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Jim Lesurf 20-02-2005 01:53 PM

Intro from novice :-)
 
I've now had a chance to read the 'abc' posting and the webpages it refers
to. Since no-one has commented on my "Freesia bulbs" question as yet I
thought I'd try following what was suggested in the abc+FAQs and give a
brief outline of my situation/interest as I am a 'newcomer' to gardening.

I had to take 'early retirement on the basis of ill health' last May. Still
do a small amount of part time/freelance work - e.g. as a writer. However
the change has given me a chance at last to start gardening. Been meaning
to get gardening for many years, but combination of work and illness has
prevented it until now. As a result our garden is the result of a sort of
'benign neglect' over the last 20-odd years.

We live in St Andrews, Fife. Hence on the east coast. For Scotland we seem
to get relatively 'protected' weather a lot of time and get less in the way
of serious frost or snow than inland. In effect, we get the 'sea' weather a
lot of time as opposed to the 'inland' weather.

Main feature of our garden for many years has been:

1) Ground eldar. aaargh!

2) Trees. Mostly self-seeded from the park that backs onto our garden.

3) Raspberries/Tayberries. These have flourished and provided loads of Jam.

All the above have done fine under the 'benign neglect' regime, but we are
now trying to change things - whilst keeping (3) as best as we can! The old
regime seems to have resulted in good soil. albeit dominated by allowing
the leaves from the trees to fall and rot down where the fall each year for
20 years...

In general terms, our main problems at present are the obvious ones -
general ignorance and the need for loads of hard work. :-)

Since we have the park at the back we get a good view, but occasional
problems with kids in (or vandalising) the garden. There is a brick wall at
the end, and I am hoping to grow roses, and perhaps some thorny bushes up
this to give a 'pretty deterrent' here. 8-] However the ground in the
garden slopes down to this end-wall which then faces east. So the garden
side of the wall loses direct sun in the afternoon.

!+2+3 above means we've had a sort of 'green glade' for many years. Nice in
its way being shady, bushy, etc. However I am now keen to have a lot of
colour in terms of a variety of flowers. I've chopped down some of the
trees to get more light to the ground.

No doubt I've already made a fair few mistakes, but I hope to live long
enough to learn from them and end up with a 'better' garden. At present
working on a 'one area at a time' basis with ideas that adapt as I find out
things, etc.

I planted various bulbs in some areas last year, and it has been very
pleasing to find that they *do* come up and give flowers. :-) However
some seem to be less happy than others so I hope people here can advise on
this in due course.

I have some other specific questions/problems extra to the "freesias" one,
e.g. the 'failed bulbs' one I refer to above, but I'll post the details in
due course after I see what response (if any) I get to this posting and the
'freesia' one... :-)

Slainte,

Jim

--
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Audio Misc http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/AudioMisc/index.html
Armstrong Audio http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/Audio/armstrong.html
Barbirolli Soc. http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/JBSoc/JBSoc.html

Mike 20-02-2005 04:55 PM


"Jim Lesurf" wrote in message
...
I've now had a chance to read the 'abc' posting and the webpages it refers
to. Since no-one has commented on my "Freesia bulbs" question as yet I
thought I'd try following what was suggested in the abc+FAQs and give a
brief outline of my situation/interest as I am a 'newcomer' to gardening.


Jim in a nutshell, as long as you are 'anti Mike', you will be 'flavour of
the month' with the net nannies and receive lots and lots of help. One is
away 'cruising you know' and the others will pop up from time to time. Get
on the right side of the barrowcloth and you are made :-))

Good luck with your gardening :-))

And your retirement, however it came ;-))

Mike
also retired :-)))))



Nick Maclaren 20-02-2005 05:37 PM

In article ,
Jim Lesurf wrote:

Main feature of our garden for many years has been:

1) Ground eldar. aaargh!


Boil it as a sort of spinach and eat it to help with your gout. No,
it doesn't taste very nice, and I have no idea if it works :-)

2) Trees. Mostly self-seeded from the park that backs onto our garden.

