Gardening Grandma

Latest posts by Gardening Grandma

Side of House

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 16:01

Just remember - the stems are incredibly fragile and sometimes die back when you think that no damage at all has been done. I suggest praying first!

My garden has also benefited a lot from the casualty corner of the garden centre. When I started off, I just wanted to fill the garden without actually taking out a second mortgage. Some things died, some things turned out to be invasive and virtually impossible to get rid of. Some thrived and turned out to be garden gems. I leanrt a lot and became a bit more heartless about getting rid of unwanted plants. Now that my garden is basically stocked, I find myself getting choosier, wanting plants that give months of colour and that have beautiful form. I'm thinking that, before long, I'll be able to pot up the things I take out and sell them at car boot sales and village shows. Gardening is such a creative process!

Threadbare Laurel

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 15:17

It has a very good root system by now so probably won't take long to regrow.

Tomato dropping blossoms - overfertilized?

Posted: 07/02/2013 at 15:15

I'm no  expert on tomatoes but I was just wondering whether you have done this before of whether this is an experiment. If the latter, then good for you. That's how knowledge develops. If you have done it before, was it different that time?  

Side of House

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 23:50

I live in South Wales, where the weather is a lot milder than yours so any plant suggestions I made might be worthless to you. Some clematis are much more hardy than others, but I should think that if they are offered in your local garden centre then they must be hardy enough. Most hybrids grow to about 6 - 8 feet, though some are much bigger, but the label will tell you.There's a thread about clematis at the moment which suggests ways to get clematis to flower better, but I'll just say that if you let them grow straight up a support then they will flower mostly or only at the top. They need to be taken sideways by being spread around a support. The stems are fragile and I find it easier to wind all the stems in the same direction. You might consider planting more than one (of the same kind) and winding them in different directions.  This isn't really the correct way, it is just simpler because the stems break easily. Nearly all clematis are not self clinging and need help to go up. Sorry if you knew all this! There are 3main groups and these need different pruning.

The weather

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 22:18

Most of the time, you might as well look out of the window. It is about as accurate as the official weather forecast! Paliasglide, your story ilustrates the fact that we are two generations away from that old knowledge. We have learnt to rely on science, which was supposed to provide the answer to everything. Now there is a lot of disillusionment with that, and interest has revived in traditional and herbal medicine. Also, drugs are increasingly expensive and countries like India are now doing scientific research into the scientific viability of herbal medicines - and many have been found to be effective.  So perhaps we are coming full circle and discovering that the old ways are valuable, after all.

raised flower bed plants - ideas please!

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 22:04

Moving things about is half the fun! My garden is tiny,too, and in a way, that makes it harder because there is no space for tings to spread out and it is quite hard to create good order and structure. you have to be quite creative, which is challenging but very satisfying. I hope your garden turns out wonderfully well.

raised flower bed plants - ideas please!

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 18:47

Busy-Lizzie, I stand corrected. I'll have to stop avoiding it. Maples grow in my garden! So do conifers. Heathers, rhododendrons and azaleas are an absolute no-no, except for winter flowering heather. They just sicken. My soil is fairly neutral but must be on the alkaline side because I've had enough failures to stop me from attempting anything that likes acidic soil. I haven't done well with photinias so far.

Naked Rose

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 14:40

The only rose I can find related to this is rosa Blanc Double de Coubert, which is a tough rugosa rose, highly scented and about 7 feet high when mature. It has wrinkly leaves. it can be found on




raised flower bed plants - ideas please!

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 14:18

i don't mean to be a prophet of doom (honest!) but photinia, which are lovely, need slightly acid soil and don't do well in my garden, which is neutral to alkaline. Another thing - I have an acer in one border which is now five feet or so tall and its gorgeous shape means that nothing much can be planted under it or too close to it, or the effect is lost. This year, I will have to dig it out or dedicate the border to it and plant everything else simply to give it a background.

Please forgive me if you already know this, but the honeysuckle needs pruning according to its type and there is informatin about this on If it is a climber it can be hard pruned in early spring but some honeysuckles need to be pruned in late summer because they flower on this year's growth and if you cut them back in spring they won't flower this year.

Clematis flowering problems

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 13:54

It is natural for clematis to flower at the top and the way to prevent this is to spread the stems sideways. The same is true of roses. The trouble with spreading clematis stems is that they ae very fragile and can get damaged even when you think you have been very gentle with them. That stem will then die back.You have to be very gentle and do it every time the plant makes a few inches of growth. If you have them in a pot with a pyramid support, an option is to plant more than one and gently take all the stems of each plant diagonally around the support. One thing that dawned on me when I looked at gorgeous displays of clematis in pots in garden shows was that there was more than one plant in there. Call me thick, but it took ages to realise this.

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