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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 12/04/2014 at 17:10

I cover all my new clematis with an upturned terracotta pot whose bottom I have gently bashed out with a hammer.   This saves them from OH who can be very gung hoe and has decapitated several.

I've had cleatis come back after being decapitated and after being frozen to death above ground so I suggest you give the roots a liquid tonic of rose or tomator fertiliser every week or so until mid summer and again next spring.  Don't give up on it for at least two summers.

"Bug. Hotel"

Posted: 12/04/2014 at 17:06

This is mine with its roof garden of assorted sedums to attract pollinators.   The bits on the side are from a collapsed obelisk and were for a campsis but it was clobbered by frosts and one of the supports has now been clobbered by gales.

Friends bring me pine cones form their gardens or walks in the Ardennes and I cut up bamboo canes and other hollow stems to renew the accommodation each spring.  It tends to get a bit messed up by wind, birds and hedgehogs burrowing for winter shelter. 

The gravel mulch on the roof garden includes some upturned mussel and clam shells so they catch rainwater for insects to drink.


Food makers

Posted: 12/04/2014 at 15:09

A lid too, for the pong.

what are you propagating?

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 12:12

Cuttings - penstemon, pink buddleia and clematis but it was too soon for the latter so only one is doing anything.  I shall layer some and take cuttings of more at the normal time in summer.   Might try cornus alba sibirica when I prune those this weekend.

Divisions - assorted hostas and hardy geraniums, pink and white perennial cornflowers, shasta daisies, physostegia, basil mint, lemon balm, ginger mint, echinops ritro, giant scabious and there'll be lysimachia clethroides, hemerocallis and phlomis russelliana to come as I work my way round the borders.

When's the best time to do Bowles Mauve cuttings?  I have a variegated form that I'd love to propagate.


Chelsea Flower Show

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 10:54

Get there as early as you can so you can see the exhibits before the crowds arrive.  Wear comfortable shoes and take layers of clothes as it is often hot in Chelsea week.  Take a plastic dustbin liner to sit on as there are never enough seats available in the refreshments area and none in shade.

Take a bottle of water, a sandwich (limited choice and steep prices at the stands) and make sure your camera is fully charged with battery power and has an empty memory card.  

There are usually some good deals to be had on small items such as gardening gloves and seeds but you can only order plants in the floral marquee apart from one or two stands that have seeds or lily bulbs to buy on the spot.   You'll need a bag to carry all the brochures and plant lists and a pen to note which plants you liked at which nursery.

Enjoy your day.


Lysimachia Clethroides (Goose Neck Plant)

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 20:31

Speicmen plants need to have good stems, good foliage, good form and/or good flowers.   This lysimachia is best with other plants to hide its lower stems.  The flowers are lovely but not enough on their own for life in a prominent pot.

This lysimachia is very polite compared with the more common purple and yellow flowered forms so I'd just plant it in the ground and see what happens.

Lysimachia Clethroides (Goose Neck Plant)

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 16:13

I planted 3 about 10 years ago and they have now spread to fill an area about 3 or 4 sqaure metres in total so they're not fiercely invasive and it's easy enugh to dig chunks out and pot them up for swaps or local plant fairs.

My patch has now met the more vigorous phlomis russeliana and I need to referee so this spring I shall be taking it all up, renewing the soil with some garden compost and replanting healthy clumps in the same spot and in some bare patches in other beds where I have taken out couch grass and nettles that have invaded during this mild winter and which also took advantage of my convalescence from two foot surgeries which kept me off the garden for a year.

I wouldn't grow it in a pot as it's not interesting enough as a specimen plant but it does associate very well with other plants in the border and is easy to control.   Just dig up the bits your don't want.

Replacing conifers with hedge

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 14:43

Nut is right, and you can always add some pelleted chicken manure or similar organic product at planting time to boost soil fertility.  

Before planting any new plants where conifers have been you will need to add plenty of well rotted garden compost or manure to revitalise the soil as the conifers will have sucked it clean of moisture and nutrients and there'll be a lack of beneficial soil organisms.   Let the soil settle for a few days after digging it all in and then rake, plant, water well and mulch if possible to retain moisture and suppress weeds..

Clematis for a dry bank

Posted: 09/04/2014 at 13:28

A plastic pot will be too restrictive for clematis which likes to send its roots deep.  Much better to let the roots spread out and find food and moisture at their will - and they will if you get the initial soil preparation and watering right as indicated above.

Clematis for a dry bank

Posted: 08/04/2014 at 20:04

If you can dig a big planting hole and sink your new clematis very deep with plenty of moisture retentive garden compost and well rotted manure and then keep it watered and fed for the first couple of years (and protected against slugs) you should get something tough like a viticella Etoile Violette or the afore mentioned Montana and tangutica to establish but you'll also need to train their stems to avoid having just a messy tangle.

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