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Hi all


few questions for you all....

i have some allium purple sensation, can I multiply, divide, set seed, how long do they take to make flowering bulbs??


any ideas of other things like allium that don't put on much leaf growth that could add a tier of interest but not compete with my compact is perennials, hopefully that I could plant deep so not disturb with any winter bedding. 


Cuttings.... When is best to take cuttings from my long serving favourites, scabiosa (Beaujolais bonnets), gaura, lythrum, agastache (new to me this year). Do winter cuttings take best, or get them going now and overwinter.


seems my cuttings took last year but overwintering they either suffered with powdery stuff or came through but didnt look healthy. I would like to know tips to do it and get healthy plants. When I did end of season cuttings and left them limping on I had a better start to season but again got damping off and powder. I don't have a greenhouse just a plastic one without ventilation in winter or a conservatory.


also I have a brass type coal skittle, tall and the handle came off, shall I pot up with a hosta, will the slugs climb it, would it look cute or just weird???


finally, this is my garden, please give me a critique, ideas, hints, criticism. I likw to know how to make it better or what others would do. Especially as the front is a new project and the bottom border has just got a mix of lupin, delph, dahlia and other perennials in. We had to dig down the side of the drive and replace the blue clay, it took a lot of hard work!! And it still looks like only a starting point!!  Guess what, my favourite hobby is talking plants and about my tiny simple garden, I'm only a mere puppy to gardening as dad would tell you,  and I love speaking to people that can garden well. 

Red, it's lovely. Maybe a climbing rose or clematis up the pergola posts and the arches. Paint the fence, then find some clematis to break up the expanse of fencing.

As for cutting's, the scabious can be propagated by division in autumn. I find that one planted now is usually three or four by autumn. The gaura, can be propagated by root cuttings or simply digging some of it up taking a few roots and potting them up, mine go mad every year and I have to spend an afternoon in autumn thinning it out. Lythrum, again by division and the Agastache, it's far easier than trying cuttings.

As for alliums see the link to the RHS below.

You've done a great job so far, just have confidence and don't be afraid to make mistakes, we all do as long as it looks good to you, then you'll be happy with it.

Not sure if slugs will dislike brass, I think not as brass isn't conductive.

The front garden, I'll let other's give you their suggestions.



Hiya Red

I would add a couple of small but wavy grasses like stipa Tennuissima and carex testacea and carex buchanii ,  some foliage plants like hostas and  Heucheras.....sorry Red, if you have these already there.  

Allium purple semsation.....I confess I do not know about propagating them.  I just leave them alone to increase year by year.but I would expect small bulbs to develop in time for,you to grow on. 

Libertia is a grass like evergreen sword like olive coloured perennial that takes up little room. Lilies?  Planted deep.  Guara lindheimeri corries gold is a stunning tender perennial.  Delicate foliage and butterfly white flowers.  Take cuttings every summer for continuity.  Linum perenne?  Blue delicate flowers and foliage.  I find eryngiums quite tidy plamts too albeit a little prickly.  Hardy salvias and Veronicas are upright compact plamts with blue flowers for weeks. tulbaghia too is neat....glaucous blue/grey foliage amd pink,flowers .  Check it out.  Scabious too has lots of flowers with minimum foliage.  Coreopsis produces flowers from mid summer onwards on neat, small foliage.  A Phormium would add impact there too.  

Re cuttings, I find it best just to let them tick over in winter.....minimal watering and best not to,pot on during winter.  Plastic will drip on plants...condensation....and I would try to keep them as dry as possible overhead.  Maybe a glass sheet suspended.?  But conservatory best

Ophiopogon nigrescens in your coal pot?  Hosta will prob be eaten.  

Would love to see other pics Red.  My iPad isn't great at showing detail.  

I would go for some long flowering plamts like aster frikartii monch, tough echinacea like white swan.  Check out small shrubs with colourful foliage ....spirea goldflame,  hebe pagei, pittosporum tom thumb, or euonymous emerald n gold.  Small perennials like evergreen campanula dicksons gold is a yellow mound with blue flowers.  Another geranium is black beauty...almost black foliage with stunning bright blue flowers in summer on a tight compact plant.  Try a stunning silver evergreen like helichrysum,,the curry plant.   Foliage,is as colourful as flowers and more long lasting.

I think a blue geranium around your tree too.  Is ground clear around it?  Geranium Orion sprawling around it would look good

Don't like the tiny square grass step onto your lawn. Either bigger or not at all I think. 

However, for me your border is narrow, too straight and too clinical.  Can you widen it, curve it?  Then you could make a border with depth and style 



Thanks for the replies, I agree and love all comments. My back is cute and I like how it's going. I have climbing French beans on my arches and some raspberry in back fence but agree need more. Not sure when to paint fence again as it fades as fast as painted. I have an evergreen honeysuckle one side of pergola. Wanted to avoid the woody winter look.


i hate the front, my partner wanted it to run down drive but it's clinical, I would love to sweep it in and out but I'm struggling as look 2 skips and bought in soil, I can't use existing soil I can't work it and it's sticky blue oily clay! the tree now has a carpet of dahlia under, but I want it to all look cottage and billowing but ... It's took me 2 years to do this! But the more I do the more I want to do! 

Don't be discouraged Red. Gardens take time, and huge effort. I can see what you mean by clinical at the front. Curved beds make a bigger impact and make them deeper you can then have different heights within the beds, even different colour scheme's for each bed. Pick plants which will cope with the soil, you can grow a lot in clay, more than most people realise. You can create different conditions within beds or different conditions in each bed if you wish to give you different rooms with a path round the garden to view each bed, like a journey through the seasons. You have a blank canvas, don't be afraid to be ambitious. 

No not discouraged, far from it, loving the back so want the impact at the front. My neighbour has been working his soil for 30 years and it's still tough. When my other half tried to dig border out he broke a fork. Then we also found out that the owner before us spilt oil on land hence why our efforts were rotting off and dying! So we decided that if we did beds that it would be beds I could maintain without breaking my back, so out with the clay and in with decent soil. We have dug out over a foot Abd half deep and put in soil. Firstly the beds near the house and under the front window, then this year a long the drive. My partner wanted uniformity but now on reflection he wants sweeping beds in and out!


So I think it will be a project of taking a bit more then more then more! See where that gets us! I think it will look but better when flowers are established a bit more! 


The he back I zoned this year, shady, sunny and then a sunny and dry. So 3 zones and things are happier!! 


Tips for for my wood fence would be great, I bought some modern creacote and then 3 months after it was back to pale and unkempt! 

Steve 309

Lots of organic matter woud help to break down your clay - it would then be very fertile.

I'd guess that a brass coal scuttle would discourage slugs - it's mostly copper.  Worth a try I shoud think.  Or you could grow an enormous parsnip in it.

It's the oil you can see in the clay that is my biggest concern!! I just need to think of a design or get a drawing for the shape, then go for it, book the skip and order some soil. My think is visualising the shape and where how to put walk ways etc. if I move the new people will never know the work it's taken! I also desperately want the lawn doing it is soooo full of weeds, couch grass, clover and a running purple plant!!

Re read posts, how do I divide when it appeat's that the plant only has one main mass/stem, also when you say root cuttings, is it a specific bit of root I'm looking for. It's gayser gaura I have and cuttings take easily but they go fusty or damp in time. Also scabiosa, Beaujolais bonnets, am I doing something wrong as they seem to only last 2 years, turn woody and yellow and die/don't grow back! 

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