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Talkback: My gardening year

At least your Nicotiniana germinated. I've never got even that far with them. On the other hand, I think my garden will be solid foxglove this summer. At the front of my house I have the problem that the back of the bed has the shallowest soil - talk about lack of structure! I wince every time I walk up the road towards it. My most delicate lavender has just died. There were voracious caterpillars (some kind of saw fly?) in it. I hadn't realised before that such creatures liked lavender.

Happy Christmas



  • Happy Christmas to you too. You will never be satisfied with your garden but that in itself is part of the happiness - always something new to do and look forward to.
  • I started a fernery with foxgloves and primulas for colour and a slate garden to show off the brightly coloured flowers. These two areas will be developed further next year and I will grow my plants in the Olympic colours for my Olympic garden in 2012. As perennials from seed usually take three years to flower I shall start off my golden plants for my Golden Jubilee in my present garden in 2014. next year will be as busy as all the others, no doubt, and it is the change that is possible that keeps us interested. Having a large garden myself, I find your endeavours very interesting, Kate, and I know how much pleasure even a tiny garden can give. You will learn to be very choosy about which plants you wish to give space to and find out shortly,I hope, that there are alpine species of most of the favourites which take up very little room. Happy Christmas.
  • I am looking out on my garden in dispair as it looks dreadful, not being as strong as I once was I can't see it ever recovering but one can hope that when all this snow disapears that I will be hit by inspiration, and all in the garden will come together once again. Happy Christmas all and a great New Year
  • In January this year we had the same old awful weather as we are having now, and my school and home gardens looked apalling .... broken down, frozen, trampled during snowball play, surely unable to recover. But by March virtually every plant was up and about and I was thrilled by how little I had lost.
    Don't give up hope fellow gardeners ... it'll all come back as good as ever, you know it will!!
  • I dread to think what could have survived this endless frozen soil but our plants have a way of surprising us. When spring comes I think we will be rewarded. How on (or in) earth did that survive I thought after January 2010- but it did despite info saying otherwise. To tired at the moment to say what did survive but we should all blog I think to say what has and hasn't survived in various regions. It would be good to see what has pulled through and a great resource for future reference.

    0is what I thought after last January with plants and shrubs that shouldn't survive below -5%. Just hoping that was building them up for this extreme.
  • Esther Montgomery - to be honest I was almost disappointed the nicotiana germinated, the seedlings are so tiny and fiddly! They did eventually flower so perhaps they've self seeded and will naturalise all over the front of my border (i won't count on it though!) I feel your pain re the shallow soil. My whole garden is shallow, anything with deep roots has to be grown in large pots. I'm trying white campion at the back of my border this year. I took seeds from a friend's plant that grew very tall in incredibly shallow soil (despite its preference for deep soil) so we'll see if that adds a bit of structure. Oh and could your lavender bugs be rosemary beetle? If there are enough of them they can kill the plants (they're very beautiful though).

    Sokanista - Thank you, I know you're right. I just want the garden to grow, it still looks so new!

    Happymarion - Thank you. The garden does make me very happy but it's also quite frustrating as it's so small. I'm lucky to have one at all though in London. Your Olympic garden sounds fun. Perhaps you could send before and after photos to our letters page? I'm hoping my plants just sort themselves out to be honest, those which are happiest will smother the struggling ones.
  • Kaycurtis - don't despair. I read a lovely blog lately about how plants nearly always bounce back no matter how hard they're trodden on. I can't wait to see what's poking through the soil in my garden. Hopefully I've not too many casualties!

    Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2011, and a fantastic year in the garden.

  • I grew Cosmos,nitonia,rudbeckia,sweet peas,french marigold from seed and just scattered poppy,nanstrium and cornflowers on the bare it best to sow these seeds thickly or thinly on bare soil?
    Happy new year everyone!

    I enjoy reading your blog Kate
  • Clematis - thanks for the feedback. Scatter seeds thinly on bare soil, so each seedling has an equal share of water, light and nutrients. However you may find that thicker sowings are naturally thinned by the wind if you just scatter them over the surface...


  • Hi everyone, i have a stunning magnolia tree, but at about 30 feet high, it casts a hugh shadow beneath, so i am going to have it pruned, is now a good time?
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