Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis dried leaves

Posted: 07/11/2015 at 13:32

It sounds hungry and thirsty.   Give it a good bucket of water and then mulch with well rotted manure or garden compost.

Next spring, feed it generously with proper clematis food which will release nutrients slowly.  Give it a weekly or fortnightly good drink of liquid tomato feed from the moment leaves first appear to mid summer.

When new leaves start to open, prune it back to the highest pair of new buds and remove all the dead growth above.  Train all new shoots as horizontally as possible when new shoots start to grow out.  


After flowering, dead head and feed and you will get another flush of flowers if it is a group 2.  If it's a group 1 it won't flower again till next spring but should put on fresh new growth that will flower the following year.   Either way, it just needs a light prune to keep tidy once the spring flush of flowers is over.  feed every year and don't let it get thirsty.

Prayer plant crispy leaves

Posted: 07/11/2015 at 11:47

They like humidity so try it on the bathroom windowsill instead or stand it on a tray of wet pebbles.  To water, rather than give it an occasional dribble, plunge its pot in water till bubbles stop rising then drain till it stops dripping and return to its usual cache-pot.  Do this weekly and it should be fine.

Have you ever potted it in or refreshed the compost?  Try doing that too and maybe give it a couple of sticks of slow release fertiliser for leafy houseplants.

Cleaning decking next to plants.

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 20:27

I have a friend who has done it for a large deck at the back of her very modern villa/bungalow.  It keeps her safe and doesn't look rustic at all.

It's your neck.

Birch in hot climates

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 18:12

Birch trees grow very well in cool, damp climates and don't like being dry at their feet so I suspect you're on a hiding to nothing trying to grow one in Sicily, even if you plant it next to a stream that never dries out.

I assume you' like it for the bark which can be pale white or pink or brown depending on the variety.  I would suggest a eucalyptus which is far better suited to the heat of Sicily and won't need constant watering.  Some of them have very attractive bark in colours similar to birch.

Tracking Down Plants

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 17:52

It's been a very unusual, but lovely, late summer going into autumn with dry spells, warm days, clear skies and cool nights giving us late flowers and fabulous foliage colour.   Dahlias still blooming well and roses having yet another strong flush.  Rudbeckias, choreopsis, Michelmas daisies, chelone, hardy gernaiums, sedums, persicaria and Japanese anemones still going strong.

We've had some rain this afternoon but it's set to stay dry and warm for the next week again.   Good - I still have bulbs to plant and perennials to move around.

Normally by now we've already had heavy rains and deep frosts gales.  I can cope with this kind of autumn.

Cleaning decking next to plants.

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 17:45

Once it's clean, try the chicken wire option - stretch taught and staple down with a  nail gun or heavy staples.   It will be unobtrusive but give grip.

Tracking Down Plants

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 14:10

Vinca minor atropurpurea.  Good root system and it's even got a purple flower but then temps this week have been around 19C so maybe it thinks it's spring.

Overwintering Convolvulus and young lavender.

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 13:41

Health warning TT.  Verdun is in the balmy south west of England and never gets anything like an Edinburgh winter.

Plants in small pots are more likely to get their roots frozen to death so pot on and take into shelter.  A window box indoors will be fine and then you can plant them out next spring when the first of the frosts are over - either in pots, troughs or your borders.

Tracking Down Plants

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 13:38

I have just seen these in my local garden and pet store - €4.95  for a 2 litre pot with 20% off as part of a November planting promotion - so I bought one.

Overwintering Convolvulus and young lavender.

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 09:24

Windowsill then.

How big are the pots your lavender is in?  They do need some moisture but don't like to sit in wet and, as far as I know, the pink and white French varieties (except lavendula Edelweiss) are much less hardy than my Hidcote or Munstead Dwarf which are British varieties better suited to British weather.

Consider transferring yours to a window box with John Innes no 2 or 3 compost and keep them indoors on a cool, light windowsill till next spring.

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