London (change)
Today 17°C / 16°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 13°C


Latest posts by blairs

Fast growing hedging

Posted: 13/11/2014 at 15:28

Bare root hedging is available now, you should be able to get whips for a few pence each by buying a large quantity. Beech, Hornbean and Blackthorn mix would cover what you want. For a few more pounds you could look at Laurel. For fast growth add lots of feed into the planting area.

Canna Lily

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 11:39

My experience is you can dry store them if the rhizome is big. If you grew from seed this year then store in slightly damp soil or they will tend to die They are bog plants in warmer climates.

I leave them to be lightly frosted basically to minimise the time they are stored for. You remove all of this years growth, being careful not to cut down next years growth, though it will continue to grow.

I just store them in the garage.

Talkback: Dealing with vine weevil

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 11:32

As per Verdun.

I went out and killed around 10 per night (!) at dusk Jul-Aug. The adults tend to come out when it is getting dark and feed on leaves. You get to know what leaves they prefer. I also top dress with grit on all pots, so there is no exposed soil. I also used Provado.

I have checked all my pots over the weekedn and have no grubs now .

Importing tropical plants

Posted: 09/11/2014 at 19:06

You can bring in seeds and cuttings. Anything with soil needs a license from Thailand. You can buy Musa and Ensete in the UK cheaply.

Propagation of Fatsia Japonica and Agapanthus

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 16:18

Fatsia japonica seeds need to be fresh to germinate. They need 20C for a few weeks and light, so surface sow. I find a large batch of seed results in only a few seed...mainly as I tend to forget my own advice and leave the seeds lying for weeks or longer. They grow quickly.

They are hardy outside in most of the UK as long as they have drainage and a sheltered spot. They do better on the ground than in pots and they get bigger faster. Vine weevil grubs can really go for Fatsia's thick roots in pots. Not fun when you see a dropping plant give it a tug and the whole plant comes out sans roots.

Flowers appear when they like and on any sized plant. I have seen them on quite small plants, perhaps a sign of stress as I would expect them not to flower until 3+ years old.

Book Lovers and Library Users

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 21:53

I do not use the local libraries but I would be willing to pay to use it if it did. I am apathetic if they close or not. I do not think that I have taken many books out since university.

I do wonder how often books are loaned these days and I suspect such numbers has fallen dramatically hence libraries are used for anything but reading these days: as free internet cafes, social centres, club rooms etc. Am sure libraries are busy, but just rarely with reading.

Talkback: Protect cordyline for winter

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 21:37

You should only need to cover the Cordyline (australis) if we are forecast -5 or less for days on end (2010 comes to mind). Covering them up now till April is not necessary. Just fleecing the crown is all that is needed for short bursts of cold less than -5C. The taller the Cordyline the lower the temps it tends to take. If you have any half-hardy Cordyline (Banksi) then you do need to fleece at temps below -3C.

magnolia disease

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 17:04

Not seeing anything wrong in the pic. Looks like autumning to me. The fungi on the branches looks like Lichen: perhaps a better picture would help?

Very general guidance would be to remove all fallen leaves and when bare for winter wash down the tree with a fungicide soap and a sponge. I would feed the Magnolia in early spring with an ericacious feed.


Posted: 04/11/2014 at 15:08

Mine really struggle. Soil tends to dry out too much in summer and too damp in winter. I have struggled to get more than a few purple berries. I actually think it is not that attractive a plant when it does not have the berries on it.

Block pave a patio

Posted: 04/11/2014 at 09:58

Totally agree with Dave, who has provided an excellent answer.

Discussions started by blairs

ID seedling

Replies: 2    Views: 283
Last Post: 07/04/2015 at 12:04

Seedling/Weed ID

ID on mystery plant 
Replies: 9    Views: 460
Last Post: 03/03/2015 at 09:15

Freesia - how to get them to be more than an annual

Replies: 4    Views: 550
Last Post: 03/02/2015 at 23:22

Onion bulb gone soft

Replies: 1    Views: 395
Last Post: 09/06/2014 at 01:01

ID this plant

Replies: 7    Views: 746
Last Post: 02/03/2014 at 19:40

Badly explained help!

Replies: 18    Views: 979
Last Post: 22/12/2013 at 23:42

Tree dahlia - dahlia imperilis

Replies: 2    Views: 1586
Last Post: 29/11/2013 at 09:22

Who lives in a microclimate?

Replies: 11    Views: 913
Last Post: 28/11/2013 at 10:59

Propagating Japanese Cherry trees

How to Propagate Japanese Cherry trees 
Replies: 3    Views: 655
Last Post: 24/11/2013 at 14:45

Dicentra Care

How do you look after Dicentra? 
Replies: 6    Views: 1074
Last Post: 23/09/2013 at 14:10

Agave Seed Germination

Agave seed germination 
Replies: 1    Views: 924
Last Post: 14/04/2013 at 21:46

Not GWM getting advertised discount @ Crocus

GWM says 20% discount and only get 10% 
Replies: 5    Views: 3859
Last Post: 21/10/2014 at 10:02

tetrapanax papyrifer seed germination

tetrapanax papyrifer seed germination 
Replies: 3    Views: 2145
Last Post: 20/12/2012 at 16:20
13 threads returned