Bookertoo


Latest posts by Bookertoo

Ericacious lilies?

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 15:55

I've grown lilies for many years, in both pots and in the open ground.  They get the normal annual feeding with pelleted organic chicken manure that everyone else in the garden gets - and these days a good looking at for the dreaded lily beetle - and that's about it.  Some of mine are over 20 years old, and I have never, ever heard that they are happier in ericaceous soil. It woud seem odd that after all this time not a whisper of this has come across to me. It is possible that there are certain types of lily that like these conditions better - i'd be inclined to look this up carefully before you go changing anything for your lilies, in the assumption that they are currently growing well. 

Clematis not flowering

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 15:51

Clematis often take a good long time to get mature enough for flowering.  If you know the type and/or name of the clematis that might give an idea as to which time of year it might flower when it does get big enough.   There are clematis flowering here from early spring to well into the autumn, following one another according to their types. They are hungry plants and are one of the few things for which I buy specialist feed.  This is available at most garden suppliers.   They need their feet in shade, and their heads in the sunshine (when we have some).  Give it time to grow a nice strong set of roots, then a good framework of leaves, and then it will start flowering in due course will hopefully do so for many years to come. 

Lily of the Valley

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 17:57

It will either take one look at your garden and attempt a take over, or it will look and promptly die!!  It took me several years, and several donations to get it going, and now it runs all over the place - this I am happy with I must say.  However, it has found its way to the bottom of the garden which surprises me somewhat as I never put it there.  So, if this gift does not take this try, and indeed now is a good time, don't worry, it will eventualy get a grip. 

POSITIVE and NEGATIVE

Posted: 09/06/2013 at 18:54

I used to really rate T&M, but they have sunk well,below the horizon this year.  The quality and size of the plants they have sent out were ridiculous, so small and thin, on the grounds they could get them throught the letter box!! Unimpressed.

I have had good service from specialist growers on line, hosta growers, pinks, alpines etc., you have a mediums ied company which cares about its products, only deals in one line, and you get good things.  Evison for clematis for example seemed dreadfully expensive but I orederd 3 clematis with some birthday money last year, they were magnificent plants, and are growing into even more magnificent ones this year - as clematis are all they do, they can concentrate on those.  Mixed 'nurseries' on line, just huge glass houses, don't have the same interest in the products and it shows. 

solitary bees

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 16:09

Yes, heard about this on springwatch this week - nature certainly has its ways huh?

Glorious weather for gardens again, off out there now. 

Talkback: Hostas, slugs and snails

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 13:43

Hi Verdun, the hostas tend to get both sun and shade as the theatre is near the house wall - so far they all thrive on it.  You are right that the ones with pale variegations such as Fire and Ice and Patriot like a bit more shade than say Devon Green, which has to be one of my favourites.  I think, as the dear late wonderful Christopher  Lloyd said when asked what his favourite flower was 'fthe one I am looking at at the moment!'.  I love all my hostas, both the huge such as Blue Angel and the tiny such as Mouse Ears - I dare not buy any more or we might have to move!!  I no longer definitely know the names of all of mine as the labels have, with the help of blackbirds - disappeared over the years.  What is it with blackbirds and labels? 

Mine only get fed once a year when the whole garden gets a dose of pelleted organic chicken manure.  They rely for the most part on rainfall for watering, though there has been the odd accasion when I have had to help that out - tho' not recently.  All are top dressed with gravel, mostly because it looks nice and makes it easier to get the weeds out.  Otherwise they are left alone, repotted when their pots break, either through frost or sheer root pressure.  I just admire them often and leave them to get on with it - and they do. 

Feeding clematis

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 11:29

They sure do need feeding, ithey are one of the few plants for which I buy specialist fertiliser, available from many plant outlets or on line  They have benefitted from this a good deal, they are very hungry plants indeed. 

solitary bees

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 11:27

How wonderful, congratulations, and thank you for the picture.  We have one that has lived under a rock in our once upon a time alpine bed for several years - or if not the same one, each year there is one - no idea how long they live.  Never been able to take a picture though, that's great. 

Talkback: Hostas, slugs and snails

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 11:24

I griow around 65 different hostas in pots, and have done for around 15 years.  I nearly gave up around 6 years ago, the slug and snail problems being virtually overwhelming.  I tried it all, hair, egg shells, garlic, porrige oats etc. et. ad nauseaum.  Then I discovered copper tape, now each pot has its own collar of copper, and that has done the trick. I have a three tiered display, like a very large auricular theratre, and the edges of that are also trimmed with copper tape.  There will always be the odd clever slug that walks up the wall and drops into the pots, but on the whole the collectiion is doing very well.  I also bury odd bits of copper tubing (from a friendly plumber) around the stems of plants that are devoured by slugs, e.g delphiniums, and that has helped enormously tool.  Apparently they get a small static shock from the copper and will not cross it.  It was quite expensive to do at first because I had to do the whole lot at once, but now just as any new pot arrives.  Do try it, it really does work.

Ferrous pellets work somewhat, but are very dangerous for children, as an overdose of iron can be lethal.  They do not harm birds and other mammals as far as I know.  Use them very sparingly and where they cannot be seen by small people.  The other kind should be abolished at once I agree.  We have no children coming to our garden so I can, and occasionally do, use these here. 

Tulips

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 11:16

Yes you can, but you will do better to try and keep the leaves on them as long as possible, as much of next years flowers will depend upon what the bulb gathers from the leaves as they dry.  I must admit that tulips are one set of bulbs I do not bother about keeping, as I find they rarely come well again, and tend to treat them, as Monty said, as annuals - except for the specie ones which do come back true.  Maybe you could hang them somewhere while the leaves dry off - maybe a pair of tights hung somewhere dry and cool while the leaves dry off?  Don't be too disappointed if, after all that, they don't grow well next Spring - but they might, so if you want to go that route - good for you, and good luck

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