The gardening thread

Discussion in 'suburban75' started by ringo, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Ho, we have huge bins - 1 for general waste, one for 'green' waste and 1 for recycling's a bit mad - there are also 4 of us but we could probably go for 3 months before overflowing.
  2. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Yes it is. I was away all weekend. I stood it upright when I got home, need to get a stake and hold it in place.
  3. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    Got a big grey rat in the compost heap - cat not doing her job obviously , so have left lid off and drenched it in water , and keep hammering it from a safe distance with a piece of wood. Any tips on how to deal with this. ?

    (one plan is to dig out the heap with a shovel , with the cat held back for instant action !)
  4. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    I go for the water method too, davesgcr - they don't bloody like a soaking and there is the added advantage of moisture retention (my heap invariably gets too dry since the autumn pruning is mainly woody, twiggy stuff. Some of the allotment owners have opted for poisoning (the council suggestion)...but I cannot countenance that.
    You might want to get a long piece or rebar (and if you can beat the end into a hook, even better) - I use one to aerate the heap and generally poke around...and, of course, the efficient gardener will be turning the heap at least a couple of times a year (I am a lazy gardener though and mine only gets done once).
    davesgcr likes this.
  5. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    i had a lovely afternoon in the garden yesterday getting lopper happy with the apple and lilac :D i've opened a bit of space where i want it - for sitting, for letting light through, and for the line - the rest i'll leave for another time/if i ever remember.

    compost is next on my list. the whole place is one big compost heap tbh i only did a few sweeps to pick up last years windfalls and plenty escaped. there were too many for the compost so the rest ended up on my empty raised bed, which is now cider-scented worm central :cool: i need to dig out last year's compost and make a new heap. oh and i'm getting serious about it so i bought a compost corkscrew too :D

    seeformiles, campanula and scifisam like this.
  6. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Soil Sistahs!
    Isn't it astonishing how quickly mountains of windfalls sort of melt away. I do a feeble veggie clear up in the autumn and just leave the potato and tomato tops and heaps of squash leaves, on top of the beds (telling myself it is a 'green mulch')...and by this time, they have disappeared while the beds are friable and tender(apart from immortal sweetcorn cobs).

    I am now jealous of your compost auger (the handle!). I will put in an order for the youngest to rustle me one up too (he is a metal fabricator and welder).
  7. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Bloody brilliant news! After 6 futile years of sourcing seeds or plants for Cambridge milk parsley - peucedanum palustre - I have located 50 plug plants from Habitat for Life. This is the fellas entire stock but he told me to grab them as he isn't able to get seeds either ( I did offer to share).
    This is a sad tale of evolutionary dead ends and habitat the swallowtail butterfly now only lives in a few square miles of Norfolk wetland...while the caterpillars sole food plant is the almost extinct milk parsley. I can see why. It is a difficult plant with specific habitat needs - doesn't always set seed (which means death for biennials) and in the rare event of seed setting, it is only viable for a few weeks...hence my increasingly desperate search for seed or plants.I even considered robbing Strumpshaw's nature reserve ( because they cannot even offer seed for sale as they are in a SSSI so almost part of the problem). If I can establish a couple of colonies along my land drains, it is almost a certainty that swallowtails will find them and breed. Their only other realistic hope of survival is to breed with a European swallowtail (which has a wider range of umbellifers for cat food)...and, ironically, it will be climate change which allows this (there have been a few south coast incursions in recent years).
    Anyway, I was rather grinding through January in a sort of desultory manner (although I did have a seed sowing session this week, including sweet peas I had somehow overlooked). true, the odd flower is still blooming away and little shoots are coming up everywhere but now, NOW I am galvanised. Off to the woods tomorrow to prepare and clear the ditches - foul work with waders and toil but hey...swallowtails. I saw my first (and only one) in the wild (actually flew into my clearing) 2 years ago - spectacular.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  8. Leafster

    Leafster From the FRow

    It's a nice sunny day here so I thought I'd post a couple photos of some bulbs which are brightening up the front garden at the moment.


    blairsh, trabuquera, clicker and 6 others like this.
  9. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Did you plant those iris reticulata last autumn? I can never get them to return so they are strictly an annual thing in pots. I love the way the leaves suddenly start to extend (well over 30cm) after flowering. Possibly, if I lifted and stored them but hey...they are cheap enough to buy every year.
    Otoh, I have some crocus chrysantha which are well over 2 decades old.
    Leafster likes this.
  10. Leafster

