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Latest posts by jo4eyes

Shady blooms from seed - Help!

Posted: 11/02/2014 at 14:31

Is the tree in your garden or a neighbours'?

If neighbours then unfortunately no guarentee it will be felled. If yours then if done asap you will have some time to deal with the soil conditions you will be left with. The soil beneath/around will be impoverished so will need TLC to improve things before you can safely plant things.

To do that properly takes time & effort, so had you thought about using large pots/planters for annual flower seeds, summer bulbs etc.? That way you'll get some colour this year.

Gardening in shade is challenging but there are lots of plants that will provide colour, providing you do 1.preparation of ground & 2. reasearch, ask on here etc, about suitable plants, J.

verbena bonariensis help

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 17:03

Well I'd certainly secure the fence panels first. Usually a small block of wood can be hammered in between the panel & concrete post to fix the 'wobble'.I'd do that asap so you 1. dont lose a fence panel in any more gales & 2. are ready for coldframe arrival. Trying to sort it once damage is done wont be ideal!

Oh & if the panels need restaining/painting do it before you site the coldframe next to fence.

Try some vine eyes fixed to the panel, or even concrete post if poss- wear safety goggles if drilling into concrete .Then strong garden wire looped through those & around the coldframe frame/supports should do the trick. BTW I'd also check who owns the fence first......

If it's not yours then just use very strong twine to loop through the wooden panels, if they're up to it, & the CF frame as before. J.

verbena bonariensis help

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 15:30

It'll be better sited where there is some shade, unless you can be absolutely sure that you can well ventilate it every sunny day. No offence, but all of us have 'frazzled' things at some time! 

BTW as it's a tall one do make absolutely sure that it's well attached to the wall if possible. The tall ones can blow over! J.

verbena bonariensis help

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 15:06
Magical Meerkat wrote (see)


I bought this Verbena Bonariensis last year and it was great and flowered right into November/Dec. I went for a wander today and I see it is started to shoot. Should I have pruned it to the ground? or do you leave them to get on with themselves?

Sorry for the terribly blurry photo, I took it with me phone.

Thanks MM


As it's still relatively mild then it probably will still keep growing. So leave it for now. Once the weather does properly warm up then there may be some dead/dying bits which you can snip off. You may also spot self-sown 'babies' nearby later in Spring. Those can be carefully lifted & potted up/planted e/w.

If it produces new side shoots you can take those off as cuttings, which I try & do every yr. The normal time for taking cuttings is late summer/autumn for me, but they need overwintering in a coldframe/inside which you may not have.

Mine are still standing proud out there- shall investigate them around March, J.

Cornus alba Sibirica in Containers

Posted: 07/01/2014 at 16:21

A large pot would be best. Also stand it on a 'saucer' as Cornus like moisture, J.

Caring for Skimmia japonica

Posted: 07/01/2014 at 16:18

Agree with Dove. Problem is it's already been indoors for how long?

If you can it would be happier in either a coldframe to start with, then when the weather does warm up putting it outside. If you just put it out now, when we have some more cold weather it wont be happy.

You could also tuck it right next to a sheltered wall, & then it'll be much better, J.

How do i find out if we have any hedgehogs?

Posted: 07/01/2014 at 16:12

I've done that too Dove. We had a new solid wood side gate fitted & as I knew, from droppings, the old gate was a 'route' I asked the joiner to cut one out.

Trouble is a local cat can sneak through as well. He/she then hides amongst my Hosta pots to stake out the birds feeding nearby! (Said cat, I assume, has also buckled the the polycarbonate lid to 1 of my coldframes by jumping down from the fence onto it!!)

Last summer I found the 'nest' of dried leaves under a Leyland hedge where I expect 1 had hibernated over winter 12/13.

Daughter also woke her parents at about 3am one night, after a night duty, to show us her photo of our visitor!! J.

December planting

Posted: 10/12/2013 at 17:07

I agree. Get them in the ground asap as long as it's not waterlogged or frozen. They'll be pot bound I expect, so possibly try to ease their rootballs, but very gently.

I've just spent the last 2 days planting up an enlarged bed created by the collapse in last weeks' gales of 2 6ft trellis panels. Digging it over the soil was good to work in. The recent rain will help things to settle in nicely. J.

Moving a Rose Bush

Posted: 10/12/2013 at 16:52

Best to move a rose when they have no leaves- ie dormant, so now fine. Nov-March often stated. Not when the ground is waterlogged or frosty.  But I have successfully moved 1 of mine in the summer- if done then water, water +++.

Watch that you dont bury the 'graft' on the stem otherwise the parent plant stock will throw up its' own suckers. I'd also cut it back a bit to prevent any windrock loosening it in the ground. Mulch well & it should be fine. J.


Plant identified by Alina W about to flower (epiphyllum)

Posted: 10/12/2013 at 16:46
Swedboy wrote (see)

Thank you both. I have no idea why it has decided to flower now. I think it is about ten years since I took the cutting. Fotofit what tricks did you use to get it to flower? Alina W recomended a coldish spel in winter.

Hi Swedeboy, My late MIL gave me a selection of these plants many yrs back. I've found that they eventually flower when a wee bit pot bound, so 10yrs isnt so bad, depending on when you last repotted it.

Mine live in an unheated NW part glazed porch for the autumn/winter/spring months. End of May, am in NW, they go outside into an open, but sheltered coldframe. They will cope with being next to a sheltered wall outside, but IME slugs like them, so I now use the coldframe when it's empty.

I reduce the watering over the colder months, but come spring usually see the flower buds developing. When I remember, , I do give them a bit of feed then. I use a gritty cactii type compost, but have also used any old MP, plus grit, which appears to be fine too. Better in terracotta pots too as they can be accidently overwatered in a plastic pot, then they rot off-oops.

1 of my plants is E.Cooperi, that has scented flowers that open at night. I understand that it's pollinated by moths which explains it. IME the smell isnt too good in a lounge!

Denzil3054 wrote (see)

I know this ended some time ago but I have a similar problem. Have I got epiphyllum or is it a Christmas Cactus. My money is it being the first but I don't know. HELP!

Yes a Christmas cactus, which isnt actually a cactus... They need feeding & not moving about when their buds are there, otherwise they fall off.

In the summer months they like to be outside in a sheltered, part shade spot bringing them back in say mid/late September in my case. This spell outside hardens them up & helps promote the flowering. J.


Discussions started by jo4eyes

Care & maintenance of elderly Bramley apple trees.

Replies: 2    Views: 2158
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 20:32

Suggestions for planting in a sunny, boggy site.

Replies: 5    Views: 1339
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 22:38
2 threads returned