Guerrilla Gardening

Plant by lampost

Plant by lampost

Guerrilla Gardening is a movement which seeks to take unused / ugly plots of neglected land and grow plants and vegetables. It is a loose movement with a variety of projects.

Guerrilla Gardening may begin as an illicit activity of just planting in a certain area. In a way the thrill of guerrilla gardening is a combination of the illicit activity and the action of improving the local environment. It could be viewed as a beautiful form of vandalism. A kind of reverse graffiti.

If you look around your city / town, there is a bound to be a neglected area full of weeds / unnecessary concrete e.t.c.

There are many different things that can be done as part of Guerrila Gardening

  • Planting bulbs / plants in an area devoid of colour
  • Protecting weeds grown in a variety of places.
  • Clearing up litter
  • Taking up unnecessary concrete and planting in it.
  • watering / feeding half a bed of plants to give a different level of growth

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Hover Mowers & Safety

mow

Hover mowers are quick and easy to use but they do not leave stripes in your grass. The motor mowers for long grass are an excellent way of clearing space like a hovering scythe. The electric Hover mowers are fine for small lawns and are far lighter than most other lawnmowers but they are unlikely to collect up the cut grass.

Before Using Your Mower

  • Read the instruction book, it may seem obvious but best to be prepared.
  • Fill the petrol tank before you start as pouring petrol into a hot engine can be as dangerous as smoking.
  • Examine the area to be cut for stones, bits of metal, toys or pets.
  • Set the cutting height, not too short!
  • When starting the machine keep it still, perhaps by putting your foot on the hood.

While Mowing

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Weeping Willow in Trim

weeping-willow

There are 400+ species of Willow tree from creeping alpines to the large Weeping Willows of river bank fame.The Weeping Willow has a short life span relative to most other species of less than 50 years and a rapid growth rate. After 20 years the typical Weeping Willow will reach up to 50 feet high depending on variety. For larger garden use ask your nursery man to help you select a restrained variety.

History -In 1908 a German nursery produced a cross between Salix alba the White Willow (a native of water meadows) and Salix babylonica grown in the UK since 1740’s.
Cuttings of single stems up to 6 feet long will root easily and most Willows cross pollinate.
Don’t plant Weeping Willows too near drains or buildings the roots are large and strong. Three times the eventual height or 30 Yards is a safe distance but if you want to avoid subsidence that is the only safe place to plant it.
Don’t prune, the shape is never quite the same afterwards but as you can see the trailing branches on this mature specimen have been trimmed neatly to the same length.
Uses for Willows include the manufacture of cricket bat blades, extraction of chemicals to make asprin and woven willow hedges and wind breaks.

Catkins are produced in spring by male and female trees with the male generally more showy.

male-catkins

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Growing Blue Ceanothus or Californian Lilac

c-of-seanothus

This Sea of Ceanothus blooms is typical of this densely flowering shrub. Most Ceanothus are blue flowering, evergreen shrubs from low growing prostrate forms to good sized bushes (this one is 5 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide).
The blooms are very attractive to bees and hover flies and during flowering it is covered from dawn till dusk with pollinating insects. They grow from cuttings so I have take to dotting them around the garden in case I loose one or two but they seem quite hardy.

Varieties of Ceanothus

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Gardening Quotes

Alys Fowler ‘Gardening is something you do not some thing you buy.’

Vita Sackville West ‘ Successful gardening is not necessarily a question of wealth but of love, taste and knowledge.’

Alan Coren ..’You and I be a-diggin’ and a-stretchin’ and a-sweatin’ as we work away with that most indispensable of gardening tools, the wallet.’

Chris Bayles of Rosemoor   ‘ A horticultural sweetshop.’

RHS on AGM  ‘ Some people in the trade are muddying the waters, because it is cheaper for them…’

Monty Don ‘It is the space between plants and objects that make a garden interesting’

Alan Titchmarsh ‘ In gardening circles Beth (Chatto) has become something of a legend in her own lifetime. It was she who turned peoples eye’s towards out-of-the-ordinary plants back in the 1960’s when she opened her Unusual Plant Nursery at Elmstead Market.’

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Container Ship

container-ship1
Any port in a storm or any container in a garden!
If you have shipped a load of plants into your garden recently you may want a new vessel to hold them in. It can be a Titanic struggle to make your car-go to the local nursery but if you let a Fittonia Pink Star board your car until you get back to the car port you will stop me dredging up any more terrible puns.

Maritime Plants

  • A Hosta named Titanic – goes well with Iceberg roses or Lettuce – just a tip.
  • Sea Holly useful for Christmas at sea and Docks useful all the time if the Captain is nettled
  • A Rose named Seagull a white rambler seems appropriate, whilst others are called Sea Foam, Sea Pearl, Seashell and Seaspray even sea-ling Wax.
  • Dragon boat flower ‘Ixora’
  • The earliest boat plant hybrid I could find was the ‘Pink’  or Dianthus ‘Joan of Arc’.
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Simple Garden Design Ideas

border

Two Colour Contast

This planting creates a great impression; it gives the old fashioned cottage garden look. It is lovely combination of white and red (with just a hint of blue in the background). Two colours that contrast very well. Note a third colour would be unlikely to improve this picture. Sometimes two colours can be very effective

White Garden

If it’s good enough for Vita Sackville-West, it’s good enough for us – White Garden’s

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Make it a Good Year

lemon-honeysuckle

Some years are better than others for certain plants and crops. This year seems to be an excellent year for Honeysuckle and wherever I go I see and smell the wonderful blossom. Do not assume the same plants will perform the same next year. Apple trees some times crop every other year as though they have expended more energy than they intended (see below).

Unfortunately every year seems to be a good year for weeds and Dandilion Bitter Cress and Water Avens seems to love my garden. That could be down to my husbandry so I have looked at some tips that might help for next year.

A Good Year 2010

  • Work done this year will help create a great year in 2010.
  • Buds and framework stems on fruit trees and shrubs are growing and developing ‘as we speak’ . Treated well most plants will contribute to making next year a success. Continue Reading →
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