    Leafster From the FRow

    The irises have been in that spot for a couple of years now but I did plant some in the back garden in the autumn of 2014 and most of them only lasted a year. I think there are just a couple of wispy leaves coming up in the spot I planted them. I've had problems with crocuses in this garden - the squirrels dig them up, I think. Those above are planted under chicken wire with a layer of soil over the wire.
  11. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    I planted loads of snowdrops and none have come up, but the irises and hyacinths are doing well.
  12. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    i had a beautiful deep blue iris with silver edges. whatever i did or didn't do it didn't like it and died off :(

    moar iris pics...

    i has ferns on the way. i've managed not to kill quite a few now so i'm optimistic :thumbs:
  13. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    all native i think :)

    deer fern

    harts tongue fern

    common polypody

    scaly male fern

    lady fern

  14. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Gorgeous, gorgeous - have a thing for ferns (since the wood). If only I didn't have alkaline soil, I would grow the fabulous Osmunda regalis (but maybe you could, Wayward?)

    Bulb merchants shouldn't sell snowdrops (apart from elwesii) as they hate being dug up and dried. Not your fault at all, Scifisam. You might have another go by buying bulbs 'in the green' (ie.freshly dug after flowering). Can give you a list of (reliable) companies which specialise on this way of planting if you like.

    Yep, crocuses have been a total fail in the wood - everything eats them.
    scifisam likes this.
  15. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    I might ask for that list again in the autumn - I'd forget it by then if you gave it to me now :)

    I've just ordered a few more ferns for the chicken area plus a couple to put out front. The only bad thing about that area is that the fruit trees there are rather bare in the winter, and the lawn has died back, so it's not that nice to look at once the chickens are in their covered run (it looks nice when they're out and their coop itself looks good).
  16. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    it looks enormous! i have a couple of pretty big established ferns already - i was hoping to keep the new ones on a tighter leash in containers ;)
    campanula likes this.
  17. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Planting bulbs in the green happens in February/March when the leaves have done their job, photosynthesising to put back energy into the bulbs for next season. When you buy the bulbs, they often arrive in a slab of soil, sometimes still in (droopy) flower. You just pull them apart and dibble each bulb into the soil. guaranteed a show the following winter/spring. So, anytime in the next month, bulb companies will be advertising 'bulbs in the green'.
  18. Ron Merlin

    Ron Merlin OA in the DIPJs.

    I discovered an old bed out front last summer and packed it with pansies and all sorts of bulbs. This iris is the first to bloom :)
    campanula, clicker, Leafster and 3 others like this.
  19. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    New year, new garden project :cool:
    The border on the right in the first pic is the first bit of the garden we cultivated when we moved in 8 years ago.
    There were slabs laid (badly) across all of that area and we just removed a couple of rows, dumped a load of compost in and started planting stuff - often things that people at work kept giving me when they divided perennials etc.
    So this area has evolved without much of a plan and while it looks great in early summer - i.e. in the second pic which was taken a couple of years ago, it looks a bit lacklustre for the rest of the year + that bloody geranium has taken over and so have the brambles.

    borders.jpg borders2.jpg

    We cleared one of the beds at the weekend, putting the stuff we want to save (not that there's much) in pots.

    I want more height in there so I've ordered some stipa gigantea for structure + verbena, astrantia & anemone (the sort that flowers later in the summer, not the spring ones).

    Will keep a little bit of the geranium too.
  20. Leafster

    Leafster From the FRow

    More irises ... this time a different variety in another part of the front garden.

  21. clicker

    clicker nanook rubs it....

    BoatieBird I love the purples and greens in your garden. And I wish my neighbour had a clematis (?) like that growing over the fence :)
    BoatieBird likes this.
  22. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's a clematis. She also does well with climbing roses. We do very well out of 'borrowed' plants :cool:
  23. Boudicca

