Latest posts by Obelixx

20 year old Clematis which may need to be removed

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 15:51

Cut back what you can leaving as much growth attached to the base as possible and lay it out of their way.  Take cuttings from some of what's cut off.


When the new pole is installed you can either try and train the remains around it - maybe a sheath of wires or mesh to help support it - or else drive in posts along your hedge and stretch wires to support the clematis or else build a trellis panel or a structure such as an arch to support it.   Then it won't suffer next time they need to replace their post.

Whichever you decide, give it a generous feed of specialist clematis food next spring to encourage it both to grow and flower.

Last edited: 04 October 2017 15:52:28


Posted: 04/10/2017 at 15:44

Reported.  It's either a WUM or someone who needs directing elsewhere.

Failed Butternuts!

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 15:39

Lack of pollination and then a poor summer.  Butternut, even those good for the UK, need a lot of sun I find.

Pricing structure

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 14:35

In that case, all you can do is base yourself on what some of them are willing to pay - the ones who already pay more.  If you think that will lose you some clients you want to keep, adjust accordingly.  Don't tell you clients till nearer the time, when they've recovered from Xmas and all that expense.

The main thing is to make sure you earn enough to live - housing, food, heat, transport, taxes.......

Pricing structure

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 13:42

It depends on your clients and the area in which you operate.  Why not phone around the competition, pretending to be a prospective client, and find out their rates?  or look in local ads?

Hebe Protection over Winter

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 13:16

Just make sure you don't wrap the plant in plastic.  They need ventilation or they'll rot.  If you're worried, take cuttings.

with 25yrs of mulching why is my clay soil no improving

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 13:01

I have friends who bought a one hectare plot of heavy clay covered in tatty old pines, tatty old birch trees and riddled with bracken and brambles and other unspeakable nasties.   They had help clearing old trees and started digging out beds less than 10 years ago while builders did the house.   They now have the most amazing garden full of beautiful trees, shrubs, perennials, climbers, water features and bulbs.

This is it 18 months ago - view as a slideshow if you don't have adblock installed.


Every year she buys 100s of bulbs for autumn planting and pots for him to plant and he orders a lorry load of council compost which he has dumped in the drive and then barrows it out to the ornamental borders after the bulbs and any new trees and shrubs have gone in.  He lays it on several inches thick on the ornamental garden but uses his own compost on the veg plot as it is regularly hoes to deal with weeds from seeds.

He only digs when creating another bed or planting a new tree or shrub but has found that the consistency and fertility of the soil has improved immeasurably over the years.

This garden is now open under the Belgian Open Gardens scheme and regularly features on their equivalent of GW and in magazines.

Getting a Poinsettia to flower

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 12:50

The article says at least 4 weeks.  You are being a tad impatient.

Having said that, they are so cheap to buy nearer Xmas why not just start again?  Put your time and effort into more rewarding plants.

Dog proofing a new beech hedge

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 12:47

I agree with FG.  You took down the existing hedge, knowing there were dogs next door.  It is up to you to live with the consequences and take precautions to protect your garden and plants from unwanted visitors.   I would certainly take dim view if our neighbours took down the fences between us and then complained that our dogs were harrying their horses and cattle.

A chicken or even a stronger wire mesh fence won't cost a lot and will make for good neighbourly relations which can be beyond price.

What is the best Clematis to grow up a Yew

Posted: 04/10/2017 at 12:39

Good question FG.   Yew are usually trimmed in late summer to autumn and the latter time would not affect a group 3 clematis as they flower on new growth made from spring.

Renovative pruning for yews - hard pruning in effect - is best done in spring which would also give a group 3 clem time to do its thing.   Fond memories of Chris Beardshaw in Hidden Gardens hacking the bejabers out of a yew hedge.  Pity we never got a return visit to see the results.  Time for another series to catach up?

In case of doubt, this is what the RHS says - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=729 

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