Latest posts by Hortum-cretae

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Where do you trust to buy plants from?

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 19:33

I run my own garden centre and I have to be careful about the sources of my stock. I've been dished out vine weevil, heuchera rust, and been sent mildewed plants, and over-fertilised plants which collapse as soon as the watering falls below the gallons level.  I've bought mail order but never on-line. Anything from a new source is quarantined, even for a few days, and is always checked. Nothing wrong with buying from fete stalls - many a bargain to be had that way, but always be aware of the pests and diseases which are specific to the plants you buy, and do the quarantine bit.  I always check my suppliers growing sites and their stocks so that I'm confident in the health of the plants I'm ordering.  I suggest that's not very different when you're buying as a customer at a garden centre, a fete, or anywhere else.  Buy from a reputable source, or make sure you see the plants before buying. H-C    

ID please

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 19:20

Common name Tutsan (from French, all healthy. Used medicinally and, I believe, as a preservative for the paper of old books.

'A tincture made from this plant, as well as that made from the perforate St. John's Wort, has been used with success to cure melancholia, and its allied forms of insanity(!)


How deep to plant leafy bulbs?

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 19:13

I'd leave them at the depth they are until the foliage dies down. Those leaves are working to put goodness into the bulb.  Planting them deep now will rot the leaves and won' help. Then, when the foliage has died down, lift them and replant where you want them. Planted deeper they'll develop properly to flower.  H-C

Unidentifued white flowering climber

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 19:08

Muehlenbeckia complexa - creeping wire vine, mattress vine, mattress wire weed, to list a few of its 'common' names is another such plant. I removed a twenty metre mat of it once from a courtyard garden in council offices not too far from me.  It was 20 feet up birch trees, about 3 feet deep over the whole area, and I could jump onto it and bounce!  It had smothered every other plant in the garden, and yet it's still sold as a landscaping stalwart. HC

How to get what you want out of a landscape designer?

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 18:57

With respect to those designers who know their stuff, this question is evidences exactly the reasons behind me starting my consultancy business. A designer should be able to steer you through the decisions required and advise at every stage. Unfortunately some designers don't know their plants (it's a very small part of the garden design courses), and others aren't knowledgeable enough to step in and advise when a client isn't sure of the direction to take. Be bold, decide what you want (patio, trees, sunny summer borders, or structured shrubbery with perhaps a little less maintenance). Unfortunately you might end up designing the garden, the designer can advise on levels and materials, and the landscaper can change it all when he starts. Sorry, I meant he can do the build!  Hopefully he'll convert your wishes and the designer's advice into a finished product. H-C

Lilac hedge not flowering

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 06:11

Lilac forms its flower buds in summer, after it's flowered. As a hedge, doubtless it's regularly cut. I expect all its potential flower growth is being cut off each year. I've never seen it effective as a hedge and flowering.  HC

Wild plant ID

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 06:08

Don't be frightened of it!  I'd sow just a few and try one. Spectacular in a pond that's big enough - up to 7ft.  HC

Wisteria planting.

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 06:06

A barrel's fine, especially if you're going to keep it in check. They can be bonsaied so they'll take it. It'll be a graft, I expect, but that's normal. In a container they'll often flower earlier in their lives, so the correct pruning regime should work well.  It's due its first prune back in the next couple of weeks and then a January further nip back to two buds on each previously shortened length should encourage the flower buds to form.  A good soil-based compost, or good garden soil, and plenty of water in dry spells. Don't expect Mother Nature to get it perfectly right as her rains are often inadequate. HC 

Pond blanket weed

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 06:00

I've built several ponds and have never used a filter or barley straw. Barley straw does have some effect, naturally, but its use is promoted beyond its capabilities. For it to be effective, you actually need much more than the tiny (expensive) packs you get in some garden centres.  Important is to get plants established, and about 30 - 40% of the water surface covered (lily or another floating surface weed). The excess nutrients are then used up and sunlight onto the water is reduced, both of which events keep the alga in check.  You've only just re-done the pond, so it'll take time for the plants in it to get going, plus, we've had a lot of sunshine which will boost the blanket weed growth faster than any new planting can cope with, yet.  Give it time. HC

what could this plant be please

Posted: 04/07/2014 at 05:49

Look at salvia turkestanica? HC

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Discussions started by Hortum-cretae

Tiger in the woods

First red tiger of the year 
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Last Post: 23/06/2014 at 16:36

Uploading photos

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