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Latest posts by Bookertoo

Dahlia Tubers

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 18:05

Don't worry BizzieB, I chat to my plants all the time!


Posted: 21/03/2014 at 18:03


These grow outside at Chatsworth (which is not far from us so I go and look at their gardens whenever I can.) They are never covered or anything, the huge leaves presumably protect the crown in winter - we had -18C two years ago, not as cold as you obelixx. They get to about 25 feet across  and 15 feet high, with leaves several feet across, stunning  - but even with my passion for growing nearly anything in a pot, even I wouldn't try that - poor things.   There is a tiny gunnera however, which grows to about 3 inches high, otherwise looks exactly like its huge relative, that is a joy and a delight - and alot of fun to say to people that you grow a gunnera in a pot!

Heated Propagators

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 17:55

So easy to understand the enthusiasm which gets people planting so early, but over the years I have discovered (not fast, 'cos these things take time to percolate through to my brain!), that sowing much later gives me much better results.  

Interested in your remarks pundoc re rooting cuttings in the heated trays - I'll try that and hopefully get better results than previously. 

I also get rather cross with the shops which sell rooted seedlings in February, the people whom buy them often don't have a place to rear them well, or possibly the knowledge - the plants die, the person thinks he/she cannot 'do' gardening - and spend a second lot of money later - I think this is just a cynical way of getting people to spend more money, which most of us can ill afford these days. 

Heated Propagators

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 16:39

Indeed, when I started out (not recently!), I cooked lots of seedlings, not realising that is what I was doing, in a non thermostatic propagator.  Rarely use mine with heat now, just as a sowing tray.


Posted: 21/03/2014 at 16:37

If you do it now you will lose all, those pretty blue flowers for this year - most flowering shrubs can be pruned immediately after flowering, so if you like, you can do it then.  I think they are all lovely - enjoy this years flowers and then prune.   They take quite hard pruning well, so you can make it narrow at the back of your border, leaving you more growing room.  Ceanothus are pretty tough, but the branches are brittle so be careful you don't snap more off it than you want to cut off.

Enjoy -  it will soon be gorgeous again.

Best buy books!

Posted: 20/03/2014 at 21:32

Wow, that's a real bargain.  Not much going to get that much out of date,plants remain plants and their care varies little - some plants move families as the botanists decide needful, but they're still mostly findable in the RHS book.   Enjoy, I love mine - both the very old one and the newer ones I got a couple of years ago. 

Water butts, decking, diverters and overflowing

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 15:08

Newbie mistakes are all the ones we have all made over the years, now we just make older mistakes!!  No one does everything right, and my idea of right may not be any one  elses idea of right anyway.  Do what you feel/think is OK, look in some good library books, enjoy whatever you do - and change it all next season when you decide it wasn't a good idea.  That is, basically, what gardening is much about. Have fun, enjoy - learn what you want as you do it and find it works for you. 

Best buy books!

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 15:37

Maybe a good idea is to go to your public library and look at their books.  Once you have found something that appeals to you in its style and content, then it is worth buying your own - or asking for it as a gift come birthdays or whatever.  Many gardening books are very expensive, and some just not suitable for everyone - as yet, libraries are free - and if we don't use them they will disappear.  

Broad Beans - Aerial Protection

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 15:34

Lucky you, they take any d*****m thing that might be green here!  I net everything that grows if I want to eat it, if the pigeons don't get them the squirrels will.  Use some stakes, bamboo, plastic, what have you, and net over these, making a cage - you want to discourage the pigeons not give them a nice place to sit.

If it is still likely to be frosty you can cover with horticultural fleece, but really broad beans don't need this as they are very tough plants indeed. 

Is this clematis wilt?

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 15:31

It is usually the big summer flowering clematis that get the dreaded 'wilt'.  When they do, suddenly the whole plant loses tension and literally wilts.  Often you can cut it back below ground level and it comes again.

Smaller types of clematis, taxensis, vitcella, alpinas and so on, do not appear to get it. 

Discussions started by Bookertoo

Odd corrections?

Use of the English language! 
Replies: 18    Views: 386
Last Post: 20/02/2015 at 16:37

Happy seasons greetings to all

Be joyful 
Replies: 14    Views: 476
Last Post: 25/12/2014 at 17:25

squirrels and their cleverness

the unending bane of my life 
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Last Post: 11/11/2014 at 20:49

Solomon's seal

Where and how? 
Replies: 14    Views: 834
Last Post: 29/06/2013 at 13:46

For whom do we garden .............

Replies: 12    Views: 914
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 15:08

frosted lilies

any advice? 
Replies: 0    Views: 469
Last Post: 07/04/2013 at 17:13

out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
Replies: 6    Views: 752
Last Post: 04/03/2013 at 22:43

bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
Replies: 19    Views: 1556
Last Post: 01/11/2012 at 08:55

Hazel nut queries

Replies: 2    Views: 1204
Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Flippin' pigeons

Replies: 32    Views: 7042
Last Post: 15/08/2014 at 12:57
10 threads returned