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Latest posts by obelixx

White foliage?

Posted: 16/10/2015 at 14:11

You can have too much variegation.   I like some in darker corners and against darker foliage and in pots by the front doors to brighten up dull winter days.

In French, variegation is called panaché which I find a very good word.  It needs to be used with panache and not to excess.

black flowers and grasses

Posted: 16/10/2015 at 14:06

I first grew ophiopogon over 30 years ago when I planted some in a gravelled border I put round a new pond.  It looked stunning and spread happily.   I still like it but it does need to be in a pot or trough or against a pale background.

I like having a rhythm of dark purple and golden foliage through the garden and love the white flowers of dahlia After Eight against its dark foliage plus the penstemon digitalis that has a similar colour way earlier in the year.

Dark coloured flowers are fine as long as they have a background that shows them up and they are offset by bright flowers with dark centres that pick up the purple/black.


Relocating my plants

Posted: 16/10/2015 at 12:15

If they're not going to be loved then you have nothing to lose in trying to pot them up and take them with you.   Cut the climbers back to a manageable height for whatever transport you will use and stick some canes in the pots to support what's left.

Use good compost to pot them and then add plenty of blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure to encourage new growth when you replant them.

Good luck.


Posted: 15/10/2015 at 22:52

There was snow in the Belgian Ardennes this morning.  That's early.  I hope it's not a sign of things to come this winter.

Poisonous Plants

Posted: 15/10/2015 at 17:05

Nanny - I think people were a lot wiser and more clued about what was poisonous when they all lived close to the land and foraged for roots and leaves as well as growing their own veg.   The move away from agriculture to an industrial economy severed the ties and the knowledge.

WO - indeed, it's not safe to step outside is it?   Not to mention all those germs and diseases being spread by sharing the same air as other people and toxic vehicles.

Poisonous Plants

Posted: 15/10/2015 at 15:13

Cats and dogs and children and adults have survived millennia living alongside a huge range of plants which, if used correctly, can feed, clothe, heal, make you sick and also kill you if mistreated.

The only plant I know of that can harm cats is the lily whose pollen is poisonous to them if they brush against them and then lick themselves clean.  The simple, rational solution is to cut off the pollen sacks and not ban lilies.

I assume you live in a home full of potential danger - stairs, hot oven and hob, iron, glass windows, sharp knives, electric sockets...... - and yet don't feel threatened.  It is the same with plants and gardens - grow your plants sensibly in the best conditions and right place and you will have a beautiful, safe garden.

Irrational fear needs to be recognised and accepted as such and will be part of the healing therapy.

Plant advice

Posted: 14/10/2015 at 12:32

I've lost too many new treasures planted out in autumn when the soil is supposed to be warm enough for them to develop their roots but they then get blasted by long, cold, wet winters so now I pot on and keep in a cold but insulated greenhouse or the shed depending on whether they need light or not over winter.  

Most herbaceous perennials disappear underground for winter so don't need light but they will appreciate being potted on to let their roots grow a bit over winter.  They'll then get a head start in spring and are easier to protect against slugs and snails while those all important juicy new shoots emerge.

Lychnis and lavender plantlets

Posted: 14/10/2015 at 11:20

In my experience lychnis is tough so could be planted out in a well drained spot that doesn't get water logged in winter.  

If your lavender is one of the hardy English varieties it should be OK too in a sunny well drained spot but I'd be tempted to keep all the lavender and some of the lychnis under cover for their first winter as insurance.

Talkback: How to lift and divide hostas

Posted: 13/10/2015 at 10:44

Regular applications of wildlife friendly slug and snail pellets.   Start on Valentine's Daya s it's easy to rememebr and scatter a few pellets very thinly about your susceptible plants - hostas, hemerocallis, clematis etc - and repeat weekly throughout spring and into early summer and then again as needed.

This routine gets them as they emerge from hibernation or hatch from eggs and stops them before the eat your treasures and have the chance to breed.  Works for me.

This system also leaves alone the slugs elsewhere in the garden that do an important job of recycling waste matter and feeding hedgehogs.   Nematodes would work too but are expensive maybe so best concentrated on hostas in pots.   Copper tape around pots and susceptible plants in borders is also supposed to be good but is also expensive.


Posted: 13/10/2015 at 10:37

It's better to put it in the ground than leave it in its pot where the roots risk being dried out from lack of water or frozen when it gets cold.  Give the pot a good soak first till all air bubbles stop rising then plant it and water again.  It will then have the best chance to grow well and give you some colour for a couple of weeks each season and then e disguised by its neighbours.

I had assumed you were planning to put it in a display pot with fresh compost and some TLC with regular watering and feeding.


Discussions started by obelixx


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Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

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Lawn care after moles

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Plant id for Obxx

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GW 2015

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Hello Jro - and any other old friends

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Weekend 22 March

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Good Morning - 21 March

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1 to 15 of 16 threads