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Latest posts by obelixx

Hostas - they're so ............. fussy!

Posted: 21/05/2015 at 09:32

Several years ago we had all the old farmyard tarmac removed from the front of our south facing house to reveal the old cobbled road that had been laid with small 3" to 4" granite pavers at the turn of the 1900s.    Between that and the house was a mix of larger cobbles dating back 250 years and some sandy gaps where we made a 7m x 4 metre raised bed which we filled with imported soil and a truck load of farmyard manure form our riding school neighbours.

I then toddled off to visit Diana Grenfell's nursery to buy a whole load of hostas that can cope with sun and some grasses for contrast.    They did so well I ended up taking the whole lot out 3 years later and putting them in pots or the back garden and selling spare divisions at charity sales.   The labels are long gone but I know I have Sum and Substance, Naegato and Gold Edger in there along with a  dozen others bought at thesame time and newer ones added since.    

They are all now in shade or semi shade with full sun for just a part of the day.   I find the white and cream variegations are stable but the yellow/gold ones change each year depending on how sunny and dry a spring we have.

I love them all anyway for their form, colour and texture from all the different shapes and sizes and thicknesses of their leaves.   The trick is to be vigilant with bio friendly slug pellets from early spring to catch the perishers as they emerge from hibernation or hatch from eggs and before they feast and breed on my treasures.

Rose identification please

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 21:59

Well, if you're sure it's one of theirs send them a photo and tell them how long you've had it and they'll tell you its name.

I've found them very helpful in the past when contacted by email about which roses are sturdy enough for my garden and which might be a bit wussy.

If it turns out not to be one of theirs, try the national rose society.

Rose identification please

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 21:37

Can't open those pictures but have you tried searching the David Austin on-line catalogue?   It should have a picture and description of all of their roses.

Interloper ID please

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 21:15

Maybe a baby hornbeam?  or beech?

Chelsea tv coverage.

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 21:13

The Islamic garden is very elegant but too stark and white for an English or northern European climate - blinding when sunny and would soon start going green with mold in all the damp parts of the year.   Fine in a sunny climate where you need cooling stillness and calm but not for our climate where you want colour and life and buzz from plants and insects for the relatively short part of the year where you can live and play outside.

I nearly always love the Japanese gardens with their rich planting, teh water features and the moss but can't imagine living with one of the Cheslea exhibits - two dogs, a husband, friends to play and I'm not a control freak and you have to be to keep a Japanese garden up to scratch.   One day maybe I could have a wee Japanese corner.........

Cornus problem

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 19:49

It looks like it may be rust.   There's some info here about how and why it occurs - and how to treat it.

You need to pick off and destroy (not compost) all the affected leaves and then feed your plant with bonemeal or phosphorus which will promote strong roots and potassium which encourages strong growth.  This will help make a strong plant that can fight off pests and diseases.

Keep nitrogen to a minimum as this makes for soft, sappy growth which is more susceptible to pests and diseases.   Tomato fertiliser would work well if you can't get the individual components.

Chelsea tv coverage.

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 19:13

He gave some poor viewer a bronze last night!

Chelsea pictures 2015

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 18:58

Sumptuous planting from Mr Beardshaw, as always.   Thanks for the pics.

This year I told OH I wouldn't go to Chelsea if he promised to come with me to Essex to see Beth Chatt's garden and Hyde Hall.  Fine he said, but now can't seem to find a suitable weekend or any spare holiday time.........

Never mind.  I shall go to Chelsea next year and he can jolly well take a week off to do Essex and Sussex gardens and HRT.

cutting down conifers

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 11:54

Yes, best to wait.  I had planned to trim back our hawthorn hedge last week to help it thicken up even more but it's on hold now as somebody is feeding a brood of very vocal chicks in there.   First nest we've had in there since it was planted as tiny whips 12 years ago.  Great stuff.

Chelsea tv coverage.

Posted: 20/05/2015 at 09:24

Glad you enjoyed your day out.  I do agree that 2013's Chelsea was pretty boring but I was also viewing it from a wheelchair which gives a whole different perspective especially when one idiot designer fixed a rail at eye height and blocked the view.    Last year was better but samey so I didn't bother this year.  I do agree about that corridor effect along Fresh Gardens alley.

I like to see gardens that use plants and materials in new ways or old ways with a twist and with ideas for planting combinations I can try at home.  I also like to feel that the gardens are real and could be lived with year round.   In this respect the TV coverage fails as they don't give us enough detail and focus on heads and concrete rather than plants.

I'm sure that Dan Pearson has done an excellent job of evoking Derbyshire and Chatsworth but I don't want it in my back garden and I'm increasingly off grasses. Nor do I want a travelling shed and tracks.   Asking for trouble later on with maintenance and where would I store my tools?    Don't want an overgrown ex perfumer's garden with no soil either and whilst I'd love a swimming pond, my retreat would have to have full views of teh garden and not a tiny window..

I want a tapestry of colour and texture and form with fabulously healthy plants so Christ Beardshaw does it again for me and I very much enjoyed Monty's description of its merits last night.   Cleve West is another who usually gets it right but he's not there this year unless I've missed something.    

Then again, it seems to me we haven't yet seen all 15 main gardens or half the nursery stands and there's still too much repetition with clips from earlier shows.  Surely the Beeb realises that gardening addicts watch it all and record it all for later viewing if they work or garden themselves so why are they insulting our intelligence with this poor level of coverage?   

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