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Latest posts by blairs

Tree fern in winter

Posted: 01/11/2013 at 07:53

Personally with Tree Ferns I wrap with fleece when it is forecast to be minus temperatures only. An old duvet over the frowns when it is forecasr below -5C is all that is needed to keep the fronds from browning - I am not as mild as coastal Devon but milder than a lot of the UK.


You have quite a mix of plants next to each other, am guessing in pots as they have different needs:

Phormium - well draining but damp soil, sun to part shadeTrachycarpus - Very well draining soil, full sun
Bamboo - moist soil, sun to semi-shade
Acer japonica - moist well draining soil, out of the wind, semi-shade
Dicksonia antartica - damp soil, semi-shade
Heuchera - damp soil, semi-shade


Tree fern in winter

Posted: 31/10/2013 at 17:39

Straw can actually cause the crown to rot, so if you do not fancy remocing it ever few weeks I suggest not to, esp if it has overhead protection. In Devon you should be able to keep the fronds evergreen, so I would NOT break and pull the fronds inwards - which you can do in more inclemant areas.

I would suggest putting a few fallen leaves in the crown though, tough ones like Euctalyptus etc that take time to rot down as that will protect it and is exactly what happens in Oz.

Tree fern in winter

Posted: 31/10/2013 at 16:54

Do you have a place with over head evergreen cover? Some large conifers or the like? Seaside Devon should be fine if the crown is kept dryish and the roots dampish without any cover unless it gets a sustained below -5C. It should actually stay evergreen.


Posted: 31/10/2013 at 10:47

Do not use plastic bags as that will keep condensation and that allows mould to form and that is not good as it rots the tubers. An open crate, cardwood box or even an old fashioned paper bag is best. Take off all the soil as the soil is wet and at this tume of year it takes weeks to dry out with the humidity and cold weather.

Wintering Agapanthus

Posted: 29/10/2013 at 14:39
Woodgreen wonderboy wrote (see)

always being ready to whip it back under cover if late frosts threaten.

Like this spring! Mine got zapped by March's late hard frost but are on the mend now.

Wintering Agapanthus

Posted: 29/10/2013 at 09:17

It would be better in the ground than a pot. Add in lots of grit to make the soil very free draining and site it in as full sun as possible. As it is dying down it sounds deciduous which should mean that it is more hardy than the evergreen ones. If we get prolonged freezes then a mulch of bark is all that is needed, removing the mulch in early spring.

Pumpkin carvings

Posted: 28/10/2013 at 21:59

 I still need to make the smile a bit more firendly. We have already tried to make pumpkin muffins (ok but needs cinnamon to give it taste) and will try pumpkin bread tomorrow.

Pumpkin carvings

Posted: 28/10/2013 at 20:58

Very good. My son (4) wanted our pumpkin to have a happy face, so ours has a big smile and is not at all spooky.

Looking for Something Different

Posted: 28/10/2013 at 18:35

Try tropical plants. They germinate fast in a greenhouse and you will have something less pedestrian than Lupins and delphiniums.

I do recommend Peter White's shop as I have had a good germination rate and I think he has a sale on:

Extending Grass Area in garden

Posted: 28/10/2013 at 14:35

Can you post a pic as it would help?

10cm deep of topsoil compacted down, sand to level then lawn rolls should work. I said lawn rolls as it is a bit late for grass seed to germinate as we are weeks away from frosts, but might work.

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