- Planting from a very dry, exposed and windy balcony. Love to have a plot of my own one day.
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Today at 15:22
Being low maintenance, most shrubs will still need at least a yearly prune to keep them compact or dense. Ceanothus can get large, but if you prune them once a year they will form a dense glossy barrier.
Small Hebes and Brachyglottis shrubs are for me the go-to shrubs to fill spaces in borders that needs low maintenance but also blends well with other herbaceous plants. In a long hedge setting, they can also do a great job of forming a nice barrier. Brachyglottis lifts borders on dull days and a tactile shrub with soft rounded leaves. Not like the usually hedge plants that are hard and prickly.
Today at 11:19
Yes, I can see sleet here too....they definitely do better in the ground. I have seen so many growing taller than 10 ft. I have mine in a pot and that is not through choice. I have friends growing them in cold north facing gardens, and they are looking so healthy and producing olives.
Today at 10:53
It's totally up to you. I think wait a couple of months. There may be some very cold and wet weather between now and March. They are quite slow growing and can be planted more or less any time of year.
Today at 10:25
You can plant it any time as long as it is dry and conditions not too cold. Make sure the ground is well prepared with plenty of grit for free drainage if your soil is quite heavy. Position it as close to a wall so there is protection to minimise frost.
Yesterday at 16:32
I'm not entirely sure of your set-up. The photo looks like your planters are on the outer side of your terrace? Could be wrong, but if dead-heading is not going to be easily accessible to you, maybe try Calibrachoa, sometimes called Million Bells.
They come in single and also double form, and the double forms are quite similar to Begonias. They produce so many blooms that they just drop away and new ones are formed, therefore you never need to pinch or dead-head. That could be another alternative.
Yesterday at 11:31
Adam que, if you can't reach to certain areas on the overhanging pots, I don't think it is a good idea to grow Begonias. They usually need watering and also need some degree of shade. If your terrace is very exposed and in sun for long periods, they may suffer. Try to go for sun loving plants and plants that prefer drier conditions.
But generally, tubers can be started off in spring time where you would lay it into some sandy compost, part buried and you wait till they show signs of leaf, then re-planted a bit more deeper into final destination. I suggest around 15-20cm apart if you have a long row.
Yesterday at 10:40
I've cut mine down last year before winter and they have put on a bit of new growth already. But many don't until now to spring, so if it's not too wet and frosty, you can also cut them down.
Last edited: 20 January 2018 10:40:34
Yesterday at 10:34
I agree with Raisingirl's view on vast areas and longterm. Soil conditions change very slowly and depends on original soil base structure, and rainfall levels, then you need to factor in the types of plants/leaves that fall and go back into the soil. In short, not easy to control unless you are deliberately growing a forest of pine etc.
If you could manipulate soil PH in one or two seasons, then we'd have heard about it by now. So the short answer to B3 is making your own compost will unlikely be acidic unless you go out of your way and only collect traditional acidic based plants' leaves to compost. Usually pine and plants grown in very high rainfall areas. Average garden compost will usually be neutral, with mild variations either way. Anyone putting in sulphur chips etc into the soil will have to maintain this as this is only shorterm and in confined areas.
Last edited: 20 January 2018 10:36:21
2 days ago at 17:51
There are no issues with using the same spot to plant something else. I have done this many times. Just make sure the soil you have doesn't vary too much with the surrounding soil type. The plant could sink and drown in a pool of wet if not worked over properly. Try to dig as wide as well as deep and mix the original soil with new compost so the roots can grow out properly.
With roses, that is also not always true. I have planted a rose in a spot where another rose grew and there was no issue. It establish well like all my other roses. I guess it's different soils and how the roots of certain plants interact. I have never tried it, but many shops now sell mychorrhizal fungi to help aid the plant's roots, helping it to establish and take to the soil surroundings. You could look into that if you are concerned.
2 days ago at 17:23
How high up are you on the balcony. The higher up you are the more likely you will have wind throughout the year, so something to factor in when sourcing plants. Plants need to work harder in smaller spaces and container planting can be very challenging if there are weight restrictions and wind too. I lost over 50% of my plants in one year.
After trial and error, I found that some plants recommended in books didn't work whilst others not recommended worked for me, so sometimes there is no right and wrong. Rosemaries and Olive shrubs and small leaf plants tend to do better. Look into herbs, they are often very interesting plants that offer colour and form throughout the year. Choose plants that are drought tolerant if given a choice.
Grasses and plants like Sedums do well. If you have a large enough pot, you could try Nadina Domestica. A shrub that grows and looks like bamboo but much more refined and has lovely small creamy flowers followed by small red berries that is very decorative in the winter time. It doesn't block light and can be pruned to shape and thin out. It can also act as a light screen because it is semi-evergreen. But, you need to keep an eye on watering in the summer months.
Last edited: 19 January 2018 17:25:49
2 days ago at 17:04
Did you keep the labels for the Jasmine and Clematis? There are many types of Jasmines and some are not fully hardy. Even the hardy Jasmines will lose some leaves in the winter time. Your plants are very young so will not have formed a matted mass of branches/leaves. Clematis, again, different types of climbers will mean some need pruning back from now to spring, whilst others can be left alone.