!+2+3 above means we've had a sort of 'green glade' for many years. Nice in
its way being shady, bushy, etc. However I am now keen to have a lot of
colour in terms of a variety of flowers. I've chopped down some of the
trees to get more light to the ground.


That is the first step in discouraging ground elder!

I planted various bulbs in some areas last year, and it has been very
pleasing to find that they *do* come up and give flowers. :-) However
some seem to be less happy than others so I hope people here can advise on
this in due course.

I have some other specific questions/problems extra to the "freesias" one,
e.g. the 'failed bulbs' one I refer to above, but I'll post the details in
due course after I see what response (if any) I get to this posting and the
'freesia' one... :-)


Well, if you were trying to get freesias to naturalise, you were taking
something on! Some of the native bulbs will fight ground elder (e.g.
(English) bluebells, which will strangle anything if they like the
conditions). You are a long way north for freesias.

Good luck, but it sounds as if you are heading in the right direction
(i.e. one that will work!)


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.

Colin Jacobs 20-02-2005 07:29 PM

hello & welcome to the group good to hear of an other east coaster. I live &
work on gardens on the east coast of Suffolk. I like lots of salt hardy
plants in my beds.

CJ
"Nick Maclaren" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Jim Lesurf wrote:

Main feature of our garden for many years has been:

1) Ground eldar. aaargh!


Boil it as a sort of spinach and eat it to help with your gout. No,
it doesn't taste very nice, and I have no idea if it works :-)

2) Trees. Mostly self-seeded from the park that backs onto our garden.

!+2+3 above means we've had a sort of 'green glade' for many years. Nice

in
its way being shady, bushy, etc. However I am now keen to have a lot of
colour in terms of a variety of flowers. I've chopped down some of the
trees to get more light to the ground.


That is the first step in discouraging ground elder!

I planted various bulbs in some areas last year, and it has been very
pleasing to find that they *do* come up and give flowers. :-) However
some seem to be less happy than others so I hope people here can advise

on
this in due course.

I have some other specific questions/problems extra to the "freesias"

one,
e.g. the 'failed bulbs' one I refer to above, but I'll post the details

in
due course after I see what response (if any) I get to this posting and

the
'freesia' one... :-)


Well, if you were trying to get freesias to naturalise, you were taking
something on! Some of the native bulbs will fight ground elder (e.g.
(English) bluebells, which will strangle anything if they like the
conditions). You are a long way north for freesias.

Good luck, but it sounds as if you are heading in the right direction
(i.e. one that will work!)


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.




Mike Lyle 20-02-2005 08:04 PM

Colin Jacobs wrote:
[...]
I like lots of
salt hardy plants in my beds.


Ah, a subject of which I won't tire in the near future! What's on
your list?

Mike.



Nick Maclaren 20-02-2005 08:23 PM

In article ,
Colin Jacobs wrote:
hello & welcome to the group good to hear of an other east coaster. I live &
work on gardens on the east coast of Suffolk. I like lots of salt hardy
plants in my beds.


Er, I assume that you don't me me? While Cambridge IS an east coast
seaport (seriously), it is a fair way off the coast.

At present. If the ruling bureaucrats and nominal leaders of the
USA and UK get their way, it may well be on the coast in some of your
lifetimes. If the north Atlantic drift doesn't reverse, of course,
when the concept of the east coast may become a bit moot (the whole
area being possibly under a layer of ice).


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.

Amazin 21-02-2005 03:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Lesurf
I've now had a chance to read the 'abc' posting and the webpages it refers
to. Since no-one has commented on my "Freesia bulbs" question as yet I
thought I'd try following what was suggested in the abc+FAQs and give a
brief outline of my situation/interest as I am a 'newcomer' to gardening.

Hi Jim,

I'm an ex-pat Scot living in London. Freesias are my all-time favourite flowers so I grow them every year. I'm putting mine in tomorrow, around three inches down. Although my micro-climate is probably warmer than yours, you mentioned applying cocoa mulch - this will give them any extra protection they might need from the cold.
Good luck with this and all the other gardening you're planning!

