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Frogs are good too but I'd steer clear of chickens, they scratch everything to shreds. Ducks are far more garden friendly, they don't scratch, just wobble their beaks around in the plants and maybe walk over the odd one which will bounce back. The eggs are yummy too.

You say that but i was watching River Cottage recently and they ate the Lettuce.

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It's been a glorious, Spring like day today, spent most of it sowing seeds and marking out a new flower bed. The new bed will be eleven and a half foot wide by just over sixty foot long, fronted by a

This is a bit of a bugbear of mine so if I slip into rant mode, I apologise now.   Titchmarsh is right, gardeners are universally regarded as too thick to do anything else, the public perception is a

The Pergola is up, the digging is all done, the gravel is spread and the massive tree has had a trim to expose the trunk and let some light through ; all that's left to do is plant it up and pray for

Posted Images

Bit the bullet this weekend, couldn't wait any longer...

Nothing outside, spuds still chitting on the kitchen windowsill, but in the greenhouse the following are underway:

Chilies - hot rokita & orange wonder

Tomatoes - Shirley

Sweet peppers

Yellow courgettes

Rosemary

Dill

Sweetpeas

Alyssum

Lobelia

Marigold (african)

My brother gave me an old skool wine box, which now has radish, spinach, lettuce, cress, basil (sweet and purple) in its various compartments. It should look good, if nothing else.

If you haven't tried growing purple basil, give it a go. The aniseed scent and flavour in pasta dishes is fantastic.

Frogs are good too but I'd steer clear of chickens, they scratch everything to shreds. Ducks are far more garden friendly, they don't scratch, just wobble their beaks around in the plants and maybe walk over the odd one which will bounce back. The eggs are yummy too.

Would go along with that. Spent last weekend undoing the damage ours had done after their numerous escapes throughout the winter. Ducks next then.

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gonna start my mowing rounds today...lol.. in this cold! mind you there was a decent amount of grass growth over early winter, im hoping that the expected warmer weather later this week bring it on before my next visit.

my daffs are just about out, my primroses too. not much sign of my celendines though.

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You say that but i was watching River Cottage recently and they ate the Lettuce.

I can honestly say I've never had any problems with them.

Thought I'd got all bases covered in the greenhouses........

Slugs and snails - apply pellets - check.

Woodlice - apply Derris Dust - check

Rats - block up all the holes - check

Squirrels - shut windows - check

Oh so helpful owner - divert attention to cricket slips - check

Mice - never been a problem, didn't think to take action.....BIG mistake! The seeds which weren't washed away by my over-zealous boss have all been dug up and eaten by the blighters.

Tesco checkout looking more attractive by the day!

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I can honestly say I've never had any problems with them.

Thought I'd got all bases covered in the greenhouses........

Slugs and snails - apply pellets - check.

Woodlice - apply Derris Dust - check

Rats - block up all the holes - check

Squirrels - shut windows - check

Oh so helpful owner - divert attention to cricket slips - check

Mice - never been a problem, didn't think to take action.....BIG mistake! The seeds which weren't washed away by my over-zealous boss have all been dug up and eaten by the blighters.

Tesco checkout looking more attractive by the day!

nature might be kinder if you went organic ...

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nature might be kinder if you went organic ...

The entire garden is organic, only the greenhouse isn't. Apart from nematodes for slugs, there are no organic remedies for the other pests. I've been gardening for well over 20 years, all based on organic principles, even getting a walled veg garden that I renovated for an hotel listed with the Soil Association. Sometimes you just have to accept that there are some things which don't have a balance in an artificial environment such as a greenhouse.

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Have just taken the tomato plants which are at least 15cm tall up to the polytunnel for hardening off — I generally get them out much earlier, but we've had frost almost every night since mid March.

Planted onions and spuds (1st and 2nd earlies) in the garden over the weekend. Clay soil still quite claggy in the new raised beds despite the drier weather. Hopefully, the farmyard manure will gradually help with that.

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At least we're looking at some proper growth coming up - a bit of rain this week then some warmth should really get things going. Into the new season we finally go....

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I'm not a gardener but I have a garden related question I'd like to ask.

I have a mature Cherry Plum tree in blossom currently, but it has been left to grow wild for two years where it was previously clipped back every year. It is now a huge, unruly monster that blocks light to the house and drops blossom, leaves and fruit in mine and the neighbours garden as well as being quite intrusive to them.

My friend is a landscape gardener and has offered to come around this week to sort it out. He says chop it back to the trunk and see how it grows next season - at worst he says I will have a new bird table!! http://forum.nwstatic.co.uk//public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.png I quite like the tree but it needs to be lopped back to something manageable. I also appreciate the birds use it for cover and have feeding stations dotted all around it. I like to see birds in the garden and am worried it might put them off coming back for years if it's cut back hard.

