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Mike Allen


Latest posts by Mike Allen

Today at Westminster.

Posted: 02/04/2014 at 23:29

I popped up to the RHS halls at Westminster today.  The exhibitors seem to get less and less.  Yes! I am aware that the Westminster shows, only really come to their best, with the great autmn show.  However there were many delights. today.  One exhibitor was showing agapanthus,  Such a fine display.  I was taken by an exhibit of Heuchera.  I have to admit.  I have never seen such a vast variety.This exhibit was by a New Forest grower,  Then I was really taken aback.  Such a display of sink gardens and alpines.  Seveal of the sinks actually had tiny ponds plus duck weed.  Believe me.  I felt for a moment, like some heavenly body, looking down from above upon a tiny corner of creation.   There was a great display of daffs.  Truly, although I have to admit.  Not all of the types appeal to me, but.  The daff, the narcissi always apears to be so clean, so clear cut, for the white versions.  Yes.  So virginal.  I noticed an exhibitor. from H,W,HYde & Son.  Lily bulbs.  Sadly hewas chatting away to some people.  A really grand display of Hipestriums.  Sadly the numbers of exhibitors seems to be getting smaller.  I don''t know is it me or what.  I am that kind of chap. To those I know (ladies) a peck on the cheek.  Others a gallant gentle hand shake with a peck on the hand. To the gents.  A strong handshake.  However I find it hard at times to take.  For whatever reason.  So many folks seem to think they are the only ones there.  I admit.  I have had to resort to using a walking stick.  Wowee, the times I get braged out of the way.  I am begining tgo understand why so many people veiw us oldies as a load of impatient bad mannered so and so's.

Today at Westminster.

Posted: 02/04/2014 at 23:29

I popped up to the RHS halls at Westminster today.  The exhibitors seem to get less and less.  Yes! I am aware that the Westminster shows, only really come to their best, with the great autmn show.  However there were many delights. today.  One exhibitor was showing agapanthus,  Such a fine display.  I was taken by an exhibit of Heuchera.  I have to admit.  I have never seen such a vast variety.This exhibit was by a New Forest grower,  Then I was really taken aback.  Such a display of sink gardens and alpines.  Seveal of the sinks actually had tiny ponds plus duck weed.  Believe me.  I felt for a moment, like some heavenly body, looking down from above upon a tiny corner of creation.   There was a great display of daffs.  Truly, although I have to admit.  Not all of the types appeal to me, but.  The daff, the narcissi always apears to be so clean, so clear cut, for the white versions.  Yes.  So virginal.  I noticed an exhibitor. from H,W,HYde & Son.  Lily bulbs.  Sadly hewas chatting away to some people.  A really grand display of Hipestriums.  Sadly the numbers of exhibitors seems to be getting smaller.  I don''t know is it me or what.  I am that kind of chap. To those I know (ladies) a peck on the cheek.  Others a gallant gentle hand shake with a peck on the hand. To the gents.  A strong handshake.  However I find it hard at times to take.  For whatever reason.  So many folks seem to think they are the only ones there.  I admit.  I have had to resort to using a walking stick.  Wowee, the times I get braged out of the way.  I am begining tgo understand why so many people veiw us oldies as a load of impatient bad mannered so and so's.

work

Posted: 02/04/2014 at 21:51

The weather does play such an important part in our lives.  To be honest.    Hot weather really hurts me.  However in my working days.  My salary was, compared to todays, very poor, but I always looked upon it as.  Well! I'm being paid for enjoying my hobby.

Seed sowing

Posted: 02/04/2014 at 21:47

Orchid Lady and friends.