Amazin'

Glen Able 21-02-2005 09:09 AM


"Janet Baraclough" wrote in message
...
The message
from (Nick Maclaren) contains these words:

In article ,
Colin Jacobs wrote:
hello & welcome to the group good to hear of an other east coaster. I
live &
work on gardens on the east coast of Suffolk. I like lots of salt hardy
plants in my beds.


Er, I assume that you don't me me?


The welcome was to newbie Jim of St Andrews. Never mind...Cambridge
might not be on the coast (yet) but it is further east than St Andrews
:-)


That's not saying much - even Bristol is as far east as St. Andrews!



Jim Lesurf 21-02-2005 09:11 AM

In article , Mike
wrote:

"Jim Lesurf" wrote in message
...

[snip]

Good luck with your gardening :-))


Thanks. I suspect I'll need it. Also a lot of patience. :-)

And your retirement, however it came ;-))


Well, the 'lead up' that made it necessary was un-enjoyable. However I *am*
quite enjoying being 'retired' and already wonder how I ever found the time
to do a full-time paid job. 8-]

Slainte,

Jim

--
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Audio Misc http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/AudioMisc/index.html
Armstrong Audio http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/Audio/armstrong.html
Barbirolli Soc. http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/JBSoc/JBSoc.html

Jim Lesurf 21-02-2005 09:21 AM

In article , Nick Maclaren
wrote:
In article , Jim Lesurf
wrote:

[snip]

2) Trees. Mostly self-seeded from the park that backs onto our garden.

!+2+3 above means we've had a sort of 'green glade' for many years.
Nice in its way being shady, bushy, etc. However I am now keen to have
a lot of colour in terms of a variety of flowers. I've chopped down
some of the trees to get more light to the ground.


That is the first step in discouraging ground elder!


Ah! That is excellent news. I was just trying to get some more light so I
could see the garden and have more in the way of colourful flowers. Didn't
realise that reducing the shade would also help upset the ground elder.

I sprayed the ground elder with glyphosphate about once every 1-2 weeks for
about three months. In effect a repeated 'carpet bombing' regime. The
little boogers seemed dermined to survive, but I think I have 'discouraged'
them a bit. I plan to re-bomb soon, then after a week or so, start digging
and planting/sowing things.

The worst 'snag' has been that raspberries/tayberries (which we like) have
spread around the garden, and - to my ignorant view - their leaves look a
lot like the ground elder. I tried to avoid 'collateral damage' but I fear
this may not have been entirely successful. :-/

[snip]

I have some other specific questions/problems extra to the "freesias"
one, e.g. the 'failed bulbs' one I refer to above, but I'll post the
details in due course after I see what response (if any) I get to this
posting and the 'freesia' one... :-)


Well, if you were trying to get freesias to naturalise, you were taking
something on! Some of the native bulbs will fight ground elder (e.g.
(English) bluebells, which will strangle anything if they like the
conditions).


We already have a fair number of bluebells. (ahem, Scottish ;- ).

You are a long way north for freesias.


This is the kind of thing about which I am currently highly ignorant. At
present I am tending to proceed on the basis of "that looks nice and only
costs a couple of quid so I'll try shoving some in the ground and see if
they pop up." :-)

The problem is that when this works, great. But when it does not I don't
currently know if it was a hopeless choice, or if I should have done
something specific. However as I learn I am proceeding on the basis of
trying to get the garden to tell me what it will allow to grow, where. :-)

w.r.t. to the actual freesia thread I tried to start. It is now snowing
outside as I write this. I cleared the bed where I plan to put them, but
have not planted them as yet. Unless I get answers that tell me it would be
fine to do otherwise I will wait a week or two, and then plant them.

Slainte,

Jim

--
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Audio Misc http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/AudioMisc/index.html
Armstrong Audio http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/Audio/armstrong.html
Barbirolli Soc. http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/JBSoc/JBSoc.html

Jim Lesurf 21-02-2005 09:23 AM

In article , Janet Baraclough
wrote:
The message from
(Nick Maclaren) contains these words:


In article , Colin Jacobs
wrote:
hello & welcome to the group good to hear of an other east coaster. I
live & work on gardens on the east coast of Suffolk. I like lots of
salt hardy plants in my beds.


