Latest posts by Birdy13

Planting out hydrangeas

Posted: 18/06/2015 at 11:27

KatherineW said:You can feed a plant for leaf growth, or feed it for flowers and fruit.

That's a thought: which should I be feeding it for now then - leaf growth, or flowers - and what with? I have the proprietary blue crystal feed that you dissolve in the watering can, and I also have potash. Also, last night, I steeped a load of nettles in a bucket of boiling water because I've heard 'nettle tea' is full of nutrients - not sure which ones though. I seem to remember that brew has to be kept a couple of weeks though until it smells a bit?

Planting out hydrangeas

Posted: 18/06/2015 at 11:08

This is fascinating - all three of the above answers have given me a greater understanding some of the guiding principles behind how plants grow generally as well as hydrangeas in particular, and this is so reassuring.

I will cut out some of the blooms to take the strain out off for the plant and wait patiently for better growth - and hopefully colour - next year. 

Planting out hydrangeas

Posted: 18/06/2015 at 10:18

Thank you Dave; both you and Ceres have taught me something new:

I knew you could 'force' rhubarb - did it myself by chance when I left an upturned bucket over mine longer than I intended - and I know that show gardeners - aiming for Chelsea, for example - I knew that they manipulate growing times with all sorts of tricks involving artificial light, dark, feeding etc, but didn't realise it was the norm with 'ordinary' growers too.

Just to get this new info clear and in perspective, does 'forcing' usually just mean making the plant develop early and nothing else? And cynically speaking, presumably this is done to get it into the shops before one's competitors?

Planting out hydrangeas

Posted: 18/06/2015 at 00:18

Thanks for that Ceres.

What are the likely consequences of leaving the flowers on for the rest of this season? I just hoped for a bit of colour in that bit of garden.

Uploading a pic

Posted: 18/06/2015 at 00:07

Take a photo in the normal way on your iPad then go back onto this forum.

Tap the tree icon at the top of your posting window and then choose 'Select'.

Then choose ' Photo Library' and scroll through the 'mini pictures' of your photos for the one you want to post.

Tap on 'Upload' and then 'Save' . The photo should appear in your posting window at wherever you left the blinking cursor. then just complete writing your post as normal. You may get an off putting window of computer code come up after 'Save'. If so, just tap the message/ instruction at the bottom of the new window and wait until your photo appears (it's some sort of glitch that appeared a few weeks ago).

if the photo displays upside down you may have to go back into you Photo library to 'edit' the photo by cropping it to a bit smaller size. For some reason that seems to sort out the upside down issue.

Is this a posinous plant or is it a good looking weed

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 23:49

You don't need to worry  about not being 'as knowledgeable' as other people Nikki - we all have different levels of understanding and expertise, and I'm sure we all have to ask for advice about new situations.

So, welcome to our friendly forum where you'll always find someone who actually enjoys helping someone else with their advice and 'greater experience' and it's always so nice to feel one's hard gained wisdom can at last be put to good use! 

By the way, I didn't have the slightest idea what either of those plants were either. 


Posted: 17/06/2015 at 23:30

Elvira, I had the same query last year and thought you might like to see these pictures.

My geraniums 2nd June 2014:

  8th August 2014, (10 -14 days after cutting to the ground):  



1st September 2014:


  Today, 17th June 2015:


 Clearly cutting back hard does work!

Planting out hydrangeas

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 22:49

I bought this lovely blue hydrangea a couple of weeks ago




  It lived happily for a week in a plastic bag in its 7" or 8" pot where I kept it watered until able to clear a site for it on the north side of my fern patch.    I prepared its new home by digging a very large hole (the dark patch) which I filled with ericaceous compost. I understand from a number of sources this is what hydrangeas need.   I now seem to be witnessing it's fast demise with the petals turning brown and the beautiful pastel blue colour becoming pinker each day. (Ignore the white rectangles each side of the plant - they're just temporary boards to stand on while working.)  





  Anyone know what could be wrong? Have I got it the wrong way round re: ericaceous compost? Does it actually turn blue hydrangeas pink?   

Is all lost? I'm wondering whether to dig it up and just plant it somewhere else or pot it up again in a slightly larger pot of ordinary compost. Incidentally, it seems unlikely that it has simply reached the end of its season as I have three other hydrangeas in different parts of the garden whose buds are only just about to come into flower.  

trailing begonias

Posted: 04/06/2015 at 13:20

A plant''s life force is something we could all learn from I expect.

A propos my earlier post - just found some in my tray of 'no hopers'  are beginning to sprout at last. So there you go! 

trailing begonias

Posted: 04/06/2015 at 08:52

I've had similar uncertaintIves this year:

over winter I have kept my tubers dry then put them in dampish compost (see 16april post). Note: dampish, not wet. Have they got too wet and rotted (feel squishy when pressed)? The healthy corm will be quite hard when the sides are pressed - don't press top and bottom or you'll damaged any emerging shoots.

I'm still learning myself, Duchess,  and am never sure which of these can delay shooting: compost too old or too new? too dry or too damp? storage conditions too warm etc but it might be just a question of time:

4-6weeks ago only about 70% of my corms had begun to shoot but a more experienced gardener encouraged me to give the slower ones longer: I've now got about 85% success! They are all bursting to be potted up, some lush leafy growth almost 8 inches high. I'm hopefully getting them into their summer homes today - just gearing up my mind for all that potting up.

Perhaps you could separate the 'slow' ones from those  which can be potted up and change something for the slow ones - compost perhaps. Then, if they've not rotted, just give them longer. That's what I'm doing.


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