Whilst on the subject of seed sowing.  It is a great asset to have a greenhouse, used correctly.  I remember some years back.  I attended an interview for a gardening post at a scientific instrument makers.  Immediately, I was aware that the interviewer had no idea about horticulture.  Reminds me og the two Ronnies.  Was it four candles or fork handles.  He mentioned the greenhouses, asking at the same time, what plants I might grow in them.  He couldn't understand it, when I said. Greenhouses, heat, irrigation!  Request a plant, and I'll grow it for you.  To be honest. Right from the start.  I'd made my mind up.  This wasn't the place for  me.  You guesed it.  I never got the job.  So back to your greenhouse.  Probably you have ideas running out of your ears.  So.  Seed sowing.  Sort your seeds.  Half hardy and hardy annuals.  Really best sown where they are to flower.  Their germination is usually rapid.  Then you comme to your biennials and perennials.  The bienials are sown, grown this year, but don't flower until next year.  Then they die.  This principle applies to veggie seed as well.   Now the perennials.  As with some of the biennials, such as antirrhinums, foxgloves etc.  Don't overlook the fact that. They are all going to need space to stand and grow, before planting out.  A seed tray or cell tray will accomadate a couple of dozen seedlings.  Now compare the space required, once these seedlings have been potted up, and perhaps potted on.  So! what I am trying to say is.  Don't let your enthusiasm run away with you.  If your garden allows.  Plant up a nursery bed.

I hope this info is useful.

How to take cuttings from a Lavender Stoechas?

Posted: 02/04/2014 at 21:18

Have you tried this method?  Toward the end of the season.  When the flower heads have seeded up.  Cut the whole plant/s down to just a few inches.  Then literally bury the lot under a layer of light compost.  When growth resumes.  You will find that practically every new shoot will be rooted, just seperate and pot up.  This method also works for many other bushy type perennials.

hydreangea

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 22:25

Please refer to my post of. Mystery of pH values.  Being a kind old gent.!   Blue requires a soil pH of 4.0-5,0  Pink. 6.0-7.0  White  6.5-8.0  Local garden centres usually have prepared aids.

Can i grow clematis in a trough?

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 22:16

Nice idea, but.  Although the roots go deep.  There is also an abundance of surface roots.  That really is the main reason for the advice.  Afford protection around the roots of clematis.  Some think it strange, when suggestions such as using stone for instance,  However the stone will absorb the sun's heat.  The underlying soil and roots will remain cool.  For where you intend to site the clematis.  Great idea.  Howver, perhaps a much deeper container.

Looking forward to hearing, how your project develops.

agapanthus/nerine bowdenii

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 22:06

Agapanthus.  Liliaceae.  Family.  Common name.  African lily.  A genus of around 70 species.

Nerine.  Amaryllidacea. family.  A genus of at least 30 species.  Half hardy bulbous plants.

Due to several reclassifications of plant genera etc of the years.  Some Amaryllidacea.  have been included within the Liliaceae.  I would be inclined to treat the two as seperate family's.

Help with Acer

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 21:54

Don't worry about the root that has grown though the drainage hole.  Using whatever means available.  Remove the tree from the pot.  To be honest and practcal.  I'd certainly consider planting the tree in the open ground.  This can be done, even if the rootball is soggy.  Important point to consider IMO.  The tree is already large.  It is obviously growing well and strong.  Should you manage to re-pot it.  Then you must consider that in the near future.  You are going to have to make ways and means of supporting it.  Planted in the ground.   It will have a greater chance to go on enjoying life and providing you with a beautiful tree.

Rose Garden

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 21:45

H.T's and or Florabunda roses.  Much depends upon what YOU desire.  Generally a planting distance of around two feet will surfice.  When choosing your roses.  You will have to give thought asto what you wish to see in later times.  Do yous imply want a colourful mixture, perhaps made of of all different heights etc.  At the end of the day.  It has to be your choice.  Might I suggest you visit a rose garden and take a good look.  With the greatest respect to our forum friends, it is notan easy task simply quoting perhaps the odd rose that pleases us.  Let's be honest.  Roses are not cheap, and if cared for correctly.  They should still be providing you with a grand display twenty plus year into the future.

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