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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

Thought I would start the ball rolling with a thread for gardening chat. :)

We can share tips and give advice!

Let's start with a bit about our gardens or allotments or plots...

I have a small back garden (too small for me now) about 40 ft, in fact my front garden is bigger at about 50ft. They are both stuffed with all sorts of plants and laid to lawn.

This year I am going to be growing vegetables in containers on my patio and am new to this so will be looking for tips.

Laine x

 

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Hurrah! Thanks Laine and Tony  :)

I have no front garden - (it was paved over for parking) but to make up for it we have a large back garden - about 100ft long and 40ft wide. its open and sunny with a large patio by the house and around a conservatory. Its mostly lawn with a wide border, shed and cherry tree down one side and as of last year a veg plot on the other side. we started small so this year plan to make the plot bigger and try some different veggies. last year we grew:
potatoes (grew fine but odd texture)
carrots (great success)
runner and french beans ( great success too)
onions (ok but a bit small)  lettuces (successful but didnt grow enough)
tried outdoor cucumbers but they didnt do anything and also tried red peppers but they also just stopped growing as soon as I put them outside  :-\

since last year we have been taking an organic approach to our garden and didnt use any sprays or even slug pellets (did torchlight patrol every night!) it wasnt as hard as i imagined tho the roses have suffered from blackspot so will prob remove them now....

am obsessed by pots and have 41 of various sizes and shapes - i like playing with grouping them and am constantly re-inventing areas of the patio - last year I had a mediterranean corner for a while and then moved it all around to make a cosy eating area nearer the house!

i did 2 terms of gardening eveing class last year which was great fun and I learned loads, still feel like lots of things are trial and error though!

would love some tips on companion planting and also crop rotation....

Laine - i grew carrots in a patio pot one year - a dwarf variety and it was easy as anything!

am REALLY looking forward to Spring as i love everything coming through, esp daffs. tho lots of mine seem to think its spring already  :-\ they're gonna have a shock if we have a harsh feb!

looking forward to more chat  :)

kimj x

 

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  ^daisy^ Laine - what a wonderful idea - gardening chat! ^daisy^

I eat, sleep and breathe gardening. Its my job as well as my hobby!!

I teach gardening to evening classes and adults with learning disabilities, as well as doing a couple of gardens for people.

My own garden - small (26ft by about 20ft) and surrounded by a huge laurel hedge which drains the moisture out of the soil. Its south facing with a red hot patio and my latest addition - a cotinerie (think about one side of a pergola and you've got it) for roses etc. I've just built a folly at the bottom (so called cos it makes me laugh!!) - just somewhere to sit out of the sun and covered in clematis and honeysuckle.

I've got an allotment about 50 yrards form home where I grow all manner of things.

You must try pink fur apple potatoes. Gordon Ramsey makes one chip form each tuber and charges about £50 per portion!! They are great and tasty and have lots of leaf which keeps down the weeds underneath.
Also I worked out last year - if you want to grow parsnips(highly recommended) warm the ground up with some plastic sheet for about 6 weeks before planting and then cover the seed until it comes up. Guaranteed success.

Kimj - what are you growing re companion planting and rotation? Re the blackspot - if you don't want to get rid of the roses make sure you take off all the leaves in the autum and clear up any that fall to stop the fungal spores (yuck) overwintering on the plant or on the ground. Also put a large dollop of manure around the plant in early spring to stop the spore splashing up the plant when it rains.

Phew,

Looking forward to lots more chat

LOL
Cathy
 

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Meant to add - don't know about you but gardening has been my saviour while on this IF roundabout. When I'm in the garden I have NO problems.

Should be available on prescription!!

Cathy
 

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cathy - agree with you - a wander round the garden severing heads off with my secataurs is very therapeutic!! (heads off plants I might add  ;D)

so we have a resident expert on board - hurrah!!!

thanks for the advice but I think the roses have had it - they have had blackspot for years, have sprayed them many times with roseclear etc -  i'm sure the spores are all over the place as i never rake up the leaves even tho I know I'm meant to ( forgot to add in my intro that I am essentially a lazy gardener and things that are too needy I just get rid of!)

re crop rotation - i'm a bit confused cos i know you should have a 3 yr cycle - but as i'm not growing anything from the brassica family i'm really only growing 2 types of veg, therefore can only do a 2 yr cycle - is this ok  :-\

companion planting - i grew marigolds all around the outside of the plot last year, and grew onions near the carrots, what else can i do to encourage the beasties we want and discourage the ones we dont -like ants for example. we netted the carrots so didnt get root fly, but the lettuces did get a bit of greenfly and the french beans got nibbled by something but not sure what ( did mostly eat the leaves not the beans tho  :))

by the way, i just read my neighbours Gardening Which? magazine and it was brilliant - highly recommend it - almost wish i had a subscription to that instead of Gardeners World....

laters all you green- fingered ones, wherever you all are :-\

kimj x



 

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Oh goody, some more gardeners to talk to!!

