The Lavandula [labiatae/ lamiaceae]

A genus of about 25 species, this fragrant beauty is an absolute must in any garden. Particularly high in nectar and therefore extremely attractive to bees, the answer from a domestic point of view is to be careful where exactly they are planted. A case of beneficial versus pest, possibly?

Often used in rockeries, as low hedges, in herb gardens, en mass planting or as a border plant… they really are [once again] a must have/ no garden should be without plant.

My main note of advice if choosing to plant lavenders is that they are cut back every season. The problem is that when they aren’t, they do go leggy, the flowers and foliage only appearing on the lasts couple of inches of the stem and the lower [soft] wood becomes almost like a moist cardboard. This leaves them very prone to a soft woody fragile rotting at the base which breaks then quite easily….  which is great for garden centres and people like me…. but not for you 😉

To cut yours back, use a good, clean sharp secateurs. Grab a good tuft of the plant and cut straight across. In a two year old plant for example this will remove the most recent seasons growth.

Of course this all depends on the variety and the varying external conditions. But as a general rule cutting a plant back to half height is no harm. When you’re done give it a good ruffle. Trim up the loose ends and clean around the base of the plant.

However you chose to do it…. even though it might look like a sheep shearer just gave you a bad haircut [at the time] but it is well worth it in the long run 🙂

If you are thinking of cropping the flowers for pot pourri, do so before they open fully.

dis – assembling a garden shed…?

man things to do on a saturday...?

man things to do on a saturday...?

I don’t need help asking for directions… I don’t need you to help me… and I’ll take that shed down with one swift blow of a sledge hammer….

Want to do ‘man things‘ this weekend?

But you ‘have to‘ do it ‘nice and neatly‘ …?

….and don’t forget to ‘tidy those tools away when you’re finished….

When I was 17, just starting off in college and working in a local garden centre, as you do, and the garden centre wasn’t busy [winter time] I used to put sheds up with the crew.

As silly as it sounds, it is the opposite to taking them down. Which is great if one wants a shed moved or taken away in a logic manner. ie. without the use of brut force.

A regular request it is easier done with pictures…

putting it back up is obviously the opposite again so with a pair of borrowed hands [you will need them… ]

  • make sure the base is spirit level, level.
  • place the base on the patio slabs [some recommend concrete blocks – but slabs are easier and about the same price]
  • take the back of the shed and one side
  • allow the lip of both to rest on the shed floor
  • and join their sides together
  • nail or screw them tight to the base first
  • and then to each other
  • attach the only other side
  • bolt close the door
  • step inside and attach

now you have four sides up and the door should open and close easily

  • slide one part of the roof on – nail it
  • ditto on the 2nd half of the roof
  • the bits of trim simply hide the uneveness of the roof join

that should be about it…. any problemo’s just leave a comment. The only problem you may have is if it is a felt roof… which are actually easier to put together than take down…. but a little tricky if you’ve never done so before. But i’ll leave it at that for the moment….

Of course you could always get your Dad to help you… 😉

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