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Thread: Gardening

  1. #1
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    Gardening

    I know I'm getting old when I ask this question. Is anyone else into gardening?

    Where I used to live it was a new build with a small garden. We had shrubs and a few trees that we kept tidy. And would plant a few tulips, geraniums and lilies in pots. But that was about all.

    We even shared an allotment with a couple of friends for 2 years and grew quite a few vegetables. It was hard work clearing and keeping it weeded and watered, as it was a long way from the house, so we had to drive there.

    Anyway, we when we moved at the end of 2015 to the house we are in now it has a massive garden that totals 1/3 acre in total. We bought the house from an elderly couple in their 80s. You could see they loved gardening, but could no longer manage it. There were a lot of nice well estabished plants, but everything was overgrown and a mess. Lots of brambles and stinging nettles everywhere. And things like self seeding Budleigh in strange places.

    The first couple of years was mainly clearing, weeding, digging up and removing roots. Then I started to really get into gardening. My mother-in-law is very knowledgeable about plants. Her father was the head gardener of a large estate in West Sussex called Stopham, so she grew up gaining knowledge about gardening. We moved her closer to us in 2018 and I started to do the garden in her bungalow for her. I've learnt a lot about plants as she buys a lot and it's me that has to plant and look after them.

    Anyway because I started to gain knowledge and took an interest, I started to get favourite plants and began buying and collecting them for my garden. It gets very addictive.

    I was still clearing and doing more hard landscaping until 2 years ago. We had a big new patio installed, then I could start to really get going with the actual planting. It's all started to come together in the top garden last year and started to look really good this year.

    My favouite plants are all hardy perennials because I think it's far better to buy more expensive plants that live many years once estabished. Rather than buying annuals you throw away every year. Although I do add a few.

    My favourite plants are all types of Salvia. I discovered these when my mother-in-law bought a few and gave me half of them. They are great plants and flower for over 6 months, and you can get some hardy ones. And they are fairly easy to take cuttings to get more.

    My other favouite are Hydrangeas. Especially a type called lace caps. Ive owned one for years in a pot that has dark green leaves and dark purple flowers with white centres. That finally got planted this year and has already thanked me by growing a lot. I also discovered you could get a climbing variety but they were expensive everywhere. Then we discovered a growers nursary not far away that have a lot of different plants at great prices, and very knowledgeable owners. And they had climbing Hydrangeas for 8. I've started growing this up the side of one of my sheds to hide it from the house, but I discovered this one plant can end up growing 60m x 55m. So I need to keep it trimmed! I've added quite few others to the garden to. Another favourite this year is a white mophead hydrangea that starts off with large round green flowerheads earlier in the year, then turn white over sumner, and then gain a pink tingle into autumn.

    As you can probably guess, I'm now quite into gardening. I grow a lot of fruit and veg now too. Had a really good chilli crop this year. And have 7 apple trees, pear trees and some other fruit trees I've only just planted. Plus I get loads of loganberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants I turn into jam.

    And with the flower planting I watch gardener's world and they featured a garden at the Chelsea flower show that I just loved, and I found a site that listed the plants. So last year and this year I managed to find a lot of them and created my own version. It has an orange, purple and white colour scheme, which I think is a great combination. And includes tall purple salva Amistad and orage tangerine geums. Plus lots of other purple, dark magenta/pink and white flowering plants. And as its a semi shade side of the garden I also added ferns and other shade loving plants such as Astilbes.

    I've also planted loads of lavender and herbs.

    Furure plans include a different flower border next to the garden studio. The fence at the back of the garden is visible at the back of that border, so we already had the idea of planting a hedge and have managed to buy some big red robin trees/shrubs where their new growth turns red and looked great. Planting them is a job for this coming week if the weather is nice.

    Another future plan I have is to create a Japanese garden. I love Japanese trees such as Acers, Maples and cherry and want to create a secluded garden tucked away in the bottom corner of the bottom garden. I might make it a water garden with a small koi pond, but not decided yet.

    I'm also planning on making a vegitable garden with raised beds and gravel paths. There is a big area in my bottom garden that gets a lot of sun and would be ideal, but it's one of the large areas I've not cleared properly yet. There are a lot if stinging nettles and bind weed. That's a project I want to start this winter when thr weeds have all died down.

    Problem with owning a large garden is you know it looks great when you put the work in, but it's having the time and motivation. It's also addictive buying plants and creating new areas in the garden.

    I've become my dad! I watch gardening programs and read gardening magazines. And probably spend more time in the garden these days then I do on a computer or gaming.
    Last edited by Harrison; 24th October 2022 at 11:04.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    We have a big garden (half acre) and i get zero help, so it's very hard to maintain let alone actually make improvements or changes.

    I like being outside but it feels like a big obligation.

    This weekend, I sorted out the shed and now have separate tubs of all the loose nails and screws and washers that have been scattered around in toolboxes and pots etc.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorting out those bits made me feel old and very much dad-ish but also, it felt very rewarding and I felt good about the state of the shed afterwards.

