Brian Davies

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Garden fleece

Posted: 03/10/2013 at 16:31

I use bubble wrap to insulate my greenhouse, some rolls come with fasteners especially for aluminun greenhouses. It does incourage a stagnant atmosphere so you need to ventilate as much as possible in mild weather. It does drastically cut down on heating costs. I use a thermastic controlled electric heater, expensive you might think, but I only use it for frost protection. say 2- 4 degrees.I keep pelargoniums, citrus, cacti, cannas and a pheonix palm in this environment. I have used fleese to protect individual tender plants, such as cordylines and musa basjo alive. I now use the woody clippings from my herbacious perrenials wrapped round the base of tender plants, tied with string. It costs nothing and is far more effective. The fig tree I leave unprotected, it has suffered in the recent colder winters but always recovers and I have had figs for the past 5 years.

rampant hebe

Posted: 24/09/2013 at 21:23

If you are planning a hard prune use some of the new shoots for cuttings now  in case the original plant doesn't recover. They root easily, even on a window sill in any normal rooting compost. Once the spring arives and you have some cuttings rooted you can hard prune in the knowledge that you can replace the shrub if it dies.

tree identity

Posted: 23/09/2013 at 20:45

The competition from the nieghbouring tree is probably the cause for the poor condition of the shrub. If you intend to keep it, don't overprune before winter just cut out the dead branches and any really straggly stuff. When new shoots start to appear in the spring you can give it a more droconian haircut. Garrya's make very attractive shrubs with their long tasles of winter catkins. They can be damaged by sevear frost but that usually results in scorching around the leaf margins. The photo is not indicative of frost damage.

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