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Latest posts by greenjude

Plastic packages for posted plants

Posted: 01/03/2013 at 00:22

Hi all,

Has anyone found a use for those green plastic boxes that mail order plants come in? I've got lots of 'em that look useful so I can't bear to throw them away, but what can I do with them? Any recycling tips, please?

A boost to winter.....

Posted: 01/02/2013 at 11:24

Verdun, you're right, of course, it should be in the ground, but at the moment there's nowhere suitable and hellebores tend to sulk if they're disturbed. The head gardener at Hadlow advised me to keep it in a deep pot if it had to be potted, and it's looking quite happy, in spite of being flattened by the recent snow.

For anyone interested in Kent or nearby, there are some open days at Hadlow College, Broadview Gardens on Sat/Sun 16/17 Feb, 23/24 Feb and 2/3 March. The gardens are open (and free!) all the time but open days have guided tours too, for £3. Some of the hellebore beds are interplanted with snowdrops and look great.

A boost to winter.....

Posted: 31/01/2013 at 22:21

Thanks. It'll probably take 3 years before I see any flowers but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait. I'll post a pic of Mum when the flowers have opened. She's a real cutie so I have hopes of the offspring.

A boost to winter.....

Posted: 31/01/2013 at 21:09

Hi Nutcutlet. Iris stylosa has been renamed I. unguicularis - harder to say and spell!

I was given a double white with maroon speckles hellebore from the breeding programme at Hadlow College, where they have a National Collection (Plant Heritage). It's in a deep pot on a shelf opposite my kitchen window and looks great, just thinking about coming into flower now. The first year it was near a H. hybridus variety but nothing happened. Last year there was no other hellebore anywhere near but one flower produced 8 seeds. As it should be sterile I was very excited. I sown them in modules and left them under the greenhouse staging. Now I'm even more excited because I have 6 seedlings just emerging. Fingers and other things crossed!

Talkback: Growing chillies from seed

Posted: 31/01/2013 at 20:48

Hi Sally. Your chillis will keep going fine. I've got 5 plants of a variety called 'Vampire' that I trialled for Which?Gardening last year. I cut them back to bring them indoors when it got cold and they've spent the winter on my kitchen floor. Not brilliant light but I've got lots of plants indoors and I'm short on space! All 5 are now sprouting healthily and I expect a good crop this year.

It's a very attractive variety with purple-tinged leaves, purple flowers, larger than usual, and the fruits start purple and turn red when ripe. (Can you tell I like purple?) Not one fruit ripened last year and they have no heat when unripe, but with the early start this year I expect the goods! I think they're about 14000 on the Scoville scale. If nothing else, they're very pretty plants. Specially if you like purple.


Posted: 13/10/2012 at 20:47

Christopher2, it's a great forum, I agree. I don't come in very often but I'm always here for much longer than I planned. There are so many tips to pick up. What I love too is that people tell you their experiences, not what the books say should happen, so you can find out how a plant really behaved in a given site. You can't always trust plant labels, I've found. Several plants I bought this year turned out to be wrongly named, and some others I knew were wrong, eg, a penstemon labelled scabious.

Ladygardener2, I've found you can leave wallflowers in pots all winter and let them flower in pots. I've got I think 4 that have flowered 2 years running and still look as if they'll flower next year. If you want to plant them in spring, they should settle in without problems.


Posted: 12/10/2012 at 01:30

Here's a clip to Horticulture Week:

Van Noort forced to stop growing geranium type after DNA testing

By Jack Sidders 16 April 2010

Dutch grower and breeder Marco Van Noort has lost a EUR200,000 licensing dispute with Blooms of Bressingham North America after DNA testing revealed "virtually no differences" between geraniums marketed by the two companies.

Sorry about the huge print. It doesn't look like that on the site

I'm not a subscriber so I couldn't go further, but there was a court case in 2010 where the name had to be withdrawn. In the RHS Plant Finder, under Jolly Bee it says see Rozanne. Having said that, I've also found several nurseries still listing Jolly Bee, mostly in the US but some in the UK.

I've split mine, and in different sites the colour does look a bit different - more purply in shade. Whatever, it's an A1 beautiful plant, and so unfussy. I have a piece that's been in a small pot for nearly 2 years, waiting for a home, and in spite of drying out more that once it's flowered all summer.


Posted: 11/10/2012 at 23:37

Lilylouise, I've grown wallflowers in pots for years. They work really well, even tall ones if the pot's big enough.

Lokelani, if Bowles Mauve looks too leggy, I cut off the stalks with flowers on the end and put them in water outside. That way they stay in a neat bunch and your bush looks tidier. They last quite well in water outdoors. Mine's doing the same at the moment but it looks really good - a sort of 3D effect. I took a promising photo but it's still in the camera!

Christopher2, I agree that geraniums are brilliant gound cover over bulbs and mostly low-maintenance. But the variety Jolly Bee has been withdrawn, or rather the name has, because it 's turned out to be exactly the same as Rozanne (DNA tested). Some naughty nursery has tried to pass it off as a new variety. It's a great plant - grows in sun or shade and the flowers last for ages because they're sterile. And what a colour!

Bambo like plant

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 23:18

Definitely Leycesteria formosa. It's a lovely plant but it can self-seed quite a bit, so watch out for plants where you don't want them. They're easy to remove when young, so not a great worry. The flowers are small and white and don't last all that long, but they're held in lovely dark red bracts that last for ages.

I can see a few dead bits in the pics - cut these out now while you can see them easily, then each spring (might not be needed next year) cut out the oldest stems at ground level. If they get too big, cut out more.

They lose their leaves in winter but the stems stay that lovely bright green, which looks really good. Happy growing!

Ice-cream Penstemons - 'Melting Candy'

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 00:16

Some species and varieties do flop naturally. They are hardy and slugs leave them alone on the whole. It's late in the year now, but next year try the Chelsea chop - cut them back by one third to a half in late May. They'll flower a bit later but the stems will be shorter, stiffer and less inclined to flop. I do this every year with Penstemon barbatus and some other plants and it works well.

Your plants look healthy. Are they in good light? They'll take some shade but it'll make them leggier.

If you want to move them now, make sure you water them well before you lift them and take a good rootball. Replant as soon as possible and water if it's very dry (fat chance!).

Discussions started by greenjude

Plastic packages for posted plants

Replies: 9    Views: 639
Last Post: 01/03/2013 at 13:59

Begonia dryadis

plant requirements 
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Last Post: 22/12/2011 at 21:41
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