Generally, most climbers will need to be planted into much deeper/larger sized pots. Do you know which way that wall faces? Shade can come from buildings and it looks like the wall is very close to your property so your wall may be shaded for long periods at certain times of the year.
Star Jasmine, Trachelospermum Jasminoides can do well in your situation. Scented white flowers and evergreen foliage. Must have a nice big container to allow it to settle in.
3 days ago at 18:10
The dried up brown leaves will not recover. You will need to prune all the crispy and droopy leaves out. Keeping them on will encourage infection to your shrub. You may need to be ruthless and prune quite far down from what I can see.
The issue is watering and possibly your plants were quite pot-bound due to its size. The roots needs to be teased away from itself before planting. They can take some time to settle in. Planting in warm weather for shrubs that size will mean high maintenance for you in the first two years. I would even suggest you cut some of the other shrubs down a bit to allow them to settle in the first year.
3 days ago at 18:01
Taxus Baccata, Yew hedge can grow quite fast and provided you prune them, they will not cause any issue with your drive.
3 days ago at 17:52
If you are in Scotland, a young shrub like Loropetalum Chinense is best kept in a pot for the first year until it is a lot larger to plant out. You may need to use fleece to protect it in extreme frost. Like most shrubs, once they establish, settle down and mature, they tend to be hardier.
Last edited: 18 January 2018 17:56:56
3 days ago at 17:45
If you get quite cold winters, the leaves will shed. Exposed windy conditions can also cause them to shed too. As soon as temperatures warm up in March, they will return. It's not really evergreen, it's semi-evergreen. Unless you have extremely mild winter weather, they may hold their leaves, but the leaves are not long lasting and will shed sooner or later.
3 days ago at 22:57
Do you know what type of soil you have by the old lawned area? Also, what is under all the current gravel. Helps to know if the area is ready for more deep rooted plants. Shrubs tend to be low maintenance in general. Evergreen shrubs will stand out year round, especially in winter, but shrubs that are not evergreen can offer changes through the season.
What level of low maintenance do you consider low maintence to be. For instance, six monthly pruning to shape and cutting down plants once a year and general tidy up is very low maintenance for me, but is that a bit too much work?
3 days ago at 22:26
The conditions for Lichen to thrive. Damp cool conditions and possibly lack of light. Can also thrive on slow growing shrubs/trees. I've seen them on many aged roses in open areas. If you don't want Lichen to thrive, you need to look into the cause. Branches may need pruning out, the growth may be weak and poor. But as mentioned, it doesn't damage the bark. It's sitting on the top surface and can be cleaned off carefully.
Last edited: 17 January 2018 22:27:17
3 days ago at 17:45
Your south west corner border is a perfect spot for many shrubs. It's all about shape and form, types of foliage etc. Not sure when you took those photos, but if it's now, your soil appears to be quite free draining for this time of year? Just working out your soil conditions. If you have free draining soil and you don't have massively cold winters, Rhamnus Alaternus the Italian Buckthorn will enjoy those conditions. The variatgated version is one of the best forms, and the shrub responds well to formal shaping and loose shaping. Flowers followed by berries, one of my favourite shrubs.
After hearing about your mention of Lidl, I saw a really special shrub at only £2 today in Morrisons. Responding to milder weathers, they are starting to stock some shrubs that have proven themselves in the UK over the last 10 years. They are now stocking Loropetalum Chinensis Firedance. Usually, this shrub will cost £15 for double its size, but smaller shrubs can become big quite fast, so a bargain in my view. Sweet winter flowers that is so striking against dark red ever green foliage.
My other recommendation has to be Sarcococca Confusa, another winter flowering shrub that is scented in the winter time. A great all-round shrub that is again great in an informal setting or shaped to form a hedge. This shrub is more suitable in moist soils, but again can cope in drier soils too.
Last edited: 17 January 2018 17:49:53
16 Jan 2018 18:34
I think raised beds are a good option. The area is narrow, by raising it upwards, you have instant height and maturity already. My previous neighbour's garden had two long raised beds on each side with the middle part with gravel. Then a pergola was built onto the ends of the garden to create height for climbers and create privacy. The area closest to the house, a nice seating area or a place to sit and eat and space for pots and troughs. Keeping the grass and working the soil will be very time consuming.
16 Jan 2018 18:23
The base of the tree can be quite dry, so you need plants more adapted to wide conditions. Provided it is in the sun and the canopy is quite high, Panicum Virgatum, Switch Grass should be able to cope. Ox-Eye Daisy, Leucanthemum Vulgare, Nepeta, Catmint and Pimpernella Major Rosea should do fine. You can plant cyclamens for the autumn winter display and keep the blue bells for spring.
On the south west corner, what about Caenothus, Californian Lilac. There are many types but Concha, one of the most widely available shrub will not disappoint if it is planted by a warm wall. Blue flowers for long periods from later spring into summer and dark glossy leaves throughout the year. Soil must be well prepared if you have heavy soil, but once settled in, they will perform.