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Latest posts by obelixx

Duh! I bought the wrong Clematis for a container to train up a pergola.

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 21:55

You cut them back each Feb or March so they grow new stems which provide fresh foliage and the flowers.  They also need a generous feed at this time.

Clematis planted now are already growing and do not need pruning back.  They just need to be planted 4" or more deeper than tehy were in the pot as this helps keep their roots cool and also encourages production of more flowering shoots.

Give them a good watering in and then tie in their stems to their support.   Keep tying them in as they grow.  You can give them a boost of liquid rose or tomato food once a week till mid July to help promote extra flowers.

Propogating Clematis

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 18:11

The best way is by layering a stem into a pot or the ground and pegging it down till it is in contact with the soil an dthen wait till it roots which can take a season.    For cuttings, you need semi ripe wood which you ct half way between two leaf nodes for the base and just above a leaf node for the top.   Remove any flower buds and, if the leaves are large, one of the pair of leaves.

Place the cuttings around the edge of a pot of free draining compost such as John Innes mixed with extra grit.    Push the cuttings down till the leaf node is in contact with the soil.  water well then cover with a plastic bag or place in a propagator or cold frame out of direct sun.  Be patient.  It can take weeks for roots to form and the success rate is low.

A perennial for a shady, long and very narrow border

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 18:03

I would add as much well rotted manure as you can before planting anything so it helsp retain moisture and feeds your plants.

Hardy geraniums such as macrorhizum would do well and provide form and colour all year form the changing foliage and then the flowers in spring.  Scented leaves too.   Pulmonaria Sissinghurst would be OK as long as you can give it enough moisture and the white flowers and spotty leaves would brighten things up.   Brunnera with silvery markings on the foliage.   You could try ferns in the dryopteris group if you want to break up the straight edge and get some height.  Maybe some taller Japanese anémones for later flowers and good foliage.    I'd have thought Persicaria virginiana 'Lance Corporal' would do well too.

Traumatised Plants

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 08:35

In a normal year my hibiscus don't show new leaves before mid-June so be patient and give it another month and maybe a liquid tonic of tomato or rose fertiliser to encourage it.

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 22:23

There's a huge difference between normal muck and agri-chemicals and organo phosphates that induce genetic mutations that lead to illness or birth defects.

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 17:45

There are scientists working on EU fundd projects doing studies on glyphosate in water courses - according to my lot who are government employed scientists who also do work for the EU.  They're all agri-something specialists - milk, conatminants in feed, genetics, identifying horse meat in foodstuffs, water courses and management, red deer populations and so on.

Lavendar keeps dying in our garden

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 15:36

They like full sun and a well drained, alkaline soil.   I find Hidcote very hardy here but can only grow it in a bed next to a retaining wall of railway sleepers where they never sit with wet feet and are sheltered form teh worts of the northerly and easterly winter winds.   I also grow the white form "Edelweiss" there and they happily set seed which germinates in the gravelled parking space at the base.    Both forms have failed in other parts of the garden as have other forms. 

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 15:31

Near Gembloux.   I use it sparingly too on paths and pernicious weeds if I can't dig them out.  I do it on still, dry days so it gets nowhere near water.  I never buy the branded Monsanto stuff.  Dreadful company.

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 14:48

I teach English conversation to Belgian research scientists who told me several years ago that glyphsate is under investigation by the EU as it has been found in water courses and is causing problems so is not as inert as is claimed once it hits the soil.  In South America where they allow GM crops it is sprayed at high concentrations by aeroplane so there is drift and locals living nearby have unusually high levels of cancer and children born with defects.

Chances are it will be banned sooner or later but Monsanto has a powerful lobbying arm so maybe later.

Ideas for a very shady difficult area.

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 10:40

If you can lift the flagstones and set them aside you could maybe reuse them to make a hard seating area for a table and chairs and maybe a BBQ.  You could get height by building a trellis panel or a pergola or an arch. Once they're cleared, fork over the remaining soil and add as much well rotted manure or garden compost as you can then rake it more or less level.

There are loads of plants that will do well in a sheltered, shady spot - hostas, foxgloves, ferns, Japanese anémones, astilboides, lots of clematis for scrambling up treliis and pergolas and arches, pulmonarias, hellébores, hardy geraniums, primulas, heucheras, tiarellas.

If you use variegated foliage in hostas and pale coloured flowers the area will shine out, especially on grey days and dusk and make a beautiful addition to your garden.

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