    Boudicca Seaside Queen

    I need to demolish my falling down greenhouse, dig up the base and create a vegetable patch. This is one of those very very rare moments when a husband would be useful.
    BoatieBird likes this.
  24. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    to get you cider after you're done demolishing the greenhouse? :D mr b is off today and he's gone to get me some as my reward for digging the compost :thumbs:
    Boudicca likes this.
  25. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    our blackbirds are back :cool: she was swooping around my head in the lilac tree where they usually nest, and he turned up after i came in, on the hunt for worms...
    clicker likes this.
  26. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Ha, mystery solved. You have great drainage don't you Leafster? Now I am recalling your terraces. Perfect for alpines and bulbs. I grew up with rockeries (millstone grit) and still get transported back to a certain house on Hollingworth Road (Oldham), which I loved as a 10 year old. So inappropriate in East Anglia so the best I can manage is a little 'scree' garden. Have you considered dieramas (I was slightly obssessed with these for a few years)?
    The most beautiful song of all birds, I think. Can't recall who said they would rather have a garden full of blackbirds rather than full of cherries, but yep, it is hard to resent the theft of fruit when the plot is transformed by singing. I had an awful annual battle with neighbouring cats, over 2-3 seasons. The war of attrition was agonisingly drawn out and brutally inevitable, once underway. The cock first to go, after a brave but reckless stand, leaving the hen to forage and the nest unguarded. One by one, the nestlings were picked off. I came to loathe a couple of cats with an insane, pathological hatred for a while (and lay in wait with a super soaker)...until I removed the roses and ivy from the walls. Ceanothus has been creeping back, along with anisodontea so I am glad for the reminder to get out there sharpish with the loppers before nesting temptation happens again.
    Leafster and gentlegreen like this.
  27. Leafster

    Leafster From the FRow

    Yep, my garden is all terraced on chalk so most of it is very free draining. In fact one area is too free draining and I struggle to get plants established there. Thanks for the dierama suggestion, I'll look into those.
    campanula likes this.
  28. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    i try not to get too attached to birds, as a life-long cat owner :oops: there are loads of cats in our block but the adults keep returning, not sure they ever manage to raise a brood though. our current dude is a ratter for pref - he watches the birds but since he had an altercation with a seagull on the roof i think he's a little more restrained around feathery things :D
    campanula likes this.
  29. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    this week's been a bit tough at home and i'm retreating into the world of bonsai :facepalm:

    i have several stunted trees in pots already :thumbs: and an accidental bonsai where an ash self-seeded in the drain of a sink i failed to grow herbs in. i never had the heart to cut it down and i love the little bit of dappled shade it gives now and the leaves are sometimes stunted which got me curious...

    then i acquired 3 starter-type "bonsai" on special at the checkout :D redwoods which tickled me, because a bonsai giant redwood would be all kinds of awesome. it's a relative though, dawn redwood, thought to have been extinct for 5 million years until they turned some up in china in the ?40s, worth a tenner for the story, i figured :D they're a bit rickety and deciduous so not exactly at their best right now, but they might survive...

    ... and now ... :oops::

    i've been thinking about native plants and finding increasingly small spaces for growing stuff. i have bare-root saplings of... scots pine, hornbeam, silver birch, wych elm and wild cherry ... on the way, along with bonsai soil and feed. i do the rounds with the pots already and small natives should be fairly self-sufficient do you think? :hmm:
    scifisam likes this.
  30. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Must admit, Bonsai not really my thing...but the youngest is a fan. He mentions various bonsai trips where people hang, perilously, off cliffs and ledges, rescuing tiny stunted saplings trapped in crevices, using little picks and hammers...whilst hanging on a abseiling harness. This is so, SO not for me. I am thinking you might also consider growing trees from seed because buying bare-root saplings has one huge disadvantage, in that they have been grown in nursery rows, very tight together, which leads to a long, slender straight trunk. perfect for hedging and specimens, less so for bonsai. However, I have grown a lot of trees from seed and the problem (for me) is that the tiny saplings grow away in their pots but from the very start, they look like miniature trees and are not compatible with those necessary tubular tree guards. A tiny acer campestre, for example, is 18inch tall and as much again wide so is a nightmare when it comes to deer prevention...but would be brilliant for you. Redwoods (metasequoia and sequoia gigantea and s.sempervirens) are also easy from seed (although I killed mine with a mental spraying disaster)...and look like perfect little trees in around 3-4 years. Also, you might consider cell-grown trees - check out the agro-forestry site in Wales - absolutely fabulous little specimens and cheap too. Growing trees from seed is totally fascinating...I have a few pinus seedlings I could send you, if you like, Bob.
    Might have hornbeam, golden elm and gingko too. Hornbeam especially make lovely little bonsai specimens almost from the start,

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