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    We've just had the patio relaid and also extended by the bifold doors to the kitchen.

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      I'm in the slightly unusual London zone 3 position of having a 100 foot long L-shaped garden, but a tiny two bed house that can't be extended due to the neighbours' right to light issues. Great for summer barbecues, but I do need a bit more space.

      When I first moved in 15 years ago I saw that Id bought an overgrown wasteland, so I hired a skip and ripped everything out but a silver birch and two rotting sheds. I didnt realise how much money a garden takes to replenish. I now only need a new shed, new fencing, a new arbour, the council to come round to give me permission to chop a bit off the silver birch, a tree fellow to lop a bit off the silver birch, a new path, a new patio and a few new plants.

      When my Dad comes to visit he is my gardener as Im too tight and northern to pay for a gardener/cleaner/shirt ironer. I pay him in Hobgoblin.

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        Leaf mould/mulch- Ms Felicity built a big wire mesh square in our back corner into which all leaves go. We even fill up the boot at a local park a couple of times.

        Im with the ‘far-from-tended’ unkempt tendency from natural idleness and experience teaching me- we have had hedgehog activity ever since leaving one side to rewild and we get more variety of birds with the range of wild seeds on offer.

        This year, following a substantial acquisition of cardboard (new shelving) our allotment is experimenting with ‘no dig’cultivation. Lay sheets of cardboard over soil, add layer of compost/manure/soil. Leave the worms and the weather to work it in.

        only slight problem is new committee is pseudo vigilante and wrote to us about ‘tidying up’. (They thought our cardoons were giant weeds...)
        If only they’d been there/more vigilant when our pear tree was stripped of its fruit...

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          I'm in Lesotho at the minute, working until Friday. I got very excited at finding a Pick 'n' Pay - a South African supermarket chain. Treated myself to some treats from the Gardening section. I couldn't get a leaf blower in my suitcase. I've put a bit of money into rebuilding the garden in Moshi - the house and its outside were empty for five years. The grass seed is just what I need to fill the bare patches. The rest is sheer extravagance.

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            Winds last week brought down the last of the leaves (and a good many dead pine needles.) However this will be the last Autumn I have to rake up after our Japanese Maple. It began shedding bark about a month back and has been diagnosed as terminal. I'm deeply saddened by it's loss.

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              That's a shame AdC.

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                It is. We'll replace it but trees, even fast growing ones, take years to reach maturity and there's a realisation that we may not be around to see that.

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                  The garden is not happy with current conditions.

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                    One never wants to give up on a plant, but we’ve decided to cut our losses on some. We have a narrow passage down the side of the house which doesn’t get a huge amount of sun and contains a very skinny flowerbed. We wanted a hedge down there (we don’t like those neighbours, and their new house is too close and too high) but when we had our big landscaping job done two years ago the contractor reckoned the only thing which would grow there were bamboos. He quoted us $1300 to put thirteen of them in! We didn’t want bamboo anyway, so waited and shopped around.

                    A while later we spotted a type of Lilly Pilly sold as “Big Red” which supposedly would be good for hedging and could cope with a narrow bed. We bought four which went in at the sunniest end ( in the foreground). Many months later we realised that a different kind of Lilly Pilly, Syzigium Australie which the garden contractor had used for hedging elsewhere, was going great guns. The Big Reds had taken, but weren’t voracious so we decided to risk the newer Syzigiums for the rest of the hedge. They have been a huge success and have needed continuous trimming as they’ve bushed out rapidly.

                    The Big Reds remain spindly, and really suffered in the 40C+ weather a few weeks back, incurring some scorching. Compounding this they suffer badly from Psilids (whitefly?) which the new ones don’t. I have to spray the Bg Reds with a non-toxic aphid repellent which costs $13 a bottle, and use half a bottle every time. We can get four Syzigium Australie for about $20 each so will replace the Big Reds which look as though they will never hedge properly; they’re already letting the side down badly. It’s odd as the two are very closely related.

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                      My chap with the long extendable chopper came round yesterday to do our tree and hedges. It all looks very neat again especially compared to next door, who lives for his garden. I reckon it'll be 8am on Saturday at the latest he's out doing his.

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                        We got a new tree today, to replace the much missed Japanese Maple sob! It's a Persian Ironwood, which is supposed to grow fairly quickly and likes the soil and temperature around here. Right now it's a spindly and leafless ten feet or so. When it reaches puberty and gets some leaves I'll post a picture.

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                          Nice. It's exciting planting a tree.

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                            Originally posted by Amor de Cosmos View Post
                            We got a new tree today, to replace the much missed Japanese Maple sob! It's a Persian Ironwood, which is supposed to grow fairly quickly and likes the soil and temperature around here. Right now it's a spindly and leafless ten feet or so. When it reaches puberty and gets some leaves I'll post a picture.
                            That's the worst bit of puberty - when you get your first few leaves, and everyone's fussing over you and taking photos.

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