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The North Garden at MaliTowers is in a yellowish state of repair. The neighbouring estates have lawns that are a verdant green.

I want the North Garden to look like this as well. How do I do this with both minimal effort and maximum reward?

I have grass seed, a lawnmower and a lawn rake at my disposal.

Tell me how.
Get some feed and weed stuff.
Dimrill wrote:
Get some feed and weed stuff.


Noted, thank you most kindly, sir.
Has anyone had any experience growing plants and stuff like that in tea chests? There's a bit of the garden, at the back, by the fence, that is paved but is of no real use (no point sticking a bench there as it will only get the sun in the morning) and I think that getting, maybe 4 tea chests and half filling them with some sand, rubble and soil (in layers) and planting plants that don't need much sun there would be a quite funky. I would put, in the furthest corner, one te chest on top of another and then two in front of it. suppose I'd better punch some holes in the bottom, and raise them ever so slightly to prevent damp problems, but I think it's be a gem of a idea and possible.
Might be an idea to plant your own herbs or somesuch in one of them Mali?

Today the guy that lives behind me decided to cut his side of the hedge after about 4 years. I am several feet higher than him and as such he was cutting it down from being 6 feet my side to about 3 feet. Until Joans when out and stopped him. It now looks like this: ------|___|--- It's my hedge and he didn't have permission to do it. Idiot.
Goddess Jasmine wrote:
Might be an idea to plant your own herbs or somesuch in one of them Mali?

Today the guy that lives behind me decided to cut his side of the hedge after about 4 years. I am several feet higher than him and as such he was cutting it down from being 6 feet my side to about 3 feet. Until Joans when out and stopped him. It now looks like this: ------|___|--- It's my hedge and he didn't have permission to do it. Idiot.


In which case the onus is on him to re-plant the area that he cut down or at least put up a temporary bit of fencing until it grows back. It's his mistake so he should put it right.
MaliA wrote:
Has anyone had any experience growing plants and stuff like that in tea chests? There's a bit of the garden, at the back, by the fence, that is paved but is of no real use (no point sticking a bench there as it will only get the sun in the morning) and I think that getting, maybe 4 tea chests and half filling them with some sand, rubble and soil (in layers) and planting plants that don't need much sun there would be a quite funky. I would put, in the furthest corner, one te chest on top of another and then two in front of it. suppose I'd better punch some holes in the bottom, and raise them ever so slightly to prevent damp problems, but I think it's be a gem of a idea and possible.


Work out what you want to put in there, first. Find some plants you like that appreciate shady positions, and then work out what soil you need to grow them in. Adding sand and certainly anything larger (typically you'll just want a few pebbles/crocks at the bottom to help drainage) is only really necessary if you want things that are very intolerant of damp conditions - so in this country that really only means alpines and the like. Definitely don't do layers - plants very much won't appreciate their roots being in a layer of nothing but sand - because it has no nutrients and totally fails to retain water.
Craster wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Has anyone had any experience growing plants and stuff like that in tea chests? There's a bit of the garden, at the back, by the fence, that is paved but is of no real use (no point sticking a bench there as it will only get the sun in the morning) and I think that getting, maybe 4 tea chests and half filling them with some sand, rubble and soil (in layers) and planting plants that don't need much sun there would be a quite funky. I would put, in the furthest corner, one te chest on top of another and then two in front of it. suppose I'd better punch some holes in the bottom, and raise them ever so slightly to prevent damp problems, but I think it's be a gem of a idea and possible.


Work out what you want to put in there, first. Find some plants you like that appreciate shady positions, and then work out what soil you need to grow them in. Adding sand and certainly anything larger (typically you'll just want a few pebbles/crocks at the bottom to help drainage) is only really necessary if you want things that are very intolerant of damp conditions - so in this country that really only means alpines and the like. Definitely don't do layers - plants very much won't appreciate their roots being in a layer of nothing but sand - because it has no nutrients and totally fails to retain water.


