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Latest posts by obelixx

Lining a container inside for frost protection

Posted: 02/05/2014 at 10:03

I had a fig tree in a thin metal pot for years but I did line the Inside walls with two layers of bubble wrap so that even when heavy frosts killed off the top, the roots survived.  It is now in teh ground in my greenhose and very much happier.

You could try lining a large wooden or heavy ceramic pot with bubble wrap but, franky, I wouldn't risk it unless you can take the whole thing into shelter in winter.   Badly frozen plants can take till teh end of June to show life so yours may well spend 8 or 9 months of the year looking like nothing at all.  From the look of it, your polygala flowers on old wood from spring so you risk never having any flowers if the old wood gets frozen to death.

Plants in pots in prominent positions need to look good most of the year  so I advise you to plant something hardier.

Shed - man or womans world?

Posted: 02/05/2014 at 09:52

Our shed is mine too - which means I get to paint it.  Managed a first coat last year before winter arrived but now need to sand it all down and do at least one more coat to keep it going for several years.   I also get to fill it and use it and decide what we store in it so no crap and space for shelves for all my various gardening bits and pièces - seed trays, grit, compost, potting bench and so on.

OH only goes in to help me build shelves or carry heavy pots of hostas and lillies for storage over winter.

Planning new 'grasses' path

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 13:23

I never use slate round clematis as it shelters slugs who love to much on new clmatis shoots.    What are you planning to put at the base of your clematis as that makes a difference to planting distances?

Planning new 'grasses' path

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 13:13

Have a look at Plant World Seeds -   They do some good grasses and you could have loads more plants and/or vatieties than if you buy them ready grown plus spares to swap or sell at a boot sale or similar.

That's where I got my bronze carex from and also my molinia plus others I have yet to sow.

Trellis or Wire?

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 12:10

That'd be Boston Ivy or Virginia Creeper which are deciduous.  Boston Ivy prduces dark berries which are good for birds but poisonous to people and pets.  Both plants produce amazing autumn colour but just for a few weeks and then they are bare till spring.

I'd stick with variegated ivy which, when mature, produces flowers and berries taht are good for insects and birds in turn.  The tangle of stems and foliage also provides shletre for insects and birds will nest in it too so it's very wildlife friendly.

Plants for a damp shaded area

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 22:34

Astilbe, chelone, aquilegia, Japanese anemone, dicentra, hostas, ligularia, lily of the valley, fritillaria meleagris, cornus alba sibirica, ferns (not sure which), hakonechloa, primulas, snowdrops and tête à tête daffs all in a damp, shaded bed that gets sun after 3:30pm between the spring and autumn équinoxes and can be flooded or frozen solid in winter

Trellis or Wire?

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 14:24

Clematis have different vigour and sizes depending on variety.   Have a look at this site which allows you to select on colour, flowering time, aspect etc -

They do need guiding onto their supports but will then cling with their own tendrils.   you just need to go out once a week in spring and help it along as the new shoots grow and spread.   Training any flowering climber as horizontally as possible will encourage more flowers.

If you do go for ivy, choose one with cream or golden variegation or it will look very dark and dull.

Planning new 'grasses' path

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 13:31

Just a word of warning.  I have a group of bronze carexes which looks really good all year but I took it into my head last autumn to liven it up with some daffs interplanted and some alliums.  It looks awful with the solid green foliage of the bulbs detracting from the finer stems of the carex and impeding their flow in the breeze.

Once the bulbs have finished I shall be digging them up and moving them.  

Elsewhere in the garden my daffs are surrounded by all sorts of flowering perennials whose new spring growth soon hides the dying foliage of my daffs whilst letting it do its work to replenish the bulb for next year's display to the maximum.

Trellis or Wire?

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 13:25

It dépends on the plant.  Ivy and Virginia Creeper will cling directly to the wall and need no support.

Clematis, roses, honeysuckle and so on will need to be trained to the wires.  Clematis will usually self cling once guided there but beware of integrifolias which do not self cling.  Honeysuckle can just be wound round the wires and will hang on by itself.  Roses will need tying in with string, wires or clips according to your preference.

The wire system is very flexible as you can go as high and as wide as you need and it's also very unobtrusive.  I use it on the front of our house to support a Kiftsgate rose which covers the wall but not the windows.   As the rose gets bigger we just add a line of wire above the last one.   This winter has been so mild the rose has kept most of its leaves and the hips have added to its attractiveness.



Trellis or Wire?

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 12:54

You can do something else which is simpler and will let you cover the wall as pennies permit and growth requires.

Buy some strong wire and a set of vine eyes from a good DIY store.  These are screw fixings with a stem and round eyes on the end through which you pass and stretch wires to which you loosely attach your climber.   You can buy tensioners which will stretch the wire taught or you can just pull it tight using a pair of pliers and then twist it to secure it.  Maybe add proper tensioners later.

You need to set the wires horizontally on the wall and space them at 12" to 18" or 30 to 45cms apart going upwards.   You can then train the stems of a rose, clematis, honeysuckle or maybe a grape vine or blackberry depending on aspect and soil type.

When you plant your climber, make its planting hole away from the base of the wall so its roots are not in a rain shadow and make sure you work in plenty of good quality garden compost or well rotted manure to improve the soil in and around the planting hole.  Keep your plant watered during its first year until the autumn rains arrive.

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11 threads returned