Last year I bought one of lidls cheap magnolia trees but it died within 2 weeks of planting and i couldn't help but notice this year that the trees in the shop near us had leaves but no buds, whereas the one I bought from crocus came with a 1 year guarantee and a year later is still alive with loads of buds. It could have been the way I planted the first one of course.

I am going to get even more primroses today. Species.

Blackpuddingbertha Sun 24-Mar-13 10:15:44

Magnolias are a bit sulky in my not very vast experience. They need to be in the right position and when they are young can be very susceptible to frost. They also don't flower for some years to start with I think, certainly the ones I saw in Lidl didn't look like they'd be flowering yet but did look quite healthy. I think ours may have two surviving branches this year. Baring in mind this was a £150 tree and we've already replaced it once under guarantee I think we will give up if this one fails.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 24-Mar-13 11:45:52

I have a magnolia stellata in a half barrel. It has done really well, unlike those we put in the cottage beds which got saturated last year. I am hoping they will survive but not counting on it.

We have two fig trees, both planted a couple of years ago and we constrained the roots. I well remember DD aged 2 carefully picking all the tiny figs off and laying them out in a nice straight line hmm

It is freezing here. No chance we will be going outside and we are about to run out of wood! This is a disaster, we run two woodburners as our main heat source. I think DH has arranged to swap some of our perry for some seasoned wood though.

We urgently need to replant the herb beds now we have removed all the non herb plants from them. Am planning lots of unfriendly to slug plants.

funnyperson Sun 24-Mar-13 13:00:45

The cold might kill off the slugs. I hope you get our wood, humph if the delivery doesn't come through, will your DH have to take a wheelbarrow and electric saw out and be heroic like in the country house in Dr Zhivago.
I might get the verandah incorporated into the house this year. It is hardly ever warm enough to sit out in it. it is south facing, I might put loads of tropical plants in pots, including a fig tree.
Or, I might get it incorporated into the house and put loads of tropical plants in that section.
Assuming the country remains solvent and I get paid of course. The situation in Cyprus sounds dire.

funnyperson Sun 24-Mar-13 13:00:58

your wood

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 24-Mar-13 13:49:02

I've just had to buy winter tyres to be fitted this week before we go to Germany. My cousin rang and said at the moment they do have loads of snow so can't risk it. It's March for goodness sake . Hope you get some wood Humph.

Am liking the idea of a Magnolia in a half barrell now. I can see me accidentally ending in Lidl in the not too distant future...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 24-Mar-13 14:36:29

Brrr. Do we have a logburner in this virtual potting shed? I have to say that the potting shed at Great Dixter was gorgeous, in no small part because it had a stove.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 24-Mar-13 14:55:00

Yes we've recycled a gas bottle' I'll chuck another log on. ====

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 24-Mar-13 15:08:01

What a fantastic example of upcycling.

::Warms hands by the fire::

I am obsessed with keeping warm and am buying hats and gloves on eBay as I'm not capable of knitting my own.

Blackpuddingbertha Sun 24-Mar-13 16:14:44

I ventured out briefly to plant up some of the dahlia bulbs in pots to bring on in the conservatory; the rest of them will go straight out when it's warmer maybe in August. It's not very warm out there. DH is out splitting logs for tonight, I'll get him to do extra for the potting shed burner and for Humph. smile

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 24-Mar-13 16:19:56

We might run out of logs by tonight. I dream of having a huge garden with outbuildings, including a wood store.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 24-Mar-13 18:40:14

thanks smile

Rhubarbgarden Sun 24-Mar-13 19:10:41

What an excellent new title! And it's a lot warmer in this virtual potting shed than in this draughty old house. I shall start a fire in a minute. I had to go out and buy logs the other day, even though we have a massive pile of logs at the bottom of the garden - we had a thirty foot high hedge of Leylandii cut down in the autumn, so next year we are laughing. But first it all has to be chopped up and transferred to the wood shed (sorry Maud) and then left to season.

Speaking of figs, we also have the carcass of a fig tree on our log pile, felled at the same time. It was massive and very old, and growing into the house. Clearly somebody planted it as a walled trained specimen many, many moons ago, and then successive new owners left it to grow out of control, and it became a monster (as figs are wont to do). I smiled at the story of the two year old lining up the fruit though - I too have a two year old who does that.

I think it is a long time since anyone who actually liked gardening lived here. Everything is overgrown and conifer-tastic. The orchard walls are being torn apart in slow motion by ivy and brambles. I had someone in to quote to clear them, as I just don't have the time, and he quoted £530! I think it would actually be cheaper to pay for childcare while I do it myself. He even got offended when I said that was a bit steep, and lectured me on how if I wanted highly skilled labour I would have to pay accordingly. hmm

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 24-Mar-13 19:20:30

Whereabouts in the country are you, Rhubarb? Do you have snow?

My recent experience about which I whinged on the old thread is that people who charge premium rates for their services do not necessarily do an excellent or even acceptable job. You could, as you say, hire a nanny for a few days and do it yourself!

Rhubarbgarden Sun 24-Mar-13 19:43:29

I'm in Sussex, Maud. No snow here but they do have it a few yards up the road. Our village is nestled at the foot of the Downs and I think they protect us a bit.

A belated thank you for all the welcomes - I just read the end of the last thread. blush

Right, now I've got a fire going I'm off to suss out iplayer - that picture of Monty's greenhouse has me dribbling.

Rhubarbgarden Sun 24-Mar-13 19:44:46

Oh and that should have been 'wall trained' in my other post, not 'walled trained'. Tut.

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