Cheers, boss. I've found some tea chests on Ebay, 14 of them, in London, so I'll be able to have a few practice runs (and the rest can join this fucking fireplace). I'm just worried it might look a bit tacky, but for the money, it's better value than a proper planter.
I can't help but think that a tea chest would disintegrate in less than a season if you put damp soil in it. It's very thin wood, IIRC. Maybe if you line it with polythene first.
kalmar wrote:
I can't help but think that a tea chest would disintegrate in less than a season if you put damp soil in it. It's very thin wood, IIRC. Maybe if you line it with polythene first.


:this:

The filthy lazy stinking dirty fools that lived here previous put a load of flimsy planters on the patio and guess what, the bottoms have fallen out. Fools.
I was thinking varnish to crates and add a liner, yes.
MaliA wrote:
I was thinking varnish to crates and add a liner, yes.


You might be better off with a dedicated outdoor wood treatment.
I tend to just let it all grow and trim when it gets out of control. Can't abide this shaving malarky, makes you look like a pre-teen, and the making it look bigger thing is a myth.
Does Coriander need to be grown indoors or will my seedlings be ok outside?

My little herb garden is slowly getting there now, mint, basil, thyme, chives and rosemary are already doing ok.
Should have put that in the gardening thread...
I've got Coriander sat outside quite happily. It won't last the winter, but we're past the risk of frost now. If they're properly tiny seedlings you might want to cover them with some fleece at night for the rest of the month.
They're only just popped through the surface. I'll let them get a bit bigger then get them outside.

Ta.

Shit, I still haven't got my strawberry pots yet. Didn't you have some growing in those 'pots-with-holes-at -the-sides' pots last year, Cras?
No, I had them just in little pots. It's still plenty early enough for Strawberries.

This year I have chillies, peppers, potatoes, french beans, spinach, red onions, shallots, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, coriander, parsley, rosemary, thyme, baby sweetcorn, and dill.
Cool. I need to think about where I could grow more herbs/veg in my garden really.

Oh yeah, any good suggestions for flowering plants/bushes that like shaded spots in clay soil? Got a bit of a no mans land at the back of my garden. Something that retains some colour or interest in Winter would be a bonus.

EDIT: The BBC Gardening site has a brilliant plant finder, loads to choose from!
Properly shaded, or partly shaded?
It's a spot that gets some sun, but most of the day it is shaded. The ground is a bastard, very clay soil and is prone to flooding. At the moment I have various stuff in pots there (to keep them off the ground) but I've movedthem all into the sun as non of them seem to like it there. There's bamboo that's been in for 3 years that was supposed to take off but it's stayed exactly how I bought it, just holding it's own in the barren waste.

Maybe I should grow rice or water lilies. :)
A raised bed would fix the soil problem and might help with the shading. Then you could put some more veg in there (and it makes a reason to go down that end!)
I've considered that but... hang on I'll draw what I mean.

*Picturekazzaaaaam!*

The problem is along the back fence next to shed 2, once it's past midday there's no sun at the back. The circular lawn runs close to the back fence too so I'd have to have raised beds either side rather than running along the back. It doesn't help that the ground runs down towards this area so it's prone to flooding.
*braces for drawing*
Zardoz wrote:
Cool. I need to think about where I could grow more herbs/veg in my garden really.

Oh yeah, any good suggestions for flowering plants/bushes that like shaded spots in clay soil?


Rhododendrons and certain roses.
Dig it over with a ton of perlite to improve the drainage and an ericacious compost for nutrients. Then go for something that prefers acid conditions - rhododendrons, hydrangeas, or camelias. Most rhododendrons are evergreen. They shouldn't be particularly bothered about part-shade.

Have a look at

http://www.rhodyman.net/rhodysh.html
Ta, I'll have a look at those.
Quote:
'Black Satin' has a semi-erect habit

Sold.
120 litres of compost later: planted 2 gooseberry bushes, 3 tomato plants, 6 strawberry plants, and 12 big pots of bulbs of various red flowers, 1 big pot of pansies, 1 hanging basket of pansies and now i'm quite mucky.
Had another good trim the other day...

