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Yes there do seem to be billions of them this year.

 

I must admit in bit of a strop yesterday because I bought some lupin plants and before I could put them in the slugs have got to them and eaten half the flower heads off grrrrr!!

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Well I do try to be fair to all creatures but slugs definitely try my humanity!!

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I don't know if this belongs here or in Room 101, but we've spent the last few years battling a lawn full of bare patches while the flower beds are happily growing grass like there's no tomorrow. Seems unfair somehow.

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I don't know if this belongs here or in Room 101, but we've spent the last few years battling a lawn full of bare patches while the flower beds are happily growing grass like there's no tomorrow. Seems unfair somehow.

 

Well, the answer to that problem is easy - just put the flower beds where the lawn is and then move the lawn to the flower beds.

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I don't know if this belongs here or in Room 101, but we've spent the last few years battling a lawn full of bare patches while the flower beds are happily growing grass like there's no tomorrow. Seems unfair somehow.

Do you have a dog? Bitch urine can cause bare patches in lawns.

 

Also - we used to have a patch of grass like that at a previous house. We decided in the end to dig it out and get rid of the turf and replace it with new. Underneath, only a few inches down, was a mass of bricks and builders' rubble left over from when the houses had been built. They'd just flattened the whole area and dumped a few inches of topsoil over it.

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Nope, no dog, but lots of subterranean ant activity. Plus it's north facing so doesn't get much sun. We did manage to seed one area successfully but some of these other patches seem to be impervious.

 

Anjuli_Bai, I have a feeling the grass would have contingency plans even if we did try to fake it out like that. But I must admit it's tempting.

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Just the universe laughing at us Melody!!

 

There must be a proper saying for this situation!! But Mary Mary quite Contrary comes into mind!

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Nope, no dog, but lots of subterranean ant activity. Plus it's north facing so doesn't get much sun. We did manage to seed one area successfully but some of these other patches seem to be impervious.

 

Anjuli_Bai, I have a feeling the grass would have contingency plans even if we did try to fake it out like that. But I must admit it's tempting.

Hi Melody, in the UK you can purchase different grass seed mixes, and there is one specifically for shady areas. Perhaps there might be something similar in the US?

 

I think it might be worth digging out the area, breaking up the subsoil a bit, and adding some compost or organic matter, then re-seeding it.

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Hi Melody, in the UK you can purchase different grass seed mixes, and there is one specifically for shady areas. Perhaps there might be something similar in the US?

 

I think it might be worth digging out the area, breaking up the subsoil a bit, and adding some compost or organic matter, then re-seeding it.

 

Buy a big potted plant and set it in the bald spot.

 

Or - cultivate bald spots in an artistic design.  Put up a blue ribbon to show the design won first prize for innovative gardening design.

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Well, we're working on it. Bought some grass plug thingies and planted them at the weekend. Hopefully they won't attract birds the way grass seed does.

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Oi, slugs!!!

 

LEAVE MY STRAWBERRIES ALONE!!!

 

Yes, I have lots of slugs and snails at the moment.  Gardeners' World said to pour a can of beer into a bowl and leave it in the garden and it should attract the slithery snails and slugs. 

 

Don't know whether scattering sharp sand under the strawberries would help?  It would certainly prick their poor little tummies!

 

Sim, beer works really well.  I used to use Sainsbury's Basics range as it was cheapest.  The only problem is that it usually rains after I've put it out, and dilutes or even washes away the beer :(

 

Anyway, I still don't have a garden, so this is all pretty academic at the moment :(

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Beer is wasted on slugs, so my husband says!

 

I found once before that crushed-up eggshells do deter slugs, but we will have to eat quite a lot of eggs in a short time, there aren't all that many strawberries left now... we have managed to pick them in time :)

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We've used egg shells before and they seemed to work.

 

We had a pair of partridges in the garden a few weeks ago and today discovered we have a nest complete with partridge sitting on it.  Totally unexpected as it is not a large garden by any means.  It is tucked under a shrub with plants growing in front of it, at the base of the wall that runs along the back of our garden and the side of the house behind us.  Other side of the wall yes, but only a couple of feet away from that house's side door, dogs and kids.

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I bought a new Rose today.

 

I was initially looking at colour with a good smell and I was attracted to a dark reddish Mauvy one .....more red initially but fades to the reddish mauve colour ......and it smelt quite rosy too.....not the best ever smell but rosy enough and the colour was lovely.

I looked at the label and it was called Darcey Bussell so of course I had to have it then!

 

Do any other dancers have roses named after them does anybody know?

 

I do find with roses that the best smellers are usually the knees with the most diseases unfortunately.

Ive tried three times now with a Margaret Merrill which has a sublime smell but it just dies. They are probably not best on our rather alkaline soil(which is why we have loads of peonies instead) but every so often I hanker after a Rose so will just have to hope Darcey doesn't let me down!!

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I have two Darcey Bussells which we planted this year and they really are gorgeous, I agree, Lin. I have Ballerina tulips too, which my father bought for me last year.

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Not sure how knees got into the post......hope it isn't a weird Freudian slip! It was meant to be the word "ones" so not sure how IPad got to knees instead!

There is something lovely about getting close up and personal with a Rose at this time of the year though!

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We have a lovely shrub rose bush called "Ballerina". 

 

It's of the sort that used to be called an Alexandra rose. and at the moment it is covered with literally thousands of small pink flowers about an inch across, and smells wonderful. So far, it seems to be pretty disease-resistant and has spread to about four feet tall and a spread of six feet. Gorgeous.

