Latest posts by dizzylizzy

Can I sow now?- Eryngiums, Echinacea, and the grass Stipa gigantea? Mystery

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 10:51


Thanks for the info- I will try in the fridge and see what germinates and let you know. Here in York we had some severe frosts in early December, mild at the moment, but noticed the Cerinthe on the south-facing wall planted at the base of the  house wall is still flowering from last year, new flowers are coming out, as are the perennial wall flowers, and amazingly the Communis Ricin caster Oil seeds have germinated where they fell to the ground when the plant went black with the frost- so will pot them on and hope for the best. 

Can I sow now?- Eryngiums, Echinacea, and the grass Stipa gigantea? Mystery

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 00:12


Thought I would trying growing some perennials from seed...........but which is the seed and which is the chaff??  Thought sowing was straight forward........

I have just collected some of the seedheads and wondered if I can sow now indoors or outdoors in a coldframe? Will the seeds still be viable after all the rain and frost?  I have removed the stipa with my fingernails but now wondering if what I have is chaff...... will the seed have been released in the summer and what I have is the buff coloured seed heads -the chaff?  I am looking for black tiny seeds?   Likewise with the Echinacea purpurea the seedhead came apart easily enough but are these long seeds or just a casing?  Do I sow the "seed/tube" or need to extract a seed?  I am now wondering about the many varieties I have collected and stored whether I sow it whole or need to extract a hard tiny seed first.  Are there any hard and fast rules on knowing which is a seed and which isn't?

Also have some seed stored in the fridge in packets and in a jar- will they be stratified and ready to sow, or do they need to be "sown" in a bag of  damp sand.for several weeks first?........

Would like to hear your thoughts, successes and your experiences


Posted: 06/09/2012 at 17:57

Defo slugs- they have been at my 2 dark leaved ones.  Beer trap or pellets is the best option.  My garden is full of slugs and snails this year, must be all the damp weather we have had.  My garden also has many frogs and toads, but I still have a slug problem!

Mystery Purchase- Beautiful..dusky maroon umbels

Posted: 28/08/2012 at 12:46

Many thanks for your replies- Monty Don fetured it on Friday- what a coincidence- and yes it is a Angelica gigas- so will hopefully be able to grow more from seed for next year!  Highly recommend this beautiful plant and the bees & flies love it too

Mystery Purchase- Beautiful..dusky maroon umbels

Posted: 21/08/2012 at 11:53

Bought this plant last year at a North Yorkshire plant fair- Actaea (Bugbane) also known as cimigfuga- but is it Actaea?  Looks like Angelica stems and flowerheads in colour & formation but are flatter than the domes of angelica, more like the flowerhead shape of Cow Parsley. The leaves resemble those of a rose 3s and 5 s- see the left near the bottom,.It has grown to 7ft tall with lots of beautiful dusky maroon umbels- just opening now..............Look forward tot he experts opinion...

Does anyone know a proven way to rid my allottment of mares tail?

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 13:47

Thanks Daintiness- good to hear others have the problem- I'm going to try the wee-killer specially for Maretials- Curtail- it burns the tops off in acouple of weeks, then I can then replant with bedding and hope they don't come back next year, or a few may I am told but by the 2nd season should be fully gone........here's hoping after spending many hours digging the roots out over the last few years and to no avail.

Eremurus (desert candles )

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 10:39

I am just dying to plant my 20 Eremurus (desert candles bulbs) -   I believe they are quite difficult to grow- planted 5 last year in autumn, planted on a bed of 1in grit and covered by 1 in gritty soil.  I have seen 2 appear, 2 shoots off each with strappy leaves, but they have gone over the last few weeks and haven't seen a flower shoot??  Think thye should be flowereing now....
I have still have 20 "bulbs" to plant, should I plant now or wait till the autumn or spring? Temperatures do go down to -17 here in York and I am on clay soil.
Must be difficult to grow because I haven't seen any growing even in the fantastic Open Gardens I have visited, so assume no-one has a great success with them??  Or do they?  .........Anybody growing them successfully and how do you do it?

The dreaded marestail- how do I get rid?

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 10:28

Thank you all for replying, I can see I am not alone, will try the various methods.  Will use a weedkiller, plant up with annuals for this season and see what comes up next year. Will pull each one up when I see it!  Will let you know next year if I can see a difference.
Also have ground elder in another area so will be doing a similar method with that it would same.  I am just dying to plant my 20 Eremurus (desert candles bulbs) - hope they don't die whilst a am waiting for the maretails to disappear!  I believe they are quite difficult to grow.

The dreaded marestail- how do I get rid?

Posted: 06/07/2012 at 22:30

I have had it for the last 3 years in a large bed- luckliy contained by a wall.  Tried digging out the root as the soil is an easy open structure, have removed a couple of wheelie bins full- but still it comes back, as I can never get the deep roots which are down 3 foot or so, plus new fine strands are growing into new marestails.  Tried the Hungarian Rye grass but that is just growing through it.  It is like a low growing forest currently.  Has anybody had any success?

Woolly aphids

Posted: 06/07/2012 at 22:21

Hi daitum

Probably not- just a bug spray- one to fit all I think......  didn't know there were different ones.


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