Do I go for getting a general prune and tidy up or a drastic cut back or something in-between?

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I'm not a gardener but I have a garden related question I'd like to ask.

I have a mature Cherry Plum tree in blossom currently, but it has been left to grow wild for two years where it was previously clipped back every year. It is now a huge, unruly monster that blocks light to the house and drops blossom, leaves and fruit in mine and the neighbours garden as well as being quite intrusive to them.

My friend is a landscape gardener and has offered to come around this week to sort it out. He says chop it back to the trunk and see how it grows next season - at worst he says I will have a new bird table!! Posted Image I quite like the tree but it needs to be lopped back to something manageable. I also appreciate the birds use it for cover and have feeding stations dotted all around it. I like to see birds in the garden and am worried it might put them off coming back for years if it's cut back hard.

Do I go for getting a general prune and tidy up or a drastic cut back or something in-between?

I personally wouldn't "hack" it back what I'd go for is a good prune and tidy up that way you should continue to get new fruit with-out worrying about if it will come back or not

Edited by Gavin.
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I'm not a gardener but I have a garden related question I'd like to ask.

I have a mature Cherry Plum tree in blossom currently, but it has been left to grow wild for two years where it was previously clipped back every year. It is now a huge, unruly monster that blocks light to the house and drops blossom, leaves and fruit in mine and the neighbours garden as well as being quite intrusive to them.

My friend is a landscape gardener and has offered to come around this week to sort it out. He says chop it back to the trunk and see how it grows next season - at worst he says I will have a new bird table!! Posted Image I quite like the tree but it needs to be lopped back to something manageable. I also appreciate the birds use it for cover and have feeding stations dotted all around it. I like to see birds in the garden and am worried it might put them off coming back for years if it's cut back hard.

Do I go for getting a general prune and tidy up or a drastic cut back or something in-between?

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Absolutely not.

It's a member of the Prunus family, they are prone to Silver Leaf disease which is fungal and comes in on the air, more prevalent during cold, moist periods. All members of the Prunus family should be pruned during the summer months, preferably during a warm dry spell. If you prune it now, you may as well just chop it down completely.

If and when you have it pruned, keep in mind that the more you chop off the top, the more it will grow back - hence why it's an unruly mess now. When you top out an established tree you're really giving that enormous root system nothing to feed so it will go into over-drive sending up new growth. Try to have the patience to prune and reduce it over at least three seasons, that way the roots will still have some canopy left to support, so the tree won't go bonkers producing masses more - you'll have a far more controlled re-growth.

Have a good check through the branches before lopping, just to make sure there's nothing nesting in there.

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NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Absolutely not.

Posted Image I thought so!!! I'll back him off for a while then, thank you for the help! :good:

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I can honestly say I've never had any problems with them.

Thought I'd got all bases covered in the greenhouses........

Slugs and snails - apply pellets - check.

Woodlice - apply Derris Dust - check

Rats - block up all the holes - check

Squirrels - shut windows - check

Oh so helpful owner - divert attention to cricket slips - check

Mice - never been a problem, didn't think to take action.....BIG mistake! The seeds which weren't washed away by my over-zealous boss have all been dug up and eaten by the blighters.

Tesco checkout looking more attractive by the day!

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Hi all,

Every year we try our hand at veg .

Just a tiny spa e in our small garden.

This year we have not planted anything:(

Can we risk putting in some thing this weekend?

We have the usual.

Onions, toms,beet,beans,carrots.

Beans did nothing last year don't know why?

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Anything that needed warmth or sunlight didn't do well last year.

For me carrots & broccoli did well. Everyone else here told me they failed with broccoli because they planted it in partial shade which is what it normally needs. I planted it in full sun (well best I can get here anyway) so I think due to last years weather that counted as 'partial shade' so I did ok... Their partial shade counted as 'damp dark hole' last year so didn't do so good!

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Hi all,

Every year we try our hand at veg .

Just a tiny spa e in our small garden.

This year we have not planted anything:(

Can we risk putting in some thing this weekend?

We have the usual.

Onions, toms,beet,beans,carrots.

Beans did nothing last year don't know why?

Not yet hun,

Start what you can off indoors in individual pots. You have till mid may to do most things. Too cold at the mo x

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I put a couple of my more tender indoor Palms outside from the conservatory this afternoon to get some well deserved fresh air away from the effects of central heating. The patio is going to be extended this Spring and because I have a long narrow garden I want to go for maximum impression of width possible with the hard landscaping contrasting the soft hedging by having my architecturally shaped plants (like the palms) placed on the terrace area towards the ponds in the middle of the gardenPosted Image Then I have my summer herbs and vegetables to organize when it gets warm enough in the sunny courtyard which is a real sun trapPosted Image

I'm looking forward to getting out there and this weekend looks very good for that after the rain and showers of the next few daysPosted Image

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