Gardening Grandma

Latest posts by Gardening Grandma

hydrangea in or out

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 18:58

They can stand cold, unless they have been softened up by being protected until now.

Do these grow through plants?

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 18:44

Kirsty, it would definitely brighten up having bearded iris if they did a bit of sinning. Recently, on a thread about the insulating  value of plants, I told people to discuss insulating their houses with pants.

I'm impressed with those who can protect their delphiniums adequately from slugs.  

Moving a rose

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 16:27

I have never dared to cut back a climbing rose as hard as 12" from the ground. I'd like to, though, because it gives better contro of the growing shape. Does this mean you can disregard the usual advice about cutting above the lowest bud?

Do these grow through plants?

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 16:22

I have papavers growing cheek by jowl with vigorous plants. The flowers come through and show up well and the leaves, which are not particularly beautiful, are hidden by the other plants. I do think they'd do better and have more impact if they had more space, and I'm trying to give them a bit more. However, they don't much like being moved, so it is the other plants which will probably have to be moved.

Bearded irised need to bake in the sin and don't look wonderful in a crowded border, I think. They don't flower for long, either, and I'm thinking of taking mine out.

I have also planted things closer than the recommended distance apart. It works, but there is a need to be vigilant and cut back at least the outer leaves of plants that would usually be allowed to die back naturally. Otherwise, you just get a disorganised mess. That cottage look is a lot less haphazard than it appears and is actually quite a lot of work.

Talkback: Planting to cut winter fuel bills

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 16:09

Our render is painted, old and does have the odd crack. We need to re-render, I expect, but when it comes to spending money my OH likes a long ponder and a good weep into his wallet.

"desirable" plants that become invasive monsters

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 16:02

I've remembered the name of that fuchsia-like perennial. Phygelius. Never again!! It was quite tall for a phygelius, about 4', so I think it must have been phygelius x rectus. Apparently it has a 5' spread but it looked to me as if it would go on spreading indefinitely and getting more and more messy and invasive. 


Posted: 13/02/2013 at 15:51

I know wht you mean, centuri!

A bit of a mulch now would be good, too.


Posted: 13/02/2013 at 15:49

Wow, that's a good idea, hypercharleyfarley! I'll remember that one. I once planted a conifer that had died on one side against a wall, after curttiing off the brown side. This worked well, because it was flatter than a more well-shaped conifer and fitted the space rather well.

Wendy7, if you buy a conifer sold in a garden centre for pot planting, it will be a slow-growing one. It will grow until its roots are pretty pot bound and this will itself limit the size of the tree. You should take it out annually and trim the roots by about an inch all around, then put fresh compost around it in the pot and also top it up with a bit of fresh compost. Keep it well-watered but don't be tempted to put it in a big pot or it will grow faster. Then you just have to accept that pot-grown plants do not live as long as ones in the ground or else get too big for purpose, and they have to be replaced. The brown die-back is usually because they did not get enough water - they are thirsty plants and need a regular soaking, daily in hot weather. Make up for the loss of nutrients in the potting medium (which should not be potting compost) which are washed away by watering by feeding it.Conifers like acidy soil, though they will grow in fairly neutral soil too, so need a fertiliser suitable for acid-lovers. Dono't fertilise too much, though ,or you'll stimulate too much growth.


Clematis nelly moser

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 15:33

I certainly agree that they are better off in the ground, providing the slugs don't get them before they get a chance to start into growth. Short term, I'd have thought the planting medium isn't that important and compost would be fine.

Climbing Rose - markings on stem

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 15:26

I agree. It has been very wet. There is something called stem canker which is more serious, but it doesn't look like that to me. Canker looks a bit like a wart and is wrinkly and can spread to encircle the stem.

Black spot can appear on the stems as well as the leaves. Apart from the commercial sprays, you can make a spray with 2 tbsps of bicarbonate of soda, a gallon of water and a splash of washing up liquid, which will help the bicarb stick to the leaves. You spray the stems and both sides of the leaves weekly.Obviously, observe good garden hygiene and get rid of any affected leaves, because they will fall anyway and if left, will enable the virus to affect other plants and survive until next year. Any affected stems  should be pruned off, too, and disposed of or burnt. It is said that roses planted in too much shade or without adequate air circulation are most vulnerable, but here in wet Wales, they are all vulnerable except the few resistant varieties 

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