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Latest posts by Newcastle

Wish list for seed and plant swap

Posted: 26/07/2014 at 14:04

Does anyone grow Aeoniums from seed? If so what success have you had?


Aeoniums from seed

Posted: 26/07/2014 at 11:54

Has anyone had any experience of raising Aeoniums fro seed? I am ordering some seeds as I am minded to have a go at growing these. They have always fascinated me and raising them from seed is a cheap way of stating a collection from a mixed seed assortment. No doubt there could be some interesting surprises too. 

Watsonias from seed

Posted: 26/07/2014 at 10:49

Thanks for the advice. I will try that but with the fierce heat we have had recently I shall have to watch that they don't shrivel up. It was good to see the picture and thanks for sending it to me. It will help inspire me to greater efforts!  

Wish list for seed and plant swap

Posted: 25/07/2014 at 11:48

Does anyone have any aeonium seeds to spare please? I could make an arrangement to send cash for these or perhaps do a swap for something from my garden.


70ft Garden - making it awesome for least cost!

Posted: 25/07/2014 at 11:42

I think you might get some plants for free on Free-cycle - try advertising on there as folk often need to sort out their borders or decide to cut down the area in cultivation because of lack of time or needing the area for car-parking space etc.

A good source of plants is to join Hardy Plant Society which hold meetings nationwide and each branch often has a plant table where you can buy stuff cheap at monthly meetings and there is the potential for swaps or buying plants from the visiting speaker if there is one.

Lavenders are an excellent weed smotherer once established and there are plenty of different varieties to choose from. They also root easily from cuttings. Lots of shrubs propagate easily from cuttings; I have done this from other folks' hedge trimmings before now and variegated holly trimmed into a standard provides some colour during the Winter months when not much else is on offer.

Topiary might work well in a big area like yours as you have the space to include big shapes if that is what you want. Yew and Box are the traditional plants to try but there are others worth experimenting with.

If you can afford it it might be worth getting a miniature version of a JCB on hire to scrape out the rubble as it would be back-breaking to do it all by hand. Alternatively a load of decent top-soil on top might help assuming you can find a reliable supplier who will not sell you rubbish.

Watsonias from seed

Posted: 25/07/2014 at 11:19

Yes thanks for the response. I still have only five seedlings sitting under a cloche on the bathroom window sill and they are about 6" long - that's about all I can say. The hot weather does not seem to suit them despite keeping them moist and there has been some die-back which I trim off and live in hope.

I first saw these in Carol Klein's page in the Garden News when she said she had ordered some of these in February this year, presumably as established plants. I tried to find out in e-mails to GN what the outcome was but never got a reply. I believe that they are pretty robust once established and they originate from South Africa, where presumably they will have to be fairly tough to survive. Give it another year and mine should be quite well established although when there will be any flowers is an open question. The plants Carol Klein showed on her page were not from her garden but an image of what she planned to order this year and the flowers in the picture were orange.

Thanks again for replying.


Slugs.. sod the organic approach I just want them dead!

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 00:19

 and a lot of the snails and slugs seem to congreMr T suggested leaving pieces of wood and slate in handy places as day-time hidy holes for slugs and turning these over during the day to provide a feast for the birds. Ground beetles find theses a good refuge too and they will prey on the slugs.

The nematode option might work at this time of year now that it's getting warmer and the nematodes can thrive. Some folk advise watering these in around the hedge area and a lot of the beasties seem to congregate around there in my garden. Trouble is the nematodes don't work against snails and they don't always seem interested in the pellets I offer them - tem more modern ones are supposed to be wild-life friendly. Hope this is of some help. 


Watsonias from seed

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 00:06

Has anyone any experience of raising Watsonia from seed please? After over two months I managed to get some to germinate but am unsure how to grow them on. The largest are now at the 6" single  leaf stage and I now have five of these (waiting with baited breath for the others to emerge!) I'm keeping them indoors at present on a cool window sill - a precaution against the mollusc horde outdoors and possible late frost.

Any thoughts please?

Talkback: Making Christmas decorations

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 00:38
I was introduced to wreath making for the first time this year by a member of a community group I belong to in Nottingham. I take the point about using natural materials probably being more rewarding as well as costing nothing and I may well make some further experiments next year
wire coat-hanger makes quite a good base for shaping a wreath although I have seen drawings of how to use willow (or possibly Cornus) thin branches and interweave these with holly and conifer branches.
I am trying to grow standard hollies from cuttings; a slow process but it is interesting to watch them grow and the variegated kinds look attractive at any season. I've also tried my hand at Fuschia rings for the first time this year - possibly they could be used as Christmas decorations too? Watch this space!

Edgworthia shubs

Posted: 21/12/2013 at 22:56

Thanks to all who replied. I checked the shrub recently growing in a large pot in the front garden and it has formed buds and seems to be surviving O.K. I felt that the better drainage in the container would be helpful since the soil here is heavy clay. When I decide where to plant it next year I shall add some sand and grit to the planting hole. By then I hope it will thrive alright in the open ground.

I had heard about Edgworthia being used in paper manufacture but it will be a while before that becomes a viable option without damaging the plant irreparably. Flexible branches might be useful for basket work - I have experimented with this using other materals.      

Discussions started by Newcastle


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Aeoniums from seed

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Watsonias from seed

Hardening off seedlings 
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Talkback: Making Christmas decorations

I was introduced to wreath making for the first time this year by a member of a community group I belong to in Nottingham. I take the point ... 
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Edgworthia shubs

Anybody had much experience of growing these? 
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Pulmonarias practicalities 
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Talkback: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009 - companion planting

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10 threads returned