London (change)
Today 9°C / 5°C
Tomorrow 10°C / 9°C


Latest posts by blairs

Keeping cosmos

Posted: 22/08/2012 at 19:40

As mentioned Cosmos are annual. I have seen them grow in Africa and in their homeland, Mexico. They grow to large 6ft bushes over there, but die down every year. In the UK you collect the seed heads and get more to grow next year - they are pretty easy to germiniate. They also self seed though my ones this year are just about to flower.


Something for a windy corridor

Posted: 22/08/2012 at 11:36

I would not plant Bamboo - they hate wind, especially if not established, though they will tolerate more wind with time, a windy corrider will just not be optimal: you will end up with a few brown or pale leaves and lots of bald patches.

A trellis is a great idea, it will slow the wind on the other side and would be my first choice.

Seaside plants like Tamarisk make good wind filters and it tolerates the wind - can go a little yellow but recovers and has pink flowers in late spring. Others are Escallonia, Olearia, Gaultheria, Hippophae, Ilex, Kalmia and Leucothoe. Erica (Heathers) can make a low level wind break.

Buying spring bulbs online

Posted: 22/08/2012 at 11:12

Not had any problems with J Parkers bulbs - tend to do really well I found, though mainly the spring ones. The only bulbs that did not do well were the African Flag Lily that has done nothing this year - pretty sure they only produced leaf last year (looked like the leaves of Gladioli). I dug them up and they seem to be OK - dividing, so perhaps next year, sigh.

T&M are fine and there are offers all the time for Spalding. Tesco, Sainsbury and the likes of B&Q and Homebase do well as well - just make sure the bulbs look OK.

Just remember that bulbs need drainage, so add grit all around where you plant them with some bonemeal and they should be fine. Digigng a tiny hole and expecting them to grow can end in them rotting.

'Blood Red' acer

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 13:32

Good advice from Alina W and Bookerto. I find red acers need almost full sun. They do not like full shade. I would give it more sun and as long as the soil is moist and out of wind (more important then sun) then it will be fine.

Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket' Problem

Posted: 13/08/2012 at 16:51

I have 2 of those. Still green though looked sad for a while after planting last year. They need well drained soil, full sun and in a sheltered spot. My guess is the ground is either too wet/dry or the wind is getting to it.

Talkback: Seed germination

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 22:58

I grow in raised beds and have been harvesting Onions for a few weeks now - a little smaller but fine tasting. Garden Peas have done really well this year, Strawberry bushes have been productive if watery at times. Raspberry is really doing well and tastes great. My Pumkin is still in flower as is theButternut Squash - so a few weeks behind at most. I did not even bother with Sunflowers this year but next doors is 40cm high at most and is normally 9ft - but that is in the ground not in a raised bed. Apple trees have been really poor and little fruit remains, Cherry is green but no fruit.

How to take honeysuckle cuttings

Posted: 11/08/2012 at 22:42

You can snip off 6 inches of a non flowering part of it and root it in a pot. The flowers turn into fruit and you get the seed inside the fruit if yo wash it off. Not sure how long it takes to reach flowering size from seed but am guessing at least 3.

greenhouse vs coldframe

Posted: 11/08/2012 at 22:40

I have a cold frame and have the same as Dovefromabove. A greenhouse to me is fully glazed, gets full sun and should never go below 0C. A cold frame is not about total sun and heat, it is about giving plants a boost out of the wind and a few C above outside temps. It certainly boosts plants like Hollyhock, Delphinium, Pumkin, Onions etc by a few weeks/perhaps a month at least compared to what they would be outside. From what you said you should go for a small coldframe as it will give you what you need. I start of everything in it - good if you buy annuals early but want larger plants in the border as it helps when pests attack to be bigger.

I also had one of those plastic 'greenhouses'. They do get warm in summer but they do not last and as you say the zip breaks and they fall over in the wind even with weights holding it down. I did find that Vine weevil likes the combination of warm interior and tasty seedlings .  When the zip goes so does the heat and the cover can cost more than the 'greenhouse' itself.


GW competitions.

Posted: 11/08/2012 at 22:29

I won the seed box a few months back. Was a total suprise and something I needed as mice feasted on my seeds and bulbs carefully placed away for the winter - they ate through the envelopes and cardboard. Very happy as I never win anything! The box is square and metal and will keep the mice out this year.

I really wanted to win the border pack - it was a template for plants and you could choose tropical/cottage etc.

Pinus Sylvestris topiary

Posted: 10/08/2012 at 13:59

Ph 10 is strongly want it 7 which is neutral. Are you using spent mushroom compost? That has lime in it. Otherwise you sound like you are doing exactly what I would do re adding compost etc.

Discussions started by blairs

Onion bulb gone soft

Replies: 1    Views: 229
Last Post: 09/06/2014 at 01:01

ID this plant

Replies: 7    Views: 575
Last Post: 02/03/2014 at 19:40

Badly explained help!

Replies: 18    Views: 781
Last Post: 22/12/2013 at 23:42

Tree dahlia - dahlia imperilis

Replies: 2    Views: 1051
Last Post: 29/11/2013 at 09:22

Who lives in a microclimate?

Replies: 11    Views: 708
Last Post: 28/11/2013 at 10:59

Propagating Japanese Cherry trees

How to Propagate Japanese Cherry trees 
Replies: 3    Views: 443
Last Post: 24/11/2013 at 14:45

Dicentra Care

How do you look after Dicentra? 
Replies: 6    Views: 684
Last Post: 23/09/2013 at 14:10

Agave Seed Germination

Agave seed germination 
Replies: 1    Views: 666
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: 2144
Last Post: 21/10/2014 at 10:02

tetrapanax papyrifer seed germination

tetrapanax papyrifer seed germination 
Replies: 3    Views: 1386
Last Post: 20/12/2012 at 16:20
10 threads returned