Gardening Forum any advice


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I have just looked at the gardening forum for the first time and it looks as though no one has posted on it for the last 4 months. There’s still lots we can do in the winter.
I work closely with the RHS on a volunteer basis, assessing community groups in the East Midlands and am involved with their  “In Bloom” initiative. I also work with Leicestershire County Council and Garden Organic as a composting advisor.

I have had my own allotment for over 10 years and would love to get this forum active again for the coming growing year.

If any of you gardening enthusiasts and fruit and veg growers out there would like to contribute, let’s get the interaction going again and share our knowledge.

 

let me know what you think folks!

 

Mrs B

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… and then people wonder why there are so many floods.  There’s too much concrete/paving etc and not enough plants and trees to suck up the excess water.  I know that’s far from the complete answer bu

Had a present from a chap down the avenue from me.........he's seen me with my over 100 'Pot plants''........and today he knocked on my door and Presented me with a Beautiful ''Monkey Puzzle Tree''...

The man who mows my lawns is not due for another week..........so decided to test myself and do the small front lawn.(about the size of the 6 yard box in football)..the back lawn is as big as the whol

Grass is pretty resilient stuff although I can see both philmayfield and MargieH’s point of view. Us Brits have a real thing about beautifully manicured lawns don’t we? The current advice from the RHS is not to cut them so often to encourage wildlife and native flowers like clover which the bees love later on. Mine is currently too wet to cut.

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I was speaking to my neighbour a couple of days ago. He has a very large back garden with a huge grassed area and is still sending his robot mower out weekly. My small garden has just had the grass cut. I’m sure it will survive any frost.

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  • Cliff Ton changed the title to Gardening Forum any advice

Our lawn certainly isn’t perfect and I like clover and celandines in it.  The ground under the grass is very soft at the moment and the whole lawn is uneven.  We look after our son’s little puppy quite often so now the lawn has holes in it as well (she likes digging!).   
I love all the garden though especially in spring and summer

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I remember my late mum saying :

"Whoever invented hedges wants shooting.....and whoever invented PRIVET hedges wants shooting twice " !

 

I've just spent the last two weeks hacking down an old privet hedge across the width of the garden.  Well 5 days cutting it down and the rest chopping it up to take to the tip.

 

It grows out the top of an old stone wall and previously I had to stand on the top of an 8 foot ladder just to trim it.

Even with an extending battery operated trimmer it was difficult to cut as in some parts it was about 5 foot thick.

It's now sticks up about 3 foot above the wall and completely thinned out and looks dreadful ,   full of gaps .

Next job is to try and pull up the ivy that covers the wall and strangled some of the privet. 

 

Trouble is ,  turn your back on privet for a short while and before you know it  it's gone sky high again. 

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I have fond memories of privet.

 

All the houses on Clifton (as a council housing estate) were originally built with privet as a default feature around the gardens, and I was literally surrounded by it.  So for years I thought that 'Privet' was a generic name for any kind of hedge which surrounded the garden. I was in my teens before I learned that Privet was a specific type of hedge, and others were available.

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Cliff Ton, I don’t have fond memories of privet. My father gave himself a hernia cutting the privet hedge between ours and next doors (which was my grandfathers house) The hedge was an enormous length and ran from front to back boundaries so am not surprised. Looking on Google Earth that hedge is still there after 40 odd years so I wonder if any of the subsequent owners have had the same problem. 
 

Mrs B

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But I love the heady scent of the white privet flowers when the hedge is left uncut of course.  There was a privet like that opposite our campsite at Chapel St Leonard’s in the late 1940s/ early 50s.  I expect that’s why I like the scent because it reminds me of happy holidays…

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10 hours ago, MRS B said:

Cliff Ton, I don’t have fond memories of privet.

 

Although it's nostalgic for me, I also have mixed feelings about privet. When I was younger I suffered very badly with hay fever, and privet is just about the worst thing possible for anyone with hay fever. The smell of it - even at a distance - could set me off for hours, and I'd have to retreat indoors.

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I’m the same with privet it really sets my hay fever off, hate the smell of the flowers. I have a privet hedge that grows above my 6’ fence at the bottom of my garden. Last year my neighbour cut it back so that it stopped overhanging my bird table and then those that owned the house cut it right back. Notice it is appearing over my fence again at the moment along with the ivy that is pushing through the fence panels, it is a constant battle with that as well. 

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Dad always made us cut the hedge after a shower of rain. Privet collects an amazing amount of dust and the rain helped keep it down.

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I thought Hay Fever was caused mostly by pollen, and I'll admit that Privet Flowers have a pretty heavy, oppressive scent.  But..a well kept Privet hedge will rarely produce flowers. Little white ones. I don't recall ever seeing the berries.  I believe they are purple.

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Funny thing is , although privet produces flowers  , don't ever remember it self seeding .

 

On the other hand , on the far side of our privet , our neighbour has planted a row of laurel . Now about 20ft high.  Don't ever remember seeing any flowers on it but we have lots of self seeded little laurel bushes growing in our garden ?

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DAVIDW.

Usually Laurel would propagate by cuttings. Could it maybe have been clipped and bits of it fallen onto your garden and rooted do you think?

Mrs B

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Mrs B , it's not impossible clippings have propagated , (not that they ever seem to trim it ! ).

 

Some though are sprouting up in garden pots yards away from the hedge. 

 

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Hi DAVIDW

 

If the Laurel has berries (usually ripen around September) the birds love them and will eat everything apart from the stone which they will discard. This may be the cause of your Laurel sprouting in pots.

 

Mrs B

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Thanks Mrs B , that would explain it but still cant recall seeing any flowers or berries .

Will have to look out for them in the autumn . 

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DAVIDW.

I have literally just found some growing on my side of the fence from next door in a really awkward place! Not usual for us but I will have to get rid of it. How bizarre, must be catching

Mrs B

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Just a thought Guys, but could the unexpected growth be caused by underground root spread with shoots popping up randomly? A bit like bamboo, pampas grass etc. I'm not a horticulturist, so I can't  really add any knowledge.

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Beekay, it’s possible, depending on what the soil type and water availability is. Roots can go as deep as utility pipes if the water table is deep. Soggy, waterlogged soil makes the roots dive down and form a taproot as an anchor. If you have average moisture and plenty of nutrients in the soil they don’t need to dive down and will form spreading lateral roots which may produce upward shoots.  Sorry this all sounds a bit technical but it is a survivor in most soils and adapts to its environment.  I hate it.

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