It is amazing how you can find a use for many household items you would normally throw away and use them in the garden.
This piece of ordinary shed drain pipe, I found a great use for here. I want this Clematis Bees Jubilee to rampage up the side of the African Hut. But I know that when it is very young, a Clematis is so prone to snapping off, and you think that little shoot is gone and you got to wait for the season for it to grow back.
By putting a piece of this drain pipe over the top of the very young plant, you are giving it the support it needs to go up. No wires or strings are going to break that shoot off. Hopefully, this will then carry on up here. I have chosen a brown color because it blends in well with the surroundings.
Another plant that hopefully is going to rampage over the hut here is the honeysuckle. Now normally, you would tie a honeysuckle like any other climber, like I have done here—look, with a bit of wire, and then you are going to tie the stem to the wire with a bit of twine. It is a bit filly. It does not look very good but I found a better way of doing it, a much better way and I have tried it here, and it is working.
It is clear, silicon sealant from the DIY store. A blob of silicon sealant placed on this will stick so hard there. You leave it for about 10 to 15 minutes just to go a little bit off, and then push the stem of the climber into the sealant.
It is very important then to push it around so it covers the whole of the stem. Now, this will do no harm to the plant at all, but what it will do, it will hold it firmly in place. And then I am going to put a little bit up here.
After about a week or so, the sealant will start to go a bit gray, it will weather, which will mean that you will not actually see it. So we are going to start this off and then leave that there for 10 to 15 minutes, and I will come back and I will push the stem into the sealant. That will start me off on that rampaging honeysuckle.
Now, it is the time of year when you have got to water your hanging baskets and get them watered maybe once or twice a day, to make sure that none of these leave wilts. So you might give them excess water. What is going to happen of course, the water is going to run through the bottom, and water is precious.
So a good way to water your hanging basket is first of all install a catching mechanism—a bucket. I am going to put my bucket just about there, judging the exact position, there is a bit of trial and error, but we have got to water it so it runs through the bottom, and then we stop now. Let us see if we can get it to come through. There you go!
Now, when you are watering it, do not water it only in one go. Give it about half a gallon and then leave it for a few moments, and let us look at that, all being collected. Let it drain through and then come back and give it some water. A little after, and then that hanging basket is well-watered using probably half the amount of water that you would normally use, because you have saved enough to use somewhere else.
Now, while we are still on watering, plants that are growing next to a wall or in this case, under the lee of this African Hut, they are not going to get the full benefit from any rain.
So when you are planting, think about that. And think how you can get water straight to the roots. This philadelphus here did amazingly well this year because I thought about that earlier on, and I have installed a little watering system—very simple, a five-inch flower pot just installed in the soil when I planted the plant in the position.
And now what I do is water straight into the pot. Where does the water go? Right to the roots. None of it is lost in being absorbed by the sole surface.
While we are talking about bare pieces of soil, there is one animal that loves it, of course. It is the cat. We have already given you a tip at patio pots. This is a tip for the open soil where the cats love to make their toilet. Now, we are going to think of a way of keeping the cats away, and it could not really be easier.
You use the Achilles heel of the cat. It is nose. Anything that irritates the cat’s nose, it is going to hate it. But you can buy the dusts from the garden center that do the trick. The problem with those is the first share of rain, the effect is lost.
So I have developed a tip that really works. It does not hurt the cat. It lasts for about a fortnight and it is effective.
The first thing that you need is a tea bag. It is not the tea bag that is going to keep the cat off the garden; it is what you are going to spray on it. Now, what you are going to spray on this is the one thing that cats hate the smell of, and that is one of the mussel sprays. Any of them will do and they contain an agent that really irritates the nose of the cat. You spray both sides.
It is oily, this liquid is oily, and so it gets absorbed into the tea bag. But more importantly, it does not get washed off by any rain, so it will last a good fortnight. Armed with your tea bags, you burry them just below the soil surface. I will put one just there.
You are not going to smell it because our noses do not work as well as the cats. A cat has got a sense of smell about 50 times better than we have, and it will smell that a mile away and it will come nowhere near. That is not safe for any nasty deposits that cat can leave in the soil.