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Latest posts by obelixx

Combining climbers for year-round foliage - Wisteria and clematis?

Posted: 05/03/2014 at 17:33

I have a wisteria planted in the same growing space as a clematis Red Robin and they get along fine.  Not evergreen but this clematis, when in leaf, covers the trellis panel and bare legs of the wisteria.

You just need to make sure you prune the wisteria twice a year to encourage flower buds to form - see the RHS website for advice - and plant your clematis de^per than it was in its pot to encourage it to produce more flowering shoots.  Feed it every spring with propietary clematis food.   They may take a year or two settle in and get going but should be fine.

pussy willow cuttings

Posted: 05/03/2014 at 17:29

Don't bother.  They need the bark.  Make fresh cuts straight across the stems and then either stick them in a vase of fresh water till they root - as Nut advised - or else stick them in damp ground.    They will root very quickly as their bark contains a natural rooting hormone.  They are hardy and do not need protection.

As an indication of how vigorous willow is, I had roots  and plants grow from some willow bark chippings!

For those with cat, fox or other animal problems....

Posted: 04/03/2014 at 21:01

For the water scarecrow to work you have to keep moving the sensors regularly so the offending cat/fox/badger doesn't learn to avoid them.

To feed or not?

Posted: 03/03/2014 at 14:11

I have had cats young and old for over 40 years and have always fed the birds.   The trick is to feed them high up with hanging feeders out of reach of cats and then set up a bird table or ground feeding station far away from cover from which cats can pounce.

I've lost none to cats and just a few to sparrowhawks as there are shrubs in which the small birds can hide when they swoop.  Birds of prey have a right to feed too.

Pruning a baby clematis

Posted: 01/03/2014 at 18:11

Have you planted it several inches deeper than it was in its pot?  This helps encourage extra shoots from the roots and makes for a strudier plant. 

Clematis can take a couple of years to settle in before they really get going so, unless it's an early spring flowering variety and group 1 for pruning, I would prune it back to just above those buds and give it a good feed of proprietary clematis food plus a drink of liquid tomato food to help it along.   This will let it put its energy into good root formation which will pay dividends in future years for extra top growth and flowers.





Wet Ground-When to Sow

Posted: 27/02/2014 at 22:48

A moonbeam of farmers?

MONTY DON...disparu encore une fois?

Posted: 27/02/2014 at 14:12

Monty is indeed a good communicator and uses language well.  I'm just not convinced he has anything of much relevance to communicate to the average suburban garden plot and new builds in particular.  There is nothing for people creating a garden from a patch of mud and builder's rubble.   None of his garden rooms would answer for a family garden, bringing up kids from toddler to teens and beyond with room for games as well as plants and maybe some veggies.

I just don't find GW instructive any more tho it is a pleasant half hour to while away with a  glass of wine.   Same with the French series - too much faffing in the 3CV and not enough on the actual gardens and plants.  Lyrical but not informative.

Beechgrove packs in loads of info without seeming rushed and covers all sorts of gardening styles and sizes.


mixed beds

Posted: 27/02/2014 at 13:08

I have daffs planted in my blueberry bed and strawberries along the front edge of my black and redcurrant bed.

You just need to make sure the bulbs aren't right in the roots of your fruit bushes but further out under their canopy where they will get enough sun and rain and light to perform before your bushes are covered in blossom and foliage.

You can also spread a 2 to 3 inch thick mulch of bark chippings under your shrubs once the bulbs are planted and that will help deter cats too as they won't be able to dig in the soil.

Wet Ground-When to Sow

Posted: 27/02/2014 at 13:04

I remember one TV or maybe radio gardener saying if it's too cold and wet to sit on the soil with your bare bum it's too cold to sow seeds.

Be patient.  Seeds will germinate and grow way fast enough when the conditions are right.  Do it too soon and you'll just have to do it again because your seeds or seedlings will struggle and fail.


Posted: 26/02/2014 at 12:46

Astrantias are quite tough but I would give yours a coupl eo fdays to acclimatise before planting out.  Once soaked, pot it up in a slightly bigger pot, water thoroughly then allow it to drain and keep it outside by day and sheltered by night for a week or two.  By then it should be ready to cope with the great outdoors - unless we get a sudden blast of late winter.

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