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Latest posts by Bookertoo

a very miserable lady.

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:55

You need to protect the pots, for the sake of the pots, not the hostas!  They are as tough as old boots, some of mine have been in their pots for 10 - 15 years and have never seen a cover except that of snow.   They are adored by all slugs and snails, I nearly gave up the collection until I discovered copper tape. A strip around each pot had really made a huge difference.  Before then by this time of year the leaves were like net curtains, now although there is the odd damaged leaf, on the whole they are stunning - they are, as I said, loving this wet weather. 

Gooseberries - no fruits

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:51

Two things, patience is a virtue, and two years is a bit harsh, it has needed to develop roots and branches upon which to fruit.  Also, when the flowers were about there were no pollinators about.  Let's be honest - if you were a bee, would you have come out and about or stayed in your nice warm hive? I thought so  - give them a chance, prune well and see if they try hard next year - which will of course be perfect as every next year always is. 

Cowslips in July ????

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:49

Probably like us, the poor things can't remember having a year like this before, I refuse to call it a summer, it just ain't!

Help to find a plant

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:47

You can tie them in as the previous poster said, they can look very good trained in that way - a neighbour down the road has one trained about 20 foot up the wall, very well pruned, and a solid mass of flowers then berries every year, looks stunning.

Should I "top" my sparsely-flowering runner beans?

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:45

If you can reach them without risking drowning in the process, pinch them out - mine are at the top of their poles too, but are otherwise vry spindly anaemic looking things - guess too much wet and all the nutrients washed out of the compost - I'd add feed but that will just get washed out too.  If the weather people give us  a suggestion of more than 20 minutes without rain I might try feeding them tomorrow afternoon - we will see. 

Hedgecutting - When allowed?

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:43

Anyway, birds aside, and I am all for protecting them I assure you - if you cut it too soon you will only have to do it again later - especially with all this rain.  Leave it later on and maybe you will manage with only the one cut?  Depending of course what kind of hedge it is.

Peninepeta (lovely name) l, if your sparrows are raising the sound level at 7 am be thankful, our pet blackbird starts outside the bedroom window, on a telephone wire, at 4 am!! I love him dearly, but there are times when he really challenges that ........ 


Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:40

How can anything be too dry at present?  Wonder if they normally live under your grass and are trying to escape the wet?  I don't know why anyone would want to get rid of ants, there are tens of millions of them to each one of us, so do-one can win that one. (Mind, when I lived in Zambia, I did sometimes wonder why my four and a half million were all in my kithen at once!)  I must confess I just ignore them, unless they insist on pushing a plant out of its pot, a rare occurence, I usually just repot the plant.   They may just be getting into flying mode for mating, and if left be will settle down to their usual appearance.  The boiling wate method seems unnecessarily cruel to me, how would we like it?  If you really must get rid of them, there are less dreadful ways of doing so, various powders and liquids that poison them, hopefully less agonisingly than boiling water would. 

a very miserable lady.

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:35

They all adore as much rain as they can get - there are literally hundreds and hundreds of different types, from a couple of inches high to several feet high, bluish foliage, green, all shades of variagation, purple, lilac or white flowers, recently scented ones coming in too.  I have 65 different types and have barely broken the surface of all those available.  Look for a good seller such as Bowdens or Mickfield hosta, there are lots of good companies out there who specialise in them.  I usualy buy on line, or at garden shows. Often good to get from a nursery that grows only whatever plants it is that you want, as they will be the experts.

Cheap seeds

Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:29

....  but surely next year will be wonderful, we all know that it always is?  Lots of half price seeds heading this way too.


Posted: 14/07/2012 at 18:28

Probably not wire as it tends to cut into the plant, and does not allow any movement in the wind.  A soft jute type twine, twisted around itself a couple of times after the eye, making a kind of little stem - not sure how clear that is,  from the eye, then gently around the stem leaving room for flexing and growth.  For larger tougher plants that need tying in, the wire that is covered with a quite thick layer of foamy rubber is good, it use that for my big fig tree that I am training along a wall and fence.  You just twist the ends around itself and it holds very well - but too bulky for your decorative things in the pergola.

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