We are moving to a bigger house at the weekend but it has a tiny garden. Last summer i grew most of my plants from seeds (dh said house looked more like a greenhouse!!) and my garden looked so lovely and colourful. Most were in pots as the garden was mainly paved.

My question is:

My new garden is mainly lawned so i want to put lots of hanging baskets on the fence. Which plants are the best trailing flowers? Flowers that bloom early would be a bonus as i am not going to have much spare time on my hands in the summer.

Any ideas?

L xx
 

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Hi greenies!

KimJ - re crop rotation - yes you can do a 2 year rotation but it would be better to do a longer one eg if you grow potatoes every 2 years in the same patch, it may not be long enough to discourage the nasties. Ususally it goes potatoes, legumes(peas, beans), brassicas, roots. So why dont you put some salad veg that can go anywhere in, in place of the things you don't grow to give the soil time to rest from the 'heaviy' crops.

When I was studying I copied a load of companion planting stuff from old Bob Flowerdew. I'll look it out and pass on anything useful.

Tequila - I tried those hanging basket sweet peas last year - very nice and smelly. Or what about those surfinia petunias - they just get on with it (providing you water them!!  ;D) Those plastic hanging bags that you put busy lizzies in always look good and once they have grown together they look like they are cascading. Good for shade too. Finally (!) what about an early flowering clematis? You would have to make sure you kept it well watered and fed and try to stop the basket from getting too hot, but any climbing plant will trail if you want it to whic gives you a longer flowering season to think about.

Phew. Gonna get out and prune my roses this weekend (David Austin - just the best roses) and then give them a big dollop of manure (horses in the field just behind me - very useful!!)

Tip of the day - Don't forget to feed your clematis soon with Sulphate of Potash if you want heaps of blooms later.

Going now before you get fed up with me!!

Cathy  ^daisy^

 

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Hi
Laine - just found this, so I posted my gardening stuff on "living child free" This is great to have this here.

We have a small back garden, which I tend to ignore in winter and then spend hours cutting back every month in the summer. I'm not great at this garden because I don't love it. I do think you need to LOVE a garden. I had a wonderful garden in our old house which I made from nothing, and I loved it. Because our current garden was established when we moved there I don't feel so attached. But I do feel attached to certain plants in there.

Our main passion is our allotment. We grow early and main crop potatoes, root crops such as carrots and parsnips, leeks (although these were tiny) and peas and beans. I've discovered that the reason our peas may not work is that we are OVER fertilising. Peas like a bit of rough apparently.

Laine - re grow bags. Sainsbury's are doing small patio gro bags which are great cos I can lift them. They are perfect for toms, herbs and lettuce etc that you just want to grow by the kitchen door.

Cathy  I LOVE David Austin roses - I always love their display at Chelsea.

Fee xxxxxxxx
 

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Yay a gardening thread. Thanks Laine.
Well we have a very small yard, but for the past couple of years I have managed to grow, various lettuce, broad beans, tomatoes, minature carrots, strawberries,(were rubbish last year, not enough sun) Sweet peas, various bedding plants, lavender and herbs. How I fit it all in sometimes I wonder. I plant strawberries in hanging baskets and the tomatoes just get stuck anywhere, tumbling toms in baskets too, I have loads of pots too Leanne :)

Anyway, last Sept we took over an allotment. Just got back from doing some more clearing on it today. It had been abandoned for the past 12 months so it needs quite a bit of work. Might lose some of the weight I put on over Christmas with all that digging ;D

Umm enough rambling from me. Great to share some tips and brilliant we have a professional expert too! Have made a note about the clematis.

