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Latest posts by obelixx

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.

Grow Wild - Campaign to get UK people to grow more native wild flowers

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 07:49

As with any plant it's a case of right plant right place.    Here's the article -

As well as growing specific wild flowers to support particular species of birds or butterflies and other critters it's important to consider habitat such for shelter and butterflies, for example, will often take nectar from many non native plants they require a specific plant for their eggs and caterpillars.

Clematis help please

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 20:02

Fish blood and bone will do fine mixed in with the compost and some potting compost such as John innes no 3 if you have some or else some good garden soil.   Don't just use the council compost as it won't have enough nutrients.  If pennies allow, there are proprietary clematis foods available now.- which release their goodies slowly ovet the season.

A quick tonic to get things going is an occasional liquid feed of rose or tomato fertiliser which are both very good for flowering plants.   Don't expect too much of your clematis this year.  It needs to devote a lot of energy to making itself a decent root system to sustain production of stems and flowers in future years. so may just produce foliage and not so many flowers this year.

Clematis help please

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 17:34

Pretend terracotta is fine.  I have a Silver Moon in one.

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