Er, I assume that you don't me me?


The welcome was to newbie Jim of St Andrews. Never mind...Cambridge
might not be on the coast (yet) but it is further east than St Andrews
:-)


Indeed. I suspect we may also be close to being west of *Bristol*. :-)

Slainte,

Jim

--
Electronics
http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Audio Misc http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/AudioMisc/index.html
Armstrong Audio http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/Audio/armstrong.html
Barbirolli Soc. http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/JBSoc/JBSoc.html

Jim Lesurf 21-02-2005 09:28 AM

In article , Amazin
wrote:

Jim Lesurf Wrote:
I've now had a chance to read the 'abc' posting and the webpages it
refers to. Since no-one has commented on my "Freesia bulbs" question
as yet I thought I'd try following what was suggested in the abc+FAQs
and give a brief outline of my situation/interest as I am a 'newcomer'
to gardening.


Hi Jim,


I'm an ex-pat Scot living in London. Freesias are my all-time favourite
flowers so I grow them every year. I'm putting mine in tomorrow, around
three inches down. Although my micro-climate is probably warmer than
yours, you mentioned applying cocoa mulch - this will give them any
extra protection they might need from the cold.


OK. Thanks for that info. At present it is snowing, but it sounds like I
can plant them in a few days if I choose.

At present I am havering about the mulch as I want to use it on this bed,
but I also fancy trying to sow some seeds 'on top' of the freesia bulbs. I
assume, though, that seeds and mulch don't go together at this time of
year? The snag is that I could delay the mulch, but that would presumably
not then give valuable protection. So I guess this is 'make my mind up' and
just put in the bulbs, use the mulch, and not also put down seeds in the
same place.


Good luck with this and all the other gardening you're planning!


At the moment 'planning' is too organised a term for what I am doing. I
just keep having ideas, but then have no clue if they make sense, or if I
can physically manage. 'Dreaming' is probably closer... except for the
effects I feel in my muscles and joints after a while in the garden. :-)

Slainte,

Jim

--
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Audio Misc http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/AudioMisc/index.html
Armstrong Audio http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/Audio/armstrong.html
Barbirolli Soc. http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/JBSoc/JBSoc.html

Mike 21-02-2005 04:35 PM


Well, the 'lead up' that made it necessary was un-enjoyable. However I

*am*
quite enjoying being 'retired' and already wonder how I ever found the

time
to do a full-time paid job. 8-]

Slainte,


:-))

Let you into a little secret. Sunday night is great because you look forward
to Monday :-))

BUT

try to keep an eye on what day of the week it is because they all merge into
one long series of days without the dreaded Monday to pull you up with a
jolt

and with regards to doing a full time job, 'how did you find time?', I don't
have enough hours in the day and weeks in the year. I have just been
informed I am escorting a Naval Reunion to Weston super Mare in June :-)))
that is on top of 6 others and I haven't booked my cruise this year yet!!
(Hope to cruise 'Round the World' next year or the year after.:-))

Enjoy retirement.

Mike



Nick Maclaren 21-02-2005 05:19 PM


In article ,
Jim Lesurf writes:
|
| I sprayed the ground elder with glyphosphate about once every 1-2 weeks for
| about three months. In effect a repeated 'carpet bombing' regime. The
| little boogers seemed dermined to survive, but I think I have 'discouraged'
| them a bit. I plan to re-bomb soon, then after a week or so, start digging
| and planting/sowing things.

Spraying with glyphosate has little effect except during spring and
summer.

| The worst 'snag' has been that raspberries/tayberries (which we like) have
| spread around the garden, and - to my ignorant view - their leaves look a
| lot like the ground elder. I tried to avoid 'collateral damage' but I fear
| this may not have been entirely successful. :-/

Enough will live. They are hard to kill. I have done the same.

| We already have a fair number of bluebells. (ahem, Scottish ;- ).

Sure? Campanula rotundifolia (English harebell), not Endymion
non-scripta (or whatever it is called now)?

| w.r.t. to the actual freesia thread I tried to start. It is now snowing
| outside as I write this. I cleared the bed where I plan to put them, but
| have not planted them as yet. Unless I get answers that tell me it would be
| fine to do otherwise I will wait a week or two, and then plant them.