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    I absolutely hate gardening. I only mow the lawn as it needs to be done, otherwise I have gardener if I need something else, usually when the new "season" starts.

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    @JT. It definitely is rewarding sorting out the shed.

    Biy hour long did it stay that tidy? Especially when my wife has access. Open the shed to find random stuff busy thrown in or everything rummaged through and not put back. But then she does the same in the kitchen.

    But it can be a bit of a nightmare and dangerous starting to go through a shed. When we decided to have a new big patio put in, that goes right across the back of the house, we had an old shed in a silly place just outside the back door. We decided to get rid of it to open the garden up. Problem was it was full of loads of stuff from our old house, as well as a lot I inherited from my father-in-law's and brother in law's sheds after they had both died. I pulled it all out and it covered most of the patio. And going thought it all I didn't want to throw any of it away, as there were loads of useful tools and hardware I would probably need at somec point. But getting rid of the shed I lost ax lot of storage space. I've one other shed I use to store all my garden tools in, but didn't want to turn that into a mess. Ended up filllng half the garage with it all and still need to finish sorting it all out.
    Last edited by Harrison; 24th October 2022 at 15:37.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demon Cleaner View Post
    I absolutely hate gardening. I only mow the lawn as it needs to be done, otherwise I have gardener if I need something else, usually when the new "season" starts.
    It's not for everyone. I used to hate it and I still need to get motivated to get out there. But once I'm in the garden I can spend all day gardening. And for me is the reward seeing thy end result, especially when something I planeted grows and produces some great flowers.

    Only really started growing more plants from seed and plug plants last year, and got summer great results this year. Still amazes me what you can grow from a tiny seed.

    We do get in people for big bonds that would take us too long. Befit we had the garden room built thr area it was going on had to be cleared. We paid someone to come and clear it. Took them one day and they did a brilliant job. Would have taken me a week.

    We also had bad luck with trees over the years. A couple of smallish Apple trees died, which I took down myself, but then we had a massive Ash tree in our neighbours fatten fall down in a storm and go right across our land. Threlkeld not hitting too much, but it did take it a nice old pear tree. We had to pay someone to cut that up for us. Did mean we had lots of firewood for the log burner though.

    Then we had another Ash, this time in our garden fall down, but it didn't damage much and laid within our woods, so we have just it there for the moment. But another Ash that was next to it suddenly died the next year. Think its roots must have got damaged with the other inner fell. So we had to get a tree surgeon in to take that down. That was a big tree. More firewood.

    Then this year another tree had died. A large willow. So again needed simmering to take it down. We sunny run out of firewood any time soon.

    The cost of a tree surgeon has gone up a lot though. The first couple cost about 600. The quotes this time were up to 3k. But I dunt know how they can use a chainsaw all day. My back is really bad after an hour. So worth it not to hurt myself.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  6. #6
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    I spend quite a lot of time and money last year on buying plants, bringing them on,, planting them out and caring for them. Ibvowed that I had enough and didn't need to buy any more this year.

    That didn't last long! The company I've bought a lot of plants and bulbs from kept sending me offers and in the end I gave in to offers that were too good to miss. At the end of last year I bought a lot of flower bulbs. Hundreds in total. Some spring bulbs, and others summer or right the way through like Alliums. Those all got plants ready for this coming spring. I did actually need those as not so much flowering early spring. And once bulbs are in thy ground they just keep coming back each year.

    But then another offer just came up end of last week for some really cheap discounted bare root plants. Some were plants I've really liked for some time. Problem is they arrived but I ordered some without really thinking where they were going to go and now I'm stuck trying to work out where to plant some of them. Woops!

    There is a big area to the side of the log cabin/studio that still needs to be cleared properly. The plan was to make it a flower bed. Looks like that plan will be accelerated to this week. I actually have some large hedging trees called Red Robins that we bought on offer last year to go at the back of that same area to hide the neighbours fence and eventually them. I've needed to plant them for months. So looks like they will finally be going in the find along with the new plants and a few others I've had waiting. But some of that neighbour's fences are damaged and they haven't bothered to fix them. A couple of the panels are loose and they just proppedc them up from my side using wood they found in my garden. Really annoyed at that and will be getting some kind nails timorous and just hammering those panels back into their posts regardless of if they are happy with it or not.

    I've now decided that this will be it for buying large numbers of plants for the moment. I will be buying a few geraniums, petunias and fussias after the last frosts around April to plant up the flower pots. And I am going to be starting growing vegetables soon. But the plan now is for that to be it this year.

    Bet I still buy more when I take a trip to my favourite nursery. They always have such a variety at great prices.

    There might be a few I need to buy that haven't durvived winter. I noticed 2 of my smaller lavender plants haven't lived so will need to replace them. Also a few of ny Salvias might not make it through. But other than replacements not any more.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  7. #7
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    The best part about my garden is the big concrete slab that's under cover, it's great for skating, basketball and playing games.

    At the moment the caravan is parked on it, taking up almost half the space. I'd like to put in a small slab and a small covering (like a carport) out in the front garden for the caravan but we might have to chop a tree or two down to achieve that.

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