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gardenning granny

Latest posts by gardenning granny

Anyone know what this is please?

Posted: 19/10/2014 at 10:26

Thank you for reminding me of the name of the Duchess, Bilje - I had quite forgotten it.  It doesn't seem to multiply very quickly, nor does Topsy Turvey (which I leave outside in France, but bring in in England - but it came from the Eden project, and I love it's "inside-out" habit).

I'm not usually into detailed names, I just need to know that on the whole the houseleeks are happy outdoors and love the wet weather, while the echeverias definitely don't like the cold and the wet.  They live in my cold greenhouse quite happily through the winter.

Anyone know what this is please?

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 19:39

the large plant in my sink, in flower, is an echeveria (as is the purply one in the foreground).  It will need to be brought under cover for the winter (I lift mine and keep it in the cold greenhouse during the cold months).  I also have them growing in balconnieres in my place in southern France - they manage with virtually no water through the summer, but again are brought under cover for the winter as they can't stand the wet (you will see they are surrounded by gravel to keep the leaves off the soil).  Treated right they produce many offspring around the original rosette and can get quite big.  The flowers on mine are a salmony pink.


Moving clematis

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 19:23

I'd leave the winter flowering one until the spring.  If it's in the wrong place I'd give it a go then anyway, after all, it's not going to cost a fortune to replace it if it doesn't survive (Wyevale usually have a 3 for £10 offer in the spring).  The other option is to plant some of the feathery seeds - the winter flowering ones seem to grow quite easily from seed.

solar or not

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 19:18

Like gardenmaiden we had ours installed some time ago.  The cost was higher then than it is now, but we will re-coop the cost in 8 years, and our electricity costs have been greatly reduced (about £80 p/m dual fuel for a four bedroomed house).  We take great pleasure in not running the dishwasher until the sun comes out, and the panels generate all year round, though considerably more profitably in the summer.  Our 18 panels pay us arounf £2000 a year, in addition to the reduction in electricity costs.  We thought of the installation costs as being more effective than an ISA in terms of pay-back.

I cannot understand why it is not mandatory to install solar panels on all new-builds.

Trailing Fuchsia and Grasses

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 19:07

Hello pennymax - I've already added something to another "fuchsia" overwintering query which may help.  Fuchsias like to be cold and frost-free in the winter, but definitely not wet.  Please look at my other answer which is much fuller.

over wintering fuschias

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 19:04

My fuschia book recommends burying the dormant plants.  I have a pit under the staging in my cold greenhouse - about 15" deep.  At end of october I strip off all the remaining leaves, cut back any straggly bits, then give the pots a good watering.  Once they have drained they are laid horizontally in the pit, side by side then one on top of another and covered with damp newspaper (it is supposed to be loose compost but I never have enough of that!) and then bubblewrap tucked in around the whole area.  They are then left until the end of March when they are brought out and will already have new shoots forming.  They return to the staging, are well watered, and will grow on enthusiastically.  This is when I also have the most success taking cuttings.

If I don't have enough space the pots are brought into the shed (they need to be cold but frost free) - and virtually left until watering recommences in March.

These two methods seem to have worked really well for me.


Posted: 04/10/2014 at 19:26

leaving the heads on over winter gives winter interest - then cut them back in late spring, after the frosts. I have found they need a damp situation - one of mine gets very dry and never flowers!  I guess I ought to move day.

loved gardening quotes

Posted: 04/10/2014 at 19:11

you've had all the best ones already but

Old gardeners never die, they just throw in   the trowel

Crab Apple Jelly

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 22:12

my John Downie was a s prolific as usual, but really badly marked and scarred fruit.  I think it must just be a bad year - usually delightful to look at and super jelly but the tree looks very stressed just now.


Posted: 03/10/2014 at 22:06

everyone seems to have different ideas about overwintering - for sure they won't survive outside unless it is a very mild winter and they are very sheltered.  I have never had any luck with autumn cuttings (those taken in spring root readily for me) but I bring all my pots into an unheated lobby - spray well for insects (they seem prone to caterpillars which develop if you don't spray)- cut back any straggly bits to a lower bud if possible, and enjoy them blooming all winter.  I give very little water (only if they beg for it) and they seem to get bigger and bigger each year.  Occasionally one or two give up the ghost, but I have too many anyway!

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