Jess is in the Garden


Latest posts by Jess is in the Garden

Plant suggestions please!

Posted: 26/07/2015 at 16:24

What about a sarcococca confusa? Lovely highly scented white flowers in winter, almost black berries follow. Fine in a pot, does well in partial to full shade.

shady, wet spot plant recommendations needed

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 12:53

Gardening G - in Obelix's garden photo above, it is the lovely almost yellow/green grass, slightly left of centre, front row bordering the paving. Obelixx's look like several plants grow next to each other - am I right Obelixx? They look lovely when they get larger and join together, bit like a cascade of leaves. As Verdun says, very classy and also very easy to grow and maintain. They really do their own thing. Mine are intermixed with ophiopogon black grass. I think my variety is called All Gold. never seen a purply or an orangey one - off too google 

shady, wet spot plant recommendations needed

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 11:27

Obelixx, which type is yours then? It sounds lovely with the purple rib. Can never have too much Hakkonechloa!

shady, wet spot plant recommendations needed

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 11:18

My hakkoneichloa (I have two varieties, the golden one and the variegated one, can't recall the names), are deciduous, so at the moment they are a pale coppery bronze but the leaves have all died back. They look quite nice though, even in that state. New leaves emerge around April time where I am.

shady, wet spot plant recommendations needed

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 10:34

obelixx that is beautiful 

shady, wet spot plant recommendations needed

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 10:29

Alchemilla is lovely - I agree with Dove, it isn't a thug at all.

How about some pulmonaria perhaps (white or blue flowers) or a smaller sarcococca bush which is evergreen and has tiny whitish flowers around now, which ar heavily scented and smell amazing if you are walking past?

My sarcococca and pulmonaria do well in heavy clay soil in full shade.

Shady spot..what to do?

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 10:25

Aaaah, all this talk of beautiful plants is making me want to go out into my frosty garden and do something - anything! Sick of this cold - roll on spring!

Lily of the valley

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 10:22

Good luck Doris!

I've never had any luck with mine. Normally get the odd solitary leaf and no flowers. Well drained area though, heavy soil, part shaded. Hmm....

Raised bed with clay soil

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 10:20

Grit I have used in pots for mediterranean plants is a fine grade horticultural grit. Good for top dressing of succulents etc too.

In the raised bed, I used a courser grade grit. I suppose it also depends on how long you are willing to wait before your soil improves with your continued efforts and how much of a budget you have..

Raised bed with clay soil

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 10:17

I have a bed similar to yours. Mine is in semi shade and the clods of clay I was lifting out of it were so dense, I could have almost made a pot out of it!

I got really fed up sifting in good stuff, turning it over, breaking it up etc.

In the end, I took the decision to empty pretty much the entire raised bed completely and start again.

I only left perhaps 20cm or so of clay at the very bottom, which I had turned, raked, broken up etc.

Back filled the rest of the bed as other s have suggested - grit, good quality compost, some manure.

My roses, by contrast, are in in the open ground (not the raised bed) in clay soil - I have turned it over so many times and add manure every year, but it is still heavy. They love it, no complaints!

My rosemary and lavenders and any other mediterranean plants were suffering in the ground, so I stuck them all in a big planter, half backfilled (as Monty advises) with broken crocks, The rest gritty soil. They are now thriving.

You can put mediterranean plants in a raised bed, provided drainage is excellent and as someone on here has said, add loads of big pieces of material around the plants and keep them near the front. Personally, unless I am doing a 100% mediterranean plant raised bed, where I can get the conditions perfect for them, I don't bother and always stick them in pots instead.

If you soil, in spite of you efforts, remains fairly heavy, go for perennials that don't mind those conditions (as someone else has said). In my wetter, heavier and shadier parts of the garden, I have real success growing ophiopogon (black grass), as well as Japanese anemones, heucheras, hakkonechloa grass, cyclamen hederifoliums, snowdrops, ferns of various types, aucuba and astilbes. Worth pointing out though that the garden drains well now, even though it didn't used to. There are few plants I know of, except certain irises and ophiopogon grass, that will relish sitting in water.

Good luck!

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