Latest posts by Bookertoo

Climber to cover large wall

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 16:01

If you use a montana it really requires little or no pruning as you want it to cover a large area, just the odd stem to tidy it up, not complicated as the summer ones are often seen to be.  After flowering it it leaves a covering of pretty leaves, and a good stenciling of twisting stems in the winter.  Once established it may support other lighter clematis when its own flowers are over - we do that here.   What it will need is a good strong set of support wires as a well grown montana can weigh a tremendous amount in full flower, especially when wet.  Grandiflora and rubus are  the the largest, there are others which are more perfumed and slightly less strong in growth. 

What is this strange plant?

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 10:44

Liverwort appears whenever soil or compost gets persistently wet, and this year that means a lot of liverwort!  We get it on and between our flagstones, mostly it dries up and disappears, but in pots I do remove it as I find it quite ugly - besides, it usually means something needs correcting in the pots.  A very old 'plant' that appears to be somewhere between lichen/moss and ferns. 

Viburnum Bodnantense. " Dawn".

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 10:40

We've got hellebores in flower too, plus some lilac - poor plants don't know what time of year it is!

Invasive plants to avoid

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 23:01

Depends I suppose what you mean by invasive? I love my lysimachia firecracker, yes it does spread, but it easily enough removed where you don't want it. Lily of the valley gets everywhere, but who could object to that? Well, I guess some folk might.  The invasiveness also varies from garden to garden, I have trouble getting japanese anemones to grow at all, never mind become a problem, whereas my friend a couple of miles away finds them a dreadful pest. Artemesia limelight is a pain, but others are Ok, it used to turn up in hanging baskets but not so much now I'm glad to say.  After all, Japanese knotweed was introduced as an ornamental plant - a message to ponder maybe.  One mans invasive pest is another persons joy and delight - maybe some of my hardy geraniums might be considered as invasive - what a delight!


Posted: 30/07/2012 at 22:54

Just to add insult to injury, we actually deliberately grow a variegated type of this in pretty deep shade under a large red sycamore tree, where nothing else will grow.  It has stayed in place for many years now, is never allowed to flower and lightens up the area very well.  The horrid green version does infest a couple of beds lower down in the garden, where I do my best to keep it under some sort of control - with limited success.  I do make the tea I mentioned, it doesn't taste beautiful - cabbage water springs to mind, half a teaspoon of honey helps, but it really does help the muscles & bones. 

Stinging Vine

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 18:09

That is indeed a golden hop, and indeed it can bite, especially if it wraps around yoyr wrist or so.  A bit of hydrocortisone cream from the pharmacy helps.  You don't need to cut it down, the huge thing just dies back in winter, digging up some of it where you don't want it, or pulling it out (wearng good gloves) when it is coming through, once it starts up it flies, amazing how quickly it grows.   Mine grows up an obelisk, over a trellis over a path then up the side of the house - it lives with a grape vine, and they look stunning together.   

Winter planting

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 18:05

I have ave done much successful plant shopping on line, especially if you want something special then often a specialist nursery that deals mostly in that plant is the better option, many of those deal on line and I have found them very good.  The more general catalogues are very variable, some of the most commonly found in magazines are often very dodgy.  If you can find a good nursery where planting, cuttings and sowing gets done on site, this is the very best bet.   For ordinary bedding, especially summer bedding, decent garden centres and larger supermarkets can be a good bargain.   Outdoor markets can be good, but often the plants have been kept indoors and get very shocked when they suddenly find themselves outdoors, especially in colder or windy weather.  

SALIX 'Flamingo'

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 17:57

It is still suffering from shock, and is spending all its time trying hard to make new roots, the leaves are a secondary thing for it at present.  Maybe remove some of the leaf load while it tries to settle, it will take time, it has alot to do.  The light leaves will suffer in hot wind, it needs a somewhat sheltered place to protect it, and indeed, plenty of water while it is new - but don't overwater as it needs air to the roots as well.  Give it time and patience, it will get there if it possibly can, all plants want to grow. 

Climber to cover large wall

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 17:54

Clematis montana, white or pink, would love it there, it would have enough room to become the gorgeous huge plant it want to be.  You would need to put up plenty of good heavy weight wires for it to grow upon - lovely.  Climbing hydrangea would go well too, though it does take its time to start gripping but once away can cover big areas.  Maybe both, as you have a good large area to cover. 


Posted: 30/07/2012 at 17:51

If you find it Devonchick, you can sit back on your money mountain!! It only responds to lots of hand extraction, yes you can use chemicals if you want, but the very tiniest bit left will grow again.  Quite honestly in some areas you might just decide to learn to live with it, we have, just trying to ensure it never flowers.   It was actually introduced into Britain by the Romans as a treatment for aches and pains, then it was known as Bishops wort, as Bishops were then the only people rich enough to at so well as to get gout!  A tea made with it, steep a cup of  young leaves in boiling water for about 5 minutes, drink hot. after gardening, if you have sore bones and joints. It does help and aids sleep - this may make you feel less fed up with it! 

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