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Latest posts by obelixx

what to grow on north facing fence/trellis

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 19:42

Whether you choose a rose or a clematis you are going to have to some serious soil improvement as both are hungry, thirsty plants and will need all the help they can get to establish and grow.   Dig in plenty of well rotted garden compost and manure to as wide an area as you can.

Roses that will grow on a north facing aspect are Golden Showers - scented yellow flowers; Teasing Georgia - also yellow, scented and repeating; Iceberg - white, repeating; New Dawn - pale pink and lightly scented;

For clematis, there are loads of possibilities.  I find the group 3s easiest to manage as they are pruned back hard in February or March depending on your local climate and then flower all summer on new growth.  Betty Corning is scented; Duchess of Albany has strong pink bell shaped flowers; Gipsy Queen is a deep, rich purple with a redder stripe but you may want a paler colour to stand out in shade; Caroline has pale pink flowers for months; White Magic has pretty white flowers.   If you prefer a group 2 that will flower in May and June and then again later in summer, try Silver Moon.    You can check all of these here - and then maybe order them from a good supplier such as or or

Remember to plant roses so that their graft union is a couple of incjes below the soil and clematis at least 4 inches/10cms deeper than they were in their pots and then feed and water them well till estabished.

Monkshood problem .......

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 17:47

There are at least two purple/blue varieties and one doesn't flower till later but try the feed anyway.

Monkshood problem .......

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 16:53

I have both blue and cream ones in flower now and more blue ones to come later in the season.   Maybe yours are short of potassium which helps promote flowering.

Try giving them a liquid feed of rose or tomato fertiliser to see if that helps and next spring, scatter a generous handful of rose fertiliser granules round the plants.   If you're organic, then make a soup from comfrey leaves then dilute and water that on.


Posted: 10/07/2014 at 13:55

This kind flowers on wood formed the previous season.   When you bought it it, it would have been forced into flowering early and is unlikely to flower again this year.   Give it a feed of bonemeal around the roots noow to help it form strong roots and shoots for next year's show.   Feed it some rose or tomato food next spring to encourage flowers.

Chilli Seed Swap

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 13:34

I am growing Hungarian Black, Bulgarian Carrot, Spanish Padron and Basket of Fire.   They're all a bit slow after being battered to bits by a hail storm during Chelsea week but, when they do get as far as flowering and fruiting, I'll be happy to save seeds for swapping.   I'm not interested in macho volcanic varieties though as I like to taste my food and not have my palate anaesthetised.

Another plant ID

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 12:41

My variegated erysimum has purple and orange flowers but th eleaves are narrower.  It's been flowering its socks off for months now so I'll be taking cuttings soon just in case it wears itself out.

Help with identifying plant

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 19:15


Echinacea Pink Double Delight

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 14:37

That breeder's rights rule applies to propagation for sale, not to private gardeners increasing their own stock.    The best time to divide plants is either autumn or spring so wait a bit.

My winters usually get to -25C though I have had -32C.  It's usually the winter wet that kills plants rather than the cold and a blanket of snow is also better than getting that cold with no protective covering.    Echinaceas are American prairie plants.    A wet Belgian winter is more damaging than a cold, dry or snow covered prairie winter.

Echinacea Pink Double Delight

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 13:17

Chipped bark.   I use it on some paths in the far "woodland" corner of my garden. and have used it on beds too but it's breaking down now and has been incorporated into the soil.

Lots of birds too but they don't eat the slugs.

Echinacea Pink Double Delight

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 12:18

It depends where you are.  I rarely get echinacea that survive the usual winters here in the rural centre and also find them a favourite meal for slugs.   This last winter being so mild means I do have a few that have coped but they then were battered by the hail storm at the end of May and are taking their time to recover so it seems I can't win either way.

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