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We have that rose too Taxi. It is particularly beautiful this year.

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Do any other dancers have roses named after them does anybody know?

 

I have a feeling there is, or was, a Fonteyn rose. Other likely candidates, I'd guess, would be Pavlova and maybe Markova.

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The Margot Fonteyn rose was pink with darker pink petal edges and had a lovely scent. although, not a ballet lover, my mother-in-law loved roses and this is what my father-in-law chose to be planted in the memorial garden in her name. It lasted about 10 years.

 

On a more cheerful note - the partridge nest in our garden has 17 eggs in it!!

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The most beautiful rose in my garden is "Peace" - a bush, huge grandiflora - huge blossom (often ten inches or more across) - hardy - resistant to most rose problems.  The blossom is creamy white from a pink center with a lavender frilled edge.  

 

I also have "Queen Elisabeth" both the bush (which is a paler pink) and the climber - a bright pink perfectly shaped rose.  The climber is multiflora but each blossom is a very good size - it's very hardy and prolific.. 

 

Both these roses have been in my garden over 15 yrs and still doing very well.  I also have 2  "America" as climbers, it is a beautiful red rose and hardy, but a gardener pruned it incorrectly - so one of them is still a climber but the other is now a bush.  

 

"Champagne" is a long stemmed rose - not many flowers but a truly spectacular apricot color - going through gradations of color.  

 

I love Morning Glories and have several going from blue to purple.  Easy to propagate, prolific and hardy. The runners need guidance.  I have a huge one climbing over a redwood arbor which it shares with a pyrocanthus.  The pyrocanthus has brilliant red berries and white flowers.  When they intertwine with the blue/purple morning glories its really quite lovely.

 

The "miracle twig" is doing very well which makes me very happy..  

 

The fortnight lillies are sprinkled around here and there. We also have a huge old pepper tree, an ash, and cypress.  The pepper tree is a male which is quite rare.  

 

The most stunning flower I've ever seen - and I have ten of them (used to have 80) are eppiphylum.  They are huge with brilliant irridescent color.  

 

 I used to adore working in the garden but no longer can.  So, I get to watch the gardener prune the roses incorrectly.  He also has little concept of using garden trimmings and leaves as mulch.   We get so little rain that mulch is important.  I never used to discard any plant trimmings.  He is not alone - it seems all the hired gardeners here like to scrape the ground bare - rather than covering it and keeping in the moisture.  

 

I used to love to run out at first  light, work in the garden and then go to my daily morning ballet class.  

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
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Darcey is going mad out there! I have just cut five roses from two bushes and there are still plenty of buds and other roses. I only planted them in March!

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Beer is wasted on slugs, so my husband says!

 

I found once before that crushed-up eggshells do deter slugs, but we will have to eat quite a lot of eggs in a short time, there aren't all that many strawberries left now... we have managed to pick them in time :)

Have you tried coffee grounds?  I save mine and when dry, spread them over the containers with plants the slugs can't usually resist (hostas for example).  It's been very effective so far but since I only have a container garden I don't know if they would work in large quantities on beds and borders.

 

Linda

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Don't know if this counts as gardening news but the Parish Council arranges for hanging baskets to be suspended from lamp posts round here. Last week, I was awakened by noise outside my house at 3.30 A.M. This turned out to be somebody getting out of a pick-up and erecting a step ladder under the lamp post in front of my house. He then climbed the ladder and attached a metal bracket to the post, using a cordless drill. Then off he went to the next post and so on. 

At 7 A.M., another pick- up arrived with two men, who proceeded to hang the flower basket from the new bracket. Half an hour later, the original bloke returned to water said basket!

I rang the council to complain and was told my comments would be passed on to the people who provide the baskets. This week the chappie turned up at 3 A.M. to start watering the baskets. This seems set to continue for the lifespan of the baskets and beyond. In previous years they have continued to water, long after the contents have ceased to be, but never at this hour.

Is it unreasonable of me to question why these activities need to be carried out at such an unsociable hour and how much it is costing? Apparently, 'no-one else has complained' although a number of people have agreed with me that it is absurd. As I pointed out to the Parish Councillor, these baskets are not free. We, the taxpayers, pay for them. Does it really need two pick-ups and three people, starting at 3 A.M.? Perhaps I am just an unreasonable old grouch. After all, if you gaze up at the pretty flowers it does distract you momentarily from the grimness of this place. Like the proverbial sticking plaster I suppose, much easier than tackling the real problems. Just not at 3 A.M. though.

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I'd take it with a pinch of salt that no-one else has complained. That's an idiotic time of day - erm, night - to be watering, and they must be disturbing a lot of people's sleep (assuming you live in a residential neighbourhood). I mean, I'm glad they're not watering in the heat of the day or during rush hour, but there has to be a time that's less antisocial than that. Plus if they're having to pay overtime for people to come out in the middle of the night, that's a bill that the taxpayers are footing too, which is adding insult to injury.

Edited by Melody

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Quite a few Jobsworth councils now insist on hanging baskets being taken down - as there might be the chance (however ludicrously slim) of someone being injured by a falling basket and suing all and sundry for compensation...

 

I read in our local paper a while ago that the council was not allowing people to have a doormat outside their own front door in the stairwells of communal flats - a doormat being a terrifyingly dangerous trip hazard of course! :blink: and had also banned flower pots and pictures on the wall.

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