Latest posts by Gold1locks

Taking cuttings from unknown shrub

Posted: 22/04/2012 at 19:18

If it is kolkwitzia amabilis, semi- ripe cuttings - which will not be available for a few months yet. I assume you have just taken the cuttings, so I suspect they are softwood. These will require special care - mist etc.. Wait until early July to take cuttings, remove the soft tips and cover teh cuttings with a freezer bag or something similar. 

Alternatively, have a look at the base and see if you can see any suckers. This is a good time to lift one, with roots and soil, pot up and keep in a sheltered spot. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 22/04/2012 at 19:09

It works. I copied that straight from an internet site. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 22/04/2012 at 19:08


The board techies told me that if you copy the etxt into Word or Notepad and then into the message the hypertext stuff disappears. Bit of a fag. Instead I am going to try cutting, followed by right clicking and choosing 'paste as plain text'. Here goes!

Cistus originate from dry, rocky parts of the Mediterranean and Canary Islands, and so are drought-tolerant and low maintanance. They produce masses of flowers in midsummer, but each lasts only one day. This is one of the hardiest, most compact Cistus and is justifiably popular, with its papery, white flowers with bright yellow centres that appear from June to July and wavy-margined, dark green leaves. Try it in a a large, patio container, in a gravel garden, or at the front of a sunny, mixed border. It does, however, require protection from harsh north or east winds.

Petrol lawn mower

Posted: 22/04/2012 at 18:42

I bought a Mountfield 4 wheel mower 7 years ago. It worked fine. The only problem was that I had lots of borders and island beds, and when mowing along a lawn edge the front and back wheels on one side dropped down into the border and I scalped the lawn edge. To combat this I had to use the handle frame to hold teh deck horizontal, which was hard work and put a lot of strain on the handle frame bolts. 

I three years ago I bought an identical mower - 46cm - but with a rear roller - not for the stripes, but because the rear roller held the deck horizontal even when one third of the mower was off the lawn. So no more scalping. 

This spring the mower fired up first time.  

Eunonymous needs a doctor quick!

Posted: 22/04/2012 at 17:09

The culprit could be scale insects on the stems. These drain the energy from the shrub. I had a small acer dying back last summer and found clusters of the scale insects all along the stem. They also lurk on the underside of the leaves, and sugary sap oozing from the infested leaves gets attacked with sooty mould. Check to see, and if that's it then treat with Provado Ultimate Bug Killer. Organic insecticides won't shift it. 


Posted: 22/04/2012 at 17:05

After it has flowered it puts on new growth. In July take semi ripe cuttings. they root very easily. Google for how to take clematis cuttings, but basically, imagine a letter T with the cross piece being a pair of leaves. The vertical is the stem below the leaves. Allow 3 " of stem, and on one side use a sharp blade (Stanley knife type) to skin the bottom 1/2" of one side of the stem  to expose extra surface for the rooting compound. Cover and put them out of sunlight. They should root in eight weeks. 

tonights gardeners world

Posted: 22/04/2012 at 12:06

I saw some yesterday in a garden centre, including Cotton Cool, that were past their best and you might not be impressed. But don't let that put you off. They will be lovely again next March. 


Posted: 22/04/2012 at 05:58

Cut back as hard as you like after it has flowered. I have  cut back right into a 2" thick main stem of one that had got way out of control, but that took two years get fully reestablished. To maintain the existing size and flowering you should cut back to the start of this year's growth. Next year's flowers will form on  this year's new growth so if you leave pruning till summer the new growth will not have time to ripen fully.

My favourite clematis montana is Warwickshire, which produces bronzy purple leaves that contrast delightfully with the pink flowers. The leaves remain that colour right through the summer, which is a big bonus.   


Posted: 21/04/2012 at 19:49

You can also buy them from the local chemist - called tongue depressants (so the doc can see your tonsils). They look like 5" long lollipop sticks. I bought a pack of 200 to use in my classes. I write each student's name on a stick, and put each class set in a mug. I slect at random when throwing out questions to check learning, five seconds after posing the question. Great at the beginning of the year when i can't remember names. And good for plant labels too. 

Favourite tools

Posted: 21/04/2012 at 19:40

Besides the usual, I have a 5 foot long heavy crowbar, a heavy duty mattock, and a Mantis cultivator, all of which are essential for my heavy clay soil with a hardpan 12" - 15" down. 

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