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Latest posts by obelixx

Any advice for first ever visit to RHS Chelsea & GW Live?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 23:06

Chelsea - get there as early as you can so you can see the show gardens before the crowds arrive.   Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothes in layers as it can get hot.  Take a back pack to carry sandwiches and a bottle of water as they are expensive on sight and there are queues.   Take a plastic bin bag to open out to sit on the grass for your picnic as there are never enough tables and chairs.  Remember sun screen or umbrella depending on the forecast.

People are generally polite and patient about letting everyone have their turn at the front to see the show gardens but you may need to be thick skinned, especially on non members days.  Make sure your camera is fully charged and has loads of disk space.  Take your time in the floral marquee so you don't miss anything.  It is huge. In there you can talk to some of the best growers in the world about how and where to grow particular plants and place orders with them.   

Apart from the odd stand selling lily bulbs and seeds in the floral marquee you can't buy plants at Chelsea except on the last day at closing time but there are seed stands and sundries such as garden tools, clothes, pictures, ornaments, art work and so on that you can buy so have some cash and a credit card with you.

Enjoy it.  It's a great show with a completely different atmosphere from Tatton, Hampton Court and Malvern.   Haven't been to GW live so can't comment on that.

Poultry manure pellets

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 22:51

The pellets I use are a mix of chicken, cow and horse manure and have a better nutrients ration than just chicken.  I scatter them liberally across all the beds in spring once we get regularly above 8 to 10C and also use it as a top dressing for my hosta pots every spring.  Pots of lilies and agapanthus get rose fertiliser as do other flowering plants in pots and baskets.

Fuschia problem

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 13:06

I have overwintered trailing fuchsias in baskets and troughs in my unheated greenhouse.  I started watering them sparingly 10 days ago and now have teeny weeny shoots on the ones in the big trough but no sign of anything yet on the ones in baskets.

I don't expect them to be in full growth before the end of April so plenty of time yet.



Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 13:02

Sadly, I have just harvested the last chilies and binned the plants to make space for tomatos and new chilies to be sown this weekend.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 12:32

My garden was cow pasture for centuries so is very fertile and the bed in question is on the north facing side of the house so gets no direct sun in winter as the sun sets before it gets round that far.   It produces very happy hostas and ligularias and hemerocallis and chelones later in the season but maybe the winter cold and lack of sun plus the longer time to warm up in spring explains why my lily of the valley are spreading slowly and are not as invasive as most people seem to find them.   

I love them and will certainly be giving BM's idea a go but not in this house.  I need my window sills here for over wintering chilies and herbs for the kitchen.

Poultry manure pellets

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 11:58

Pelleted poultry manure contains less nutrition than Growmore and releases its nutrients more slowly as the soil warms up.  It is also slightly alkaline so shouldn't be used near ericaceous plants and you will need extra specialist fertilisers for gross feeders such as roses and clematis.  However, it is organic so improves soil better than Growmore which is a by-product of oil refining.   You need to check the label as quality and nutrient levels will vary from one brand to another.

Here's what the RHS has to say - 

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 11:52

Looks good.   I have them in our damp, shady bed next to the terrace.   They're traditionally sold as sprigs here for May Day but mine never flower in time except last May because we hadn't had a proper winter so they got ahead for once.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 10:49

Dunno.  Never tried.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 09:05

Christmas tree pot.

 No decisions on the others yet till I've sorted out existing pots and know what else I may need.

Talkback: How to grow dahlias from tubers

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 08:39

Check over your tubers for any rotted or damaged ones then start the healthy ones off in trays or pots of compost in a shletered, frost free spot.   When they start to make shoots you can take cuttings at about 3" high and root them in pots of compost and grit.

Have a read of this from the RHS -


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