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Latest posts by obelixx

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 20:30

I used to think I didn't want anyone else messing in my garden and certainly can't afford to let OH loose unsupervised as he is an indiscriminate weeder.  For years i've had th emost expensive compost heap in Belgium as he blitzes treasures and weeds alike - too hard to work round goodies apparently.

Anyway, we all know Monty has help in his garden even if he doesn't acknowledge it on GW and I no longer find ita  problem having someone else knowledgeable in teh garden as Iv'e had to accept help recently.   Since having neck surgery in March 2012 and ops on both feet in turn in Jan and April 2013 my garden has been going to pot so I now have someone who comes in and does 5 hours work every 2 weeks.  She's great and very good at weeding which is a boon as my garden is surrounded by pasture and arable land and ull of invasive weeds invading from left and right.

I am careful to give her things to plant as well as just weeding and digging so she can share the pleasures and it's worked very well so far.  We've started swapping plants as she takes away spares form mine that she doesn't have herself or can plant in other people's gardens and she brings me goodies from her own garden.

Monty should relax a bit.

I have also now read the press coverage of the switch to M from AT and it looks to me as though the Beeb has decided to fix the bit of Chelsea coverage that wasn't broken and has lost AT as a result.  Too stoopid.    I shall wait and see but I rather suspect that with MD at the helm it's going to be another snooze fest - like GW.  Either that or a dangerous rise in blood pressure from frustration with gimmicky coverage as the Beeb tries to change the demographics.

Choosing a clematis

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 15:04

I have the Generous Gradener growing across two 6' trellis panels and looking for more space and length.   It is a very good rose which will easily cover the space between two of your arches as long as you give it wires or wooden horizontals between them for support.

Choosing a clematis

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 09:57

Mrs Garden - I would separate them and put wires or wooden posts to join them at teh top.  A friend of mine built this below for his garden.  It's got a mix of roses and clematis scrambling up the posts and trained on wires between them with lavender at the base for extra bee magnetism and perfume.  The photos show it in its first year of growth - June - after being planted up in spring.


Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 08:37

Presenting GW is very different from presenting Chelsea which is watched by and appeals to non gardeners and gardeners alike.  I can't really see Monty's devout approach to gardening inspiring non gardeners to take up a trowel whereas AT's sense of fun and wonder surely does.

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 08:17

It seems bizarre and perverse to me.  Monty has always made clear his dislike of the razzmatazz of Chelsea preferring simpler shows like Malvern which are also closer to home.  

I've always enjoyed AT at the helm at Chelsea as he combines so well the role of gardening knowledge and expertise with ease in front of the camera and with other people from all walks of life.  He's also desiged a garden and won gold at Chelsea which MD has never even attempted. 

Sophie Rayworth has to be an improvement on Nikki Chapman who has no shame in showings he knows nothing abut plants and gardening even after all the years she's been doing daytime Chelsea.   I sincerely hope she bringe her intelligence to the role.

I too can do without poking around "celebrity" gardens.  I want to see good gardens so for me it would be better to show case yellow Book gardens - but not during Chelsea coverage.  There I want to see the gardens, big and small, in the show and the nurserymen and women who combines all their skills and experience to bring wonderful plants to exhibit.

Can someone please recommend me great colourful pink/red/ climber :)

Posted: 10/03/2014 at 14:35

There are also pink and red climbing roses that will love a south facing position.  Have a look at websites such as David Austin, Peter Beales and Harkness who all develop their own new rose varieties as well as selling reliable older forms.   Be aware that not all are repeat flowering so check détails.  

Roses can be successfully combined with group 3 clematis which are pruned in late Feb or March so all their old growth can be pulled away before the rose gets underway with new shoots and flower buds.   Both plants will be hungry and thirsty so will need plenty of food and water to get established and keep them flowering well each year.

Can anyone help identify what bird this is?

Posted: 10/03/2014 at 14:08

I agree.  They visit my garden in two family groups - one that likes the peanut feeders and one that prefers the fat balls.  Great fun when they bring their babies.

When to plant new clematis?

Posted: 10/03/2014 at 14:06

I had a huge montana killed by a late frost that did for all its new buds and shoots one year so it may be a good idea to put them outside in the daytime but put them somewhere sheltered from frost for a few nights till they've hardened off a bit.

When you do plant them, dig the hole at least 4 to 6 inches deeper than the pot they're in, water them thoroughly and then back fill with plenty of garden compost or bought soil improver plus some proprietray clematis food granules as clematis are hungry and thirsty plants.   Burying them deep encourages extra shoots to form so you get more flowers.

Every spring, give them another feed of clematis food and a liquid tonic of tomato or rose food to get them going.  Prune them after flowering in spring but only to keep them in bounds and encourage flower buds to form lower down for next year.  Montanas are very vigorous when happy so give them plenty of space to grow. 

what to do with my HUGE laurel???

Posted: 10/03/2014 at 13:53

Laurels can be cut back hard but they respond by putting on amazing amounts of growth so I would consider digging it out as soon as you can.  You can get privacy from a trellis panel or 2 to replace it - raised up on tall fence posts if needs be - and grow some decorative climbing roses and/or clematis or honeysuckle depending on soil and aspect.

Another alternative would be a small tree such as a sorbus kashmeriana or a prunus serrulata which have extended seasons of interest and won't cast so much shade.

Chalk loving perennials

Posted: 10/03/2014 at 10:50

Assuming it's sunny and well drained :-

achillea (various colours available), agastache, alliums, anemone blanda, anthemis punctata, artemisia, asters, aubretia, campanulas, catanache, coreopsis, delphiniums, dianthus, dictamnus alba, echinops ritro, erigeron, eryngium, hardy geraniums , geums, lavatera, lychnis, nepeta, papaver (oriental poppies), penstemon, persicria affinis, phlox, phormium tenax, alvias, scabiosa, sedums and verbascums.

This should give you plenty of choice for form, colour and season of interest with some bubs thrown in for early colour. 


 will give a good range of colour and form.

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