Latest posts by ChapelGirl2

71 to 78 of 78

Dividing Geraniums

Posted: 29/07/2012 at 21:57

Hardy geraniums are very easy to propagate and root quite readily, I have found.  We have a clump in our garden which has self-seeded into the gravel drive.  They are a very good ground-cover and weed-suppressant plant and provide weeks and weeks of flowering, so in my opinion they are well worth their 'rent'.  Mine in my recently-acquired garden are all pink, but I'd like to get some of the blue ones next year.

What has eaten my Lupin - I need to protect the other 3

Posted: 29/07/2012 at 21:51

I agree. Almost certainly slugs or snails.  I lost all my delphiniums one year to the little beggars.  I try to be organic, but there isn't really a good solution.  The so-called organic slug repellants are starting to get a few negative comments in the organic press.  I've tried and still try dried coffee grounds and ash from the wood burning stove but they seem to clamber over it regardless.  I've picked them up by hand at dusk, but their siblings are always waiting in the wings.  I've resorted to the 'organic' slug pellets out of desperation, because I can't bear to see my lovingly-cultivated plants disappear overnight due to molluscs.  You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Help please!

Posted: 29/07/2012 at 21:39

If it is a "strawberry tree" then it probably belongs to the genus 'arbutus'.  I don't know much about them but that might help in discovering how long your species is supposed to live and what might be afflicting it.

Something is eating my lavender

Posted: 29/07/2012 at 21:27

We're in the Savoie, near Italy and Switzerland.  I haven't seen any snakes but we have plenty of cute little lizards who we hope are eating lots of insects.  We also have some rodents outside which are bigger than a house mouse but smaller than a sewer rat.  I'd say they were large hamster-sized, with a short tail, but mouse-grey in colour.  I've seen them a couple of times.  I don't know what they are yet, but I'm prepared to let them be as long as they don't make life too difficult for me.

If your mum's snakes are bright green I'd be prepared to bet they are harmless grass snakes, and in fact are doing her garden lots of good.  Even in some parts of England they have brown adders which are venomous, but if you leave them alone they will keep down lots of nasties which would like to eat your plants etc. so you really should be kind to them, even if you don't like the idea of snakes much.

Welly boots

Posted: 29/07/2012 at 20:13

I think you may have to buy some new wellies!  The trick for streching boots with wet paper etc. only works for leather boots.  Leather can be coaxed to "give" a little bit (i.e. stretch) and will stay stretched.  Rubber boots will stretch a tiny bit when you put your foot in them, but like a rubber band they will snap back to their original size as soon as you take your foot out, and I don't think there is anything you can do to change that.  Keep them as your summer pair and buy some more for winter.  My dad used to wear his cheap and cheerful sloppy wellies with oiled wool sea-boot socks.  Nice and cozy!

Unhappy Bay Tree

Posted: 29/07/2012 at 19:57

How tall was the tree when you moved it?  How long ago did you dig it up?  Summer is probably not the best time of year to move established shrubs and trees, and it is probably quite stressed.  I am not sure watering it twice a day is helping either.  In fact you may be killing it with kindness.  Sometimes wilting leaves is a sign of overwatering.  Like many kitchen aromatics, they come from a fairly dry climate.  If you trod it in well so that the soil around the roots is quite firm that is probably the best you can do.  I'd be inclined to leave it alone for a while and hope for the best.  If all else fails, you can always buy small bay plants (15-20 cms tall) from garden centres quite cheaply, and if you plant them in a good spot they will thrive and grow.  I had one I bought from the 'reduced' counter in a garden centre in a 1 litre pot. It was misshapen and sad, but it survived. I moved it when it was about 30cm high when I moved house, and when I sold that house it was 2.5 metres high!

Something is eating my lavender

Posted: 29/07/2012 at 19:35

I have to 'fess up and say I am actually an Englishwoman in France, though the countryside here is similar to the English Lake District, with slightly warmer summers and colder winters. (Yes, you CAN have your Kendal Mint Cake and eat it!)

In spring I sowed some English lavender seeds (Munstead, Hidcote & Elegance Sky).  I gave them the pre-sowing fridge treatment.  Munstead & Hidcote germinated well, Elegance Sky less so.  They are currently being grown on in pots on a shelf on my patio, ready to be planted out (when large enough) underneath some bare-rooted rosa rugosa à Parfum de l'Haÿ I have also yet to buy.  The lavenders are I suppose about 7-10cm high now.

I recently noticed that several of the plants are looking rather denuded, and it seems that something has been eating the tender young leaves.  It is as if someone has taken a very tiny pair of scissors and cut off each leaf at about 2mm from where it meets the stem.

I have read that there is a metallic-green and red coloured beetle and its grey slug-like larvae which might be responsible.  It is a southern European pest but has recently migrated north and has now reached the UK.  I have studied the plants and the soil and have shaken the pots but I cannot see any trace.  I have given the pots a misting with soft soap anyway, and will carry on doing this.

If anyone knows anything about these pests and why there is no evidence of them (are they perhaps nocturnal?) or can suggest any other possible cause for my munched leaves I'd love to hear from you.

Talkback: How to take lavender cuttings

Posted: 24/11/2011 at 15:29
Whenever I have tried to take lavender cuttings in the past they have always failed to take, and I think this is because they have become mildewed inside the plastic bag before the roots have become established.

I keep reading that these cuttings propagate easily! Mine must be dying off just to spite me then! :-)
71 to 78 of 78

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