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Latest posts by obelixx

Looking after my gunnera

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 10:31

I had one wiped out completely but a surprise - 8C frost in October one year.  It had previously survived -20C under a 3' pile of compost.

This one is getting winter TLC in the greenhouse till it's big enough to plant out and will then get a very thick blanket of compost and straw every winter.   It's currently on my terrace in a 50cm pot sat in a saucer so it holds water and stays moist and is very happy.

Looking after my gunnera

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 22:45

It depends on how cold your garden gets in winter.   They come from Brazil and the central crown where the new growth points are is frost tender so you need to fold a couple of leaves over it and pile on a thick mulch of garden compost to protect it.   

However, since yours is still in a pot you could also lift it and keep it in a sheltered spot.  I sunk mine in the greenhouse border last winter and it was fine but we had a mild winter.  This year it's in a larger pot but will still be moved to the greenhouse once frosts are forecast and I will be sure to keep an eye on it and protect the crown more fully as we surely won't get two mild winters in a row.

Seed Suppliers who Sell Small Amounts of Seeds

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 16:01 do small packets and a wide range of interesting plants.  Prices vary but they're good value and I've had loads of success with their seeds.

Talk about daylight robbery!

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 15:58

Me neither and I'll pay for something I really want and can't grow from seed but I like to go to specialists and local nurseries and growers rather than the big mass produced places.

I have also lost a fortune spent on plants that simply haven't coped with winters here or have been lost to the bullies or my husband in blitz weeding mode where anything and everything goes so I severely restrict my horticultural retail therapy (HRT) to specials and bargains and plants I know will grow without fuss. 

Clematis Query

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 15:53

If you want to grow a clematis well you're going to havce to do a gerat deal of soil improvement as they are hungry, thirsty plants and will not thrive in poor soil.

If you want evergreen, you're going to be limited to the cirrhosa and armandii types.  The former have foliage which is like oak leaves in shape and flowers in winter when happy.  Flowers are creamy and can be speckled with purple in varying densities.   Armandii have bigger, lighter green and glossy foliage and ceram or white flowers that are scented almond in early spring.   They are more vigorous than cirrhosa but neither type likes to be too exposed in winter.

There are several other groups of clematis which flower any time form early spring to late summer but are not evergreen.  Colour, size and vigour will affect your choice.  You can find info about clems on this site which has no commercial connections - 






Talk about daylight robbery!

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 15:00

Well, I was trying to be calme and restrained but yes, exciting is what it is, and I too have a large garden where one of anything gets lost unless it's a huge plant and where babies need nurturing to get strong enough to cope with the weather and the competition.

It's magic when bought seeds pop but even better when you've collected them yourself or recieved them from friends.

Talk about daylight robbery!

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 13:51

Not at all.  There's a huge choice of varities to sow that you just don't see in garden centres.

It's fun and very rewarding when something grows.   I love seeing seeds pop and grow into decorative and/or edible plants and cuttings that take successfully give great satisfaction and pleasure.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 12:43

You could send BB a PM BM.  

Daniel tells me my prblems accessing things stems from Internet Explorer so i've finally switched to Chrome which seems better.   Maybe that's your problem too.

Didn't get to the brocante on Sunday.  Ha dto go to a BBQ to celebrate 150 yrs of the Red Cross.  No time for fiddling with finds anyway as it' steh start f teh dance season and patchwork classes start again soon so I need to do my homework!

As for your other thread BM, I'm planning to leave this house and garden in a couple of years and am already working on cuttings and divisions to take with me, especially my favourite clems.  Layered a  Blue Angel last spring and it seems to have worked so there'll be more next spring.


Talk about daylight robbery!

Posted: 10/09/2014 at 12:36

I bought my first and last plants from Parkers in the 80s.  let's just say they have very creative colour catalogue producers and the quality of the plants and packing was poor too.

Buying plants from supermarkets and chain garden centres almost guarantees the plants are bog standard varieties produced in industrial quantities and probably in the Netherlands.  As Pansyface says, they need to make profits for every company in the chain of production from the petro chemicals making the pots to the transport, compost, seed and cuttings selectors and packagers, equipment manufacturers and distributors.

Buying plants from local nurseries means yo uhave to pay for extra persoanl care in teh raising of the plant but you're likely to get something less common and of better quality and will be able to chat about its needs and suitability for your garden and shkills so les smoney will be wasted on failures.

The most efficient way to get new plants is to sow and grow and propagate your own and swap with friends.    There are so many great seeds and suppliers out there.   I now find I only need to splurge on extra spring bulbs each autumn and then treat myself to tender plants for my summer window boxes and baskets plus the occasional planned purchase of a new rose, clematis or something for a new space made as I'm clearing weeds or reorganising beds.   It also pays to buy a plant that can be split so I always check perennial rootballs for the possibility pof making 2 or 3 or more out of one then grow them on in pots for a year before planting them out with the big boys and girls.

Chlorotic skimmia and peris

Posted: 07/09/2014 at 15:14

Foranyone wondering, mix 15ml of Epsom salts in 5 litres of water and sprinkle generously over the foliage using a fine rose on your watering can.

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