Latest posts by Newcastle

Talkback: Planting bulbs and hiding bulbs

Posted: 11/12/2014 at 19:17
The bulbs in Spring do look untidy whilst the leaves are dying back. I have found one way is to plant them along with ferns or perhaps smaller shrubs which disguises the dying foliage. Planting some variegated ivy either round the edge of the container or supported by a stake in the centre can also look O.K.

broad beans sown in autumn

Posted: 11/12/2014 at 19:10

Does anyone have problems with slus and snails for these winter crops of beans? I tried to grow these last year and lost a lot of them - I suspect it was a snail problem as these are a pest during the growing season as the clay soil seems to suit them.

Primula - growing from seed

Posted: 02/12/2014 at 17:48

I am interested in this as I have an assortment of Primula seeds from the RHS seed swap and was not sure whether the seeds needed stratification or not. At least I have an idea how make a start now.

Pruning tall evergreen holly

Posted: 28/10/2014 at 20:30

Evergreen cuttings generally seem to thrive on neglect provided they don't dry out or become completely waterlogged. I have managed to raise some holly cuttings and some yew with minimal attention. They seem to take best during the Winter months when they are semi-dormant and the ones I took last year have made some quite respectable growth as long leader stems which I want to try and train into standards with the ball shaped heads time from now. All they need is a stout cane to encourage a strong leader encourage a straight central stem and I should be able to start training them next Spring.  Watch this space!

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.


Discussions started by Newcastle


Root cuttings 
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Aeoniums from seed

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Last Post: 26/07/2014 at 11:54

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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Bromeliads from seed.

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Pulmonarias - growing from seed.

Pulmonarias practicalities 
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Talkback: How to create an autumn pot display

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Last Post: 07/12/2012 at 21:02

Talkback: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2009 - companion planting

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Last Post: 15/03/2013 at 09:16
10 threads returned