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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 27/07/2013 at 18:34

Clematis are greedy plants and need plenty of food and a decent supply of water to do well.   They can also take a year or two to get established before they perform with gay abandon.    Are the non flowering varieties getting enough food?

It may also be that your are pruning them in the wrong way for their group.  Can you tell us what varieties they are and when you are pruning them?


Mint varieties

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 18:32

You can grow plants which have plant breeder's rights (PBR) restrictions and you can propagate them for your own use or to give away but not to sell for profit without having a licence form and paying a forfeit to the plant breeder.  I doubt very much if ginger mint has such a restriction as it's been around for years and I found a list from a nursery indicating which of its plants have a PBR and their ginger mint listing has none.

English forest design for front garden.

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 11:07

You rplan sound good to me.   Sango Kaku should be fine in this situation.  See here -

Your ferns and hostas will disappear in winter so the stones and stumps will add interest but you could maybe consider some bergenia as these keep their foliage over winter and would help with ground cover -  There is a white flowered version too.

MD in current GW

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 13:19

I think just growing natives is a bit precious and very boring in the UK.  It's going to look like a bed of weeds with a short flowering season and not much other interest for most of the year.   I don't really like prairie style planting but I feel that does at least offer more variety of form, texture and colour for longer.

My garden is a mix of European natives and plants from other parts of the world.  There's no shortage of nectar available and I have a pond, an insect hotel, log piles and bird feeders plus a good range of trees, shrubs and perennials to provide food and shelter all year round for all sorts of wildlife.   The place is buzzing.

English forest design for front garden.

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 13:34

I agree about tree ferns and they're also difficult to get through winter without wrapping them up in unsightly fleece and straw.   It would also be overkill.  I have a bed out the front which measures 7 x 5 metres and can't imagine fitting even one tree fern in it as their foliage spreads so wide when mature.   They would also make it very dark in the room that overlooks this bed.

I should think native ferns and similar types would be fine for this situation and aspect and would give great foliage contrast to the hostas, especially if you go for the big boys like golden Sum and Substance hosta or blue and gold streaked June.   These can take a year or two to get to mature size so give them plenty of space and make sure the soil is improved with moisture retentive garden compost and/or well rotted manure.    You could also add aquilegias and Japanese anemones to extend the season of colour from the bulbs.  

Sangko Kaku is a very good acer and the red stems would make an interesting focal point through winter until the new foliage emerges and gives colour through to autumn.   I do have one of these in my bed and it's lovely in colour and form.

One word of warning.  This bed is going to be a slug fest in spring so start early with wildlife friendly slug pellets on Valentine's Day (easy to remember) and every week or two so you get the perishers as they emerge from hibernation or hatch and before they feed and breed.

Hakonechloa - poisonus to dogs?

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 11:48

My cats and dogs always seem to prefer the ornamentals I cultivate for display rather thatn the couch grass I could do with help getting rid of. 

They like hakonechloa, new shoots on miscanthus and so on.  Hasn't harmed them yet.

can anyone tell me what this plant is?

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 11:46

Ligularia needs moisture retentive soil to do well.

Clematis not flowering

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 19:08

Feed with specialist clematis food which is granular and slow release.  Give an instant tonic of liquid tomato food and check you are using the correct pruning regime for each clematis variety.

can anyone tell me what this plant is?

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 14:07

Ligularia -

Eremerus have strappy leaves and, as their other common name - Desert Candles - indicates, need good drainage and full sun to do well.



Rose help please

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 11:24

Don't feed it any more now as any new growth won't have time to ripen and harden off before the winter frosts come and freeze it to a mush.

If you can, re-plant it in a deeper pot with the graft union a couple of inches below soil level.  This will help protect it and encourage new shoots from the variety and not the rootstock.  Keep it moist but not wet and with any luck it will recover and grow.

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