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Fiona Kennedy's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 135

Hi Jo

from Fi

Been away for a few days, so couldn'tgive you the benefit of my limited experience!!
I grew peas last year and totally neglected them other than give them some pea sticks (offcuts from my shrubs) and occasionally help them to wind round. I did water them in dry weather, and found they did quite well in part shady conditions. I didn't use any netting - some pods were chewed but there were enough for us and the wildlife! Nothing like fresh peas, I even used the pods when they were young - like mange tout. I've started my seedlings already, planting them this week - how about you?
Don't bother with canes, try and get hold of some twiggy prunings, about 4-5 ft high and plant them around these.
Fi x

  • Posted: Sun. 12th April 2009 21:19

Neighbouring trees

from Fi

Hi Jean and Kathy
I planteda James Grieve a couple of years ago, and I'm very excited as in its first year it produced about 15 apples! This year it looks as if it's covered in blossom buds. I was worried about pollinating as I only have greengage and cherry trees, but on the main road about 200m from me there are crab apple trees along the roadside! So the bees do travel it seems.
Wishing you luck and enjoyment, half the fun is in just doing and seeing!

  • Posted: Sun. 12th April 2009 21:11

Amateur response!

from Fi

Hi,I have problemswith red ants too and find that they love dry soil, so if you can find a way to keep the soil moist that should work. Maybe after this week's rain, mulch with a covering of compost and they won't like the conditions and move off. In the meantime, you could dig carefully around the asparagus and dig out some of the egg nests.
Good luck - want to try asparagus myself, prob too late now, but next year or autumn maybe?

  • Posted: Sun. 12th April 2009 21:06

Maybe needs a little neglect!

from Fi

Hi, I have been quite successful by neglecting my camelia! I originally planted it in ericaceous, I keep it in a mostly shaded place and don't water it much. Each July/August I feed it with acid feed. Other than that I do nothing - just water from the rain but when it's really dry. Try taking it out of the morning sun, keep it cooler and water it less, stop feeding. A sheltered, shady micro climate seems to suit them best. The yellow leaves may be too much water? I would just leave it in a position I have described - mine is west facing, and hope for the best! You could even cut off the ends of the branches if they don't have buds and are yellow - give it a chance to use its energy to flower.
Not an expert, just lived with mine for a good few years! Mine's Williamsii Donation.
Good luck!

  • Posted: Sun. 12th April 2009 21:00


from Fi

Hi again
I saw in a recent garden visit a honeysuckle grown as a standard around a sturdy metal pole, with rings at the top. The stems were twined around,how you sometimes see figs (or ficus for the intellectual gardener!) and the top growth was twined around the rings so that you couldn't see them. I thought it was a great idea, and could potentially be used for thin stemmed shrubs? Might try it when I've stopped using all my time and enery onmy veggie beds!
Good luck with your viburnum. I have also seen on Monty Don's around theworld series a gardener who makes clouds of the topgrowth of shrubs and hedges - tried it with a viburnum but looked very sad! lol

  • Posted: Sun. 12th April 2009 20:53

Thanks Mark

from Fi

Thanks Mark for your advice. I am trying not to use any chemicals, but appreciate why you suggest it. I have delayed my thanks as I've just been to Norfolk for a few days, and have notices the natural 'strips' between the pebbles or sand/shingle and the grassy or reedy areas. I have some spare shingle and may use this primarily, and look into Emorgate. The couch creeps in all over the garden, a real nuisance - I am hoping it will be weakenedjust by continual pulling out and digging out the roots. In Norfolk I have just bought some wildflowers from Natural Surroundings in Holt including birds foot trefoil in the hope of crowding out the unwanted!
Manythanks again for your advice. A path will definitely be key.

  • Posted: Sat. 11th April 2009 23:15


from Fi

Hi CD,
I have done this for fun with a viburnum fragrans and whilst I don't get as many flowers as usual, due to pruning so it doesn't get top heavy, it is quite decorative. The problem with some of these is that the stems will never be thick enough to sustain much top growth -so trees like Amelanchier for instance will not give you the beauty of a fully spreading branched tree.
I have also done it with a Rosemary, which was pretty successful, but as it aged the stem split (though the split section refused to die and I wired it to its main splint!).
Good luck - it usually takes a few years to see how they will turn out, well worth it. Maybe start them off in containers, to contain the roots as well as the top growth.
Let's have some pics if you have any.

  • Posted: Sat. 11th April 2009 23:03

Had a little break ...

from Fi

Hi Georgie
I've had a lovely little break in North Norfolk for a few days, and have come back to the tallest runner bean and sweet pea seedlings ever! Left them on the draining board on wet newspaper and they've truly romped. It was beautiful in Norfolk, cottage with a mill stream and lots of wild flowers and birds, especially goldfinches. Also Avocets, Egyptian geese etc on the saltmarshes - now where was that veg plot?
F x

  • Posted: Sat. 11th April 2009 22:53

Hm Kettle or flame thrower!

from Fi

No contest! I wonder what my 80 yr old neighbours will think of me using a flame torch, knowing them they'll want to try it too! Beats the kettle - although rather more accessible probably. I always wonder at the likes of James Martin with their flame torches for innocent looking creme brulees too.
Thanks Mark, I'll look into it but not sure with teenagers around.

  • Posted: Sat. 11th April 2009 22:49

Wildflower area

from Fi

I already have some wildflowers under some fruit trees, largely shade lovers. I am planning extending into some gravelly soil in more sun with some wildflower seeds and grasses. I have had a problem with couch grass invading first, and wondered if you have any advice on for instance yellow rattle, or other ways to promote the good guys and crowd out the couch villains.
Many thanks
P.S. Jason Lock, if you're reading this I have dug 4 raised beds for veggies, planted fruit shrubs and canes, and given my Amelanchier Lamarkii central position in front of the summerhouse - all thanks to your encouragement - many thanks indeed.

  • Posted: Tue. 7th April 2009 20:05
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