Seriously, though, has anyone seen the advert for that new JML thing? The topsy-turvy or something? You grow your Toms, etc. upside down. It looks... interesting.

edit: http://www.jmldirect.com/product.asp?pf ... rrency=GBP

Looks as though it's just for tomatoes. Still, I want one!
Wogan'sTrouserBulge wrote:
Had another good trim the other day...

Seriously, though, has anyone seen the advert for that new JML thing? The topsy-turvy or something? You grow your Toms, etc. upside down. It looks... interesting.


I saw one in the shop, and was intrigued, but didn't buy it.

Garlic, 2 different types of potatoes and 2 types of onion to be done later this week.
Someone at a party last night was saying you're not allowed to use a sprinkler on your lawn in this country. Is he telling lies?
Grim... wrote:
Someone at a party last night was saying you're not allowed to use a sprinkler on your lawn in this country. Is he telling lies?


I would have thought so.
Cut down a pretty big sycamore in the garden of my new house today, it had 4 trunk bits intertwined and a telephone cable going through the middle. Under instruction from my dad.
Managed not to take out the phone wire or anyone walking along the footpath but dropped one bit on the edge of the neighbours shed, oops. Hopefully won't notice.
I'm sure that they won't piece together the "lack of pretty big sycamore" and "dent in shed".
Grim... wrote:
Someone at a party last night was saying you're not allowed to use a sprinkler on your lawn in this country. Is he telling lies?


Only if there is a hosepipe ban on.
So far my coriander is surviving admirably outside. I keep shifting slugs away from them at night (don't want pellets down with Baba Z about, and I won't waste 1/3 tin of ale on a beer trap). My mint is sploshuning too.
You can get that copper stuff that slugs can't go over, or I got some non-poisonous sort of flaky crap that they can't cross. How effective it is, I can't say as yet.
Zardoz wrote:
So far my coriander is surviving admirably outside. I keep shifting slugs away from them at night (don't want pellets down with Baba Z about, and I won't waste 1/3 tin of ale on a beer trap). My mint is sploshuning too.

I've only just managed to dig up the fifty miles of mint roots from last year. Bastard stuff. This time round it's going in a pot, not a border.
Squirt wrote:
You can get that copper stuff that slugs can't go over.

I'm not covering my garden with Crasters pubes.
Grim... wrote:
Someone at a party last night was saying you're not allowed to use a sprinkler on your lawn in this country. Is he telling lies?

Did he also complain about how the immigrants are coming over here and taking the best council houses and jobs and eating swans and how this country is going down the pan because of political correctness gone mad and it's all the fault of the muslims don't you know?
Mr Kissyfur wrote:
I've only just managed to dig up the fifty miles of mint roots from last year. Bastard stuff. This time round it's going in a pot, not a border.

Mine whole 'herb garden' is in an enclosed 3'x3' border. Won't be able to spread too far, but I'll keep an eye on it.
Zardoz wrote:
Mr Kissyfur wrote:
I've only just managed to dig up the fifty miles of mint roots from last year. Bastard stuff. This time round it's going in a pot, not a border.

Mine whole 'herb garden' is in an enclosed 3'x3' border. Won't be able to spread too far, but I'll keep an eye on it.

Our herb collection is run along the front of a large border, so it had plenty of space to go mad. But it's quite happy to swamp whatever's next to it, so even in a 3x3 border (and perhaps especially so) you'll need to regularly dig up the roots in a ring around the main clump.
Zardoz wrote:
Squirt wrote:
You can get that copper stuff that slugs can't go over.

I'm not covering my garden with Crasters pubes.

To be fair, not only does that keep of slugs, it also kills rats, moles, rabbits, foxes and stray dogs. It has an odd effect on the local badger population though...
Can anyone help identify this fungus? It's started popping up all over the garden and I was wondering if I should be worried about it.

Image

There's no 'stalk' to it and it grows in clumps.
Think it's the one that turns into a puffball, isn't it?
It's pretty puffy, aye. Is that bad?
Don't breathe in the spores. Other than that, ignore.
Gotcha, cheers bud.
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