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Latest posts by obelixx

Leaves turning very pale with dark veins

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 19:22

Epsom salts can correct magnesium deficiencies and are very useful for ericaceous plants suffering from an inability to manufacture chlorophyll because they can't access iron and magnesium in alkaline soil or compost or watered with hard water.

Roses will appreciate some Epsom salts as a tonic but need a more complete food to grow and stay healthy.   Dilute 1 tablespoon in one gallon/5mls of water and pour over the plant using the spray nozzle on your watering can so it gets all over the foliage.

Chelsea photos

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 19:15

I think you need to be more open minded and try a new experience.

There are some amazing displays of veggies - one done by veg growers from WG Robinson - - and the others on the Waitrose stand where they mixed fruit and veg with flowers for some amazing.  Both very inventive and there are also potager and mini allotment displays in the floral marquee - and a very good one all done by schools in the RHS school gardening project which is in my photos.

Clematis wilt?

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 18:09

I think a good, regular feed will help them get started.  It can sometimes take a year or so before they really get going as they can be busy extending their root system before they get going with top growth.

Leaves turning very pale with dark veins

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 17:49

Iron is not enough.  All plants need a balanced diet of minerals and trace elements to grow well although amounts and mixes differ between species.   Did you use ordinary garden soil or specialist comost mixes in your pots?   Either way, the nutrients will have been depleted after just 3 or 4 months and need regular topping up by you.

Roses are gross feeders and need nitrogen, potassium, potash, magnesium and other trace elements to grow healthy roots, leaves and flowers.  Give them a weekly feed of liquid rose or tomato feed from spring to mid summer.  Give them a top dressing of slow release rose food or pelleted chicken manure every spring.

Have a firkle and check there are no vine weevil or other nasties lurking in the pots and stand them on feet so they drain properly when watered and aren't drowning the roots.

Clematis wilt?

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 17:33

They look fine to me but desperately in need of a good drink and a feed and then planting in a well prepared hole with a support to cling to.

See this thread for planting advice -


Chelsea photos

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 17:26

Places like Birmingham get prestige and recognition which must be a help when fighting funding cuts from the Council.   Town and Parks departments are not to be sniffed at.  Alan Titchmarsh and Roy Lancaster both started in their local department.   At Tatton there's a whole section on municipal plantig and displays with medals and prizes to be won and career paths to be smoothed.

The nurserymen and women get loads of orders from their stands at Chelsea and so, undoubtedly, do the garden designers so yes, it's all about networking and generating business.   Lots of the gardens end up in a new home too. 

A few years ago one was bought lock, stock and barrel by a man who wanted an instant garden for his new home.   Some, such as the Alzheimers or Hope for Heroes get rebuilt at homes or hospitals which provide special care.   Bunny Guinness's potager garden was rebuilt in a London school to help with teaching their curriculum.    Chris Beardshaw built one of his gardens with teh help of the special needs kids who lived in the home and garden that inspired it.

Don't be fooled by the superficial glamour.  Lots of good stuff comes out of Chelsea and is aided and abetted by the RHS.

Chelsea photos

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 15:35

Mauritanicus is the clue.  I find none of the pennisetums or stipas is hardy enough in my garden but carex, molinia and miscanthus are very happy.   Many of them can be grown from seed so have a look here - I've been very pleased with them.

Never Give Up

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 13:51

 It is very disheartening but thanks for the sympathy and encouragement.

This is my prized hosta Sum and Substance which was huge.   Its numerous large and smaller pals in the ground have fared no better and I've just found that all my lovely Firefox Lilies in a pot have had their fat flower buds stripped.  Nothing to do but put them in a quiet corner and feed them for the rest of the season and hope for better next year.

Fortunately I bought some new Stella Viola lillies at Chelsea and they should grow and flower later this summer.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter fire'

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 13:31

I bought two of these and, once I realised they don't take to heavy pruning like their alba sibirica cousins, they both settled down and have been very happy.  These days I trim them lightly and occasionally remove whole stems but never more than a third at a time.

They are so happy they have suckered so at the front I am constantly removing babies which I pot up to give away or sell at an anuual charity plant fair.  The one at the back was moved 4 years ago so I had a better view of it in winter from the sofa.   It produced 12 babies from bits of root left behind in its old site.  I replanted those in a new bed I made over on the far end of my garden.  This year I found 7 new babies in the old site and have given them all away.

Moral?  These things sucker like mad so beware and they should be sold with a warning and at very low prices.   Definitely not a premium plant that's hard to propagate.


Chelsea photos

Posted: 26/05/2014 at 13:24

Chelsea is all about excellence in plant growing, breeding, collecting and developing.  The best nurserymen and women show their wares on their own stands as well as supplying plants to the show gardens which are intended to showcase new plants, new materials and new trends.  

It's also a showcase for trade stands selling water features, sculptures, furniture, conservatories, greenhouses, garden tools and machinery, gardening clothes and sundries so it's also about British jobs and British goods and the British economy.

It's also a fun day out for people who like plants and there's a wide mix of those from all walks of life and many nations, usually all friendly and chatty.

There's plenty to "get" whether you like the format or not.

I do, however, agree about Monty's eccentric suiting.  He should get a proper one if he's to do it again.


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