Latest posts by Ginglygangly

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Need help in identifying plants

Posted: 22/02/2017 at 22:15

You'll get loads of help with the plant IDs! there are some real pros on this forum.

Regarding your containers, most flowering plants have their season of glory when they look fab and then they tend to quietly fade into the background.  Trying to ensure that there is always something in flower is a real challenge, but if you choose different plants that will "perform" at different times of year, and perhaps have attractive foliage when they are not in flower, you might manage to have something in flower all year round. I'm still working on this myself :-) but have almost managed it and can recommend the following (my front garden, where I am trying to achieve this, is very small)

Daphne Aureomarginata and/or Sarcococca (think that is how it is spelt!) both shrubs that are flowering now. They both smell gorgeous. The Daphne has attractive variegated foliage and clusters of pink flowers. They will do their thing and then sit quietly at the back of the border providing a green foil for later flowering plants. Sarcococca's flowers smell incredibly strong, but they are so tiny you can barely see them, so grown for the scent not the looks!

Salvia Amistad. BIG perennial, starts flowering in late summer and mine would still be flowering now if I hadn't cut it back. It has very attractive long purple flowers. Grows to about 5ft in my garden, maybe more in full sun.

Fuchsia Army Nurse. Hardy fuchsia with purple and red flowers. This starts flowering really early (March sometimes) and seems to flower well into late Autumn if you dead head it. Needs some sun, but seems to do well for me with just a few hours a day.

I saw your other post about your hydrangea. Shame the old one has gone but there are so many lovely ones and they do flower for a long time in summer. Also the drying heads can look quite attractive over winter. Treat yourself to a new one.

Japanese Anemones - if you grow them in pots you can stop them romping through your borders. Some people love them, some loathe them but they are pretty and flower for months if deadheaded.

You could also sow some annuals in your pots in a couple of weeks and you should get loads of flowers this summer!

Good luck! I'm sure you'll get lots of other suggestions.


Badly pruned hydrangea - getting it to flower

Posted: 06/02/2017 at 21:34

Hi Stephanie

You will probably get flowers this year at the end of the shoots. As you didn't have flowers last year, it's difficult to tell where to prune the shoots back to, but by end the end of March/ beginning of April, you should have some promising buds and the tips above them may well have gone brown so you can prune back to the new growth. You could also try thinning out the branches a bit, cutting some of the older (brown) branches back to the ground. You'll get vigorous new growth from the base and those stems will flower next year. That should keep it to a manageable size. That's the treatment I have resorted to with a lacecap hydrangea in my garden that gets absolutely enormous if left to its own devices. Once it's flowered, I leave the flowers to fade and leave them on until the spring when I prune back to the new buds and I thin out about a third of the older branches to keep it in check.

Good luck!

Bunny Tails Grass

Posted: 23/01/2017 at 20:47

I've grown these as an annual. I let some of them seed and they germinated outside in the Autumn. Very easy to grow and they look lovely as a filler plant in the border. So nice to touch.


Posted: 23/01/2017 at 20:44

well, a lot depends on the weather of course, but cosmos is probably a good idea - there are lots of different varieties, but essentially you should get lots of pretty daisy like flowers - some varieties are taller than others. Start them off in the warm in a month or so to get a head start.

Nothing to do with gardening

Posted: 23/11/2016 at 20:34

I like to make old-fashioned pomanders - stud an orange with cloves, hang it up somewhere and it smells lovely.

Leaf mould

Posted: 15/11/2016 at 21:56

I make leaf mould every year. I only have a small garden so am very picky about the leaves I collect! There is a fantastic old lime tree and those leaves break down very easily I find, within a year. I put them in black bin bags, punch some holes in them and make sure they are wet or at least somewhere where they will get rained on. After a while, when they have noticeably reduced in volume, I empty them into two old bins, which are effectively giant wormeries and the worms break them down into sticky, crumbly "black gold" in no time. I sieve the leaf mould and return most of the worms to the bins. There are lots of other trees around, and most of their leaves seem to end up in my garden. Not having a shredder or a mower, I don't bother with London Plane leaves - they are huge and like wooden dinner plates and take years to break down - I just put those out for the council to collect and process and burn some for woodash which goes on the border or in the compost bin. Similarly, I get rid of most of the sycamore leaves, as I find they just go slimy. I can put up with the bags stacked in various corners around the garden in the winter. From spring, I gradually process them and spread the leaf mould on the borders in the summer to help reduce watering. It is lovely stuff. Usually by the time the first leaves start to fall - at the end of August - I have processed the previous year's harvest and it all starts again! It has really improved the quality of my soil, which was sick and yellow when I took on my garden and is now black and full of life. It's definitely worth doing.

Can you tell me what this is please

Posted: 15/11/2016 at 21:34

looks like a passionflower to me

Growing flowers for a wedding on 5 August?!

Posted: 04/09/2016 at 13:40

Hi James

It's worth a go but a risky strategy! As Ladybird has pointed out, lots of your favourites will not be in season although there will be alternatives. You need to do some research on what will be available (L has already mentioned a few) and keep an open mind, as these may not be quite what you have in mind.  Best to research this ASAP as some things (hardy annuals, bulbs, perennials) might need to be planted in the Autumn to give them a good chance - if you buy them later as established plants they will be much more expensive. As well as perennials and possibly some annuals, there might be some shrubs that are still in flower then - possibly philadelphus for example. You should definitely think about growing some good foliage plants as well as flowers. And bear in mind that the weather, pests and diseases etc can scupper even the best laid plans. You will need to grow a lot to ensure that you have enough,and stagger the sowing times of any annuals and bulbs to ensure you have flowers at their peak at the right time . It would definitely help if you can protect some of your  precious plants in a greenhouse. Perhaps you could focus on providing flowers/ foliage for the venue and buy in the flowers that you want for the bouquet? In short, do your research, give it a go but be prepared to make alternative plans nearer the day!


Gladioli seeds

Posted: 04/09/2016 at 12:31

agree with Ladybird4 - they would eventually flower but as you cannot be sure what the resulting plants would look like, it probably isn't worth the bother. If you let the leaves die down and then dig up the corms (I find they don't survive if left in the ground over winter. I store mine in my shed), you may find lots of little baby ones around the main corm. You could try planting these up and growing them on, but again they will take a long time to mature and flower. You would eventually have replicas of the main plants though.

What is this plant called?

Posted: 04/09/2016 at 12:04

looks like pheasant berry - also known as Himalayan Honeysuckle (don't panic, not Himalayan balsam!)

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