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Latest posts by Dinah

Mid-winter roses

Posted: 08/01/2016 at 19:00

I have a climbing rose in the garden, which is yellow and red (either a climbing version of "Masquerade" or "Joseph's Coat" I suspect) and it occasionally flowers in the middle of winter. The flowers are not full flowers, but are delightful. The petals are small (about the size of a dog rose) are pale lemon/cream in colour, there are about five petals in total, and they don't appear to have the full central reproductive elements. They stay on the bush for much longer than the roses in summer do, but are much fewer, just the odd one here and there. Each summer the normal roses return in abundance, without any sign of the strange winter flowers.

I've three questions if anyone can help. First, obviously, does anyone else see these on the same, or on other species of rose? Second, does anyone know why they occur? Thirdly, and most importantly, will they still appear if I propagate them by cuttings, or is it something to do with their location and climate that wouldn't happen in a different place? I'd love to send my Mother one that does the same thing.

Stratification and species tulips?

Posted: 26/12/2015 at 17:44

I will certainly put the Aquiligia in very soon though. I can't wait to get more seeds in trays.  I don't have that many seeds this year, because my plants have mostly flowered too late for the Bees to be busy. A perennial tick seed by the front door is flowering now. and quite a few other flowers are not fading because of the cold and the lack of pollination. There is even a Gladioli still looking glad. It is lovely to see it, but confusing.

I am finding that the coastal South African bulbs are doing well in my garden (mine is coastal, mountainous, acid soil). Drainage seems to be the key to getting them past the teenage lethargy and rot, but there is water everywhere here for large parts of the year, so I will have to be extra careful that the tulips don't get swamped.

I love the sound of  "pots in waiting". I do have a few pots and trays that seem to have been waiting forever. The paeony is my longest wait. I try different things on them every year - different parts of the garden, cold frame, in and out of the propagator, a rub with sandpaper, a quick freeze, a hot soak, I even tried a very quick scorching them, nothing! they still look like shiny, black beads and they still sink in water - but I think it is eight years now since I planted them, and not a sprout.

Stratification and species tulips?

Posted: 26/12/2015 at 03:18

Sounds good thinking Nutcutlet. I can and will do that with the woodland tulips next summer. The seeds I bought come dried though, and I thought they might need a winter chill if they are from mountainous regions (I think they all are, though one is from by a lake in a mountainous area) so the stratification might still be needed to wake them up.

I'm glad I'm not alone in trying seed. I always think if the plants survive our climate from seed, they will probably do OK once established. Pre-grown bulbs don't seem to have the metal. The other thing I worry about is transporting diseases about on plants and bulbs. With seed it is less likely, which would be especially important if I'm growing imported species.

What seeds do you most enjoy planting at this time of year?

Stratification and species tulips?

Posted: 25/12/2015 at 18:26

Last year I planted a lot of woodland tulip seeds in Autumn. They came up, but they did it too soon - and then they died again when the real freeze set in. So I'm doing the same again this year and am having a bad attack of the fumbling quivers trying to decide when to put them in. I am going to keep them chilled until the weather is warming up, but I'm going this way and that worrying when to do it. This time I'm having a go at growing three different species tulips from middle east too. I have no idea when, and for how long they would best be stratified. I have my seed-recipe soil ready and sterilised, little trays ready, a space in the fridge ready, but I still have the dithers over when. I've found conflicting information, and little of it on the internet. It seems most people are sensible and buy the bulbs instead. 

Gardening Vices ......

Posted: 11/12/2015 at 20:19

Oh dear, oh dear, Busy-Lizzie I have to ask... was it...still wiggling???

Gardening Vices ......

Posted: 11/12/2015 at 19:38

I love carob! I haven't had it for many, many years, but I really love it... this thread is full of great reminders, thank you so much for that Fritillary

Gardening Vices ......

Posted: 11/12/2015 at 18:54

Locust beans Fritillary? Those might have been in the mix too. The whole thing was a sort of fibrous mush, but it was wonderful tasting, I would have traded dinner in for it if I was sure I wasn't seen doing it. They do sound nice, do you know if they are normally thought of as human food? I haven't heard of them before.

I wonder how many people nibble stuff that isn't supposed to be for humans to eat. My son used to eat something disgusting when he was a toddler. Brace yourself. This is truly nasty... Slugs! Great help in the garden, but it was enough too set your stomach turning like a washing machine just seeing, and hearing it. I remember grabbing what was left of them out of his mouth. Luckily, he used to chew with his front teeth, so they were usually graspable. In the end he had to be banned from the garden, until he was old enough to control his demonic appetite!

Gardening Vices ......

Posted: 10/12/2015 at 17:21

True. That would be one heck of a high speed horse and cart.

Gardening Vices ......

Posted: 10/12/2015 at 03:35

Yes, B3 it would have solved one problem, but then the horse would have eaten the carrots and the cabbages.

Gardening Vices ......

Posted: 09/12/2015 at 23:02

B3, I just read your post about the packaging on all the fruit and vegetables. It's very true. Terrible over-packaging. I remember the legislation. There was a man who used to sell vegetables from his horse and cart along our road. He'd been doing it all his life, and then he couldn't any more, because of the proximity of the horse. I'd be more concerned about the traffic fumes getting on the vegetables than about the horse pulling the cart - but still.

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