Leni
 

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Great, this is just what I need for some motivation and ideas to sort out my.... hmmmmm...... wilderness, non-garden type bit of land  ;D

We live in ground floor maisonette in a cul-de-sac, and are lucky that we have a corner plot therefore have half of the side and the rear garden.  At the moment the garden has no character at all and I hate it, it basically needs a complete overhaul and landscaping.  It was negelcted by the previous owners and I've not had the time or money to be able to do anything with it in the 7 years that we've lived here.  The side garden is about 20ft x 40ft and has neglected conifers down the outside edge and a brickwall seperating the side garden and back garden.  There is a border down the wall edge but I don't really have an awful lot in it, brought a few small low laying conifers and a couple of bushes and put some bedding plants in during the summer (which never look nice).  There was also a tree in the centre which we cut down to a stump for fear of Daniel climbing it due to the low branches.  Because of the tree the lawn area is very uneven as the roots are mainly ground level.

As for the side..... Lawn area, again uneven as has never been raked or looked after properly, crazy paved area (horrible) with a border of a strange shape, took up another area of crazy paving a couple of years back, at the end of the garage, with the intention of re-paving, but have never got around to doing it.  We then have another border along the neighbours fence with nothing in it. 

You've got the idea now, my garden is horrible and  I hate it.  I want to sort it out this year so Daniel has a nicer place to play in during the summer, but we're also hoping to move next year so want to tidy it up and encourage potential buyers, without spending an absolute fortune as we have things to do inside aswell.

Ooops sorry to ramble on there.  Just hoping that you might be able to give me some ideas on what I could do tidy it up and brighten it up.

Thanks ladies

Emma xx
 

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Hey gardeners!


I love gardening and like to have lots of colour with bedding plants etc.

My garden is 3/4 acre and alot of it is laid to lawn thank god!! I hate mowing and can usually get someone else to do it! (dh hates it too but does it when he has to!)

I like to have lots of tubs and hanging baskets with colour in them as my garden is surrounded by huge trees and is very green otherwise!

I would really like to grow vegetables and have a greenhouse in the field but its no good for growing as theres so many weeds! :-\ My fil grows enough veges to feed the whole country so we have his instead!

One problem I have is keeping colour all through the summer right through in to Sept. Has anyone got any ideas on plants that will last a long time?

lots of great advice already posted! Thanks girls ;)

Love, Rachel xx
 

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Oooohhhh, just the thread I need, not because I'm into gardening but because I'm terrible at it and I need to pick someone's brain!!

Last June I was given an exotic orchid which I didn't kill, but didn't ever get any more flowers on it than the two that were on there already. Once they fell off I cut the stalks down as it said on the info that came with the plant, and have watered it once in a blue moon since. But what do I do with it now?? Will it just come back on it's own and if so, when?

Any advice would be gratefully received!

Chux xx
 

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Hi girls -great thread

we have a 100ftby40ft garden - pretty keen gardeners dh and me and have loads of shrubs/grasses/palms/acers/camelias,a pond with newts and sunny patio full of pots which I change each year
...am waiting for my narcissi/crocuses etc -they seem to have slowed down

anyway this year we are planning a shed for dh-will move him out there and funds permitting summerhouse of some sort by the pool for cups of tea/alcohol as desired

my tips for colour are shrubs/grasses long flowering annuals -we tried nicotiana/cosmos last year filled in all the gaps and flowered into Oct
and for autumn colour we had lovely acers/asters/grasses etc

thanks for tip on clematis Cathy -might well do that this w/e

        Sarah x  ;)
 

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Hi greenies,

Gardening therapy on the FF website - just what we need!!

Late summer colour - some perennials like heleniums (sneezewort), echinacea (coneflower), rudbeckia (rudbeckia!!!). Quite a few daisy type flowers are good in autumn. Add the grasses and you've got a prairie garden - very fashionable!

the orchid should come back. Start to water it once a week from about March. stand it in water for a couple of hours rather than watering it. You can add a bit of feed, but add MUCH less than you would normally or you'll just get more leaves. I'm waiting for mine to flower again. Apparently they thrive on neglect and get killed by kindness!

Cherub - I think all you can do is keep the grass mown and add some pots if you like. You can move these with you but they'll give a bit of colour/interest. You can feed your lawn every 6 weeks or so in summer (from about April onwards) to keep it green so it can look better than it actually is! Look out for a liquid lawn food at the GC. I did that the first year here and my green keeper friend thought my lawn looked great (it was actually so bad you couldn't call it a lawn)

Off to Potato Day on sunday at Ryton (the HDRA organic garden near Coventry). 120 varieties of seed pots to choose from! Could be a long day!!

