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Latest posts by obelixx

What plant?

Posted: 26/06/2015 at 00:03

The botanical family is lysimachia and it come sin many forms.  Yours is lysimachia vulgaris and it can be invasive.

I have purple loosestrife growing by my natural pond and lysimachia clethroides alba which is a much more attractive form spreading happily, but controllably, in a large sunny bed and I have the seeds to grow some lysimachia Beaujolais after seeing it at Chelsea a couple of years ago.  

Lysimachia Firecracker has purple foliage and yellow flowers and is good for moist soils.  Loads more forms out there including some low growing ground cover.


Posted: 25/06/2015 at 23:14

I have mine at the backs of borders where only I ever go and I do always wear gloves when weeding and pruning or lifting and dividing.  it's a lovely plant in all its forms.  You just have to be sensible and careful and not plant it where kids can reach it.

Any ideas?

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 22:39

Definitely try and make friends with the neighbours and get them to cut it to a more socially acceptable 2 metre high.

You could then erect trellis panels in front of it and grow a wide range of climbing or rambling roses, clematis, honeysuckle, 

Failing that you could try covering the ugly stuff with clematis which will cling and climb but you'll need more than one and they'll need to be vigorous so have a look at the montanas.    You could also try Virginia creeper which will give fabulous autumn colour.  You could also try a really large rambling rose such as Kiftsgate, Rambling rector or Wedding Day if you can tie them in and up.

Whatever you plant will need very good soil preparation as the conifers will suck all the goodness and moisture out of the soil so prepare deep holes and back fill with a mix of garden soil and good quality compost plus some slow release fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure.   Sprinkle some mycrorhizal fungi on the roots of your new plants to help them grow well and water in well at planting time and until established.

Clematis benefit from being planted several inches deeper than they were in their pot and roses need to have the graft union buried an inch or two below soil level.   Feed them with specialist fertiliser every spring to keep them healthy and vigorous.

Plant ID

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 22:25

Not a perovskia and not an achillea whose common name is yarrow.  I think you mean tanacetum Hester.

Identifying this shrub

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 17:24

You could cut out all the tallest stems at the base.  This would leave more light and air for the shorter ones and stimulate fresh new stems and foliage.  Give it a good drink of liquid seaweed or tomato fertiliser and a handful of slow release feed such as blood fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure.

That should perk it up.

Not a pom pom!

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 15:50

Looks like a star dahlia to me - 

Alan's new series

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 12:39

I tried the first series of this hoping for gardening content but I don't like most of the gardens they do and absolutely do not like all the maudlin stuff.   Have to wonder how long such gardens will alst and who will maintain them because gardens are not static and need upkeep.

I really do wish he'd do another proper, intelligent and informative gardening series like How To Be a Gardener.  It could be based on front gardens, gardening for therapy, gardening for pleasure, gardening for wildlife, gardening to eat, gardening in the community but please, not gardening for sentimentality.

Friend needs help with plant ID from new garden

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 09:57

I wonder if 1 could be a philadelphus but it may well be a kolkwitzia if the reverse of the petals is pink.  Too fuzzy to see well.

Agree that 2 is likely to be a weigelia and then phygelius and hebe but we really need clearer photos.

Grass and slabs...

Posted: 25/06/2015 at 09:49

Take up the slabs, fill holes with soil or compost.  Sow grass seed.

Voila!  No more edging.  Unless of course you still need to be able to walk across the lawn when it's frozen in winter.


Prunus Laurel

Posted: 24/06/2015 at 12:45

Have you been watering it at all?  It's a bit young and new to have established enough roots to cope with the very dry spring so may be struggling to get enough food and water to maintain old leaves whilst growing new ones.  

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