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Latest posts by Hortum-cretae

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Cutting back

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 12:49

Just remove old/faded flower stems.  If you do this early in the season you'll often get a second flush (remember for next year).  The central rosette will overwinter and grow away strongly next year. Now's the time you could put a mulch of compost around the plant, too


Help please Identifying a plant

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 12:46

Long-flowering, as you've found out. Free-draining soil (it's Mexican), and resist the urge to tidy it up in autumn as it colours prettily. It doesn't like being moved, so if you have to, lift and divide in mid-spring when it'll be concentrating on growing and may not notice the disturbance. H-C

Garden design

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 12:29

And always allow a bit more room than you think will suffice. Room to walk around, shuffle, put the wine glass etc

Dying Bush

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 12:27

Plus, that one looks fairly elderly (in choisya terms) so it's possible that minor damage in its early life has finally taken its toll, and the flow of sap up that main stem has been interrupted somehow. As above, cut it out (it aint gonna recover), and re-shape the shrub. Gives you some room for something else. Low geranium like G. 'Havana Blues' or 'Rozanne'.


whats eating my beetroot

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 12:23

I know the slugs have been big this year, but to leave teeth marks?!  Is the damage above ground or below? Why I ask is that mice and rabbits etc will be above, but vole damage can be from below as they can dig to reach food underground. They'll be healthy, anyway, with all those anti-oxidants. Good for the kestrels and barn owls. 

Help please Identifying a plant

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 12:17

It's gaura. H-C

My onion stems aren't drying out

Posted: 28/09/2014 at 12:07

Don't worry too much, you'll only need a couple of chilly nights dry, and a bit of sun, and they should quickly turn. Season is long, though. Then lift and dry as normal. It's 70 degrees plus here in Winchester!


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

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