They are normally grown in a cold greenhouse. Put them in the
warmest spot you can find, and don't be disappointed if they fail.
Try some for growing indoors, if you have room and the interest.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.

Jim Lesurf 22-02-2005 01:43 PM

In article , Nick Maclaren
wrote:

In article , Jim Lesurf
writes:
|
| I sprayed the ground elder with glyphosphate about once every 1-2
| weeks for about three months. In effect a repeated 'carpet bombing'
| regime.


Spraying with glyphosate has little effect except during spring and
summer.


Alas, I wasn't able to start the process until June-July as I didn't have
the time, etc, pre-retirement. I certainly found that one or two 'bombing
raids' had little effect, so just went on repeating the raids every few
weeks as chances arose. After a while the ground elder started to take the
hint and turn brown, shrivel, etc.

I assumed that the resiliance was due to the ground elder having extensive
roots, so requiring a lot of poison to kill.

I hope to start a 'new campaign' soon, and then start some digging and
riddling of the areas where I hope to start growing some flowers. My
thought at present is to concentrate on annuals as these (I think) will
give quicker initial results, and I will be less worried later on if they
become damaged by fresh campaigns against the ground elder. Does that make
sense?

| The worst 'snag' has been that raspberries/tayberries (which we like)
| have spread around the garden, and - to my ignorant view - their
| leaves look a lot like the ground elder. I tried to avoid 'collateral
| damage' but I fear this may not have been entirely successful. :-/


Enough will live. They are hard to kill.


I have noticed. :-) I seem to have 'discouraged' the ground elder a bit,
and helped clear a bit of space to give new plants a chance. But there is
still ground elder around, so I guess this is an ongoing war.

I have done the same.


| We already have a fair number of bluebells. (ahem, Scottish ;- ).


Sure?


Nope. :-) I have planted some English bluebells as bulbs, but the ones I
was thinking of I just called 'Scottish' as they were here before we
arrived and this is Scotland. Beyond that, once they come out I'll have a
careful look and check with a suitable book of pictures.

Campanula rotundifolia (English harebell), not Endymion
non-scripta (or whatever it is called now)?


As yet I'm afraid I haven't got used to any of the latin / scientific /
systematic names. Indeed, I'm still struggling to recognise one plant from
another at all! :-)

We have a number of 'miracle' plants that have survived the 20 years since
we moved in. Some of them look lovely, but I am not at all sure *what* they
are - apart from being stubborn. :-)

| w.r.t. to the actual freesia thread I tried to start. It is now
| snowing outside as I write this. I cleared the bed where I plan to
| put them, but have not planted them as yet. Unless I get answers that
| tell me it would be fine to do otherwise I will wait a week or two,
| and then plant them.


They are normally grown in a cold greenhouse. Put them in the warmest
spot you can find, and don't be disappointed if they fail.


At present I am working on the basis that a lot of what I try will fail due
to my ignorance, etc. So it will be a shame if I can't get them to grow,
but they were only a couple of pounds, and it seems easy enough to plant
them, so worth a go. I've also had an email suggesting when to plant them.
On balance I think I will wait until we are in March and the current cold
spell if well past. Then shove them in the ground and stand back. :-)


Try some for growing indoors, if you have room and the interest.


Alas, we don't really have much room indoors. Nor do we have a greenhouse.

Above said, my wife did point out last night that we have a bay window
which faces east in a room we don't use much. I've wondering if that may
be a suitable place in due course for experimenting with starting seeds,
etc, by just leaving them on the window sill in trays, or whatever. The
curtains go across the bay in line with the wall, so making an area the
size of the bay that is semi-enclosed when the curtains are drawn. Again,
what do people think of this as an approach? Seems like a sort of
'greenhouse' I suppose. :-)

Slainte,

Jim

--
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Audio Misc http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/AudioMisc/index.html
Armstrong Audio http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/Audio/armstrong.html
Barbirolli Soc. http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/JBSoc/JBSoc.html


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