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Latest posts by lydiaann

Clematis armandii - what is the problem?

Posted: 23/09/2014 at 09:44

Update:  18 months or so later, having taken my clematis armandii down as far as possible, it is now growing quite healthily.  I hadn't realised armandii couldn't get clematis wilt...thanks to Bookertoo, my education is improving!  I am now hoping for at least a couple of flowers next Jan/Feb.  It is amazing how, with a bit of courage, a lot of luck and sheer desperation, plants will respond if given the right treatment.  Another plant that responds beautifully to very tough love is the summer jasmine.  The previous owners had treated it like a winter jasmine (nudiflorum) and planted it north facing; I took it down almost to ground level, moved it to west facing and it has responded magnificently - from 40 cm (2 buds) to 2 m tall, and covered in flowers this summer.  All this within just 15 months of its move.


Posted: 07/09/2014 at 12:22

Thanks, Chris.  I've had this serious problem since we moved in...I believe, once again, the previous owners 'kept them tidy' but did not know the correct treatment.  I now have a herb border around these roses (doing extremely well, I might add!) and a wonderful new 'Wesselton' clematis - which flowered the minute it was put in in May and has galloped ahead with really good strong healthy growth since! - in between the 2 roses so am not inclined to start digging out soil as it would also mean moving my rosemary, sage and oregano.  I'll mull on the problem for a couple of days and decide then.  Thanks again for the advice!

And no worries, Supernoodle, 'hijacking' makes perfect sense when we need to!


Posted: 07/09/2014 at 09:24

We moved into our bungalow (East Midlands) exactly 3 years ago.  I have since increased the garden space to include (over and above the 2 borders that were already there) an ornamental, a herb, a fruit and a veg patch.  Another small perennial border has been added recently plus the planting of ramblers and honeysuckle over a pergola.  When we came here, it was obvious that the couple before us had enjoyed a neat 'garden' but didn't know anything about pruning; consequently, I've had quite the job with the ribes, physocarpus, buddleja, spirea, 4 clematis and 2 hebes but have managed to lick them into shape such that they all did exactly what they should this year!  Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the 2 roses.  They are still extremely leggy, despite my best efforts, and so blighted with black spot it's not funny.  I do everything I should: nip off the leaves immediately one spot appears, clear the soil, spray, etc.  However, vacations mean I come back to plants covered in it...and it's on the stems too.  Despite the fact that they are yellow - my absolute favourite rose - should I cut my losses and take them out?  I need to move my fuchsia magellanica anyway, and this would be the perfect place.  He-e-e-lp!!

Sweet Peppers

Posted: 31/08/2014 at 10:33

So glad this question has come up.  I was given a red chili plant which has fruited very well but the first is only just turning - though quickly.  I use fresh chili, but not that often, so now I know that I can keep it inside in the colder weather (my greenhouse is unheated) I shall do that. 

Runner beans

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 17:03

That's probably it...they were left for nearly 2 weeks at one point (not fair to ask my elderly neighbour to do a large garden as well as my containers!).  I shall remember next year.  Thanks for your input, Forkers!  As always, you come to the rescue...


Posted: 13/08/2014 at 14:37

I have clay soil and mine came up beautifully.  I have collected the seeds - one pod renders up loads - and will be sowing them then overwintering them in an unheated greenhouse.  I did this last year with penstemmons and they are now about 5 cm and very thick and healthy.  I'm going to try my astilbe...might not work but it doesn't cost anything and takes no time at all.  Just think of the nice surprises that might spring from this!

Runner beans

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 14:34

Why are my lovely runner beans, picked fresh while they are still young, very stringy and almost inedible.  Dwarf beans, turnips, peas, etc. all lovely - yum yum.  Runner beans - a bit yuk!

Common Ash

Posted: 08/06/2014 at 12:37

It is called a 'heritage hedge' because it is protected and I cannot remove anything from it, although I can prune overhanging branches on my side of the fence.  It sits between 2 fences about 12 feet apart.  The offending branch was about 12 feet long with many other branches coming from it and thus was heavy, hence my comment that we were "unable to lift it".  There are no seeds on the branches I saved, so I'll just have to consign them to the recycling centre.  However, I will take note about planting the seeds in the autumn/winter...with the dire consequences for our native ash (more in the Telegraph this a.m.), I will try and get some going as our trees thus far are so healthy.  Thanks for the info!

Common Ash

Posted: 08/06/2014 at 11:13

To the rear of our property is a 'heritage hedge' comprising rowan, hornbeam, field maple, hawthorn, sycamore,elder and common ash.  Yesterday we had extremely heavy rain and all the trees were leaning over somewhat, however, by the time evening came all was well.  this morning, we have very breezy conditions and went outside to find one very heavy ash branch bent over to the ground.  We tried to lift it but couldn't, so we've had to take it off.  We have now chopped it up and I have 3 very good 'stems' with good new leafage and I would love to get them rooted somehow.  Is it possible, how would I do it and in pots/containers or back in the ground?  Bearing in mind the terrible ash die-back, and the fact that our 5 ash are in rude health, thank goodness, please tell me this is possible and we can get 3 new trees from this!

A perennial for a shady, long and very narrow border

Posted: 05/06/2014 at 09:43

Convollaria (lily-of-the-valley); polygonatum (Solomon's seal); euphorbia; by constant splitting of plants, you could put hostas in there - they have some beautiful varieties and the neighbours/friends/relatives will be grateful of new plants every year.

Discussions started by lydiaann


The perennial problem of black spot 
Replies: 9    Views: 378
Last Post: 09/09/2014 at 07:35

Runner beans

Not good 
Replies: 12    Views: 305
Last Post: 13/08/2014 at 20:11

Common Ash

Replies: 5    Views: 312
Last Post: 08/06/2014 at 15:11

Red Spider Mite

They're everywhere! 
Replies: 6    Views: 404
Last Post: 21/05/2014 at 21:17

Curly leaves on my plum

Replies: 5    Views: 414
Last Post: 29/04/2014 at 20:59

To prune or not to prune

Replies: 8    Views: 446
Last Post: 08/02/2014 at 20:46

Field maple

Fungus or disease? Deadly or a cosmetic problem? 
Replies: 3    Views: 587
Last Post: 05/07/2013 at 15:01

Mystery tree

Replies: 3    Views: 478
Last Post: 26/06/2013 at 14:51

Ants in the compost bin

Replies: 2    Views: 904
Last Post: 17/05/2013 at 09:39

Pruning Rowan/Mountain Ash

Replies: 1    Views: 3873
Last Post: 11/01/2012 at 09:58
10 threads returned