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Latest posts by Ginglygangly

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Giant Echium (echium pininana)

Posted: 21/11/2014 at 19:41

I'm growing echium from seed. If they germinate before midsummer, they should flower two years later, so yours should be getting ready to flower next year. Protect them from frost over winter.

winter gardening

Posted: 16/11/2014 at 20:17

for your baskets, why not have some variegated ivy (choose one of the smaller leaved varieties). It would tumble very prettily over the edges. I would suggest you think about a limited colour palette - in winter, white  and  silver come into their own - and think about foliage more than flowers to your budget go further. For flowers, the hellebores others have mentioned would be lovely, also pansies and cyclamen. Also look out for snowdrops, although you will probably have to wait to buy them in flower now.

Weed problem

Posted: 13/11/2014 at 17:11

vigilance and persistence is all I can suggest I'm afraid! this is one of "my weeds" as I think of them - the ones that pop up everywhere in your garden when your back is turned. In my garden, bittercress are always trying to sneak in, and the annoying thing is that they are quite small when they flower and set seed and this seems to be at any time of year. Very easy to miss, especially in the winter when we all spend less time in the garden. I also have to keep on top of Herb Robert, chickweed, cleavers and sycamore seedlings. I just try to think of them as green manure and be grateful (touch wood) that I haven't got some of the more pernicious, deep rooted ones. If you have a patch where they are winning the battle and little else grows, except maybe bulbs, might be worth covering the ground with newspaper and a good layer of mulch. This will smother them and prevent their seeds generating and of course will all rot down over winter.

To late to plant foxgloves?

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 20:01

I've planted mine out - purely because the squirrels kept investigating the pots they were in and I thought they had better take their chances in the ground where the squirrels leave them alone. I sowed my foxgloves in spring and they are still pretty tiny - would have preferred to keep them protected till spring but oh well! I'll be surprised if they flower next summer, but all depends on how hard winter  is I guess. Certainly getting watered in nicely with all this rain!

Weed or flower?

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 17:07

those are lovely and you can get new plants by dividing them - just dig them up and separate them into smaller clumps. They aren't macorhizzum - not sure what variety they are. They might prefer a bit more sun and it's likely to be shady under your apple tree. Geranium Macrorhizzum will grow just about anywhere but is particularly useful in shade where many plants struggle and as others have said, is really easy to manage.

"Bug. Hotel"

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 18:21

I'm very impressed. Now I really want to build a deluxe bug residence. For the moment the bugs have to make do with a ramshackle collection of twigs, fatsia leaves and other detritus I have piled up in a quiet corner. Less bug hotel, more bug campsite perhaps? On the street corner opposite is an unofficial bulky waste collection site, where people dump stuff and the (wonderful) Hackney waste services pick it up daily. I am sure I will eventully "rescue" something to covert into a bug hotel.

What to plant under a tree?

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 18:07

Hi Rowie. I think you've had some excellent advice here! the challenge with planting under trees is that 1. they block light (when in leaf) 2.they act like an umbrella, so little rain gets through to the soil immediately underneath 3 they suck up an awful lot of moisture, so the end result is the dreaded "dry shade". There are plenty of plants that will thrive in these conditions though, many of which have been suggested.  If you plant some early flowering spring bulbs, these will do their thing before the tree comes into leaf and then quietly fade away until the next year, whilst the other plants people have suggested start to come into their own. To the excellent suggestions already made (especially Geranium Macrorhizzum, fab plant for this situation and brilliant for lazy gardeners, as it needs no pampering) I would just add Epymediums - the flowers are not terribly spectacular, but pretty enough in spring when  they have also have lovely vibrant green leaves,  they will grow in the driest spot right near the trunk of the tree. Some varieties also  have lovely leaf colour in Autumn - although not mine, it seems!. I've never seen them in the garden centre, so you are probably best looking online for these. Like all perennials, they can be quite pricey but they will spread really quickly and you can divide them after a year or so to get lots of new (free) plants.


Posted: 30/10/2014 at 17:52

yup it'll be Tufty and his pesky friends. They investigate any pots - they're currently digging up all my potted-on perennials in the hope of finding bulbs, resulting in compost everywhere and my cherished aquilegias etc uprooted. The varmints! Chicken wire is definitely the most effective deterrent. They are also busy burying horse chestnuts all over the garden so I will be uprooting trees in spring. Like Bookertoo, I have found nothing keeps them off my bird feeders. Although I do add chilli pepper to the birdseed purely for the pleasure of watching them eventually get a noseful, leap off and run to stick their heads in the pond. Whereupon I cackle malevolently.

Nerine sarniensis

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 17:44

there's a feature in this month's GW about nerines and I think Philippa is right - apparently they thrive on a bit of neglect and if you give them too much lurve (ie food)  they repay you with lots of leaves and no flowers. Try leaving them in the same compost for a year. Also make sure you don't bury too deep - you need to have a bit of the bulb poking out of the soil. I have the more common Bowdenii  and get two flower stalks every year, never more. Having read the feature, I will be replanting them in their own pot  because they are currently in a pot with other plants (for different seasons) and apparently they don't like sharing!

Impressions of the posters here

Posted: 23/10/2014 at 22:42

Runnybeak t'was I that mentioned decongestants, and purely cos of the nickname! O  Verdun, what have you started?

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