Latest posts by Bookertoo

How to tame the wilderness!

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 11:42

I'm afraid that if you want to keep what is good, the way you describe is the best way to go.  Take on a little bit at a time, but watch the weeds for flowering and stop them, you don't need another years seeds in the beds.  You can dig the bubs up and replant them, it may in fact do them good especially daffodils and so on as they may well have become congested by now.  The shrubs you need to give a good look at - are they plants woirth keeping?  If so, then tidy up now, if they have flowered then a harder prune can be done now, or leave until the autumn.  The same applies to perrenials, are they worth keeping?  If so, tidy them and enjoy them now, then dig up and split in the autumn, replanting  good bits shere you want them.  Docks and hogweed are dreadful to get out, digging is the only answer if you don't want to use chemicals, I believe hogweed is a notifiable weed?  I'm sure someone will correct me if that is not so. 

The only other answer is just to dig the whole bed up, spray with glyphosphate and wait to replant - but then you have to risk losing what you don't yet know about, plus bulbs that you miss.  Yu also have to look after the plants you have dug up. 

There is no quick and easy way around this kind of replenishment  and refurbishment., but I'll bet it will be wonderful when you are done.  Buy a good variety of bath salts to put in the bath after each days work!  

Care of tiny strawberry seedlings?

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 11:34

From here they look rather wet, don't drown them, they need to be faintly moist so that they will grow stronger roots.  These are unlikely to fruit this year, you may need to keep them comfortable over winter to grow on and plant in your baskets next year. They also need a great deal of light, and no wind - are they in a greenhouse?    Quite honesty with many plants like strawberries it is as good to let the experts grow them in heated greenhouses over winter and buy them in as plugs in spring - let them use thier heating etc., they are not expensive to buy.

Anyway, keep them inside, don't overplant them into a basket until they are really good sized plants, things don't like being overplanted into too big a space.  They are indeed far too tiny to brave the great big world yet!

Anyone grown one of these?

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 11:23

Sounds wonderful I'd love a 'small' wisteria, will look on plant finder for one like that. 

What is this plant?

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:35

There is a tall yellow version which defeated my identification when I first saw it last year - about 5 foot high - that was a surprise, and rather gorgeous it was too. 

Is there such a thing as dark purple stem snap dragons?

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:34

It was as snapdragon, as the others say they do this themselves - you never see them separated out so I guess it is just luck whether you get the coloured stems and leaves.  Some people may not like them I guess, the lemon ones seem to stay green, so maybe it is just the pink/purple ones that 'leak' thier colour. 

We bought some dianthus recently, and several of those also had the purple stems, but not all, though they were all shades of red and purple flowers - just the way they go I think. 


Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:31

You killed a Russian Vine Fairygirl? - Give yourself a medal and a pat on the back - then rack your  brains as to what on earth you did with it - you are right, you could make a fortune with that knowledge.  Mind, I killed a healthy looking buddlea a few years ago - not quite in the same class as Russian Vine, but close. 

Rozanne geranium problem

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:27

They will do this especially if they get cold or a bit stressed - it can add to the colour of the whole show.  We have various types of hardy geraniums, some of these are more prone to reddening of the leaves than others - why?  Who knows!

cold frame

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:25

We built one with breeze blocks, painted it white inside, and found an old sliding window for the top, this has worked well for several years now.  The wooden ones are very expensive, &  look gorgeous  but this works fine.  There is no wind that is going to blow that away - the back wall is the greenhouse, so it gets a tiny little bit of heat from that maybe.  It overwinters various plants, and then has the young seedlings etc in for hardening off. 

Seems a shame

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:22

I grow upward of a hundred lilies in my garden, in pots and in the ground.  Some of these are over 20 years old and flower just as well now as they have ever done.

Monty did say he throws out some types of  tulip bulbs as they rarely come back well, I wonder if this has been misheard or misinterpreted?  Lilies are expensive, and certainly would not be replaced each year.

I do not water mine with fertiliser all spring, they get  a dose of chicken manure, the pelleted organic kind, annually, around April, and that's about it.  I do wonder if these are being over watered, they really don't mind a dry time.  Some of ours have frozen solid over the years, and have merrily gone on flowering afterwards - they are tough things and don't need coddling.  They certainly never get lifted, just growing through the massed planting that is around them. Their only enemies are the dreaded lily beetle, upon which we wage persistent war, and lily virus.  This gives streaky leaves, and distorted buds, only cure is burning the bulbs and the stems.

our lilies are now busily making buds profusely, and will be a mass of flowers in a few weeks time - there are some for sale in flower  now but they have been brought on in glasshouses - the outdoor ones will have to wait awhile. They are never taken out of their pots, the pots are tucked near the hedge or beside the greenhouse or house wall in the winter and that's about all the protection they ever get. 

Anyone grown one of these?

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:13

Wisteria usually become very large plants - I cannot imagine why a label would say 60 cms, several meters would be more like it.  They are grown often on very firm wires across the front of a house or on a wall.  A trellis would have to be very heavyweight to take the weight of the plant and its flowers once it starts to flower.  Amethyst Falls I believe can have trusses of flowers up to 15 - 18 inches long, so you can imagine how big the plant is going to get.  It is true that you can grow them in a large tub and train them as a tree shape, but I know nothing about how that is done.  Don't expect flowers in the immdediate future, this is another lovely plant with which you need to  be patient, it will need to settle and grow the roots which will be big enough to support the plant - it will need good feeding and careful pruning as well, to get the best from it.

My friend has a beauty which grows over 2 sides of her house - all from one plant - and it flowers gloriously - but it is BIG, so please be prepard for that.

There are some very good books and websites devoted to the growing of wisteria, which you may find infirmative.   I do not have one, but I know the pruning is essential for good flowering.  Have fun and enjoy.

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