Cathy ^daisy^
 

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Hello,

I'm a gardener too! I have a tiny garden - a postage stamp-sized front garden and a back garden of 5m by 15m. I long for the day when I can have a huge garden and a greenhouse. The back garden is looking a bit sorry for itself at the moment; roll on summer....
I also have an allotment. There's not much happening there at the moment apart from some purple sprouting broccoli which is just about to sprout. I have grown masses of daffodils there to put in the house; a few weeks off yet though.
I'm doing the RHS exam in March too. I'll be glad when it's over really so I can get on with gardening!

Emma

 

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Great name emma daff!!

Good luck with the exam. I know a few people taking the same one. I did that one about 3 years ago. I did my RHS advanced last year and will be attempting the diploma course in Sept!! :eek: :-[ :eek: (I must be mad - 7 hour practical exam at the end!!)

Whats with the allotment theme. I thought it was all old men with flat caps (except me of course!). I LOVE my allotment!

Cathy

 

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Hello again everybody,

It is great to talk and think about something other than ttc.

Cathy - or anyone else who has done it - would you recommend the RHS advanced course? Is there a lot of science involved? I've struggled with that side of things on the general course.

As for my name, it is because when I first had to come up with an internet name I was staring at daffodils outside the window!

Emma
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey Girls,

Wow what a great response to this thread! All our greenfingers will soon be busy busy and I can't wait!

Cathy - I would love to do your job. It must be great to teach and see the rewards at the end. I love the HDRA website, tons of info on there for us organic gardeners. I visited the Kitchen Garden at Audley End and was mesmerised. Good for you on taking the advanced and diploma.

Emma (Cherub) - Last year you told me you were going to get out in the garden and sort it and never did - no excuses this year eh?

Rachel - what a huge space you have, I would be out there forever if it were mine. You should grow the vegetables and reap the rewards.

Emma (Daff) - Snap I am taking the RHS exam in March too and have been busy revising for it. So much to take in bit have throughly enjoyed the course and learnt tons of stuff.

Sarah - Your garden sounds fab too. Summerhouse how lovely. I have found my gardening has helped with learning to live childfree, it take sme to a different place, hope yours does too.

Fee - Thanks for the advice on the grow bags. Bet you can't wait to get back to the allotment. BTW how long did it take you to get one?

Leanne - Hanging baskets are my passion...this year I am doing my mils and mums too, just love planting them up. I go to a nursery to get my plants. It pays to add water crystals to the soil in case of really dry weather.

Kim J - What a lot of pots! Expect mine are going to increase with the veggies. I just love cherries, how old is your tree? Do you get good yields from it?

Chux - Hi - hope the orchid is ok.

Leni - Would love an allotment, so what are you going to grow in yours then? How did you go about getting the allotment?

Do any of you subscribe to any gardening magazines? Who watches Gardeners World?

Aside from venturing into vegetable growing this year, I am also going to add a small pond to the garden. My dad is excellent with ponds and is going to help me do it. Roll on springtime.

Laine x

 

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Hi Greenies!

Just wanted to drop by. My garden is my sanctuary, and is where  go to reflect on just about everything. We moved to our house about 2 years ago, and the garden was completely overgrown - loads of old roses and good shrubs but completely neglected. We have spent about 2 years trying to salvage and renovate it, but this year - whilst I am on my maternity leave I really want to get stuck in!

We have about 150ft by 50ft, and its split into two bits by a Viburnum and Lilac hedge. Its stuffed full of roses of all varieties, and I planted an New Dawn last year in a dodgy corner as its a fast grower and very pretty. Half of the garden (the bottom bit) is given over to our five hens - Clarissa, Nigella, Deila, Betty and Fanny. They live in a cute blue henhouse, but eat just about everything, so finding chickenproof plants is a bit of a challenge - any advice gratefully recieved! Veggies are out - they would have a great time!

My jobs for this year are new picket fencing, and new path (want it to have lavender either side - any advice on varieties?), getting rid of a huge lonicera hedge that has gone bonkers and is all dead underneath. We also have an old vine, which is under an old plastic shelter which we'd like to take down - anyone know how frost resistant vines are, as we would like to replace the plastic with a new uncovered pergola his year too.....?

My IVF babe henry was born last November and I would also like to build him a play area at some point (where he won't get covered in chicken poo!). He sits out in his buggy and watches me on warmer days. Hopefully he'll be an outdoor kid!

I am trained as an environmental scientist (spent a lot of time during my degree at HDRA! Love it!) and I know quite a lot about ponds and pond plants. I am also a master composter! Maybe these skills might help someone out!

Love this thread :)

Hun and henry xx

 
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