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Jim Macd


Latest posts by Jim Macd

Guelder Rose

Posted: 01/02/2014 at 16:50

Yeah, you could get some pretty cheap stakes put some wire between and grow the Clematis on that if you want to go Clematis way. But I'm sure your neighbour wouldn't mind if you put some brass screws into the posts and put wire between for supporting your climber. 

I meant to add to my last statement above about the Rambling Rector that it grew 3 meters in the first year. It's been in just two now and has almost filled or at least softened the large gap I bought it for. It would probably be too big for your space but it would certainly grow faster than anything else I could name. Did I also mention that it has beautiful scent and rage clusters of smei-double flowers. The bees still get a good helping of pollen and nectar. It isn't native though. 

Another native with berries and is evergreen is Ligustrum vulgare. Now, the British origin ones are not fully evergreen but the Italian origin ones are. If you go for that one be very careful not to get confused with Ligustrum ovalifolium, the common privet, L. vulgare has berries since it flowers much earlier in its life that the common privet, which is from Japan. L.v. has the same kind of white flowers, smells very nice and attracts bees and butterflies. The berries are poisonous to us but the birds eat them. 

If you don' have Viburnum opulus though, I do recommend it. It's so lovely. A bit unruly if you want something formal but I doubt you do if you want a wildlife plant. 

Physalis Little Lanterns

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 14:19

I grew them in County Durham, they were quite nice. I grew them in a porch. I grew mine from seed I got from fruit. I bought some seed on line too but never sowed it. I made no effort with the seed other than pick it out of my teeth first.

How to prune cooking apple tree

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 14:14

Hi Tilly, yes, you can cut back the leader to open up the centre if that's the kind of tree you want. Don't worry about painting over the wound, when I was at college we were told this just seales in bugs. As long as the cut is clean and you don't leave a big stub it will heal over much quicker than you think. There's lots of good videos on Youtube about pruing old and young apple trees. Look at Stephen Hayes' videos, he's very good and a really great bloke. Good luck.

Guelder Rose

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 11:44

You could grow the native Clematis vitalba, old man's beard, on a trellis in the meantime, it's really fast growing, fast enough to reach six feet in a year, it isn't evergreen but it's good for wildlife, then when the Viburnum has grown you can get rid of the Clematis if you don't want it anymore. You might need two to cover a fence panel quickly. Naturescape sell them, that's where I got mine to cover a gap. Failing that how about Rose Rambling Rector, grows very fast, is almost evergreen and has hips which the birds will eat. Mine grew 3 meters from a bare root six inch high stub planted less than two feet from a 4m high conifer

Guelder Rose

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 18:09

Sorry, mist the bit about you asking about cultivars. Yeah, as nut said, mine are wild, un-named plants. You could probably pick them up from your local nursery in the hedging section. They are in mine and come five to a pot and work out about £2.00 each or you can get them from Ashridge trees, Hedges Direct which is a sister site I think of Buckingham nursery or hedge nursery in potted or bare root plus many more as heeding stock for sometimes pence. Have a look around where you live though you can also probably find them in newer council plantings. I'm sure nobody would mind you taking some hard wood cuttings. Take them about 8-12" long and treat like like any other hardwood cutting. 

Guelder Rose

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 23:50
Ahmadmirza wrote (see)

Which cultivars of Viburnum opulus do you two have. I am going to try and find the cultivar corns, it should grow tall enough to cover my fence. Our council plant Rowan trees in the streets and they make such a mess I've gone off them and never had one. In fact I've never seen birds eat the berries, maybe that is because the berries are yellow.

Yeah, the birds won't touch the yellow ones, 'they're not ripe' as far as the birds are concerned. I think that's why they like the Cardinal Royal so much, it's very red. 

Guelder Rose

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 23:48
nutcutlet wrote (see)

The birds are quick off the mark with rowan berries. I have S. hupehensis which berried very well this year. I thought the birds weren't interested then suddenly they found them and stripped it in a day. 

I've never tried grafting and budding, everything comes from seed. 

I might try some hardwood cuttings from the V. opulus, I never find seedlings about.

I found one, it was quite big, it must have seeded the first year after planting unless it was coincidence. (The stuff I've had come up that I just bought is weird, like some cosmic joke. .) There's loads of V. o. just a mile away. I live near Durham Wildlife HQ 

Grafting and budding is really not hard. You have to follow a couple of basic rules then it looks after itself. You should give it a try if there's a variety of something you feel you made a mistake with then graft it over. You get a big head start on growing a new one. 

Guelder Rose

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 20:02

Agree nut. I enjoy the autumn colour on mine more than anything else I think, probably because I have one near my window and when I have the light on at night it looks really otherworldly. I've got a load of hard wood cuttings from mine this year. I can't get enough of them and the birds strip the berries from them very quickly. The tree they strip the berries from first is the Rowan. The minute they're red, they're gone, not the S. vilmorinii though, that's getting grafted over this year, I've had enough of it, it hardly ever sets any fruit, it looks sparse and wispy, it's a weird shape the berries that I did get are still there untouched. I've got a Sorbe, S. domestica, I'm going to have a go at grafting or budding that in the hope I can get some fruit before I'm too old to care. Not all the grafts took from the Edulis but all the chip buds took so maybe that's the best way to go and you get more for you efforts. 

Guelder Rose

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 14:26

There isn't an evergreen V. opulus. There's loads of good shrubs for berries, V.o. is one but not evergreen, Pyracnatha c. Cadrou is great for berries and birds love it. They stripped mine clean over Christmas week. Holly and ivy are good native evergreens for birds and wildlife. I would advise to look up what is native then check if evergreen and if has berries before buying anything. Google is a wonderful tool.

Moving an Old Berberis Darwinii

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 19:01

Not more rain!? Well, you've done a great job, I'm sure you won't need all that support for too long but it won't hurt and would be a shame if something did go wrong. I planted a much taller pear with much less root than that without so much as a degree of leaning. I'm sure you will because you've done a great job but keep it well watered for the next year, even if it has rained. But don't worry about feeding it anymore. Just let it settle in, but do keep it weed free while it settles back in. 

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